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Have a read of what we think is going to be some of the biggest social media marketing trends in 2020 that marketers will need to pay attention to make the best of their marketing strategy this new year.
Most, and if not, every digital marketing campaign is done via social media. However, the social media world has proved to be anything but static, so expect new changes to render old formulas ineffective.
Platforms come and go, habits change over time, and new trends displace older ones. All of these contribute to how people perceive social media marketing, in addition to how marketers can connect with their target audience.
Today, more than ever, it is vital that marketers are always a step ahead of the social media curve. In doing this, they will be better prepared and equipped to adapt their marketing strategies to align with the ever-changing nature of social media.
(Social media is a cost-effective and instant substitute to get awareness in your brand and also a great tool in communicating in the present situation. Since the noise of everyday media broadcasting is being cut off and demonstrates that your brand is making some sense of the results of COVID-19, your business will educate your possible customers with the use of the digital platform. )
Bearing this in mind, we have decided to preview some of the biggest social marketing trends that both we and experts alike believe will happen in 2020.
The Digital Detox
About 3.484 billion people currently use social media, a 9% increase from last year’s figure. In essence, nearly half (45%) the world population is on social media. This also implies that social media adoption has surpassed previous predictions – set at around 2.82 billion social media users in 2019. On the surface, this may seem like brands have an even bigger audience to reach, but deep down, a new trend is threatening this audience growth.
In a bid to spend less time on social media and more time in the real world, a lot of people are doing what can be referred to as a social media detox. This involves either deleting social media apps and profiles or intentionally staying away from it either on a temporary or permanent basis. In some cases, people choose to switch from one social media platform to another – similar to the recent shift of some users from Facebook to Instagram.
In the UK, one in every three adults has reduced the time they spend on social media. Furthermore, 6% of users have uninstalled a social app from their phone, another 6% have wiped out their social profiles, and a further 8% have both removed the app from their phone and deleted their profiles.
One of the major factors driving this ‘detox’ is that people feel bombarded with information on social media. Some sections believe that it harms mental health and physical well-being. Others are wary of privacy issues and the spread of hate speech and fake news on social media.
Social media privacy and digital detox are very likely to become a common thing this year, according to Lilach Bullock, a content marketing and social media expert. Bullock also adds that privacy issues and the need to spend less time on social media mean that brands and marketers will have to tweak their marketing strategies to account for these trends.
This does not mean that social media will become irrelevant for digital marketing; instead, it serves as a reminder for marketers to understand the implications it could have. Once you factor in the problems that pay-to-play social media comes with, a detox of any kind could affect both the engagement and reach of your content. This can directly impact any brand awareness or customer acquisition campaigns that you begin on any social media platform.
(There is one thing that you need to remember to become successful in your social media marketing – quality over quantity. Your information must have quality. Your social communication always defines the level of social engagement and activity that you are receiving. Make sure that your message is simple, clear, and supportive. Above all else, bear in mind that you are talking to individuals or potential customers that are stressed out, in shock moment, in fear, and in need because of COVID-19. Any content of your brand that you are making must be relevant and have a purpose in today’s situation. )
In the end, you must begin to explore other options for digital marketing. Thus, you must not neglect other forms of marketing channels such as search engine marketing and email marketing. Regardless, you must continue to maintain and maximise your presence on social media. Since the audience pool is expected to shrink, your brand would have to do more to provide relevant content that would leave a memorable impact and offer value to your audience.
Building Social Media Communities
(To be able to survive in this COVID-19 crisis, your brand should maintain its consumer base. To obtain an attractive presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms will allow you to have a connection to your potential customers and build relationships. )
A significant part of valuable and meaningful experiences on social media is in the manner in which brands interact with their audience. While liking and sharing posts that your audience will appreciate is vital to increasing your exposure on social media, you also need to encourage your audience sometimes to do more than merely sharing or liking a post.
If you observe carefully, you will notice several brands on the internet with a vast social media following, but yet, there is next to no engagement on their posts. On the other hand, other brands may experience more engagement in their contents from a smaller following. This is so because these brands are building communities around their content.
Communities are not novel ideas on social media. However, different brands go about them in diverse ways, and if done right, they can lead to more engagement and brand exposure in this new year.
Building communities that give potential buyers a chance to connect with consumers and share experiences can be worthwhile, according to Bridget Poekter, the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. Poekter also goes on to add that evaluating your marketing efforts and continually staying connected to your audience across various social media platforms is a great way to find out what’s working and what’s not.
Merely creating a social media community is not enough, as there is no guarantee getting people to join a group will translate into high engagement. There is also the need to create content that can spark interactions, evoke opinions, and build a sense of community amongst users. Apart from boosting your brand engagement, this can also help you attract new customers and leads while also adding a personalised human touch to your brand.
With the prevalence of pay-to-play social media, the days of merely posting content and hoping that people engage with them are slowly becoming a thing of the past according to Neal Schaffer, An educator and implementer of social media strategy for business. The idea of a brand humanisation is crucial, and you have to sometimes go out of your way to appreciate those in your community and form a special kind of friendship with them says, Schaffer.
(Today, while the world is facing COVID-19 pandemic, it is also a good time to have a reflection on any goals you had for the next months because priorities might also change. Today is a perfect time to focus on the bigger scenario and what social media means to your brands in the situation of a global crisis. Now is a good time to bring your attention to some of the social media activities that are not a straight customer approach such as social media audits. )
Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Social Media Influence
(Nowadays, more than any other moment in the present world’s history, social media platforms are the leading source of information. The current COVID-19 situation has acted as a substance to the increase of the rise in embracing social media. More and more individuals are relying on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram just to stay updated.)
Thriving social media communities help to aid word-of-mouth marketing, which is touted to be another essential marketing trend in 2020. These communities connect you with both nano and micro-influencers or brand advocates to get them to share their thoughts and real experience about your services or products.
Influencers have existed for a while, and we have all come to see them as key players in digital marketing on social media. They offer plenty of benefits to brands, including providing a high earned media value, particularly now when the active users on Instagram are skyrocketing.
More recently, consumers are becoming increasingly more sceptical about influencers. Popular influencers not only cost brands a fortune, but their authority has gradually waned over the years, and many have called their honesty into question. As it stands, 61% of customers are likely to accept a recommendation from a close friend or family than from a celebrity as they believe that the former will be more truthful.
In contrast, lesser-known influencers – those likely to be closely associated with communities – have a much better engagement with their followers; this implies that such followers trust them more. In the end, this can boost engagement at a fraction of the price, in addition to fostering trust in a brand that is poised to lead to more conversion.
Forming a real connection with communities that are already affiliated with your brand can be a good avenue for you to collaborate with that truly important nano and micro-influencers adds Neal Schaffer. Marketers must begin to treat social media as more than just a place to advertise, but also a forum where they can collaborate with several dynamic personalities that can help to further the essence of their marketing objectives.
(Social media is now considered an important part of our daily life since COVID-19 started. The business that will stand strong and continue to succeed afterward are those that maintain active. Your business, in these uncertain moments, must respond quickly and efficiently to the ongoing challenges. This pandemic time has presented a unique and rare chance to utilize social media marketing at its best; to make connection and bond with consumers in a very evocative means. Consumers are searching to participate in businesses that do more than just selling. )
Hiring micro or nano-influencers as brand ambassador makes it possible for them to leverage their reputation in various communities and as widely respected figures on social media, help to share your posts and increase engagement with your contents. Conversations such as these have a better chance of influencing buying decisions and helping your brand gain the loyalty of consumers.
This form of marketing creates a buzz around your brand, makes it more appealing to others and offers a more in-depth insight into consumers’ pain points and buying behaviour. All of these can help you create a more conducive experience for your audience.
The Birth of Other Platforms
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the regularly used platforms by B2C brands, while B2B companies use more of LinkedIn. Regardless, many users are shifting their focus from these core platforms, and brands are having to put in more than double the effort to reach decent levels of engagement and organic reach.
Despite Twitter’s growth at the start of this year, there has been a drop in its number of active users since it peaked in 2017. Likewise, Facebook has recorded a marked fall in-active users, especially young users who now prefer to interact on other platforms. In addition to the accessible pay-to-play format of most social media platforms, brands are beginning to notice less positive results than they used to on such platforms.
TikTok is a relatively new social media platform that has won the love of the younger generation. Since its launch in 2016, the app never got its big break until 2019, where it recorded a massive number of new members. Today, the platform boasts of about 500 million active monthly users globally and has also been installed more than 1.1 billion times since March 2019.
TikTok may not be the ideal choice for B2B brands. However, B2C brands can take advantage of its very young audience (nearly half of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24). They make TikTok the ideal platform to ignite engagement with users that are stepping away from more core traditional social media platforms.
Apart from TikTok, another promising digital marketing platform is Pinterest. Despite being around for a while now, Pinterest has developed into a platform that offers more than just decorating inspiration and cooking recipes.
Pinterest has since discovered that it has a place in the e-commerce industry and that its audience is open to the idea of buying products and services via the platform. Interestingly, 75% of Pinterest users claim that they are “more interested” in purchasing a new product more than people on other platforms (55%).
Little wonder why retail brands have been hitting gold on the platform, with an estimated double the return on ad spend on the platform, in contrast to other social media channels and a 1.3x greater return than regular search.
Pinterest is turning into the next goldmine for marketers as it’s getting increasingly harder to reach out to customers on Instagram. With over 250 million active monthly users, Pinterest definitely has a big platform that is more user-friendly and less ad-intrusive. Likewise, TikTok is a rapidly expanding platform that has mainly become mainstream for younger audiences, so marketers should also be looking to leverage the buzz and audience according to Klara Alexeeva, the Content Editor at combin.com.
Making the most of these not-so-popular platforms allows you to interact with an audience that may not be on Facebook Instagram or Twitter, in addition to offering you a different choice for sharing your content. This can deliver significantly better results and set the tone for the future of your social media marketing.
Social Media as Customer Service
Customer service remains a very crucial part of providing an overall pleasant customer experience, but in today’s digital age, your customer service is more transparent and accessible than ever before. In addition to customer reviews, customer issues and complaints are much easier to find online since the bulk of them are now shared on social media.
More than 28% of consumers indicated that they had contacted a company via social media in the past year, a trend that is more than likely to increase since over 30% believed that it was a much better way to communicate, and a further 23% approve of it as a convenient 24-hour service.
Since communication on social media is more comfortable, brands are expected to adopt it as a customer service method seamlessly. Also, most people expect brands to get back to them on the same day that they reached out to them on social media. Around 37% reckoned that they were expecting a reply under 30 minutes. Another 31% expected a response in 2 hours, and a further 26% expected to have been attended to within 4 hours. Only 6% explained that a no-response wouldn’t faze them.
Social media is expected to become more of a customer service method in 2020, as more brands are looking to set up more online communities.
Dimitri Kustov, Regex SEO, suggests that several brands have now realised the potential for social media to become a customer service tool, seeing as it has increasingly become an alternative form of reality. Companies have noticed this too and are now using its influence to become more interactive and open with their audiences across various platforms.
Apart from promptly responding to customer enquiries and queries, this type of customer service also offers several other advantages to brands. For instance, responding to a customer’s issue can boost advocacy by up to 25%; this implies that quickly resolving issues can make customers loyal to the brand. In the same vein, failing to respond to a customer query can decrease advocacy by as much as 50%. So, while adopting a social media customer strategy, it is recommended that all the members of your team understand their roles, seeing as customers are very likely going to turn to social media to address most of their concerns and complaints.
(Make sure to always make an emotional connection with your viewers or prospects. You can encourage and invite them to interrelate with your brand. You can inspire them to be your follower through the COVID-19 crisis in a way of sharing posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook that are interactive. Allow your customers to become a part of the story of your brand by allowing them to craft solutions to their challenges. Businesses that are appealing to their viewers and even fans in this pandemic time will stay on top of the mind. They will always be remembered.)
Telling Stories on Social Media
Ever since Snapchat introduced the story feature, several other social media platforms have joined the queue. Most notably, Instagram, which as of January 2019, records more than 500 million daily active Stories users all over the world.
As opposed to the traditional feed-based sharing, stories create visual contents that are meant to be viewed and seen on the go. Stories also provide room for a lot of creativity as content can range from funny to cheeky. Ultimately, stories are more engaging, and in 2017, it recorded a 15x the growth rate of Feeds.
However, users are not just the only one contributing to the rapid growth in stories. In fact, Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Trends Survey reports that more than 64% of marketers have already started using the Instagram story feature or have plans to introduce it within the year.
Generally, brands post stories at a frequency of seven days a month, which works out to be around a story every four days. This could be even more for brands with over 100k followers or more as they may post every two days since they can benefit from the extra story features – such as including their links to their Instagram posts.
Also, the stats indicate that more than 45% of the entire ad spending on Instagram is on stories. This points to the fact that brands are successfully using the story feature for marketing.
Marketing coordinator for Penguins Events and Incentives, Maisie Tomlinson believes that since customers now favour life and on-the-go updates, it’s not surprising to learn that Instagram stories have become an effective way to reach out to various audiences. Also, because it lasts for just a day, consumers know it’s current and are more than willing to find out the next new thing that businesses can offer them. Again, there is a rising trend of brands using Stories to direct consumers to IGTV, which is another avenue where companies can promote long-form content.
Stories aren’t going to be a good fit for all brands. But with the relative success that they bring to digital marketing, expect more and more brands to create stories partly because their consumers would naturally expect them to do so. Also, as Instagram continues to notice that more businesses use the story feature, they will likely add newer features that are tailor-made for brand advertising, therefore making it even more compatible with more companies.
With so many aspects of marketing and digital marketing to consider, there is a need to keep up to speed with trends in the industry. So, we have decided to keep a record of almost every significant digital marketing trends across several channels in 2020. Ensuring that you remain one step ahead at all times. MediaWorkx Creative Digital is here to help you navigate and thrive in your digital world, get in touch if you need any help with your 2020 social marketing needs.