In 2019, we saw some major shifts in the world of social media. Video platform TikTok took off; it became the number-one downloaded app in Q1 of 2019. Instagram announced they were doing away with likes, although the reasoning behind the change remains murky. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey shared that the platform would no longer run political ads.
And these are just a few of the big changes that made headlines. Social media marketing trends are constantly in flux. And some trends that we saw start to crystalize in 2019 will shape the world of social marketing in 2020.
In this post, we'll talk about the biggest social media marketing trends of 2020 and look at ways to incorporate them in your own strategy this year.
Video Content Will Reign
Video content has been on the upswing everywhere for a couple of years now. Marketers are incorporating video across all their online assets, from websites to paid advertising. Social media is certainly no exception when it comes to the importance of video content.
The trend is being driven by consumer demand: 85% of consumers say they want to see more video content from brands. Not only that, but video drives consumers to make purchases. Eighty-one percent of people have been convinced to make a purchase after watching a video.
Videos are highly shareable, as well. Eighty-three percent of consumers say they’d consider sharing a branded video they enjoyed.
Social media companies are wise to the trend and have made it easier than ever for marketers to incorporate video into their social posts and profiles. You can go live or share ephemeral video stories on Facebook and Instagram. Instagram’s IGTV allows you to share longer-form videos on the platform.
YouTube remains the most popular social media channel. Users upload 500 hours of content to the platform every single minute!
If you’re not already using video everywhere and in all its forms, now is the time to start. Live video can be great for webinars or Q&As, where you can engage with your audience in real-time. YouTube is a smart place for tutorials or product demonstrations, and paid video ads can help you stand out in a sea of text-based or still-image content.
Authenticity Will Matter More Than Popularity
Sometimes social media can feel like high school. The most popular kids get all the likes on their posts, and likes beget more likes. Sometimes people like a post because they’ve seen all their friends doing it, not because they appreciate the content.
In 2019, Instagram announced they were experimenting with removing like counts on photos. While individuals and brands can still see how many people liked each of their posts, that information is no longer displayed publicly. With this shift, Instagram is hoping to encourage people to like what they actually like, not just what they think they should like.
In a like-less world, marketers will be rewarded for their commitment to creating great content. To stand out, you will need to create content that’s actually meaningful.
Share posts that build connections between your team and your audience. Provide guidance and helpful advice to your followers. These are the posts that will get noticed.
By removing the like count, smaller brands will have a better chance of grabbing attention. If you’re doing the work of creating great content, it doesn’t matter whether you have eight million or 800 followers. People will recognize the value of the content independent of those vanity metrics and will react accordingly.
Selling on Social Will Increase
How brands sell on social has evolved a lot in recent years. Instagram now allows brands to create shoppable posts, which contain links to purchase the specific items featured in an image. Pinterest has introduced a visual search tool, where consumers can upload a picture of an item they like, and Pinterest will find that item (or something similar) for sale online.
Social media is the first place that a lot of consumers go nowadays to get brand information, so being able to close the gap between browsing on social to purchasing on your website is important. Embracing these new tools that reduce friction in the buying process, taking interested prospects directly to the page with the product they’re interested in, is a great way to increase conversions. The easier it is to get from looking to buying, the better for your brand.
Micro-Influencers Will Exert Greater Influence
Influencers have been an integral part of social media marketing for years now. We watched Kylie Jenner become the youngest self-made billionaire, in part because of her influencer status, and we saw the darker side of influencer culture with the disastrous Fyre Festival. But while these influencers are operating at a very high level, commanding six or seven figures for a single promotional post on their social channels, the influencer pool is actually much larger than that.
Micro-influencers – those with thousands or tens of thousands, rather than millions, of followers – offer smaller brands a chance to get into the influencer marketing game. While you likely can’t afford a post from Kylie or Kendall, reaching out to a micro-influencer in your brand’s sphere can be a great way to broaden your brand’s reach.
Not only are these micro-influencers more accessible to smaller brands, but their posts often generate better results than the mega-influencers. Engagement rates on micro-influencers’ posts were about 60% higher than on those pricey posts.
Building Community on Social Will Matter
Social media has theoretically always been about building community. But recently, there’s been a renewed focus on community, and brands are stepping up to the plate to create a space for their fans to gather online.
Facebook Groups are a great way to take advantage of this trend. While you should of course have a Facebook page for your brand, consider creating a group for a common interest shared by your followers as well.
Let’s say you’re a retailer who sells sporting goods. You might create a Facebook Group for hiking and camping enthusiasts. Rather than the group being a place for you to promote your products, make it a space for people to talk about their love of the outdoors, share great photos from their latest hike, talk about rock climbing techniques, and post their favorite recipes to cook over a campfire.
While you’re not explicitly selling your products on this page, by creating a community where people can share what they’re passionate about and find other like-minded individuals, you’re building a lot of goodwill for your brand.
Social media saw some big changes in 2019. Understanding the latest trends and knowing how to stay ahead of them can help you differentiate yourself from your competition. If you’re looking for a hand in navigating the changing social media landscape, check out our social media marketing solutions.