6 Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2020

Social media is an inescapable part of the digital presence of any business. From being just a communication channel between people who wanted to keep in touch with their circle, it has become a powerful tool and an incredible asset to businesses and marketers alike. While it is a great resource to engage current customers, it can also actively drive your sales. It is also one of the best ways to get in front of potential customers, especially through targeted advertising. However, to ensure you succeed with your marketing efforts on social media, it is important to keep track of the latest social media marketing trends, especially as we go into 2020.  

Before we look at what trends are coming in 2020, let’s look at the stats. Based on research released in September 2019, 60% of the Australian population are active Facebook users, with 50% of the population logging into Facebook on a daily basis. LinkedIn reports there are over 10 million registered users in Australia, with studies showing just over half of these users log in every month. 1 in 2 Australians use YouTube, and 1 in 3 use Instagram. The data doesn’t lie; we’re all becoming addicted to our digital identities and social media usage. It is important to realise that your marketing efforts need to be directed towards finding the right audience – the audience that engages with your brand and becomes your customers. After all, social media is all about what attracts your audience.  

To prepare yourself for your social media marketing in 2020, here are 6 key trends that will surface that you can take advantage of to take your social media to the next level: 

Social Trend #1: Video marketing rules all – the worst-kept secret 

Online audiences love watching videos, and it’s predicted that online video will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic, by 2022. It’s proven that visual content retains user attention for a longer time, and they’re self-explanatory and engaging. Additionally, with the advent of live videos, there is an increasing trend towards user-generated content feeding into the mix as well. 

 

Incorporating visual content into your social media marketing strategy can give your customers an in-depth look at your products or operations. You can also build customers’ brand trust by introducing them to your team with a company culture video. 

In terms of social media ads, there is a trend towards shoppers preferring video ads that are short-form which clearly explain why they need to engage with a brand and its products. Not only do these sort of videos communicate the USP of the brand and its products, it makes for excellent overall user experience. 

Additionally, with the increasing use of mobiles to access social networks or just browsing, the emergence of vertical videos was inevitable, with Instagram making this format increasingly popular.

 

Social Trend #2: Instagram – no likes, no problem

It was one of the biggest changes to hit social media this year – in July, Instagram announced it was trialling removing the number of likes on a post so it wasn’t judged as a vanity metric. This was professed to have been done so that people would focus more on storytelling rather than the performance of a post, which inadvertently was shown to have an effect on mental health. As it wouldn’t affect the ‘insights’ and ‘ad manager’ tools, it was indicated that there shouldn’t be an adverse effects.

However, with the rollout going past test phase and expanding globally, this is something that looks like it is here to stay. This is actually good news for small businesses, as ads that have a good dollar value backing it can be shown to relevant audiences without fear of poor engagement.

 

Social Trend #3: Social shopping – the ‘cool’ way to shop

Many e-commerce businesses have already been taking advantage of Google Shopping Ads for a while. But with more users moving on to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the opportunity to utilise integrations from Facebook Marketplace, Pinterest, and Instagram Shopping are quickly on the rise. Social commerce is well on its way to becoming a mainstream retail channel on par with other mediums like websites and offline stores. 

In-app purchases are increasingly popular, wherein users discover products and read customer reviews (research phase) and move straight into the buying phase through the app they are using. 60 percent of people discover products on Instagram and 78 percent use Facebook to find new products. Instagram storefronts are likely to expand globally, taking e-commerce well beyond traditional digital shopping spaces like Amazon, Etsy and eBay.

Social Trend #4: Private Groups – all about the community

While this is not something new, the growth of social media communities is definitely something that is becoming more popular now than ever before. Creating a group with your current and potential customers means that  Brands can also utilise their social media communities to launch new products, seek customer feedback, and gain valuable customer insights.

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook Groups will become Facebook’s new future, and this is backed by the trend of a drop in organic engagement across pages. Similarly, on LinkedIn, there is a rise in the number of private groups that bring professionals together to exchange ideas, links and information.

Social Trend #5: Mobile-first content – snackable and thumb-stopping

With social media being so cluttered, the key is to create what is known as “thumb-stopping” content. This refers to content that is so good that, when viewed on a mobile device, intrigues the user enough to stop them from scrolling. This usually refers to social media content and advertising, but is a good principle for display ads on Google as well. 

One of the key factors to keep in mind for this is to create content for the platform it is on. Since most users are using social media on their mobile devices, creating mobile-first content is vital. Not all the social media channels understood this need so far but we’ve seen some big moves towards implementing vertical format content during the past few years. Pinterest and Instagram are the two biggest examples in this case, Instagram TV and Instagram Stories being the most important ones, since they focus on vertical content only.

Social Trend #6: Local targeting – locate your audience

Just like SEO trends show a benefit from local optimisation to organic traffic, it is important to use location-based targeting to reach the audience in the immediate vicinity and relevant surrounds. If you add location to social media content, you can be sure that the audience that is primed to come to your area will be more likely to visit your business.

Geo-targeting helps you find your exact audience through well-placed ads. Brands can also use geo-targeting to get more people to attend their local conferences and brand events. Or, they can use location filters in their social media ads, to advertise only to a relevant, local audience.

 

Conclusion

While you prepare your marketing plan for 2020, is important you have a good social media strategy in place, along with a well thought out social advertising strategy. Make sure you check off all these actions based on social media marketing trends for 2020:

  1. Create more video content – long-form as well as short-form.
  2. Invest more in Instagram advertising to get maximum ROI for your digital marketing budget.
  3. Social shopping is the next step for e-commerce businesses after Google Shopping.
  4. Join groups as your page and share relevant information to attract audiences who will engage with your content. Alternatively, create your own group.
  5. Content for mobile needs to be built to be thumb-stopping in nature.
  6. Location-based social media is key to get your immediate audience engaged.