The Future of Social Media: Our Predictions for 2020
The social media landscape is changing at such a rapid pace, it can be difficult to keep up with!
With changing technologies and new techniques, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the game. Active social media users account for 2.89 billion people, which is a penetration of 39%! Active mobile social users are not far behind at 2.69 billion! These numbers are actively growing every single day. The trends that shape the future of social media drastically affect other elements of the digital world, specifically in terms of marketing.
In this article, we’re going to give you a sneak peek into what lies ahead with our social media predictions for 2020.
Visual content will dominate informational content
With the rise of visual content becoming more appealing for social media users, social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, visual-based content has massively increased in usage since smartphones now have access to cameras, photos, and videos.
56% of users use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat to watch and engage with brands’ videos each month. (GlobalWebIndex)
1 out of 3 social media users watch or interact with videos made by brands every month. Needless to say, it is almost certain that we will be seeing an evolution of social media videos in 2020, including the newbie, live video, which has been trending the past year.
VR and AR Adaption
In 2020, more and more practical applications of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will be changing the game of social media networks.
Snapchat Geofilters is a good example where you can see and view location-specific videos. If you happen to stumble across shopping sites that help customers try on virtual clothing versions before buying, then welcome to the AR world. Amazon, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Bitmoji, and WeChat are exploring ways to implement AR in marketing strategies. The final goal is always to push sales and good advertising.
Mobile vs Desktop Experience
Think about mobile before desktop. Comparing the time you spend on your smartphone to the time you open your laptop and get work done, you will understand what we are trying to say here. Again, always think mobile-first.
Influencer marketing will change
While our privacy is being compromised, influencer marketing is indeed on the rise. Unlike social media ads, where people can be creeped out wondering why their previous searches pop up now and then when an influencer shares a product on social media, it doesn’t feel like advertising. These are personal connections coming from a real human being.
The modern customer is easily convinced to buy a product through the word of mouth than through traditional ads. There is a positive side to this though: How will advertisers know which influencer to trust with their brand, particularly with the increased cases of bought followers and comments? Companies will have to re-evaluate their criteria for determining who is a viable influencer and who is not, who is getting real followers and who is not. The e-sport streaming industry is a prime example of how businesses have begun to filter and blacklist potential influencers for obtaining a ‘false following’.
Marketing will be hyper-focused on local advertising
Imagine you’re a big brand with over 1,000 stores around the country. Do you think national marketing strategies are strong enough to retain customer turnovers? Local brand social media pages give customers the chance to communicate with brands on a personal level. Instagram now has started implementing location pages to make it easier to search and explore products.
The co-existence of fake news and regulations
We have a certain tolerance toward fake news, but in 2020 marketers might be looking at a stricter regulated industry, especially with the crackdown on COVID-19 related stories. Social platforms are not a wild wonderland anymore. Facebook will soon be asking businesses for consent before posting to any niche audience. Still, there will be a lot of fake news as we turn towards the reelection. Get yourself ready for emerging fake news about data privacy.
The value will be more important than vanity
Massive followings will lose meaning. People buying followers was a normal practice. However, it should be noted that social media tides are shifting. There’s no longer as much of a need to have 100,000+ followers. Social proof and having a strong following are still important but having 1 million followers isn’t as relevant. 1 million followers are now the same as 0.5 million followers, meaning at a certain point, your follower count loses value.
Google will incorporate social media into search results
Smarter social targeting and re-engagement
Using social to collate data about customer experience is nothing new, but as monitoring systems evolve with wearable tech and more people converge on social networks to discuss their experiences, you’ll have a truly unique insight into behavior, at a fraction of the cost of large scale market research. Remember, social networking for the consumer is FREE for a reason… namely to access and sell your data!
BUT for a brand, the result will be a constant flow of great ideas and a ‘digital’ R & D department to die for – you’ll launch services faster, at the right price, and much deeper insight into the effectiveness of the product.