Are you planning your 2020 marketing? These are the biggest social media trends you need to know about for 2020, according to Convince & Convert’s social media consulting team.
Here’s an overview of the biggest social media trends for 2020.
- Social media will return to its roots.
- Influencer marketing will need to be authentic and real.
- Brands will need a human voice.
- Social media will become part of everyone’s job.
- User backlash will grow.
- Brands will need to define social media maturity in order to advance social media marketing.
- Social will continue to dominate B2B content marketing.
- The use of messaging apps will continue to rise.
Social Media Trend #1: Social Media Will Return to its Roots
Social media is returning to its roots — away from a mass-marketing vehicle and back towards a personal, communication-driven approach. This was predicted four years ago by Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel. At the time, everyone thought he was bonkers and was making the prediction only because “phonebook-style” interaction is at the heart of Snapchat. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right? But he was on the money.
Increasingly, social media is about these components: paid ads, customer service, expiring, intimate “stories”, and 1:1 and small group messaging (in place of email).
There will be fewer public interactions and more private interactions on Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram DMs and more. What is dark social? Why does it matter? This post explains.
2020 will be the year we see consumers start to use public social media LESS, even as social media usage per se continues to rise.
Social Media Trend #2: Influencer Marketing Must Be Authentic and Real
While influencers still can be wildly effective for brands to reach new audiences and create new content, it’s the authenticity of that partnership that will be key. Audiences see through forced partnerships, know when they’re being sold to and are tired of both. Just because a brand attaches a social celebrity or someone with a large following does not mean it will be an instant win.
In fact, Bazaarvoice reported that 47% of customers are tired of inauthentic influencer content, and 62% of customers believe that influencer endorsements take advantage of impressionable audiences.
47% of customers are tired of inauthentic influencer content. Click To Tweet
Social Media Trend #3: Brands Will Need a Human Voice
With so many competing messages and decisions to make each day for your brand it’s easy to lose track of your voice and what makes your audience love you in the first place. Going back to basics and being human in your posts not only can make your audience happy but also can make your decisions on publishing that much easier.
Recently, Social Media Examiner shared the best ways to humanize your Instagram business account, including this example from Netflix:
Remember, you “don’t need to be formal to be professional.”
Social Media Trend #4: Social Media Will Become Part of Everyone’s Job
Social media has been a core part of business for more than a decade. Long gone are the days where “playing on that Facebook thing” was only supposed to happen on lunch breaks. In today’s world, business is consistently conducted because of and with social media. Like other disruptive technologies, social media has moved out of the novelty era and into a time where social media proficiency is required as part of everyone’s job.
Your employees are your greatest social media assets. In fact, 45% of consumers are more likely to research a product or service when a brand’s employees post about that product or service.
45% of consumers are more likely to research a product or service. Click To Tweet
Social media skill sets go beyond marketing and communications roles. They are less frequently required, but especially needed, in customer service, HR, sales and research. Even in roles without direct ties to content, messaging, design, lead gen, sales or service, we’re still asking employees to be good at social media to power our internal advocacy efforts. Employee advocacy programs continue to be a top trend, because their success to humanize a brand and amplify storytelling is undeniable at scale. Businesses must provide social media policy guidelines and resources for their employees to master social media skills, as this technology is more akin to email than VR in today’s business world.
Social Media Trend #5: User Backlash Will Grow
The trend I’m anticipating and will be watching closely in 2020 is user backlash that stems from the 2020 political environment.
Political warfare continues to play out in our social media newsfeeds, amongst cat memes, sports highlights and family photos. Americans are in the throws of a presidential impeachment inquiry and presidential election. Brexit’s rocky conclusion will certainly carry over into the coming year. Disinformation tactics and election interference are being tested world-wide in preparation. The US government has opened a national security review on TikTok, owned by a Chinese company.
Tech executives will be forced to act in response and likely will not agree upon a common solution. We’ve already seen Jack Dorsey signal a move towards eliminating most political advertising on Twitter (even though political spending makes up a small percentage of Twitter’s advertising income).
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…?
— jack ??? (@jack) October 30, 2019
But more than what the executives do, I’m interested to watch how Americans of all ages respond to the political climate as it plays out in social media. No matter where they spend their social networking time today, audiences’ consumption habits and platforms of choice will almost certainly change within the next year. That will affect the decisions of marketers chasing an intended audience from one social media platform to another. It will force marketers and community managers to dive further into the spaces of dark social (Messenger, WhatsApp, Groups) where audiences surely will take refuge.
Social Media Trend #6: Brands Will Need to Define Social Media Maturity
B2C marketers can’t get more from their social marketing investments without first understanding where they are now in their social media maturity.
Check out this report from Forrester to learn about the competencies that affect a brand’s social media maturity, how to assess your own maturity stage and what next steps to take to advance your approach.
Social Media Trend #7: Social Will Continue to Dominate B2B Content Marketing
In 2019, social media was the top organic distribution channel for B2B content marketing and the top paid distribution channel for B2B content marketing. This trend shows no signs of subsiding, and marketers will need to continue to invest in social media for content marketing. Moreover, it’s vital for marketers to treat their strategies on each social media channel as distinct and specific to the needs of their unique audiences, since social content is absolutely not one-size-fits-all.
Social Media Trend #8: The Use of Messaging Apps Will Continue to Rise
As public social media usage declines, use of messaging apps will continue to rise. These include Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more. The apps come with a bunch of new opportunities (and challenges) for marketers. The prize: billions of active monthly users, including coveted Millennial and Generation Z consumers.
For 2020, consider how messaging apps will fit into your social media and customer service strategy. Here at Convince & Convert, I manage our messaging apps and handle questions, general interactions and more.
Social media is not what it once was, and the most successful social media marketers will evolve their strategy based on where customers are and how they want to communicate.
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