The social media landscape has grown broader as time goes on. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of the changes that social media is undergoing have sparked very interesting improvements and advancement in the way people think, buy, and even act. This phenomenon of social media influence affects not just the audiences involved, but the way marketers would usually advertise and switch up their marketing strategies. These professionals study the way people react to certain stigma, gather information from each reaction they each get, and then implement them in their efforts to reach more people and thus, achieve goals and sales. This, in turn, makes them eligible for competing in the ever-changing world of digital marketing and sales. But what social media trends should digital marketers be most aware of before they set out into creating effective marketing strategies this 2020?
1. Online shopping through social media
In its beginning stages, social media was just a means of people to connect with previous school friends, relatives, coworkers, and the like, but today, social media has transformed from simply connecting people to connecting these people with brands. As brands have started to create their own online identities through websites and social media, the need to expand their reach digitally has reached a whole new level. This requires brands to explore different types of brand outreach strategies such as influencer marketing, maximizing page interactions, target-based storytelling, sponsorships, regular posts, social media ads, and many others. Because of these brands’ efforts to reach out and make sales via social media, social platforms have integrated ways on how they can also make a profit from these brands’ efforts. Good examples of this are Facebook and Instagram ads along with Facebook’s Marketplace. Through Facebook, a lot of these brands’ customers are given the opportunity to shop without having to leave the website or app to complete a purchase.
2. Video content is becoming even more popular
According to a report by Social Media Today, 82% of all internet traffic in 2020 will be composed of video streaming. Video has become a valuable trend in social media that almost all businesses, whether big or small, have invested in delivering high-quality videos that market their product and service effectively. While posts and carousels of images can gather a good amount of attention, videos with interesting thumbnails often create a bigger engagement with audiences in specific target markets. Because of this fact, brands have used several marketing techniques that not only catches attention, but informs, taps on the human emotion, and leaves the viewer with something more than just a marketing pitch.
3. The disruption of vanity metrics
Instagram has spearheaded the movement of removing vanity metrics or so-called “liked” in its platform after seeing the negative impact it has had on IG users. Many brands are determined to gain more likes and followings through public engagement, giving them a way to measure the effectiveness of their strategies. While they can still have access to their engagement data, their followers and non-followers will not be able to see how much likes their posts have received. As difficult as it will be for brands who have depended solely on the number of likes their posts get, they will need to resort to other measures in order to get organic views and likes from real followers, not just those who get in the bandwagon just because a person they follow has engaged with the post, but because of their authentic interest.
4. Influencers dictate customer purchases
As much as celebrities and popular personalities have long been good choices for advertisers, brands have since utilized the power of social media influencers to spread the word of their business globally. These so-called, “micro-influencers”, no matter how micro, generate just as much attention or even more than what big shot celebrities can gather. People are looking up to influencers as they are more relatable, opening a wider target market for different brands in the process.
5. Messaging apps dominate their social media counterparts
Brands did not stop advertising solely through social media platforms. They’ve put in more effort into messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messaging, WeChat, WhatsApp, and LINE as well. These brands create messaging groups and add people interested in the same service and product not just to group them in one platform, but to make sure their concerns are addressed and that people with the same questions and interests may be able to interact as well, creating an easy “word of mouth” strategy in the process.
6. Audiences segmented into niches
In any industry or niche, different brands commonly have varied audiences. While having an idea of the demographic a brand sets on targeting is vital, it is also best to consider other aspects that go beyond the subject of gender, age groups, and economic standing. Knowing one’s audience helps in crafting a better message as well as generating content that can reach peak engagement.
7. AI on the front lines of communication
The world of social media is best completed with assistants that do not rest 24/7, Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI comes in many forms starting from the usual chatbot that gives you query options of what you can ask when you first open a brand’s Facebook Page to a program that helps deliver the company’s newsletters. These advancements in AI technology not only gives the impression of a brand’s adaptability to technological changes, but addresses the audience’s needs even as their team members sleep.
Social media is in that phase where everything is at the palm of everyone’s hands. It only matters that marketers develop skills and a good sense of adaptability when it comes to the advances and changes happening in every industry. Once a brand determines what their audience wants to see and experience through their platforms, getting increased engagements and conversions won’t be a difficult task to accomplish.