How Social Media Marketing Has Changed: User Behavior, Preferences, and Tips for Marketers

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Social media has emerged as one of the best tools for marketers in the 21st century. It has transformed how marketing is done, from product launches to making direct sales and offering after-sale services. However, as with many other technological inventions, social media user preferences and behavior keep changing. This often raises the need for marketers to keep adjusting their marketing strategies.

How  Social Media Marketing Has Changed

Here  are some changes that have occurred in user behavior and preferences:

A Preference For Video Content

When social media sites were discovered, there was a strong focus on user text and image posts. However, with smartphones with better camera capabilities, the content started changing to video. This was amplified by better internet speeds and the development of new social media sites like TikTok that focus on videos. 

Social media users today prefer video content to texts and images. A Sprout Social study indicates that 54% of marketers agree that videos are now the most effective marketing content. Therefore, marketers need to change their focus to video-based content. 

The Use of In-App Stores For Social Selling

One social media feature that has revolutionized marketing is the in-app stores that have been incorporated on social media sites such as Facebook Marketplace. In the past, marketers would provide social media users with a link they would follow to order a product. 

The in-app store now means that social media users can search for products on social media platforms and complete their purchases there. Therefore, marketers should optimize their in-app stores to meet the changing behaviors of social media users.

Experiment With Social Media Features

Social media sites are constantly adding features that help improve the user’s experience. These include reels, stories, stickers, polls, and live videos. These features are also changing user behavior. For instance, instead of someone posting their pictures on their timelines, they can post the images as stories or reels. This means these features also offer a new marketing opportunity to marketers. 

For instance, marketers can use Facebook Live to demonstrate product use. They can create videos on Instagram to advertise products, while TikTok videos can help them reach a younger demographic. You can also use these features to showcase your brand’s personality and increase engagement. You shouldn’t be afraid to try these new features to see how they will work.

The Rise Of User-Generated Content (UGC)

Nowadays, trends and hashtags have become big things on social media. Users often create videos to engage in a social media challenge. With these trends and hashtags going viral, this is proving to be a great social media tool marketers can leverage. 

They can use UGC to increase brand awareness and drive engagement by giving incentives to their followers to create content for their brands. They can also create hashtags for their brands and ask stakeholders, such as employees to promote the hashtags.

User of Social Media Accounts For Customer Service

Unlike in the past, when businesses used social media accounts to promote their products, today, users now use the platforms to raise concerns, praise, and review brands. This means that social media are now also a customer service channel.

 Remember that your commitment to customer service can go a long way in promoting your brand. Therefore, you should ensure that inbound customer requests are handled fast and satisfactorily. On top of that, you should track brand mentions to know what people say about your brand.

On top of the above measures, use these tips to stay up-to-date with social media behaviors and trends.

  • Keep monitoring trends and behaviors. Understand what’s popular and trending and what’s fading in your industry.
  • Create high-quality content specific to each channel. Avoid using the same content on different social media channels. 
  • Do competitor analysis. Find out what other industry players in your niche are doing.
  • Plan ahead but stay flexible. Have a social media calendar showing your content theme, topics, and formats. In case of a new trend, be ready to adjust the theme.
  • Stay relevant and authentic. Don’t just jump to any trend. Determine if it aligns with your goals first.


During the early stages of social media, brands would simply post across different channels and wait for results. However, changes in user behavior and preferences have raised the need for social media marketing efforts to change to meet user needs. With this guide, social media users can stay updated with changing behavior and trends.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.