It’s that time of year again. As we bid adieu to 2019, we also need to keep an eye out for what’s coming next. Many brands have already started planning out their social media goals, their targets, and maybe even some of their early campaigns by now. And that’s not surprising—after all, social media growth shows no sign of slowing down. Many people spend a good part of their day on social media, and that means a lot of important conversations take place there, too.

The importance of social media for brands is now well accepted. Marketers are constantly thinking about how they can best use the networks they’re on, and publishing regular content in the hopes of connecting with their target audience. What this means is that there’s a lot of competition in the social media sphere, so it’s important that your social media strategy is aligned with emerging social media trends. If you do this, you’ll be able to take advantage of these trends and eventually find more success in your campaigns.

Without further ado, here are some of the developing trends for social media in 2020:

Developing social media trends in 2020

1. Shorter content will continue to perform well

One of the trends that we noted last year was the rise of stories, and how they could change the marketing game. This year too, you can expect this type of content to perform well.

It’s been reported that people’s attention spans are getting shorter, and that’s changed how they consume content. This can certainly explain the rise of stories as a content format over the last few years. Take a look at this graphic that shows just how popular stories have become:

And once again, this provides great opportunities for brands. Stories can make brands look more authentic, as they’re often uploaded on the spot. The content in the stories also disappears in a day, and this allows marketers to capitalize on FOMO—your brand can offer flash sales and deals at regular intervals, and keep people coming back to your profile to make sure they don’t miss the next one.

On Instagram, you can even use stories to drive engagement, by adding polls or asking questions to your followers, and getting replies directly to your DMs.

You can also apply this concept and create short, explainer videos. If you make small DIYs or how-to videos featuring your product, they’re likely to do well on social networks. The possibilities are endless when you keep your content crisp, and this is something your brand should try to do more over the next year.

2. Emergence of niche networks

For the longest time, discussions on social media marketing has always been dominated by three networks—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While they still remain extremely popular, a growing trend in the last year is the emergence—and growing popularity—of niche networks for marketing.

The most famous of these is LinkedIn, a channel that B2B brands usually prefer. But there are other networks that are niche because of the demographics of their audience, or the type of content that’s published there. TikTok is one channel that has burst onto the scene, while marketers are also looking at Reddit and Tumblr as viable channels to promote their products.

Apart from channels like these, there’s also significant growth in chat platforms, and businesses are starting to use them for marketing as well. Channels such as WhatsApp and Messenger can only be expected to grow further over the coming year, as personalization continues to become more and more important to customers.

Brands need to keep a constant eye out for new and emerging channels over the next year. Getting into the act early can put your brand ahead of the curve.

3. Social commerce will be on the rise

Another trend that’s been gathering steam has been social commerce. Marketers are already using social media to create awareness about their products to their target audience, and the next logical step is selling directly through social media.

Some networks have already started doing this. Facebook has a feature called Facebook Marketplace, where users can buy or sell products directly from within the channel. Some pages also come with a shop section that lets you buy products directly from the page.

Pinterest has product pins, through which you can browse catalogues with up-to-date prices. Instagram, too, has come out with a feature called Instagram Shopping where you can feature your products in your posts or your stories and sell them to your audience.

Given how brands are starting to take notice, and how social channels themselves are continuously evolving, it won’t be long before you’ll have to include social selling as part of your standard sales strategy.

4. Adoption of AR and VR technologies

Another area that’s expected to see huge growth in the social media space is the adoption of both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. AR is already being used by channels like Snapchat and Instagram as part of their filters, and could soon be used in marketing.

Amazon is currently developing AR technology that lets people try clothes on a virtual model of themselves before buying. There’s a lot to be excited about with these technologies, and TechCrunch has released a report on how they think this will impact businesses over the next few years.

Facebook is further experimenting with VR with Horizon, their own virtual world where users can meet other people, interact with them, or even play games. This represents a new type of connecting with people, and it could give marketers some great opportunities early on. Brands should be keeping a close eye on how different channels are going to adopt these technologies, and how they can incorporate them into their marketing strategies.

5. Continued rise in video marketing

Video has become one of the most popular and engaging form of content over the last year, and it’s expected to continue into the next year, as well. Here are some highlights from Animoto’s research on video in marketing:

  • 96% of marketers have placed ad spend on video
  • 91% of marketers are satisfied with the ROI of video marketing on social media
  • 93% of brands got a new customer because of a video on social media

If you still haven’t started using videos to market your brand on social media, the best time to start would’ve been yesterday. The second best time is now. Whether it’s through stories or through long form videos, the benefits that it gives to your marketing strategy is undeniable.

Here’s a great infographic by SocialMediaToday on video marketing in 2020.

The social media world is extremely dynamic, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on trends, and catch them before they become mainstream. This will help you stay prepared to deal with changes when they inevitably occur.

Know of anything we missed, or have something you’d like to discuss? Let us know in the comment section below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

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