Social media plays a versatile role in online marketing. 44% of consumers reported having increased personal usage of social media in the last six months. It has helped the social media marketers to target the audience and driving them down the purchasing funnel. The main motive of marketers is to create brand awareness, support sales, lead generation, and broaden customer reach.
Today social media is more accessible than before; therefore, it provides a perfect platform for promoting products and services among the audience. Social media marketing has gained importance over time and also the trends to market products and services have changed significantly. Other than Facebook and Twitter we now have Instagram, Snapchat, etc. which are largely popular among the audience.
There are major social media trends to look out for in 2020 are as follows:
- Highly-produced contents: Basic content for promoting services are not effective anymore in attracting customers. Rather conceptualized contents that are highly entertaining and influential to the audience are being more impactful. So we can see more of highly-produced content in 2020.
- The popularity of Live-videos: Live-videos became a popular trend in 2018. According to a survey, 80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands than reading a blog. We can see live-videos as a marketing trend in 2020. Few brands have taken up this strategy for promotion. Like YouTube, now Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Periscope and Snapchat have implemented the live streaming option. According to Buffer’s report, Facebook live video was the most popularly used in 2018. 31% of businesses streamed live videos to market their brands in 2017. There are chances of an increase in these numbers in 2019.
- Growth of stories (ephemeral content): The technical term for ‘stories’ is ‘ephemeral content’. Ephemeral content is something that is short-lived and disappears completely after 24 hours. This was first introduced by Snapchat and then followed by Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. LinkedIn has recently introduced this feature. Instagram stories became a global trend among all ages. Advertisers prefer Instagram stories for the promotion of their products and services. People unfollow brand pages that post too much on social media. Therefore, advertisers have got an alternative way to connect with their customers without annoying them. They take up this strategy to run flash sales or other events to increase sales. Currently, 400 million people are using this feature on Instagram daily. We’re going to see more businesses and more people using this feature in 2020.
- Chatbots becoming popular: A chatbot is artificial intelligence (AI) software and is one of the most advanced expressions to conduct a conversation between a user and a machine in natural language via messengers, websites, mobile apps, etc. Chatbots are evolving and becoming popular on social media platforms. Brands and companies are using chatbots to communicate with their customers. Pizza Hut and Sephora are the popular ones to use this feature. This trend is increasing at a rapid rate and other advertisers are looking forward to it. The first year of the new Facebook Messenger platform, saw the number of chatbots jump from 33,000 to more than 100,000. Therefore we can see chatbots gaining popularity in 2019.
- Brands profiting from paid advertisements: Online advertisement had completely transformed the marketing industry. Earlier TV, newspapers, and billboards were the main media of advertisements. With the dawn of the internet, online marketing has become the primary thing for advertisement. One thing which became popular in 2018 was paid advertisements and we saw many brands opting for it for promoting their products and services. To get the desired results you need to spend some amount of money. The most common tool for paid advertising is pay per click. Google Adwords made this a popular trend that allows companies to pay the publishers per ad click. This drives traffic to the advertiser’s website and increases the ROI. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have implemented pay-per-click as their advertising models. We can see many more companies using this advantage for marketing purposes in 2020.
- Brands are taking advantage of user-generated content: Few brands have taken up a new strategy of promoting their products and services through their customers. Brands on their social media platforms organize contests and ask their users to upload photos after buying their products with the company’s hashtags. Some brands even upload these photos on their social media handles and encourage others to do the same. In this way, the brand also becomes popular among those people who don’t know about it. We can see this trend being followed more in 2020.
- Augmented reality: Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes digital information such as sounds, images, etc. into the physical environment. This technology is used in PokemonGo and Google Glass and will be a great advantage for digital marketers as they can use it for marketing campaigns on various social media platforms. This could be highly effective in targeting the audiences and drive traffic to the website. We can see AR gaining more popularity in 2020.
- Small businesses profiting from social media platforms: This is nothing new that now every business small or big wants to utilize the social media platform for promotion. Now everyone wants to compete to build their presence on social media. Small businesses have also realized the importance of social media promotion. About 52% of small business owners now make full use of social media. We can see more growth in this data in 2020.