Social media is a reality of our digital world that isn't going away anytime soon. Even with fake news and data hacks, we can't help but get our social fix online...and that is good news for brands.
Users want to interact with your business on social media, but only if you do Social Media Marketing the right way. That means sticking with proven methods and adding the latest trends to your Social Media Strategy.
Proven Social Media Trends that are Still Relevant
New isn't always better. In fact, there are many "old" but good Social Media methods that you should absolutely still be using:
- Mobile-first: Personally, how much do you use your computer to go on social media versus your phone? The answer is that you probably use your phone a lot more - on your way to work, hanging out with friends, during the weekends...
- Video: This certainly isn't a new trend, but one that continues to show its star power. Video is more captivating than ever before. Discover how to do video right: maybe you need gifs, animation, or long-form videos, but how do you know which to use? Find out in this post.
- User-Generated Content: The is one of the most useful resources for brands because your customers are creating content for you! Make sure to always stick to your brand guidelines and foment a captivating, visual style that people want to share.
- Customer Service: Businesses are increasingly using social media for customer service. Quick, thoughtful responses are essential if you plan to go this route. Social listening is an important part of this.
Trending Social Media Networks for Every Generation
Generation Z, our current teenagers, are leading the charge with TikTok, an app for creating and sharing short videos. Vero is a social app for posting photos and other content to an audience of your choosing (from close friends to general followers). Caffeine is a YouTube-esque "social broadcasting platform for gaming, entertainment, and the creative arts". Similarly, Twitch is Amazon's live-streaming video platform. Lasso, a video-music crossover, was launched by Facebook and is currently only available in the United States. It's pretty clear that video is leading the way forward for all audiences, but especially young people.
Millennials (soon to be the biggest group in the global workforce) are still into Facebook and Instagram, but having grown up in the era of social media boom, they aren't afraid to try out new platforms that younger people are using. Gen X has a preference for Facebook, mostly using social media for research and connecting with friends (something they have in common with Baby Boomers). Lastly, Boomers are more prone to sign up for Facebook and LinkedIn. The older generation like to share content, but they still haven't warmed to buying things via social media (source).
Key Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020+
1. Privacy and Data: When Facebook came out, everyone was eager to put their likes and personal information online. Not anymore. People are more aware than ever that brands are using their data for their own purposes, and they are reluctant to share information with businesses. We have to make sure we're respecting potential customers, providing them with valuable content, and being honest and transparent. Although some social networks have gotten user backlash, the social media engine isn't stopping. Also be aware of GDPR regulations.
2. Quick, Single-Use Content: Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Snapchat Stories...see a trend? Short attention spans, get-quick content, miss-it-and-you-lose-it. Marketers are already incorporating Stories into their strategy, and this will be a must for 2020.
3. Chatbots for Web and Social Media: Chatbots for web have taken off and now social media is following suit. Chatbots for Facebook Messenger are helping revolutionize e-commerce on social media for buying products and services. HubSpot offers a simple chatbot for FB Messenger. Speaking of e-commerce, new formats like Stories and carousels are providing a new ways to shop. Maybe social media will turn into a brand's biggest sales channel, overtaking web. We shall see!
4. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality: Augmented reality is already used for Facebook and Snapchat filters, and by brands to show how you might look after using their product (especially beauty and clothing). Virtual reality, however, means creating a simulation. We've been hearing about the virtual reality trend for years, but have yet to see the boom. Will 2020 be the year where customers finally adopt this new medium
5. Changing algorithms - Engagement over Likes: There is some talk about social channels changing their algorithms and eliminating features - for example, the "like". It is easy to fake likes and followers; engagement, on the other hand, is hard to replicate. This may mean a drastic change in strategy for your business in order to foment real engagement and community.
6. News and Search: Most people already get much of their news from social media. But in the future, social media platforms may act as search engines, meaning SEO will be as important here as on your website and blog posts.
7. The Age of Personalization: Like personalized Landing Pages as part of your overall Marketing Strategy, personalization should be part of your strategy for social media, too. There are many ways to cultivate personalization within your social networks: While big-name influencers and stars are becoming passé. micro-influencers can help connect with niche audiences and communities (and they're much more affordable!) Your Paid Social advertising should be extremely specific...for location, groups/communities, age, job title, and you can even dig deeper. For Account Based Marketing, LinkedIn offers wonderful capabilities for targeting and personalization. Finally, make sure your social channels have a distinct feel and flavor; if you post the same things on every channel, why should someone follow you on more than one?
While there are many trends to follow (or create) in the year 2020, every business is different and you may discover that what works for you is outside of the popular trends. What will never change is the value of high-quality content, so make sure to integrate social media with your Content Marketing. mbudo is always here to assist you, all you need to do is get in touch!