Today, the world of social media is bringing new trends and technologies into the highly competitive arena of digital marketing. Every year, there is an increasing number of users signing up for different social media platforms. What this means for marketers is a huge potential to reach a forever growing and engaged audience.

However, that’s not only limited to the popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – Wikipedia lists over 200 different social media sites. Some of these platforms can help you promote your brand, expand your network, and build better connections. This great graphic called “The Conversation Prism” just shows the many options available to marketers today.

Source: Brian Solis and JESS3, 2008.

Let’s look at the major trends shaping social media in 2020:

“Over the next few years, the much bigger driver of the business and determinant of how we do is going to be video, not messenger.” – Mark Zuckerberg.

Firstly, video content is continually growing in popularity. Brands and marketers are increasingly leveraging videos in their social media content strategies. TikTok, for example, holds a massive opportunity for brands looking to target Generation Z. With over 1.5 billion users on the platform, it’s a great space to interact with a younger audience. Have a look at these interesting statistics by Forbes:

  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
  • Video streaming is set to become a $70 billion industry by 2021.
  • 82% of businesses are publishing one to four videos a month.

Secondly, brands now prefer working with micro and nano-influencers. They are realising that authenticity and relevance are more important than the number of followers. One of the reasons why micro-influencers and their nano counterparts have become so valuable is that audiences trust the recommendations and advice that come from people they know and relate to. These influencers focus on developing a real connection with their audience and benefit from that extra layer of trust, making them ideal candidates to promote a brand’s product or service.

Another interesting trend taking its rightful place is social media stories. As social media user’s attention spans shrink, the way they consume content changes too. Therefore, content formats such as stories are increasing in popularity. They are short and engaging – leading to people often spending hours scrolling through one story after another. This is creating new and exciting ways to market towards consumers. Statistics by Meltwater show that 62% of consumers have become more interested in either a brand or a product after seeing a social media story.

Next, with access to Virtual and Augmented Reality technology, brands are offering tours of facilities, taking users on a journey of product creation and more by creating interactive 3D models so they can thoroughly examine products. Finding innovative and engaging ways to connect with users can prove to be a turning point for big and small companies alike. This is probably why Facebook rolled out Horizon – its very own social virtual reality world where people can play games and explore products or services.

Here are the benefits of VR and AR technology:

  • It offers a more immersive shopping experience, which allows you to see how a product would look in your home, office, garden, etc.
  • Helps the customer make important buying decisions.
  • Offers a more personalised experience.
  • Increases brand awareness and user engagement.

Lastly, social commerce is one of the biggest trends in social media today, and it is set to have an even bigger impact as the year proceeds. Shopping is, was and always will be a social experience. In fact, the social nature of shopping is perhaps more relevant than ever as social media and eCommerce now go hand-in-hand.

Compared to social media marketing, where you drive referral traffic from social media to a website or online store; with social purchasing, the entire shopping experience happens without the customer ever leaving the social media site. According to Podium, over 93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions. This is testimony to the fact that today’s customers are on the hunt for positive social reviews and 5-star ratings from real people before they make a purchase.

What social media trends are you currently following?

With people learning to adapt to the needs of the global pandemic, everything has gone virtual. Your brand’s social media strategy should be no different. By considering your audience’s needs and expectations, you can continue to create meaningful relationships and achieve a deeper level of social interaction with them. Are you ready to fuel your strategy and boost your social media presence with these trends?

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