As it has on almost every facet of life, the Coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on social media use. Prior to the implementation of shelter in place orders due to the pandemic, the use of social media apps on mobile devices from January through early March remained relatively stable – at about 20 percent. But new data from Nielsen has shown that use of social media apps began to increase as people were staying home and working from home, and it now accounts for about 25 percent of all mobile app usage among adults in the United States.
In addition to increased social media app usage on mobile devices, the use of social media across the board doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but up. According to Statista, the number of social media network users worldwide is expected to rise from 2.95 billion in 2019 to 3.4 billion by 2023.
So, as you are taking this time to reflect upon whether you need to adjust your marketing to help your business emerge from this pandemic even stronger, it’s crucial to look at some of the social media trends that could attract a larger audience — and potential customers — for your company. While your business is most likely engaged with at least one of the larger social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), what on-the-rise trends could you be focusing on to ensure you’re making valuable connections that could translate into sales for your company?
Check out these 5 social media phenomena that are taking over 2020 and see how they could work for your business!
2020 Social Media Trend #1: Future-proof with Video Content
We’ve stated this before and it’s worth noting again — when it comes to social media, video content reigns supreme! While video content is not exactly a new social media sensation, if your business has not yet adopted video to its 2020 social media marketing strategy, now is the time to start! Don’t just take our word for it — the following statistics prove it!
- According to marketing data firm Marketing Charts, by 2021, the average person will watch 100 minutes of online video content per day.
- Small Business Trends found that social media videos generate 12 times more shares than text and image posts combined.
- Video production firm Wyzowl states that 66 percent of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product.
Most social media platforms now support a video format, so begin brainstorming different avenues where video would work for your business. Highlight your products and services sharing videos that show your product or service in use, or create short videos that provide nuggets of facts and figures on topics of interest in your industry. These are all incredibly effective ways to allow audiences to connect and engage with your company. So, what are you waiting for? Pull out that camera, slide over to video and get ready to attract new customers!
2020 Social Media Trend #2: Take Advantage of Live Streaming
Along the lines of video content, live streaming is also a noteworthy 2020 trend. Live streaming provides an easy, convenient way to continue to engage with consumers and prospects in real time. Need proof? TV media outlets are doing this all the time now because they understand that going live on social media transforms video content into a conversation with their audiences and allows them to interact and respond to comments and questions on the spot. This builds trust and engagement.
Another great perk of live streaming on social media? All of the larger platforms prioritize live content in their newsfeeds. In fact, according to social media scheduling platform Hootsuite, Facebook Live videos receive six times more interactions than pre-recorded video content.
2020 Social Media Trend #3: Enhance E-commerce with Shoppable Posts
Does your company rely on e-commerce? Shoppable posts — a rising trend introduced within the past two years on various social media platforms —enable a brand to directly connect with consumers by tagging products in a post or inviting a user to click on “Shop Now” directly from the post. From there, the customer is led to a product website page where they can make a purchase. Instagram has done a really great job with this, even going so far as to have clickable links that lead to a checkout feature on the app. This essentially means the whole consumer journey, from discovery to checkout, can all be done on Instagram. According to Instagram, even though the shoppable posts feature is fairly new, more than 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.
2020 Social Media Trend #4: Say Goodbye to Vanity Metrics
In 2020, social media platforms are forcing companies to dig deeper and start getting real, which can be seen with many social media platforms veering away from “vanity metrics.” The most recent example of this is Instagram making like counts private.
What this means for brands is that they must find deeper, more meaningful ways to interact with their audience, a term called social listening, that ultimately produces higher-quality engagement — for example, people leaving comments, starting conversations in the comments section, retweeting, sharing, or leaving peer-to-peer reviews. Essentially, engagement is now being quantified as anything that helps spread the word about your brand and promotes a sense of community and connection, as opposed to simply clicking a button.
2020 Social Media Trend #5: Connect with Social Media Communities
While social media communities have always existed within social platforms, as 2020 continues to embrace the theme of building deeper engagement and connection with your audience, more businesses are using social media communities at a higher rate than ever to bring existing and prospective customers together.
LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups allow members to discuss various topics about a certain industry and, more specifically, to share thoughts about your company’s products and services. Use this as an opportunity to gain free feedback from customers and find solutions to problems that may be existing within your business. The key is making sure you create groups that will resonate and be useful to your target audience. For example, if your business sells cleaning products, why not create a special group for stay-at-home moms and dads, where they can discuss which of your products they use on a consistent basis? If your business focuses on travel services, then create a group that shares ideas and dreams for “bucket-list” vacations.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest … the list goes on and on! For many busy business owners, the world of social media can become quite daunting. With each passing year, it seems a new platform takes the world by storm. It’s important to consider the trends and analyze their costs and benefits as part of an overall marketing strategy.