As you know, September is the month of future trends on MBC blog. We looked at the digital marketing trends as a whole, then went into more detail about web design and content. Today's focus is on social media trends you need to follow in 2020 if you want your business to grow.
Before we delve into the actual trends, let me just say that social media influence in marketing is here to stay. Yes, some channels may be getting less traction or became less effective, but others are becoming more popular and presenting new paths for development.
Let's speak in examples.
Instagram is frustrating a lot of marketers! The organic reach is almost dead and it's so hard to increase your permanent followers if playing by the rules.
SnapChat is on its deathbed when it comes to business opportunities. But... TikTok maybe the next rising star.
Well, that's actually a trend you should be keeping your eyes on!
1. It's All About Relationships
There's no better way to begin the social media trends in 2020 list than with the undoubtedly leading topic of building relationships!
It's not the first time we talk about creating strong and meaningful relationships with your target market on this blog. In fact, the regular readers may be getting tired of it, but if you still don't believe you need to relate with your audience the way you do with your friends, you are going to witness this trend in action very soon. Perhaps, you are already seeing it.
For starters, Facebook and Instagram will continue slashing the organic reach of pages and accounts that don't engage meaningfully on the platforms. Like and reply to comments, ask questions, send messages (when appropriate!).
Make your consumers feel a part of a close community. Even better, let them feel they belong to the family of your business.
2. Be Personal
Let's go back just 5 years. Do you remember CEOs of big companies writing posts on Facebook or Instagram or even LinkedIn? If it happened it was very limited and it was considered a WOW factor!
In 2020 the Social CEO is part of the norm. This is due to the fact that many Millennials and Gen Z representatives start successful ventures. These people are used to social media. In fact, they would find it hard to run and grow their business without social media.
They are used to sharing their personal life and experiences to motivate and inspire others who want to become like them or achieve their success. It comes natural for these CEOs to blend nicely their personality with the identity of the brand.
For older generations or people who generally don't like exposing their life online for the whole world to see, being personal on social media may be a challenge. Nevertheless, it is one of the biggest trends we are seeing and will continue to see across social media channels.
3. User Privacy
User privacy has been a huge issue over the past few years. The EU court, as well as the US Congress has taken decisions and measures to limit the personal data businesses can use through social media giants like Facebook and Instagram.
It is possible that the paid advertisement features of these platforms may become more expensive as data has to be further filtered. However, there's a silver lining in the next trend.
4. Data Insights
You may not be able to target as many people freely as before, but social insights will become even more powerful in 2020. Usually, that's data that's ready to digest by the marketer, but for those who are inexperienced may take a while to make sense of it.
What you need to do in 2020 is learn to analyse the transformed data you get from the insights on your social media. Then outline trends and create strategies based on these trends.
Here's a random example.
Data: The largest age group of your fan base is 25-34 years old
What does it mean: you need to build content that the people in that age group care about
Data: The most popular type of content on your page is video
What does it mean: you need to create more videos with the content your largest age group cares about
Data: Your audience is most active on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 8pm
What does it mean: You need to create more videos with the content your largest age group cares about and publish them on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 8pm
You continue with the rest.
5. Private Sharing and Communication
You have probably seen the new Facebook button, which prompts you to share a post directly to someone's inbox. It's the beginning of a trend for private communication on social media.
You can easily see this change as a response to the growing demand for more privacy online. Will it hurt the business? In some cases yes, in others - no.
Your job as a business owner, who utilises social media for the growth of your company is to learn to build and nurture meaningful relationships with your audience. Check back trend #1.
Don't barge into people's inbox, unless they've given you a clear sign they want to talk to you and maybe have some interest in what you have to offer.
6. Temporary Content that Creates Hype
Because people want more privacy online, they are also not so keen on leaving their content there permanently. Now, it works differently for the business, but temporary content also has marketing power you need to master.
Stories, expiring offers and other forms of temporary content are a great way to connect with your audience, nurture your relationship and build a hype around something new or exciting.
Think about it - people want to be part of what's going on right now! Something that happened more than 24h ago is old news.
Stories play with people's emotions and that's what sells on social media! They are either funny, or cool, or show a mood they can relate to.
A limited time offer can make your consumer feel anxious. They don't want to miss the deal!
Introduce a countdown to a launch or an event. Ask for an opinion in a poll that closes in just 1, 2 or 3 days. That creates anticipation and an urge to take action.
Chatbots will continue to be a growing trend on social media in 2020. They are an amazing helper when you build messaging ad campaigns. But not only that!
A good chatbot can manage the conversations on your posts - like or reply to comments, start private messages or even administrate your games or contests! Isn't that a lot of time saved?
There's a catch, though! Your chatbot has to be developed immaculately. Most people shouldn't really notice they are talking to an algorithm and not to a real person. Luckily, Mobile Monkey is a brilliant chatbot you can try today for free and solve your tomorrow's problems.
8. Social Media is the New Newsroom
Timely content has always a been leading trend in content marketing, but it now becomes a real thing on social media too. After years of problems with the spreading of fake news, the main social media platforms have made numerous changes to ensure the information you get there is accurate.
The best platform for getting news on time (sometimes even before the news channels) remains Twitter. I mean... President Trump announces his plans and actions there before he does it anywhere else.
Want to send a press release to the media before your new product launch? You are better off publishing it on your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page or link it in a tweet. More of your target audience is likely to see it that way!
9. End of Third Party Schedulers
Most of the major social media platforms have their own post scheduling tools. Just until last year, anyone who wanted to make it on Pinterest had to use Tailwind, because it was the best third-party scheduler. It integrated beautifully with Pinterest and gave important insights.
In early 2019, however, Pinterest released its own scheduling feature and introduced much more detailed insights. Now there's no need to use Tailwind for scheduling, because you do that straight on Pinterest.
In all honesty, though, Tailwind is still good for driving reach and engagement for your pins through the Tribes.
Instagram was the biggest pain for most marketers and business owners who take care of their social media accounts. High activity is crucial for growth on the platform and scheduling was simply essential.
But Instagram wouldn't allow just any third-party scheduler to be used without consequences. There were very few apps you could use and all of them were paid, of course.
Good news for us, bad news for those third party schedulers, Facebook released a new feature in Creator Studio where you could schedule and manage your Instagram posts. And you can do it on the computer! Isn't that just amazing?
It is very likely that in 2020 these applications will start to die out. All social media platforms are fighting for a bigger share on the online market. The more things you can do without leaving the platform, the better. Organic reach of posts scheduled with third-party apps will probably be slashed even further to encourage the use of the "in-house" tool.
10. Authentic Social Influencers
Influencer marketing is a big thing and it has a future, especially on social media. Oh well, it started from there and it keeps being nurtured at the same place.
However, 2020 brings a difference we all need to take into account. People want and trust authenticity.
The perfect, influencers, living the dream 24/7 just won't cut it anymore. 2020 is the year of real-life people, who build a large (but more importantly engaged!) social following and display reality instead of common wishes and wants.
If the influencers as we know them were selling us dreams, the influencers we are about to see rising are going to sell us life as it comes.
And guess what! We are emotional creatures. We connect with those, who look like us, behave like us, have been through the same things as us or just think the way we do.
When we feel connected, we take our guard down. We are willing to trust and try.
Learning to touch the emotions of your ideal client is the one shot that kills the sale target!