Social Media Advertising and 2024 Consumer Spending

Igniting consumer online shopping behaviors with valuable brand experiences

Social media dominated 2023 headlines: a possible TikTok ban… the launch of Meta’s Threads … and advertiser boycotts of X (formerly Twitter). While the social landscape shifted dramatically this year, social media advertising played an increasingly influential role in shaping consumer attitudes and behaviors, redefining the way people interact with brands and make purchase decisions.  

Social media is poised for even more change and innovation in 2024. Our Social Media Shopping report highlights its emergence as an e-commerce channel, exploring factors affecting in-app purchases, demographic cohorts most likely to “add to cart,” and influencer trust. Here, we examine how social media advertising may impact 2024 spending, offering a preview of our forthcoming Consumer Trends 2024 report.


Will consumers be more conservative in 2024?

The Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas wars… The toxic U.S. political environment… inflation... the rise of ChatGPT and other AI advances... striking auto workers, writers, and actors… X (formerly Twitter)’s fumbles and the introduction of Meta’s Threads… all of these issues challenged consumers’ sense of security and stability this year.  But despite these negative headwinds, consumers continued to spend. Will this continue in 2024? Our Consumer Trends 2024 report explores feelings about the year ahead, including whether there is concern or optimism for the 2024 economy, and how people feel about their personal finances. 

Below is a sneak peek of consumer spending intentions.

Image of a chart showing consumer spending by category.

Most consumers say they will spend in 2024, but more so in non-discretionary categories. We may also see budget-conscious consumers compromise on value or even opt out of big-ticket purchases to stretch their dollars. For a deeper dive into demographic differences, stay tuned for the full report.


What role will social media play in spending?

Our Social Media Shopping report found that ~40% of consumers have made an in-app social purchase, and that percentage is even higher among millennials and females. As social platforms introduce new commerce capabilities for their advertisers, along with innovative branded experiences like livestreams, brands have new opportunities to capture consumer attention – and dollars. 

Our Consumer Trends 2024 report takes a close look at social media advertising  in comparison to more traditional channels like TV. Below, we outline differences between social media and TV e-commerce effectiveness across generations.


TV has consistent effectiveness across generations while social media sees variability. For marketers this puts a premium on understanding where their target audiences are and what works best for them. Marketers that have this understanding  will see an outsized impact on both brand KPIs and critical purchase journey behaviors. Check out our Social Media Shopping report for deeper generational insights. 


How can you optimize your ad investments in social media?

The social landscape evolves  at a rapid pace, so developing resonant content is not a “set it and forget it” thing. The diversity of social’s audiences and their evolving behaviors on the platforms add layers of complexity that require continuously nuanced strategies. 

There are tools to help, and a measurement framework is essential to your success and continuous learning. You will stay ahead of the curve by including some of the below measurements into your strategies: 

  • Test your content. Don’t launch ads blindly. Test messaging and creatives with your target audiences to increase the likelihood of achieving the desired impacts. In the process, you may also identify new target audiences with whom your content will resonate.
  • Measure brand KPIs. Understand if content is moving the needle for your brand, from awareness to consideration to purchase intent. You can even measure how your content impacts sentiments about your competitors! 
  • Don’t forget outcomes. As social media grows as an e-commerce platform, measuring lower-funnel impacts like post-ad exposure search behaviors, site visits and e-commerce activities will help you optimize your strategy and increase ROI. 


More insights to inform your 2024 advertising strategy

Download our Social Media Shopping report for more insights into how brands can succeed with social shopping. For more on what will shape consumerism next year, stay tuned for DISQO’s Consumer Trends 2024 report, launching on December 12.

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