It’s 2020, the end of a decade. Over the years, innumerable social trends have blossomed and withered, which is emblematic of the fact that everything is ephemeral. The trick is to tap into this ephemerality for a brief moment of heightened success. Hence, if you wish to be successful on social media in 2020, you need to strategize on the basis of real-world data and social media trends, while applying a bit of predictive reasoning. To help you with the process, here are the top social media trends that are most likely to dominate 2020:
1. Brands Should Balance Public and Private Engagement
The bygone year was massive for messaging, with Instagram launching Threads, a camera-first messaging application that allows one to connect with their closest friends. Zuckerberg unified Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp, a move that is bound to change the way in which personal messaging works. As per surveys by agencies offering social media marketing services, 55% of marketers agree with the fact that the rise of private social channels has urged them to revisit their content strategy.
However, it is important to note that the future of social is not going to be 100% private. Most individuals use social to search for entertainment, scan through headlines, and research products/.services that they wish to avail. As these are public avenues, more than half of brand discovery hinges upon public social feeds. Hence, brands need to strike a balance between:
1. Public Feeds that aim to drive awareness.
2. Private Channels that aim to push meaningful one-on-one engagement.
Keeping this in mind, employ the following strategies:
- Create a bridge between public and private. Create a Facebook or Instagram ad to direct users into private conversations with your business.
- Automate whatever is plausible. Using an amalgamation of automation and human connection, concoct your brand in a way that offers the smartness of AI and the tenderness of human connection all at once!
- Respect the privacy of your users. Steer clear of invading private channels – instead, aim towards real value that strengthens loyalty.
2. Employers Take Prominence In A Fragmented World
The world is on fire (quite literally, Australia’s wildlife is at stake, please do your part and donate here), hence it is understandable that people find it difficult to put their faith in economic and social systems that are majorly corrupt, owing to their capitalist agendas.
Millennials are struggling to find their ground amidst this divided world – trust is something that is at stake here. As per the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, a whopping 75% of individuals to trust their employers to do the right thing – this supersedes their trust for other establishments, including the media and government. This trust also includes parameters such as community impact, sustainability, talent development, diversity, and inclusive policies.
Hence, what can brands learn from this? Brands that are able to earn employee trust will have a significant competitive advantage in 2020. After all, it has been statistically proven that purpose-driven organizations witness 3x growth in comparison to their competitors who do not focus on employee growth. In turn, employees will automatically be inspired to invest more in the organization they are affiliated with – social media marketing companies understand that this will facilitate employee advocates to use social media in order to highlight the good work that their company is doing! For instance, a Starbucks employee posted the following on Instagram:
In 2020, the following strategies should be kept in mind:
- Act before you advertise. It is actually pretty exploitative for brands to leverage upon social issues in order to further their marketing tactics. Hence, a truly genuine and effective marketing campaign is one that is backed up by efforts to alleviate the said issues.
- Lead from the top. An overwhelming 71% of employees believe that it is important for CEOs to respond to key social issues during challenging times. When leaders speak up about industry issues or crises of a global scale, employees are inspired to do the same.
- Employee advocacy should be a priority. When forming opinions about a company, people tend to trust the views of a company content writer or business executive more than that of a CEO. Hence, employee advocacy should be a full-fledged corporate strategy in 2020.
3. Tiktok Will Be A Game-Changer
Becoming the most-installed app in 2019, TikTok boasts of more than 800 million active monthly users. That is absolutely mental, considering that these videos are typically only 15 seconds long! More and more TikTok content is being reposted across social channels, especially by brands. Artists have started taking the “meme first” approach to songs, essentially making their tracks shorter, trendier, and catchier. Hence, brands need to rethink their marketing strategies.
For instance, Nike leveraged on the fact that young women in Italy take part in sports via uploading physically challenging routines on TikTok. On identifying this, Nike recruited three influencers, along with elite athletes in order to introduce boxing and soccer to these women. This campaign went viral and helped garner 46,000 user-generated routines!
Instagram has set its sights on Tiktok with the introduction of Reels, which mimics Tiktok’s 15-second video format in story form. While the future growth and scope of TikTok remain uncertain, like all media, it would be wise to embed this platform in social strategies, owing to its game-changing nature. TikTok can also be used to reach out to a specific demographic – 69% of users on this platform belong to the age-group of 16-24. There is a rage for more ‘spontaneous’ content, rather than staged, painstakingly-crafted aesthetics. In 2020, one should:
- Keep a close eye on TikTok trends. If GenZ is your target audience, and your brand emits a playful aura, you should keep an eye on TikTok. However, if this isn’t the case, it is best to invest your time and resources elsewhere.
- Use video to connect. Use IGTV or Instagram Stories to feature authentic, engaging videos that are more likely to establish a connection with diverse audience groups. Conversely, you could also use the LinkedIn live video feature to reach out to more people.
- Keep experimenting on various platforms. Running social campaigns on unconventional platforms can help you reap massive benefits. Why wait for trends when you can be a trendsetter? For instance, you could divert your attention to Pinterest (322 global monthly active users) or Tumblr (400 million monthly active users). These platforms can deliver outsized web traffic and engagement for certain brands.
Employ these strategies and revolutionize your marketing strategies. Here’s hoping 2020 is a fruitful business year for you!