2020 kicked off with a bang. Several that is. Since we’re positive thinkers though we assume we’ll all survive the crazy start of the new decade and therefore we should all care about how Social Media, our number one media source, will change, adapt, and develop.
1. Goodbye Instagram Likes
If you’re looking into which social network is seeing the most interaction, Instagram is obviously the number one player as of now. To the surprise of many Instagram made an announcement late last year that shook many influencers: Likes will disappear from profiles.
Why do likes disappear and what’s going to happen?
Instagram argues, and is obviously not alone with that point, that the likes a user gets on a post could have detrimental impact on the user’s mental health. Instagram’s CEO states that they want you to focus on the content you post, not on simply getting likes. Does that mean no more butt pics? No more almost semi nudes? Or maybe even: #RIP Influencer?
Probably not. And don’t you worry, you will still see who likes your posts of course and if your crush checked you out.
The influence this change will bring about is still heavily discussed and debated but one thing seems rather certain, vanity metrics (pure likes and follows) can not be used much longer to call yourself an influencer. Engagement will therefore matter more than ever. I’m rather sure Instagram will come up with an improved advertiser platform that will give advertisers lots of data to work with in order to manage their social media spendings wisely and to keep them on the platform. Likes might go, ads definitely will stay.
With all the data breaches we’ve seen over the past few years and growing concern that big businesses and sketchy ‘analytics’ companies are using our data against us, users seem to become more privacy aware. Social Media companies will have to adjust their approach and stop infringing too much on our privacy in order to avoid getting the cold shoulder from us users.
This will also effect marketers of course. Give your target audience privacy and full control over their data! A user who feels in control is more likely to give away information anyways.
3. Fake News
Fake News has been one of the biggest buzzwords over the last four years or so. With emerging tech such as deep fake technology fake news have become almost unrecognizable.
Social Media platforms are usually the first ones to be hit by fake news and hence some of the big players plan to strike back. Facebook said they will be combating fake news even more fiercely than before – other big players in the industry eventually will have to follow.
E-Marketers also will feel the wrath as Facebook suggested to implement a feature that will force marketers to prove that they obtained consent from their target audiences to market to them. That shall be interesting.
4. Social Commerce
This is said to be a trend by many global publications but if you are, like us, based in Southeast Asia you have seen this one coming a mile away.
Shoppable feeds will become ‘normal’, the importance of outstanding visuals will increase, UGC (user generated content) will be even more in the focus to reach peers and not only rely on generic brand advertising. This sounds like fun!
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5. Influencer Marketing
As discussed before: With the disappearance of likes, influencers will have to adjust. It won’t be that easy to become a ‘real’ influencer anymore – however if influencers can prove their, well, influence, then marketers certainly will be happy to pay them well.
This could eventually lead to quality over quantity. Or at least less fake influencers with bought likes and follows.
The relevancy of niche, micro influencers will quite likely continue to grow as brands are aware that users want more quality and products that speak to them rather than just seeing celebrity XYZ being paid to show off a random product.
6. Social Media Stories will rule
Keeping up with social media: Stories are already taking over in terms of engagement and this is probably not going to stop any time soon. Stories seem more authentic and hence are more favorited by most users by now. Brands know this and hence about every third story is an ad by now. This is going to increase even further as brands try to go where they see the most potential for engagement and for now that’s stories.
7. Social Media customer service
If something goes wrong with any product or service you purchased, what do you hate the most? Right, getting in touch with the company you bought it from. Now if you are said company you want to keep customer frustration to a minimum and hence might want to use Social Media to ease the pain and put on your happy face and deliver the best customer service possible.
People, especially if angry, are fast to share their experiences online. So don’t make them angry, keep ’em happy!
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8. AR will keep growing
AR has been creeping up on us for years now so don’t expect 2020 to be any different. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pokemon – they all use AR for filters and fun effects. This means by now we’re all familiar with how it works which might lead to new application models for AR.
Keeping an audience immersed in your story will be more crucial than ever while fighting all those distractions that linger out there in the online world – using AR could help your brand to stand out and just achieve that.
Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night. All day! – chances are high you’ve heard this intro to the world’s most famous podcast before. And even if not, I bet you will have heard it within the next six months. Podcasts are somewhat of a cool throwback to previous times. Long form content making a comeback but not without help of social media of course.
All the big podcasts have social media outlets and already work with sponsors that get ‘almost organic’ shoutouts during their programs. Brands can see the increasing reach that podcasts have and will obviously jump on any opportunity they have to maximize on this trend.
10. Data & AI
One of the main benefits of using social media for marketing that every marketer names is that ‘you get lots of data from your target audience’. We all know data is good to have but, let’s be honest, what exactly do you do with all the data that you are collecting? Exactly!
In the day and age of AI however using all that data that we collect will become easier and more advanced which will lead to marketers being able to tailor their messages even more towards their respective audiences. So don’t sleep on your Data & AI skills, they will be crucial to prevent you from drowning in all the data you’re collecting.
11. Automation & Bots
Going hand in hand what we just mentioned above, it will be crucial to use AI to automate interaction, responses, outreach, and advertising. The use of chatbots will not only be ‘cool’ but become the new norm. If you don’t use latest technological developments to keep up with your audience, you lose.
So if you don’t know how bots work, how you could automate processes within your company setting and just feel like you need a helping with your digital transformation overall, don’t hesitate to reach out!
12. Live Content
Going live has been somewhat of a trend before but as we’ve seen stories becoming more popular, going live will also continue to grow as live content remains the most raw, uncut, authentic content possible and that’s exactly what millennials and Gen Z are looking for.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Sometimes it is best to not be perfect. Your audience will appreciate it.
We talked about data before and with all the data analytics now at your fingertips it is obviously important to figure out how to use it best. Using it to personalize your content as much as possible (without being a creepy stalker and infringing on the user’s privacy, YOU!) seems like the best bet.
What do you rather see? Generic ads that don’t really interest you or ads that actually speak to you and show you something you might actually want? Personalize!
14. New Social Media platforms will arise
Hands up! Who saw TikTok coming a few years ago? Nobody, correct! While Facebook and Instagram (and probably also Snapchat, maybe) are most certainly going to stay it’s not certain that there won’t be any other new network emerging out of the ruins of Vine, Google+ and all the others platforms that died a slow death.
Be aware, keep your eyes open, and be ready to embrace new developments – that does not mean you have to jump on any trend though.
15. No brainer: Video content continues to boom
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38 thoughts on “15 Social Media Trends for 2020”
Thanks for making this content it conclude overall change of social media in 2020 that I don’t really aware. If I want to working in this field. The direction of social media trend is one of the most important things I need to catch-up. Nowadays, social media is not only platform that we can communicate to each others but also the means for someones careers. So, to realize the change of social media is important.
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During the pandemic, many people have to adapt themselves by using social media for learning and their work. Several companies use social networks for marketing for the product, you can see many new products popping up so much more during this period of time. I think AR would definitely be powerful in the future, plus new platforms will arise.
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The first point is something I obsessed with that (*embarrassing) but nowadays it’s quite normal to play without like,people didn’t care about it much than earlier.This blog is interesting,it made me realize about something that has changed throughout the period and generation.
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To be honest, I believe that if Instagram likes vanish, the account owner should be able to select whether or not they want to see the number of likes, and yes!! It became a possibility in 2022. This is particularly concerning in the case of fake news because there is a lot of bogus news on social media, which might lead to misunderstandings. Overall, this post has provided me with useful information, as I am quite interested in social networking. Thank you for sharing this important knowledge with us; social media is affecting us in a variety of ways these days.
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Thank you for writing this blog. By the way I think some changes changed for the good for their users. Reading this 2020 blog in 2022 make these trends makes sense even more, such as for the hidden likes in instagram became such a normal thing. These days we should concern more about others privacy.
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