Like everything in tech, the social media landscape is always changing. In fact, it’s such a huge and profitable industry, and so often at the center of major debates, things arguably move even faster in social than elsewhere in tech.
All this can seem overwhelming to business owners looking to market effectively. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to improve your social media strategy. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to keep up to date with industry changes. Check out this list of the seven biggest social media trends in 2020 – and how to prepare for them.
7 Social Media Trends In 2020
1. More Stories
Facebook introduced stories a few years ago, rolling them out in 2017 as a ‘second newsfeed’. By mimicking the feature already found on Snapchat and other apps, the move signalled how important stories would become.
It’s easy to see what the social giant saw in the format. For businesses, they’re a great way to update followers on new content, and they encourage regular posting and viewing. Instagram is in many ways the market leader here, and it’s well worth exploring the platform’s features, with polls, ratings and question and answers all excellent ways to drive engagement.
2. User-Generated Content
Another social media trend set to get even bigger in 2020 is brands’ use of content produced by audiences. Again, it’s easy to see why. In addition to letting you draw on the creativity of your customer base, sharing user-generated content helps your audience relate to and ‘see themselves’ in your output – sometimes literally.
Companies can run competitions, with rewards given for posting. However, you don’t need to go that far: developing a hashtag for a product and encouraging users to use it can do wonders, including increasing visibility and raising awareness.
3. Video Content
Facebook is number one, but you might be surprised to learn what company is the second-most popular social network in terms of active users: YouTube. The venerable video sharing platform is sometimes ignored, but its user base speaks for itself. Whether it’s people avidly following favorite creators, learning to apply makeup or cook food – or just playing music in the background – more and more are using the site to consume content.
You can pay for ads, of course, but it’s better to produce your own video content – especially as you can post excerpts on other platforms and in stories.
4. Direct Ads
An important lesson in digital marketing is to never count anything out. While this list of social media trends in 2020 focuses on less traditional sources and forms of content, there’s a reason old-school paid ads haven’t ever disappeared: they work. This is as true on social as elsewhere.
The trick going forward will be to use data to target ads. More and more are willing to buy directly through social media, but you won’t gain from that unless the right people are seeing your product.
5. Smaller Influencers
Increased skepticism of influencers is encouraging a shift to smaller-scale models. While ‘fake influencers’ are less of a problem than some make out, the controversy does capture a growing tendency among customers to prefer personalized content.
For this reason, you can expect to see many more ‘nano-influencers’ – accounts with follower counts in the thousands rather than the ten or hundred thousand promoting to a smaller, more committed audience.
6. Building Communities
If there’s a theme to changing social media trends in 2020, it’s customers moving away from passive, receptive relationships with brands to more active ones. In addition to allowing for a sense of community and exchange, this approach rewards brands that develop a direct, unique voice in their marketing.
7. Changing Metrics
As always, good ideas aren’t worth much if you can’t evaluate their success. While we’re probably past the point where any company could question how useful it is to have a social media team, it’s worth keeping up to date on how things actually work in this area to avoid falling behind. We’ve already noted the growing importance of longer-term engagement, and this applies to how we use analytics to evaluate success too.
A successful strategy moving into 2020 will put less emphasis on likes and comments and more on who is talking and what they’re saying, using improved technology to identify unique authors and tone.
Expect to see much more of this – especially if Facebook and Instagram go ahead with proposals to remove public likes. We hope this list helps you prepare for the biggest social media trends in 2020 and encourages you to keep an eye on an ever-changing industry.
If you are interested in even more social media-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.