This year, more than three billion people will visit a social network at least once a month. If you want to capture your share of that audience, keeping up with the latest social media trends is essential.
“But social media is nothing but political memes and debates, isn’t it?” Well, he did in that, for sure. But it’s also a vast world that extends well beyond those kinds of things. I assume your business has an active presence on social media, so you already know there’s more to it.
But if you are not convinced of its value, consider this. More than half of all social media users visit a social platform Firstly when looking for new brands and products.
That turns many traditional beliefs about social media marketing on their head. It means that before we consult a website for product information, more than half of us consult social media. Trust is the motivating factor behind that behavior.
In a minute, we’ll talk about who people trust in social media. But whatever the case, as a marketer, you have to adjust to the impact.
Here are 11 social media trends that will be apparent in 2020.
Using video in social media advertising is nothing new. What’s new – what’s new continuously – is the exponential increase in the bandwidth available to most of us. That bandwidth available is why video will continue to be one of the most powerful forms of social content you can use.
Our friends at Cisco tell us that in less than two years, 82% of all online content will be video. Think about that for a minute. It’s an almost unbelievable statistic, and it tells it to enthusiastic marketers it’s time to create a better video.
Gone are the days when video, any video, was a novelty that drew attention on social media. It’s time to be smarter, more attractive, and wherever possible, more amazing.
When most of the online content is video, your social media followers will need a little something additional that will inspire them to comment, like, and share.
Look for personalized videos to become more prominent in the field of social media marketing. It contains customizable video that is relevant to a specific segment of your customers.
Facebook and Instagram are already encouraging brands to produce personalized video content with Story Ads. Even though Twitter is on top of this trend with its offer of six-second video ads.
2. User Generated Content
To some extent, “Influencers” lose public trust. There are many reasons for that. Many influencer posts are similar or have become prominent ads. That perception breaks down at the heart of what effectively made influencer advertising.
And you can add to the mix fake influencers and other influencer fraud, which, surprisingly, is a thing. Unsurprisingly, big name, big money influencers are in decline.
User-generated content such as reviews and customer references provides a level of trust that the product is legitimate and desirable. Today’s customers are skeptical. They want feedback from real people before they decide to buy. And the feedback has to be real.
Another effective type of user-generated content is citations and hashtags. Today’s online user will happily use hashtags and brand-suggested language. Pair those hashtags with photos and customer reviews, and you can become irresistible social proof.
3. Social Listening
So user-generated content is essential, but how can you find more of it?
Well, you can give Social listening try it.
In its most basic form, social listening is just looking for mentions of your brand or product. Some applications and services can make your social listening much more effective.
Social listening helps you find people who talk about your product. If that conversation is positive, great. If not, social listening helps with reputation management. When you see a negative comment, pay attention to it. Fix the problem. That helps negate the criticism and builds trust.
You can also use it to look at what is being said about your competition. Reading the conversations and doing a little sentiment analysis can inform your competitors strategy.
Taco Bell’s Twitter presence is a prime example of social listening to work. They re-tweet positive references, interact with users in a non-promotional way, and also have a dedicated support Twitter account (more on that below).
I know what you’re thinking. Taco Bell ?! What can I learn from them about social listening? ”Quite a bit, really. It’s worth noting that Fast Company rates Taco Bell as one of the most innovative social media companies.
4. Shoppable Instagram posts
They’ve been around since 2018, so why do I rank Shoppable Jobs among the 2020 social media trends? Because they are underused. I don’t see many smaller brands taking advantage of the technology, and that’s likely to change.
If you don’t know what Shoppable Instagram Posts are, here’s what they look like.
- A small shopping bag icon appears in the corner of the picture.
- Clicking anywhere in the image brings up further links.
- Clicking the shopping bag icon takes you to an order link.
Receiving orders directly from Instagram posts? Please!
The reason they can be underutilized is setting it up is a related process. Not only that, but your business also has to be approved by Instagram to have the ability to do Shoppable Jobs.
You have to create a Facebook Catalog in Facebook Business Manager and Facebook Store. You then link your store to your Instagram Business Account. After all that, you can activate the Shop tab on your Instagram profile.
There are apps like Linkin.bio o Later that makes posting of products easier. But you must set up your account (s) before you can use them.
5. Stories Still Told (or Shown)
Instagram stories are one of the biggest social media trends of recent years. That trend is only going to continue. The numbers are already staggering. Half a billion people post or watch Instagram stories daily. The same number watch Facebook Stories.
That’s a lot of viewers. And perhaps the most interesting statistic is that businesses posted a third of the most viewed Stories. It even gets better. About 20% of Instagram Stories get a direct message from the viewer. So every day, more than 33 million potential buyers are message sellers because of their stories.
If there is a better tool for your business’s social media engagement, I haven’t found it.
6. Micro-Influencers, Micro-Media and Micro-Targeting
We talked about the decline of high profile influencers, but that doesn’t mean social media influencers are no longer valuable. Behold the rise of the Micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers have only a small proportion of followers from top influencers. Usually between 5,000 and 50,000 followers. But the difference between micro-influencers and, let’s call them macro-influencers, is engagement.
Followers of micro-influencers are very active and engaged with the influencer.
Micro-influencers are regarded as authorities, and their word attaches greater importance to their subjects of expertise. So there is more trust and a higher likelihood that a follower will buy a product or service that they approve.
As a bonus for you, the advertiser, the cost of a micro influencer job or mention is significantly lower than a macro influencer. You will spend less and get higher returns if you can find a micro-influencer that is relevant to your business.
7. Specialist Social Networks
This is a similar strategy to using micro-influencers. But instead of using an influencer to target an extensive social network, you’re targeting smaller networks yourself.
For example, I often recommend a social network called Ello when I write website tutorials. If the site topic is creative, dealing with art, music, photography, etc., Ello is the perfect niche social network.
Its users are much more engaged than those on the big platforms. So the returns on your time investment are greater.
It is easier to get coverage on a specialized network. Audiences are smaller but more enthusiastic. You may not be able to think of any specialized social networks off your head. But they are out there if you know where to look.
TIP PRO: Brand connections in social media marketing are now best practice, as they are known to increase trust between your brand and your audience, as well as increase engagement and click-through rate. You can create branded links using platforms like Shortener URL rebranding.
8. Marketing to Generation Z.
Robert Capa was a combat photographer who coined the term “Generation X.” So we have to blame for all the generations named Capitals that followed. And here we are talking about “Generation Z” rather than using a more imaginative or descriptive term.
Thank you, Robert.
Generation Z are 13 to 22 year olds. Marketing to them is different because they are the first hyper-connected generation. If you remember a time before the internet, your brain doesn’t work like Generation Z.
As young people for a while, Generation Z wants to change the world. The difference between them and previous generations of young idealists is that Generation Z has no doubt that they do say change the world.
I hope they are right. But whether they are or not, if you want to sell them something, you have to understand them. (The first thing to understand is that they would think this talk is about sales strategies not cool.)
As a group, and of course, in general, they are judgmental. They know what is happening in the world, and they take part in activism when they find injustice. They embrace social causes like gun control, hunger, LGBTQ and other equality issues, the environment, and body positivity.
In short, if Fox News mocks it, it is rocked by Generation Z.
At a business level, Generation Z currently accounts for around 40% of consumers. But in just six years, by 2026, they are expected to become largest user population in the United States Spends More Than Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
They are already spending up to three times more shopping on social media than the average consumer. Generation Z supports brands that they believe are good for society. So your message to them should be open, transparent and socially aware.
9. Voice Is Search Futures
Half of all searches are now performed use voice functions. Most are done without the probe ever looking at a screen. So maybe I should have called this section, “Voice Is Search.”
The “future” part is upon us. We spent years optimizing content for “web 2.0,” whatever that was. Then we spent years optimizing for mobile devices. Now, we’ve been given the task of optimizing for voice search.
Honestly, the best way to do that is still worked out. It would be unwise to say, “Here are five things that will make you a voice search manager.” And to make things more muted, as language recognition improves voice search changes.
But there are some things you can do. They involve thinking of keywords differently. Voice search often involves more long tail keywords than a written search. You want to structure your SEO around more conversational keywords. Think about how people ask questions when they are talking rather than typing.
That approach flies in the face of a lot of traditional SEO thinking. But if you can adapt, you will have the advantage of voice search.
10. Customer Service and Support
Social media networks have the potential to be an incredible customer service channel for your business. I mentioned Taco Bell earlier, and all you have to do is check out Taco Bell’s dedicated support Twitter feed to see social media customer service in action.
They respond to customer complaints, and their actions show that they value customers’ views.
I assume most of the interaction on that Taco Bell account is human. But the main way to improve your social media customer service is by using chatbots.
Speaking of flying in the face of much traditional thinking, it wasn’t long ago that chatbots were something to be avoided. But that all changed very quickly, and now people want interact with chatbots.
Advances in AI technology have made chatbots smarter. When you pit them against humans, they are faster and often more effective. And, of course, they are always available. And here’s an eye-opening statistic: 90% of businesses report that complaints are resolved more quickly with chatbots than with human beings.
If you don’t trust the business reports, check this out: 56% of people would really prefer it talk to a bot than call customer service. Given some of the run-in stuff I’ve had with phone support over the past few years, I’m not surprised.
Although, I’m not sure what it says about us as a society that it’s easier to train a robot than a person.
But the acceptance of chatbots is welcome news for many companies, large and small. Make sure you don’t launch a chat feature using an outdated or outdated bot. This is one of the areas where you want to be using the latest technology even if the investment is a little steeper.
11. Dynamic Landing Pages
A lot of what we’ve talked about here is getting people to your website to buy goods. But it should not stop there. Visitors are increasingly expecting personalization when they access your website.
That’s where dynamic landing pages come in.
The more you can personalize the page, the better. Location data is relatively easy to get, which is why you see that being used so often.
A great personal landing page needs more than a location that is accurate most of the time. Several bespoke services can create dynamic landing pages based on your input or data. Unbounce, HubSpot, GetResponse, SendinBlue, Leadpages, Instapage, Wishpond, Lander, and Landingi, among others.
Then there are dynamic page builders that you can integrate into your existing website infrastructure or workflow. Divi, MailChimp, Launchaco, Carrd, Elementor, Launchrock, Ucraft, KickoffLabs, Shortstack, and Themify are a few worth checking out.
Whatever method you use, you should strive to create different landing pages for each social campaign. And beyond that, reflecting as much personal information as you can gather back to the visitor.
That approach has both time and resource costs, but when done right, the benefits can outweigh the costs.
Of course, Google+ was put to rest a little more than a year ago. But I brought it up because it’s unusual for high-profile, high-use social networks to die. The latter significant Vine was a social app to close, and that was almost five years ago.
So when your friends or colleagues tell you, “[[[[Whatever]dead, don’t bother with it, ”don’t listen to them. Every person or business has a different relationship with each social platform. Something that is “dead” to one group can be vital and useful to another.
As long as you are able to engage with your audience or customers, the platform is viable and live. Popularity comes and goes, but as we’ve discussed, popularity doesn’t always decide which social network is best for you.
The Future of Social Media for 2020
Fortunately, the future of social media we’re talking about here is more about adaptation than just starting over. It’s mainly about changing your approach to existing platforms. That can also be an opportunity to take a closer look at what has been working for you and what has not.
With more and more people taking over “Digital detox” where social media is concerned, a fresh look is vital. Many people are starting to feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed by social media. They realize that, in unhealthy doses, it can affect their mental well-being and health.
Others pull away because they have lost trust in social platforms. Whether it’s privacy concerns, fake news, fake influencers, or something else altogether, an increasing number of people are revaluing the amount of time they spend on social media.
One study showed that more than a third of adults have cut back on social media use. When you consider numbers like those, your messages must be better than ever to land in the right place.
So look at the trends we’ve talked about today and see where you can sharpen, or where you can target the message more precisely. Key in to customers (and potential customers) and make your social media accounts work for you.