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Marketing 360® Blog

Ring in the New Year With the Top Social Media Trends

Post By Robyn Rivera | Blog | Social Media Marketing

The new year is here, and with it, comes all new social media trends to focus on.

Whether you couldn’t wait to see it go or you loved every bit of 2019, for better or for worse, it’s now in the history books. And now that 2020 is here, it’s time to adapt and learn how to maximize your marketing strategy for the new year.

Not only will 2020 bring new daily adventures and hardships, but it will also bring new social media trends to focus on. Social media is one of the best avenues to connect with your customers, but it’s ever-changing. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd on social media, but the businesses that are able to stay up to date on the latest trends are the businesses that find the most success.

5 Social Media Trends to Focus on in 2020

#1. It will no longer be about the ‘likes’

For years, social media marketing has largely been more about the popularity of a product than the actual product itself. Companies would spend their time and resources competing for likes rather than working to create meaningful connections with their audience, which had downsides for both consumers and businesses alike. But this year, all of that might be changing.

Instagram has been toying with the idea of hiding likes and has rolled out tests in various counties, including Japan and Canada. Although the results of this monumental change can’t really be known until it has been fully implemented, it will likely lead to a more even playing field for businesses, where the highest quality content will be valued more highly than the most-liked content.

Likes used to be an effective way to judge social media engagement, but the rise of bots, as well the tendency for people to gives likes in exchange for likes and to mindlessly double-tap while scrolling without really engaging, makes likes a less-reliable judge of true engagement. For businesses that want to focus on connecting with people rather than on just posting what’s popular, the death of likes is a game-changer — in a good way.

#2. TikTok has turned things upside down.

With 800 million users and the bragging rights of being the most downloadable app from the first quarter of 2019, TikTok’s popularity cannot be denied. Most of its users are in China which means that TikTok is far from the most important social media platform to focus on, but there are a lot of things businesses can learn from TikTok that can be adapted to their social media strategies.

TikTok has had a major impact on both pop culture and the way we look at digital content, and it comes to no surprise that many of the major players have started taking notice. Instagram, for instance, has announced that it will be releasing Reels, which will be 15-second video clips that are set to music.

Businesses that want to capitalize on the success of TikTok don’t necessarily need to be on TikTok. A more effective approach might be to adapt the fun and innovation of TikTok into the content your business posts online.

The success of TikTok also demonstrates the power that niche platforms can have. While Facebook may be king of social platforms for older generations, Generation Z has flocked to new platforms, like TikTok, and it may pay off to branch out from the primary platforms.

#3. Private engagement gives businesses a new way to connect.

Messaging became bigger than ever in 2019, which makes sense, as polling shows that two-thirds of people say that they feel most comfortable sharing with others on messaging apps. This increase in popularity for private channels is why more than half of all marketers have started to rethink their content strategy for 2020.

Although private social channels are becoming more and more popular, social media will never be completely private. People utilize social media for all kinds of reasons, including discovering new brands and products, which is why a business’ public social feed is the perfect place to drive awareness. Private social channels, on the other hand, give businesses the perfect platform for one-on-one customer engagement.

Utilizing private social channels the right way is important. When done right, private channels allow for increased engagement, but beware — sending out impersonal brand content through private channels can undermine trust and lead to frustration.

#4. Engagement and performance go hand in hand.

In previous years, brands primarily used social media to build awareness and engagement in their brand. However, over the past few years, that organic reach has started to diminish, which is why more and more marketers are looking at ways to utilize social media to not only boost engagement but to drive a measurable return on their investment.

Using a mix of brand building activities — which reach a wide audience and help to define what your brand is and what makes it a superior choice — and strategies that lead to conversions — which target only hot leads — businesses can achieve both increased awareness and conversions.

#5. More people embrace shoppable posts.

Gone are the days when people had to leave Snapchat or Instagram to make a purchase. These days, followers can turn into customers without ever having to leave a social media app or site. This new way of shopping has become a go-to for younger generations (Generation Z spends up to three times more shopping on social media channels than the average consumer!), which makes sense considering the many hours they spend on social platforms.

Social media shopping has taken off quickly over the last few years, and businesses would do well to take notice, as it is likely to be the norm in the future. Even today, Instagram has found that 90 percent of its billion users follow shoppable brands, and the popularity of shoppable posts will only continue to grow.

Shoppable posts benefit both consumers and businesses alike. One of the biggest benefits of making posts shoppable for businesses is that it shortens the sales funnel by removing the steps between becoming aware of the product and making the purchase. Shoppable posts also offer consumers a more seamless and convenient sales process.

Don’t make the mistake of letting your social media strategy get stale. Keep it fresh by staying up to date with the latest trends!