Saying that most people spend a good part of their days on social media would not be an exaggeration. Not in today’s world.
Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and daily routines. Some are addicted to it so much that the first thing they do after waking up is to check their social media feeds.
Considering the amount of importance that social media has on the lives of consumers, it’s no surprise that marketers and businesses flock to various social media platforms hoping to connect with their target consumers. This has created a content overload on these social platforms, where every brand is doing almost the same thing and following the same trend to capture their target consumer’s attention. However, if you want to stand out of the crowd and actually grab your potential user’s attention, you shouldn’t follow trends, instead, you need to make them.
Staying updated on the latest social media trends can help fuel your strategy and make you stand out in the crowd. In this article, we’ve provided the top social media trends for 2020 that will surely rule the year and help those businesses reach success who follow it:
#Social Media Trend 1: Shoppable Posts
It’s highly unlikely that you know anyone who doesn’t use some form of social media. Given its ubiquitous nature, social media has understandably become an integral part of online marketing. What may not be as obvious is just how many users shop on social media networks.
This represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses, given that 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product on the app. Even more impressive, a survey of more than 4,000 Pinterest users found that 70% use Pinterest to find new and interesting products.
Fortunately for merchants, these platforms have made it easier for them to use the power of social media to reach their customers. Whether you use Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, there are now ways for e-commerce stores to create shoppable posts, making it easy for users to shop directly from your post.
#Social Media Trend 2: Ephemeral Content Will Keep Gaining Popularity
Ephemeral content is something that is available only for a short duration and disappears afterward. Instagram and Snapchat Stories are perfect examples of this type of content.
With all the clutter that is present on the internet, people’s attention span is extremely short and the form in which why like to consume content has changed drastically too. Due to this, content like ‘Stories’ is popular, as they are short, engaging and user’s are able to connect.
Marketers have taken notice of this trend and will continue to leverage it to their advantage. According to this recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers either already have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to.
Another study suggests that brands post a Story once in four days, again, proving the point that these are getting more and more popular.
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#Social Media Trend 3: Interactive Content
Today’s buyers are looking for new experiences when they go online, and for many, that means greater interactivity. In fact, a whopping 91% are seeking more visual and interactive content. There are several reasons for this:
- Interactive content is different and new, and as such, it stands out more.
- This type of content serves to keep visitors on your page longer.
- Interactive content is immensely shareable, and when users share this content, it helps to grow awareness of your brand.
- Simply put, interactive content is more engaging. Users enjoy it more than other content.
#Social Media Trend 4: Video Content Will Dominate
Video content is one of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate the social media a clear winner over all other types of content. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos are the future of social media content.
According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start utilizing video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.
If you’re not currently creating videos, it is time that you include it in your content strategy. In the near future, videos will dominate social media and anyone who doesn’t realize that will have a tough time.
You can start by using features like Stories both for your social media content and for advertisements. You can also add videos to your social media posts, even on platforms that were traditionally dominated by image or text content.
#Social Media Trend 5: Google Ads Smart Bidding
Those involved in digital marketing are already familiar with automation, but now Google has announced Google Ads updates that will likely lead to automation and smart bidding becoming the new normal.
Google Ads makes use of machine learning in order to optimize your bids. This gives you several new abilities to help you maximize your conversion, including:
- The ability to choose conversion action at the campaign level
- The ability to set your bids to change automatically when sales start or stop
- The ability to optimize bids over multiple campaigns with a chosen set of conversion actions
While there are a variety of new trends to keep your eye on, that doesn’t mean that all the old methods have become outdated. In fact, there are several marketing trends that have been big in the past and are expected to continue into 2020.
#Social Media Trend 6: Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Soar
Influencer marketing is not a new trend, but it is one that is going to stay for a while. Social media today is dominated by influencers who are getting paid exorbitant amounts to promote brands.
The adoption of this trend can be seen from both perspectives. One can be seen by the sheer rise in the number of influencers on social media. Second can be seen by the increase in marketing spend on influencer marketing by businesses.
Investing in influencers is much cheaper than running paid ad campaigns and yet it delivers good results. Moreover, influencers can help marketers achieve a variety of marketing goals and not just generate leads. These are the two main reasons why it has become so popular and is continuously getting stronger and bolder.
Marketers are not just collaborating with 1-2 influencers now, but are working with a whole network of small, relevant, niche influencers. These kinds of influencers get much higher engagement and cost much less. Going forward, more and more marketers will use this strategy and work with multiple smaller influencers instead of one celebrity.
#Social Media Trend 7: More Regulatory Control and Legal Scrutiny
While there are numerous benefits of social media, there are certain negatives that have come to light in recent years. Data privacy and security are two such issues that have made the headlines for social networks like Facebook.
Social media can be very easily used to gather information about anyone and misuse it. There are allegations that certain social networks even sell their user data to other companies.
In light of this, social networks and regulatory bodies will tighten their norms and put more policies in place. Social media is considered unsafe by many people and it would be in everyone’s best interest to change that. So, be ready for more regulations and restrictions on all platforms.
#Social Media Trend 8: Higher Adoption of Augmented Reality
Augmented reality enhances our reality by adding digital elements to it and changing the way things actually look. Social media platforms have found interesting use cases for this technology and have started leveraging it in recent years.
Instagram, for example, uses augmented reality for its numerous photo filters. Have you seen those filters that can add makeup to your face or a sunglass or bunny ears? That’s nothing but an application of augmented reality for social media.
This trend, though heavily popularized by Instagram and Snapchat, will be adopted by other social media platforms in the coming years. Facebook, for example, launched AR filters before Instagram, but they got popular later. Facebook is also experimenting with other AR and VR functionalities and will come up with more applications of these technologies in the future.
The applications of AR on social media are not limited to just photo filters to post fun posts and stories. Brands can also leverage augmented reality to provide better shopping experiences to their customers.
Sephora, for example, is a beauty brand that has long used AR to allow their customers to try on makeup before buying. While this capability has been on their mobile app for a long time, they have recently also launched it for Facebook.
Now, users can try on Sephora products via Facebook Messenger, using augmented reality filters. This helps people make better purchase decisions, while also having a unique shopping experience.
Augmented reality can have a lot of potential social media applications for brands. And, this trend will be further driven by social media platforms’ continuous efforts to add more AR functionalities.
#Social Media Trend 9: Increase in the Use of Social Media for Customer Service
Social media has traditionally been a place for people to connect with their social networks and share photos and videos. However, those days are long gone and social media is now so much more than just that.
It has become a retail platform, a product discovery platform, and now, even a customer service channel. A lot of brands have started recognizing social media networks as platforms for delivering customer service.
This transition happened gradually as brands started noticing that a lot of customers try to reach out to them on social media. This may be because of a lack of response on other channels or just because it was a more direct way to reach the brands.
It goes without saying that brands started responding to such messages and directing those customers to the right channels.
Fast-forward a few years, and imagine the number of such interactions growing multifold. It’s not just some one-off cases where customers post their questions or complaints on social media and brands respond. Now, it has become a significant enough customer service channel for brands to recognize it as one.
And, it is one of the most important customer service channels, owing to the massive repercussions of not handling a customer well in front of other users. So, it becomes all the more important for brands to handle these customers well.
#Social Media Trend 10: Local Targeting Will Become More Prevalent
Just like local SEO is for local brands who want to get more organic traffic, local targeting is the counterpart for social media. A lot of brands use location-based targeting to reach out to and attract people from a specific geographic location.
One common way in which brands attract a local audience is by geo-tagging their posts and stories. If you add a location to your social media content, it will automatically draw-in a local audience.
Social platforms like Instagram provide the option to search for posts from nearby places or specific locations. If you add locations to your content, it will show up in these search results, helping local people find your brand and content.
Geo-targeting works especially well for promoted posts or tweets as these platforms help you target the right audiences.
For example, if you use the “boost post” option on Facebook, you can also select the locations that you want to target. Facebook will show your posts to users in those locations.
Brands can also use geo-targeting to get more people to attend their local conferences and brand events. Or, they can use location filters in their social media ads, to advertise only to a relevant, local audience.
There are a lot of benefits of location-based targeting on social media and you simply need to know how to leverage it.
#Social Media Trend 11: More Brands Will Incorporate Social Listening into Their Strategies
Social media is a goldmine for data and insights that businesses can use to refine their social strategies. And, with the launch of so many social listening tools, it has become very easy for anyone to access these insights.
Given the ease with which you can tap into social conversations to draw meaningful insights, social listening has made its way into every marketer’s strategy. Brands and marketers are using it for a variety of use cases.
From understanding the impact of a social media campaign to understanding how people perceive a brand, you can get a lot of information using social listening. This has made social listening an integral part of most marketers’ social media strategies.
There are a lot of social media listening tools that you can use for this purpose, so start experimenting and find the one that you like best.
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