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Key Social Media Trends You Need to Know About in 2024

Knowing what’s trending will help choose which social media design trends to follow, and which to pass on. Here’s a list of the hottest trends in 2024!

Social media design
June 17, 2024
10
min

Table of Contents

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Knowing the most important social media design trends right now will help you create content that’s both engaging and appropriate for your brand and target audience. Learn about the most important current design trends here!

General social media trends

Let’s start with a few simple tips for managing social networks more effectively, and making the most out of your marketing efforts. 

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Social commerce

Have you already used social media for ecommerce? If not, 2024 is the year to jump on this bandwagon!

Smartphone shopping is predicted to reach an all-time high this year, with over 40% of purchases made on mobile devices. And since most people access social media on their phones, it only makes sense to tap into this trend.

Facebook is the most trusted social commerce platform. Aside from Instagram and YouTube, you should definitely consider Pinterest, as in 2023 close to a third of shoppers made a purchase on this platform.

Quality over quantity

This is an important 2024 social media trend to take note of. More social platforms pop up all the time, and the number of people using social media for promoting their businesses is at an all time high.

If you hope to combat competition with mere numbers, forget about it. The elusive social media algorithms are becoming more attune to detecting things like paid followers. Plus you can never hope to build social media brand awareness, if you don’t focus on your primary target audience.

Instead of churning out content, take time and effort to devise a content strategy that’s relevant and interesting to your followers. Similarly, don’t waste your efforts on too many platforms. Pick 2-3 that are most relevant.

Don’t ignore social SEO

Did you know that 75% of people use social media to search for products?

Although older generations still prefer traditional search engines, younger ones are increasingly using social media in their place.

That’s why you shouldn’t ignore SEO efforts, such as using the right keywords and hashtags in your posts, to ensure your offers are discoverable through the search options. 

Micro influencers are the way to go

People trust recommendations from friends and influencers much more than promotional posts for brands. So, you should definitely save room in your budget for an influencer marketing campaign.

Still, there’s no reason to strive for social media superstars and influencers with millions of followers. It’s much wiser to work with niche or micro influencers with a smaller, but more loyal following.

Instead of a one-off campaign, consider building a long-term partnership with someone who’s genuinely interested in your brand and will understand how to promote your products in a casual, organic way. 

For example, you’ll often see influencers these days create videos where they use a certain product (e.g. makeup, skincare, food or drinks), without actually talking about it. If you go to the comment section, you’ll see lots of people asking about the products. So, this kind of subtle messaging is sometimes a much more effective sales tactic than big promo campaigns. 

Social media design trends

Now that you have some general pointers on how to navigate social media in 2024, it’s time to talk about the most important social media graphic trends. 

There’s a good reason why we have to dedicate an entire section to this topic. 

Even if you’re not a designer or marketer, you probably know first-hand just how important graphic design is for social media.  Posts with relevant visuals receive 94% more views and engagement than those without, and, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared

Of course, it’s important to keep your social media design on-brand. Still, while you should stray away from your brand identity, you also need to ensure your designs don’t look dated. Following relevant social media graphic trends can help keep your content fresh and engaging.

AI-generated art

Using AI for social media is becoming increasingly popular as a way to speed up content production, and save up on costs.

While AI design is still in its early days, if you want to introduce a new type of content into your social media strategy, this can be a solid idea. One great idea for creating trending social media post design is to post AI graphics and then ask your followers for opinions. This is a hot topic nowadays and there’s a good chance people will love to chime in on the discussion. 

For example, this design agency shared how their own designer utilized AI to respond to a deisgn brief. It may seem counterintuitive for a design or social media agency to utilize AI graphics. But AI tools are here to stay, so it’s really a question of how well businesses and marketers will use them to their advantage. 

Graphics for dark mode

According to the latest stats, a staggering 99% of social media users access it on their phones to access social media, and over 80% of them prefer dark mode. The conclusion? Your social media design must be optimized for dark mode.

So, how can you do this? Well, first you need to understand the primary reasons why people use dark mode, namely battery savings, and reducing eye strain. In that respect, one of the key social media graphic design trends is also utilizing colors that are less straining to look at, such as dark colors and neutrals.

Another way to jump on this current trend is to use dual color schemes, which allows you more flexibility, while still ensuring your designs look equally good in dark as well as light mode.

Motion graphics

No list of social media graphic design trends can overlook motion graphics. Ever since TikTok became immensely popular, and Instagram introduced Reels to follow suit, video content has taken social media by storm.

But while videos can be awesome, they’re not always easy or even appropriate to make (e.g. it can be tricky to shoot funny behind-the-scenes videos if you’re a remote SaaS company). That’s where motion graphics come in!

Simply put, motion graphic design is animated graphic design. Although it’s essentially the same as animation the difference comes down to complexity: animation usually involves a complex storyline and is often longer, while motion graphics are short bits of, often animated text or animation of simple shapes and forms. That’s why it’s ideal for use in the social media/digital marketing sphere.

You can create fully animated posts, or simply add motion design elements for more visual interest or even just to have a better reach - for example, the latest reports suggest that Reels have a higher reach than other forms of content. And since you can't post GIFs on Instagram, even animated images will appear as Reels.

Custom illustrations

On the other hand, AI is (still) far away from the limitless possibilities of human creativity. And few types of graphic design exhibit it as well as custom illustrations.

Stock photos still have a place in modern design and marketing, but they ought to be used sparingly and always together with custom design. However, if you really want to stand out on social media, creating custom illustrations for your brand is the way to go.

Of course, this can be an obvious choice for visually-heavy platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest. But custom illustrations can be

One of my favorite examples is the YouTube channel School of Life. Their custom illustrated thumbnails always draw my attention as they really stand out against most thumbnails that have people in them.

school of life youtube thumbnail 2.jpg

Memes

Memes can help you promote your brand narrative in an entertaining way and make for trending social media post design. This format enables brands to engage with their audiences easily. And the best part? You don’t have to go out of your way to create original content. You can use an existing and trending meme template and mold it to fit your brand message.

The dating app Hinge is doing a brilliant job of using memes to spread its message on social media. Rather than directly promoting the dating app, the company uses universally appealing dog memes to engage customers.

meme marketing.jpg

Asymmetric layouts

Breaking away from traditional grid-based designs, asymmetrical layouts add visual interest and a sense of dynamism. They allow for more creative freedom and help content stand out.

This social media design trend applies to individual post design, as well as the way you curate your social media profile. Although you can still find those perfectly aesthetic profiles where each post fits into the overall design, these days most people opt for a more casual route. Of course, it’s still vital to maintain a sense of brand identity, by using colors, or images that are connected to your brand. But you can afford to be a lot more creative in your design.

For example, Starbucks is well known for its iconic logo and coffee ups, as well as “instagrammable” drinks. But you’ll also notice that these days their Instagram feed feels very eclectic, utilizing different layouts, types of posts, and colors for more visual interest.

starbucks instagram layout.png

Visual storytelling

Speaking of visual interest, succeeding on social media these days is much more than getting the most likes. Social media for businesses should ideally engage their target audience in more than a momentary sensation.

And what’s one of the best social media graphic design trends to help you do that? Visual storytelling.

One company that’s really doubling down on this social media design trend is Lego. Although they could simply showcase their toys or even just their recognizable packaging, they really take things to the next level. There are tons of great animations using their toys that give “life” to these beloved toys (and often the movies and TV shows they're based on).

But a simple image can sometimes work equally well. A couple of snapshots of their Indiana Jones set instantly transports you into the world of this iconic movie.             

lego indiana jones 2.png
       
lego indiana jones 1.png
   

While visual storytelling is already a 2023 social media trend, in 2024 non-linear storytelling will become much more popular. Have you noticed that a lot of social videos nowadays start with a “hook” (e.g. “this was the best decision of my life”)? 

This format can help you grab people’s attention and stop them from scrolling, often much better than linear narratives.

Anti-design

Although most of us understand that a lot of social media is curated, authenticity is still regarded very highly for brands utilizing social media marketing. In the world of social media design, this might mean stepping away from the usual polished look of post design and daring to be a little different.

Anti-design is one of the most important current trends in graphic design. It refers to a deliberate departure from polished and meticulously curated designs, instead embracing a raw, unpolished, and sometimes even gritty approach.

By embracing anti-design, brands and individuals can create a refreshing and honest online presence that breaks through the noise, connects on a deeper level with their audience, and cultivates a sense of trust and authenticity.

For example, I love how Chipotle’s Twitter is a healthy mix of perfect food shots, and funny images like these ones that look like they’ve been designed in Paint. It perfectly suits the brand’s playful identity and is bound to resonate with the target audience.

chipotle twitter duck.png
chipotle twitter.png

Interactive content

Interactive content has become a popular social media design trend due to its ability to captivate audiences, drive engagement and create memorable brand experiences. Here are a few reasons why interactive content stands out:

Interactive content encourages active participation from users, going beyond passive consumption. It also breaks the monotony of traditional static posts and offers a refreshing and entertaining experience.

But it’s not all about the user experience either. Interactive content often includes quizzes, polls, surveys, and interactive forms that enable brands to gather valuable data about their audience. This data can be leveraged for personalized marketing campaigns, targeted messaging, and tailored recommendations, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Conclusion

While it’s important to stay trendy, it’s even more vital to stay true to your brand. When choosing what are the best social media trends to follow, be sure to consider your audience and your usual tone of voice. 

If you need help designing trendy graphics for your social media look no further than our own unlimited design service! You can get all your social media design, along with any other projects (web design, illustrations, and more) for a flat monthly rate.

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Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

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