It’s not too far out of the ordinary for people to spend all day on social media. Today, social media has become part of our lives; it’s gotten to the point that they check their social feeds first thing in the morning.
People are hooked on social media. Because of this, businesses today need to be vigilant about what’s going on on those platforms and to leverage them as best they can.
Because of social media, business and marketing has been overwhelming. There is way too much content out there that can get easily drowned out. Pair that up with high competition and new tactics, it’s tough to stand out.
To help with your 2020 marketing strategy, I will be touching on some big social media trends. Talking about these should help you with fueling your own strategy, keep you relevant, and stand out from the crowd.
Using Ephemeral Content
For those not aware of it, ephemeral content is content that has a short life span. No I’m not talking about Twitter posts’ relevancy but rather stories that can no longer be accessed. The biggest examples of these are the Stories that are on Instagram and Snapchat.
With attention spans being so short, this has altered how people engage with content overall. Formats like Stories have become popular because people consume the content and move on.
Because they are so short, Stories are engaging and can be quite addictive. It’s realistic for people to spend several hours scrolling through Stories.
What’s also nice about Stories or ephemeral content is that doesn’t have to be a daily task. One study has said posting one Story every four days can keep an audience engaged. That makes sense when you look at the numbers.
Focus on a Niche Social Platform
The biggest players in social media are Facebook and Instagram for sure. But over the past few years, there have been more niche platforms that people have become aware of. Quora is one example of a strong platform, and in recent months, TikTok has grown in popularity.
There are also marketers pushing for LinkedIn as a good way to grow B2B companies. And Twitch is the main platform for the gaming community.
Even though there are a lot of social media platforms emerging, it’s well worth looking at the smaller audiences. After all, narrower audiences do have their perks.
The Removal of Likes
As I said before, social media is an addiction. And while businesses focus on leveraging it, there is a dark side to it. Part of the dark side of social media is when you consider Likes. To many people, getting them can be deeply linked to social validation.
Not only that, businesses can also get wrapped up in these numbers and use them to determine whether something’s flopped or not.
At the end of the day, if we place so much emphasis on these numbers, it can turn rather unhealthy for us. Because of this, Instagram, the network who is liberal with experimenting than other platforms, decided to remove them.
Don’t worry, they haven’t removed them just yet. However, Instagram has been beta testing this and may apply these changes across the whole platform.
Needless to say, people will have mixed feelings about this. Some people don’t like it, while others think this is a cure to social media addiction. Either way, if we choose to engage on this platform, we best be more comfortable with the idea of not relying so much on a Like.
What this move can do in essence is push more people to consider advertising more and supporting the platform that way. This can leave you with creating more central content on social media.
An Expansion of Social Commerce
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have been platforms where brands have gone to sell products or services. Even though it’s been these three platforms, there is more of a push for social commerce now than ever before.
Paying attention to this trend is essential as social media platforms are slowly transforming into multi-faceted platforms for businesses. Today, you can start selling products and have your entire business on one of those three platforms within minutes.
I can imagine that other social media platforms will slowly be integrating these features as this trend continues to grow in popularity.
Video is still very important
By far the best means of communication, video is still really big. If you want people to engage with you, make sure you are creating videos. That being said, videos don’t need to be extensive. Remember, short-form videos like those on Instagram Stories or TikTok are still good, and so are videos on YouTube.
Whether you like it or not, video is still growing in popularity, and most people’s media consumption is video. Businesses who don’t embrace this now will have a rough time in the future.
Keep an eye on AR and VR
Augmented reality and virtual reality are new technologies that could shape the future of social media. As these technologies continue to grow and be used, users are going to demand more engaging experiences.
Facebook is already leading the charge with their social virtual reality world, Horizon. The idea behind this world is a place where people can connect, explore, and play games. Some see this as the next level for social connection, and could even be the next step of social media.
Still use Influencer Marketing where you can
While influencer marketing is nothing new, it’s still widely popular like video. There are all kinds of influencers out there who are getting a lot of money to promote brands.
While the whole “disappearance of the like” can muddy the waters a bit, this marketing tool is still pretty solid. Regardless, influencers are going to be cheaper than paying for an ad campaign, so we could see a spike in this should the likes be gone for good.
There’s going to be more Legal Scrutiny and Control
Of course people aren’t going to forget about their concerns with social media. The biggest points are data privacy and overall security.
These are likely to be problems that will persist for years to come. But the key here is to be aware that there are more regulations placed on these platforms now than before. This means that social media platforms overall will become more restricted, but more focused on appeasing to the masses.
Keep it personal
Personalization is still a global consumer trend and has been for a long time. But it’s been only recently that social media has adopted it.
While some people might say brands can’t personalize content for their consumer segments, they can still personalize their ads. They can do this because social media platforms have been equipping businesses with advanced targeting information. This means that marketers now can show the right ads to the correct people at appropriate times.
Personalization has become so precise now that if you click on an ad on any platform, you’ll be finding similar ads all over the place.
Watch these Trends
Some of these trends will continue to dominate the market while others will create how we engage on social media for years to come. Whatever the case is, preparing for these trends and learning how to leverage them will ensure that we can stay relevant and grow further.