Over the last decade, the significance of social media grew to become an important part of every business’ marketing strategy. It’s easy to understand why: a study from We Are Social found that worldwide there are 3.8 billion people who use social media in 2020, a number that grows every year.
Streaming into multifaceted platforms, social media forms part of the roots for engagement with both millennials and Gen-Z communities.
With this decade coming to a close and the next one beginning, it’s important to reflect and understand the important social media trends for businesses that are on the horizon.
We all know by now that social media is an effective way to engage and create lasting relationships with our target audience. But now is the time to redefine previous success into future strategies for continued growth and engagement.
Read on to find out what’s trending in social media in 2020 and better understand the evolving landscape you want to be a part of.
Social media is a dynamic and highly interactive medium. It’s not surprising that the opportunities available to boost engagement with your audience will continue to grow as the medium itself evolves.
However, 2020 is beginning to see shifts to previous trends that, though small, can create lasting impact to your campaigns.
As marketers manage new social media projects and campaigns, it’s important to integrate the rising social media trends into their efforts in order to continue to have success.
Here are five trends to be aware of as you formulate and revamp your social media strategies this year:
Personalization is a trend that has been on the marketing landscape for years now but continues to show opportunities for growth in terms of the social media landscape.
When you’re selling your brand socially, it’s important to customize your content to the relevant target segment.
This is clearly seen in the case of social media ads. Platforms like Facebook provide advanced targeting and customization features for ad campaigns.
How can you focus on personalizing the right way for your customers? Do your research. You can start off by reading up on the best marketing tactics and then apply it to your target segment.
By increasing their visibility to your brand on social platforms through personalization, you grant them a frictionless experience that will show them you care.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms out there. Whether you’re looking to get more followers or create a unique brand profile for your business, it’s a medium that you cannot overlook.
It’s no secret that the likes act has a huge indicator for engagement with a post, especially for brands who measure the effectiveness of engagement on Instagram.
However, Instagram has made likes less of a prominent feature. Users will no longer be able to view the likes on other Instagram posts, only their own.
The reason for this? It has to do with the growing awareness of mental health, particularly with regard to online mediums.
Instagram wants to detach from the stigma associated with likes being a measure of popularity and validation. Fake likes can also paint a misleading picture for brands who might think they have a wider reach with their audience.
You might be wondering how this will impact your social media marketing plans. To begin with, you and other brand influencers and marketers will have to find new ways to measure your outreach and success on Instagram. If likes are removed, on what basis will you assess audience engagement?
You could consider, for example, investing in Instagram Ads as an alternative measure to track your ROI on the platform. However, this will depend on your social media marketing budget.
It’s likely that as Instagram makes this move, other popular social media channels may opt for the same. To adjust to this feature, it’s a good idea to think of new ways to innovate and transform your engagements on these platforms.
Pro tip: No matter the changes, never forget the importance of storytelling. You can maintain a connected and positive engagement with your audience if you humanize your brand. The likes will continue to stream in, just in different ways!
As the social media game evolves and changes, it’s important that your performance metrics do so too.
For example, as seen with the scenario of Instagram hiding likes, social media is clearly venturing toward a broader space of ditching vanity metrics.
This is a signal to all social media marketers and influencers to rethink their metrics and focus on more actionable ones. What other metrics can be employed to reflect the quality of engagement, not the quantity?
Focusing on factors like audience demographics, collecting more focused engagement insights, and understanding data to better target potential customers should be the end-result of this trend.
A good idea would be to re-evaluate the social media platforms you leverage in your strategy as well. For example, if you want to turn the tide and focus more on video content, you might give more weightage to platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, or finally start a TikTok channel.
Metrics such as lead generation can reflect the ROI for your social media campaigns more accurately. This trend will be a turnaround for all marketers.
The message is clear: out with the vanity metrics, in with actionable results.
Video content has been on the rise for a long time on all social media platforms.
Whether you’re thinking about short TikToks or Instagram Stories, or more longform content like IGTV, Facebook Live, or YouTube, video content wins in terms of captivating the audience and retaining them.
In fact, according to a study done by Cisco, by 2022, 82% of all content online will be video.
TikTok also holds a massive opportunity for brands targeting the Gen-Z crowd. With over 1.5 billion users on the platform, it’s an amazing space to interact with a younger crowd by employing humor and redefining strategies that will make you more relatable to them.
Meanwhile, Socialbakers data shows that there’s still a great cost-to-engagement ratio for marketers using Facebook’s video feeds and instream video.
If you’re not already creating videos, it’s time to jump on the bandwagon and make it an integral part of your content strategy.
Remember: personalization goes a long way. Make sure the content you put out there is relatable and catchy to the audience you’re targeting. Personalizing your content will raise the bars for this particular trend and can increase social media traffic significantly.
The social media kings that we are all aware of are Facebook and Instagram. But others like LinkedIn, Snapchat, and even newer platforms like TikTok are not to be ignored.
LinkedIn is a popular niche platform among B2B marketers who wish to create lasting business connections. TikTok and Snapchat are budding engagement platforms for marketers aiming to engage with a much younger crowd. If done right, it can go a long way.
These platforms reflect a hot trend in itself. People are migrating away from more public and traditional spaces to platforms with specific communities and focused attention on them.
It’s important for brands to explore these niches in order to create new connections with their audiences and strengthen their existing ones. Building brand communities in this regard is important.
Using the right social media marketing platform can make a huge difference with your audience and branding goals.
No matter the evolving social media landscape and passage of time, one trend that will stay true throughout is the use of social media as a place to build trust and foster an intimate relationship with your customers.
You can earn this trust in a number of ways, even with something as simple as branding your URL to showcase authenticity.
Brands should never forget that social media offers a golden opportunity to communicate their value and establish a two-way dialogue with their audience. This can provide a win-win opportunity for both parties.
By observing emerging trends, staying ahead of the curve and taking into account your audiences’ experience, you can continue to create meaningful relationships and achieve a deeper level of social interaction with your success.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS writer and marketer that helps SaaS brands create and distribute rad content. On the personal front, Mark is a digital nomad who’s been traveling the world since 2018.