To succeed on social media, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends.
Many of the trends we saw coming down the line 12 months ago are well established — although that’s not to say everyone has adopted them as an everyday practice!
Others have been growing steadily, but haven’t reached peak hype just yet.
So which social media trends will matter most this year?
I’ve identified 9 major trends that should claim our focus in 2020.
1. 2020 Will Be The Year Of The Voice Strategy
The majority of people searching for information on the web still trust search engines but the way people search for information online is changing.
Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet.
According to comScore’s forecasting, 50 percent of searches will be performed through voice functions in 2020 and the majority will be done without even looking at a screen.
Just as marketers have optimized content for web 2.0 and mobile, they will have to start optimizing content for voice search as well. To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”
Recommended Reading: What’s Your Alexa Strategy? How To Optimise Your Content For Voice Search in 2020
2. Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must
I can hardly believe I am still singing this same tune! But just in case, the message hasn’t been 100% absorbed, let me say it again.
Without a mobile responsive site, not only are you losing out significantly in the organic search rankings, but Google has made it very clear that it will penalize sites that are not mobile responsive.
Google says 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing with 40 percent visiting a competitor’s site instead.
If you haven’t implemented a mobile-first strategy yet, make it an urgent priority in the coming year.
3. Messenger Apps Will Continue To Evolve
Did you know that more users use social messaging than actually the social media itself — especially younger millennials?
There are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
As the use of social media messaging platforms grows, the potential for improving customer experience will also expand exponentially.
The combination of messaging platforms with chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI)will make it possible for companies to engage in more relevant, personalized and helpful customer conversations at scale.
4. Video Content Is Here To Stay
Video is long past the status of a hot new trend, but it still remains an important trend in social media marketing.
If a picture says a thousand words, a video tells a million.
Video marketing can help you tell your story in a more entertaining, educational and inspiring way so if it’s not already part of your strategy, get on board with video this coming year.
5. TikTok Continues Its Meteoric Rise
With more than 800 million monthly active users and a median age of 16–24, TikTok continues its incredible rise.
To quote Hootsuite’s social trends report for 2020: “Whether or not it lasts, TikTok’s popularity brings valuable insight into the future of social culture, content, and collaboration. Social marketers should keep an eye on TikTok while using these insights to adapt their strategies on established networks for the next generation on social.”
Recommended Reading: TikTok Publishes Top 10 Content Lists for 2019
6. Stories Will Continue to Grow In Popularity
Nowhere is the concept of stories more evident than on Instagram where over 400 million people use Stories daily. Introduced as a sort of successor to Snapchat’s “self-destruct” style of content, stories are no longer seen as a novelty. At this point, they’re a staple of Instagram itself.
Similar to Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories — user-generated slideshows and video collections — are short (around 20-seconds) pieces of content created on your smartphone and available for up to 24 hours.
According to Mari Smith’s prediction “The Facebook and Instagram Stories format will continue to grow in popularity throughout 2020. So much so that regular feed content will noticeably slow down.”
Recommended Reading: Instagram Begins Rolling Out Collaborative Group Stories Option
7. Niche Marketing Is Worth Exploring
“In 2020, the race isn’t to be everywhere and reach everyone but to reach the right people with focused intent. It’s about choosing the quality of engagements over the quantity of engagements.” Peg Fitzpatrick
More and more people are becoming fatigued from the over-saturation of content on the main social media networks. They’re moving increasingly towards platforms that help eliminate the noise and posts that aren’t relevant to them.
Niche networks provide you with the opportunity to connect with a highly target and engaged community. Once you’ve connected with your audience, you can start to get to know them — how they think and act — and build closer relationships with them.
Niche social networks are smaller and serve only those who want to be there which means rather than being a small fish in a big social pond, going niche allows you to focus your communication more precisely. You won’t have to worry about beating any Facebook-like algorithms so you can increase the ability to get your content seen by a relevant audience.
There are plenty of niche social networks online catering to passionate users, united by specific topics or locations. Whether you’re a film buff, a DIY enthusiast, a crafter or a baker, there’s a niche network out there for you.
8. Micro-Influencers Hold Sway
Over the past few years, social media influencers have become a major trend. However, macro-influencers with their millions of followers command a high price and are out of the reach of many businesses. This is why we are seeing the rise of micro-influencers (those who have smaller followers) instead.
In choosing a micro-influencer — someone with fewer followers, but a more engaged community — you’ll not only be increasing your chances of achieving stronger engagement, but you’ll also be saving money. Your budget could stretch to multiple influencers, in different vertices, with different niche audiences, making the connections so much more relevant. Social Media Today
Recommended Reading: The Smallest Viable Audience: How Micro-Influencers are Changing Marketing
9. We’re Now Marketing to Generation Z
Aged between 13 and 22 years old, Gen Z is the hyper-connected, highly opinionated generation, moved to activism as the internet and social media landscape has made them acutely conscious of and concerned about world events. Social causes like LGBTQ issues, body positivity, and mental health are increasingly at the core. Gen-Zers are expected to account for about 40 percent of all consumers by 2020.
Unlike any generation before them, they’ve grown up expressing themselves online. Gen Z is the next generation of customers, so it’s worth getting an understanding of the best way to include them in your marketing.
Recommended Reading: How to Market Your Business to Gen Z
Social media is continually evolving. Every year, everything from algorithm updates to emerging trends shapes and informs the myriad ways we interact online.
As you plan your social media marketing for the coming year, consider how you can implement some or all of these trends in your online strategy. But remember — it doesn’t make sense to jump on the latest marketing trend without first having a strategy in place!
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