The social media landscape is constantly changing. As every platform regularly updates its features and new channels continually emerge.
The social media landscape is constantly changing. As every platform regularly updates its features and new channels continually emerge, it's no surprise that many businesses struggle with social media marketing.
To gain the competitive advantage and remain relevant to consumers, it's crucial that businesses stay up to date with the latest social media trends. With this in mind, following are seven social media trends every business should be aware of for 2020 and beyond.
Posting status updates and sharing new content with your audience is no longer enough to grab their attention. People are looking for more personal involvement from businesses that make them feel part of a community.
Going forward, businesses that want to stand out need to promote less, listen more, and respond thoughtfully to audience comments. Showing the more human side to your business builds trust and also encourages engagement from other followers.
In today’s hyber-competitive business environment, the brands the best understandhow to know their customerare the ones who win. This knowledge comes from understanding customer needs throughout the journey, from initial intent, to disposition and ultimately action.
Influencer marketing continues to play an important role in social media marketing. However, as consumers become more aware of the relationship between big influencers and brands, top influencers are not trusted as much as they used to be. In one survey,only 23 percent of consumerssaid content from celebrities influenced their purchasing decisions.
However, micro-influencers will still play a vital role in digital marketing. Some of the most successful brands work with several smaller influencers that cost much less in the long run, and are more trusted by their followers.
While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are still the leading marketing channels for brands, other platforms are steadily growing in popularity. Since 2017, the number of Twitter users has declined, and Facebook has also lost a lot of its younger audience. This presents a great opportunity for businesses that are looking for less competitive online spaces and want to tap into new audiences.
One platform that is growing in popularity - especially with the younger demographic - is TikTok. In June 2019, the app had 500 million active monthly users worldwide, but this figure is likely to be much higher today. For brands with a younger target audience,TikTok could become a key marketing channel, with 41 percent of its users aged between 16 and 24.
Snapchat started the story trend in 2013 with the "My Story" feature, which allowed users to compile snaps into chronological storylines. Today, other social media platforms such as Facebook have adopted the stories format as a key way of sharing content. Instagram Stories, in particular, has seen dramatic growth. In 2019,64 percent of marketers had already incorporated Instagram Storiesinto their social media strategy or were planning to do so in the next year.
Brands are using the stories format to post footage of company events, share breaking news, demonstrate products, and promote other content. With features including polls and clickable links, the stories format will become a key marketing tool for brands in the coming years.
Social networks are slowly evolving into retail platforms, as consumers can now purchase products directly from their social media feeds. This shoppable content trend is likely to grow even more in the coming years. Instagram and Pinterest continue to rollout shoppable content features for brands, and Snapchat and TikTok are both testing the format.
While shoppable content is mainly being used by larger brands, an increasing number of smaller businesses are likely to take advantage of these tools.
In 2020 and beyond, it will become increasingly important for brands to monitor customer conversations and respond effectively to customer questions. More businesses are recognizing the value of using social media for customer service, and more consumers are using social media to reach out to businesses. In 2019, around28 percent of consumers used social mediato communicate with a company.
Going forward, brands need to set up a social media customer service strategy to ensure team members are following the same rules of engagement.
Snapchat and Instagram already use AR for their various photo filters. Makeup brands and home furnishings companies also use AR to allow consumers to see their products in real life before buying. This AR trend is growing. Facebook continues to experiment with AR features, which are likely to become more commonplace in the next few years.
As social media platforms add more AR functionalities, an increasing number of consumers will expect these types of unique shopping experiences from brands.
To get the best results from social media in 2020 and beyond, brands should be more active on social media, listen to users, and respond meaningfully to customer concerns. They should build relationships with genuine influencers, experiment with up-and-coming platforms, and embrace new social media tools and formats.
Ultimately though, brands should still view social media as a tool for connecting with people, building a community, and creating a useful resource for consumers. Aggregating and sharing the data gleaned from social interactions can help generate a 360-degree view of the customer to help enhance all marketing channels. Effective social media marketing takes time and commitment, but its impact can be powerful and lasting.