Social media has become a central part of people’s lives: it’s replaced traditional news for many. A buzzing smartphone alarm rolls countless people out of bed and straight into checking their socials—all before breakfast or showering. And there is no foreseeable slowdown to social media’s impact on our lives moving into 2020.
One thing you can always count on is that social media will keep changing. So, what are some of the trends heading into the new year?
Video content is on the rise
Whether it’s short-form videos like those on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories or longer ones like those on YouTube—videos are everywhere. Video is an effective form of content, and it continues to grow in popularity. Videos performed better than other content on social media in 2019. And businesses will benefit from including them on their social channels in 2020. Start by adding videos to social media posts or using them in features like Stories.
Temporary content will stay popular
Instagram Stories and Snapchat content are brief. They catch viewers’ attention in an ever-changing media landscape: they are engaging, and people can easily browse through them. In our busy world, attention spans (and how we like to consume content) have changed. People want easily digestible material. Temporary content can be fun and engaging. And it disappears after a few hours, so it’s a perfect way to grab attention before users move on.
Influencer marketing will continue to increase
Consumers on social media want authentic communication from brands. They prefer a more organic experience over blatant advertising. 63% of marketers intend to increase their use of influencers. And 91% of millennials say they trust online reviews as much as friends and family. Since influencers feel like peers, followers believe their opinions. 2020 will likely see a growth in micro-influencers—who cost less—allowing smaller brands to compete with larger ones.
Social media use for customer service will expand
People’s expectations of how long it takes a company to reply to their needs are changing—they want quick responses. Customers reach out to businesses across social platforms, so it’s important to be responsive. However, it’s not always realistic for companies to have nonstop help working around the clock. Using Chatbot technology on social media, along with live support, can help organizations fulfill customers’ needs. For example, chatbots can answer questions via direct message. They can do everything from help book flights to order a pizza or browse new fashion collections. To view Burberry’s line, for instance, you can engage their chatbot on messenger and tap “get started.”
Social media shopping will grow
Some social networks are evolving to incorporate retail experiences. Brands have been selling their products on platforms with shoppable products in posts and Stories. For example, businesses can create a storefront on Instagram. With Instagram Shopping, you can share featured products through regular posts and Stories. Or people can explore products in Search and Explore. When someone taps on a product tag or sticker in posts or Stories, they’ll be taken to a production description page where they can get information. 2020 will likely see social commerce become more mainstream with more social shopping opportunities and more brands incorporating them.
Niche social platforms will be successful
Specialized platforms reach specific audiences. And they continue to serve sections of the population well. LinkedIn has remained relevant for the professional community. And platforms like TikTok, with user-generated micro-video content, have also seen a surge with younger users. Even though social channels like Facebook and YouTube still dominate in popularity, niche platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn continue to have success with those looking for a specific experience.
Watch for these trends in the upcoming year, and if you haven’t yet, start incorporating some of them into your 2020 social media plans.