We might never run out of social media strategies yet some of them become outdated and are replaced by ever-changing trends every year.2019 proved to be both challenging and innovative for marketers. But what about 2020?
Will it be the same?
Social media is led by not one but several huge platforms. Social media giants like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are not only stealthily welcoming new trends but are also introducing platform-exclusive trends.
We can surely predict the latest inclusions and convey what we anticipate but the experts know best. The domain of social media is headed to new changes, new additions and new predictions.
Social media is the catalyst that drives global engagement even websites fail to adhere in the long run.
Yet no marketer should bombard themselves with multiple trends at once. Surely, you can add the forthcoming trends and techniques to your marketing arsenal but know that haste makes waste.Choose wisely and learn from the existing and upcoming strategies to understand where you, as a brand marketer, stand. If you don’t, you might as well find yourself in a muddle of shortcomings in the future.
Here are what we predict to be the social media marketing trends for 2020.
#1. Instagram decides to remove ‘likes’
Probably the only catastrophic social media trend is brought forward by Instagram.
The company announced a beta test of the new feature where likes were shown no more to followers. That conveys we will no longer see which Instagram celebrity ranked the highest in terms of post likes.
The beta test was only conducted on a smaller scale and is yet to go global. The platform’s avid users have mixed feelings about the forthcoming inclusion. It’s probable celebrities and influencers will be negatively impacted by the change.
Brands won’t have any visible metric to judge a certain influencers fan-following and engagement levels. This will only prove rewarding for marketers and Instagram itself.
Brand owners would buy and run ads, in turn, Instagram will benefit lucratively.
#2. The domination of video
Your marketing strategies cannot get any more engaging than video content. The dominance of video marketing still prevails across varied social media platforms and its reign won’t falter any time soon.
The concept of short videos was introduced by Snapchat in the form of Stories. Now Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and even TikTok have integrated the feature. Static images and textual-based content isn’t the impetus to drive social engagement.
By the year 2022, 82% of social media traffic will be generated by video content. Marketers will have to adopt different marketing strategies such as utilizing Stories to promote products or resort to running sponsored ads.
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#3. AR will continue to turn heads
The notion of AR continues to prevail in the hubbub of bombarding trends. From gaming to retail to social media, AR filters on Snapchat are far from losing the hard-earned charm.
The viral photo-editing app, FaceApp rose up on social media with its nearly realistic-looking gender swap filters. Soon Snapchat was observed in jumping on the trend bandwagon and introduced similar filters.
The latest filters by the app allow you to modify your age and even record videos with the filter enabled.
So what’s new? Well, Snapchat is treading slowly in the AR world once again with its very own AR-based glasses.
While for Snapchat the concept may still be in its infancy, Facebook sneakingly tries to take the lead with a similar offering. Both the social media hegemons are in a constant tug of war so we cannot be too sure about who will turn heads first.
#4. Facebook dives into cryptocurrency
Payment options are aplenty. But Facebook is keen to introduce its very own payment platform called Libra. The concept of Libra is based on cryptocurrency but the notion is still shrouded with uncertainties. No social media platform has entered the cryptocurrency domain so many aren’t sure where Facebook intends to head with Libra.
Despite Libra being greenlit, the initiative could be halted. On the other hand, Facebook Pay seems promising. Facebook Pay has seen its launch in the USA but is yet to go global. The very same feature is expected to ascend to WhatsApp, as well and will be called WhatsApp Pay.
How does it benefit users?
Well, funds can be easily transferred within Facebook. Marketers won’t have to resort to varied payment options when in-stream payments could be made solely on the platform.
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#5. Targeting niche platforms and audiences
Social media behemoths, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are bound to lead. Yet platforms confined to niche audiences are expected to rise further, as well.
Many deemed TikTok would remain a seasonal fad but by 2017, TikTok owner ByteDance has earned $2.5 billion solely in revenue. The current user count at TikTok is phenomenal. In a span of 3 years, the app has acquired 500 million active users and is catering to global attention.
Quirky videos and comical content aside, Twitch is accommodating gamers worldwide. The streaming platform stands tall with 15 million active users daily. So, if you have a niche audience to target, supposedly a gaming community, you know where to aim your focus.
Marketers can live-stream video content on Twitch and promote their offerings on-the-go. The current internet service types such as Xfinity internet are gaming up the potential of swift and unfluctuating streaming, as well.
So streaming across Twitch won’t be a hassle anymore for brands and marketers alike.
#6. From micro to nano – influencer marketing
If Instagram removes ‘likes’ for good then surely, influencer marketing will be under grave threat. If not, influencer marketing will undergo a new makeover. Influencers with followers receding millions are almost untouchable.
Contribution charges can exceed up to thousands of dollars and not every brand owner can afford the amount.
For that reason, micro or nano-influencers entered the bigger picture. Brand owners are thriving for community-connections where they choose an influencer having a niche yet strongly connected audience.
In turn, influencers with high engagement levels promote a specific brand’s product and drive more traffic to the brand.
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#7. Facebook Watch having a revamp
Facebook currently stands with over 1.6 billion active users on a daily basis. Despite the high user engagement number, Facebook Watch still couldn’t drive the expected attention toward the newly incorporated feature.
Platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat and even Twitch are giving Facebook a direct competition in regards to the latest feature.
But that doesn’t mean Facebook is giving up on Facebook Watch. The social giant managed to attract 140 million daily active users on Watch so far.
Of course, Facebook plans to revamp Watch further by introducing revenue models. One revenue model is in-video adverts which marketers are fully utilizing but Facebook intends to find more lucrative opportunities.
#8. IGTV and sponsored content
Instagram introduced IGTV with high hopes yet the feature hinders to perform as initially expected. Facebook Watch curates content according to user interests and in 2020, IGTV is likely to do the same.
Unlike Snapchat where you can view Stories worldwide and sponsored content under the Discovery tab, Instagram aims to follow a similar yet unique approach.
IGTV currently stands with user-specific content with lower levels of contribution by influencers and brands alike. So if sponsored content becomes a part of IGTV, it will be immensely profitable for Instagram.
#9. Interactions are becoming intimate
With friend lists and timelines becoming public, online interactions are more prone to become private. You will seldom see individuals on Facebook having conversations on their posts rather they would resort to Facebook Messenger.
The same can be said for Instagram private messenger and WhatsApp. While it might not be directly correlated to social media marketing, it is still a social media trend.
Social platforms are less used for socializing. To the point that corresponding messaging apps of Facebook and Instagram have an approximate of 5 billion active users on a monthly basis.
#10. Social or e-commerce?
Social media trends are galore. It’s almost uncanny to leave out e-commerce entirely. Facebook already has Pages and Groups dedicated to social commerce but other platforms are adopting it, as well.
Just consider Instagram. The app now gives business owners the option to integrate a storefront into their profiles. The storefronts aren’t mere displays either.
Users can directly purchase products from the standalone shops without having to redirect to a brand’s website. It appalls us how social media networks are transforming business mechanisms and improvising an enhanced sales funnel for businesses.
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Social media trends will continue to emerge and fade out. To be conventional or not to be is no longer the concern.
The impact of digitalization has been so swift that technologies such as AR and cryptocurrency paved their way into social media.
With the emergence of varied trends, the competition has significantly increased, as well. Marketers are keen on experimenting with new techniques and who knows, there might as well be a new addition to the list once we enter 2020.