Social media trends change rapidly, and what’s hot today might be gone tomorrow. Keeping up with the rapid change of trends is necessary for marketers, since it allows them to figure out how to best direct their marketing efforts.
The only thing better than catching a trend as soon as it starts is predicting that it’ll take off. Trends don’t follow a specific pattern, but knowing what is and has been popular helps inform decisions going forward. Thirteen experts from Forbes Communications Council offer their predictions for social media trends this year and suggest how marketers can leverage these to gain traction and visibility.
1. The Continued Rise Of Ephemeral Content
Ephemeral content is on the rise more than ever now. Whether you’re familiar with the term or not, we consume it daily. Ephemeral content is rich media, mainly images or videos, that are only accessible for a brief period. Two of the largest social media formats (Snapchat and Instagram) offer marketers an opportunity to create interactive content for their audiences using customized filters. – Mo Ghoneim, OUTFRONT Media Canada
2. Exponentially More Focus On CX
While “social listening” has been popular for years, companies will do more than listen in 2020. They’ll focus on improving customer experiences (CX) by deliberately taking action from people’s feedback and closing the loop. Business decisions will come from the voice of the customer (VoC) leveraging social channels in combination with surveys, online chat, review sites, etc. CX won’t be an afterthought. – Stacy Sherman, Schindler Elevator CorporationForbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
3. Influencer Marketing Reigning Supreme
Influencer marketing is going to reign supreme in 2020. Consumers trust people they know and like, and when it comes down to making a purchase, influencer recommendations are crucial. To take advantage of this, find out where your customers are coming from, and start researching a social influencer in that market. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your product in front of the right people. – Amanda Dalrymple, Amanda Dalrymple Designs
4. Growing Importance Of Micro-influencers
As social platforms experiment with removing the “like” feature on photos, micro-influencers have an advantage in the crowded influencer space. It will become harder to measure engagement on a specific post, so results will be (and should be) what matters. This means influencers that have a smaller tribe but can show more actual results with brand sponsorships have an advantage in this new reality. –Holly Tate, Vanderbloemen Search Group
5. Rise Of Live Video
Live video hit the scene in 2019 but there were many bugs and connection issues. Those problems will be ironed out in 2020, leading to a rise of live video, along with a consumer demand for more authentic content by brands. Marketers will need to be conscious about how they use it — preferably to augment their event experiences and content marketing with live interviews and product demonstrations. – Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
6. Storytelling For Brands
The art of storytelling, whether through brands’ increased use of Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, will be of even greater use. Creative and thoughtful uses of captivating an audience through telling a story to understand what a brand represents will be a big differentiator in 2020. – Deborah Farone, Farone Advisors
7. Emoji Lists Enhancing Storytelling
One simple yet overlooked trend is the use of emojis. As companies continue to share content in more consumer-friendly ways, even in more formal business-to-business environments, emojis used alongside social content in the form of lists capture greater interest and stronger results. For example, when sharing a webinar, include the calendar emoji for date and clock emoji for time. It’s fun, eye-catching and it works. – Maria Sotra, GEOTAB
8. Bloom Of Social Shows
With all social networks focusing more on video, 2020 will be the year of the big bang when it comes to video content (just look at TikTok) — original, entertaining user-generated content. Brands will make content that looks authentic, users will monetize even more and social networks will embrace visual content as an integral part even more and find new ways to integrate it to everyone’s feed. – Kobi Ben-Meir, Yalber
9. TikTok Growth
The Generation Z-led platform TikTok is catching up to Instagram in terms of growth, with close to 750 million users. Marketers can take advantage by tapping into younger influencers who speak the language on the platform to relate to the younger shoppers. Our company has already started doing this and will continue to keep younger demographics a top focus in the new year. – G’Nai Blakemore, Mattress Firm
10. LinkedIn As A Revenue Channel
LinkedIn is a platform where marketers have seen value from a long time ago. Now, with their account-based marketing advertising new features, it is possible to join forces with sales and reach effectively the key decision-makers in your ideal customer profile throughout the entire customer journey, not only in the pre-sales stages of the funnel. If there’s no budget, there’s always the option to be relevant by being active on it. – Lorena Morales, Go Nimbly
11. Social Channels Making Vanity Metrics Private
I think the biggest trend marketers need to be aware of is Instagram’s removal of likes! I can see other social platforms follow suit and not display vanity metrics publicly. Marketers will need to find other ways to measure engagement and influencer potential. – Kevin Indig, G2
12. Continued Blending Of Personal And Professional
Like it or not, social media has forced professionals to be aware of what they post personally. Expect that there will be more internal conflict for social media users who are uncomfortable with the blending of their personal and professional lives. Marketers must recognize it may change the behaviors of people online, or even drive some people away from social media, and act accordingly. – Kate Barton, Clearview Advisory
13. An Increase In Number Of Fake Profiles
With more and more people aware of the privacy issues on social platforms, more people are creating fake profiles to ensure they can interact with the brands and friends they want to without revealing their true identities. This trend will make it harder for brands to advertise to their audience. Businesses should shift paid marketing resources to owned media channels to create better content. – Charlie Terenzio, Newswire
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