Year’s end approaches and that means only one thing: we bring you the low-down on the social media trends for 2020.

As this article on social trends from the Influencer Marketing Hub points out, social media is now an integral part of most people’s lives. So much so that for many, the first thing they do when they wake is to check their social media feeds. I do at least wait until after coffee!

According to Smart Insights.Com, such is our dependency on social media that it’s now indispensable to, and synonymous with, digital marketing. Like a hand-in-a-glove, social media is present in almost every digital campaign. Yet, as Smart Insights goes on to state, social media is not a static thing. What worked a few months back will be ineffective now.

Instagram and YouTube

  1. Instagram is set to hold its popularity. Instagram Stories in particular. With over 400 million people using them each day they’re huge. And no wonder. Instagram has pushed hard to get both brands and users on the Stories bandwagon. Engaging features like the Questions sticker and the introduction of Stories Ads for brands, add to Instagram’s telling and selling power.

  1. YouTube Videos: video production and consumption on social media has leapt into the stratosphere in the last couple of years. So video content, it’s clear, is something you shouldn’t ignore. Note though, according to a 2019 report by the Canadian business video platform, Vidyard, videos are getting shorter. They report that, in 2018, the average video ran for 4.07 minutes. That’s 33% shorter than in 2017. Use your social media as a customer service tool. In the digital age, your customer service offering is visible to anyone online. Indeed, around 28% of consumers have taken to social media to communicate with a company in the last year. This trend is set to increase.

Telling Tales on Social: Stories Snapchat started Stories. Other platforms followed and Stories became big – on Instagram in particular. As of January 2019, it boasted 500 million daily active Stories users across the globe. Stories then are a continuing trend.

New social media platform

Social media is an ever-moving feast. Added to which, user’s habits change and new platforms are born. And on that note, we introduce you to TikTok – promoted as the destination for short-form, mobile videos. TikTok launched in 2016 in China and is attracting a younger audience; yes, younger even than Instagram. Unlike Snapchat, TikTok has business potential. So, if you’re selling to this demographic, don’t miss this opportunity.

Quality over quantity

Anyone with a finger on the social media pulse knows the power of influencer marketing. So not new – but changing. The expensive big influencers are losing customer trust. No more do they command the audience they once did.

According to Sprout Social, 61% of consumers trust peer and family recommendations above celebrity endorsements. They feel there’s more honesty in such product or service testimonials.

Says The National: ‘Businesses are realising two things: a) The effectiveness of reaching more focused groups as opposed to mass audiences, and b) opting to work with micro-influencers, or those with fewer than 100,000 followers.’

There’s a marked shift from who has the most followers to who has real conversations with their followers – i.e. organic engagement.

Indeed, a massive part of social media’s valuable experiences lies in brands engaging with their audience. It’s obvious that part of your social media presence lies in sharing posts for the enjoyment of your target audience. But you must seek to encourage interactions that go beyond a simple share or like.

Consider the advice of Bridget Poetker – G2 Senior Marketing Specialist:

Create an authentic voice for your business by encouraging your staff to form their own social presence and use it to promote content and increase brand trust levels.

Use Twitter chats to create a strong community using real-time conversation. Such a tactic gives your brand a fab chance to engage in direct conversation with current and future customers.

As Bridget says: ‘More than ever before, potential buyers want to hear from current customers – so give them a place to do it.’

Keep an eye on your data

We said it before many times, data is king – yet it needs a watchful eye.

Instagram and other apps provide business pages with detailed audience analysis and page engagement info, highlights, demographics, interests, and engagement of each of your posts. From that, you can measure the success of your marketing efforts and adjust your approach as required.

Follow up

There’re so many areas of marketing and digital marketing. That means there are huge amounts of changes to keep up with. If you find the very thought of it too daunting for words then Visually Explained is your social media saviour. We’re social media nerds and we’re here to take the strain for you. Contact us and find out what we can do for you.