Sumit is an experienced content marketer and editor with hands-on expertise in writing social media posts, articles, and blogs.
The Year 2020 Brings Emerging Social Media Trends
We have just entered a new decade, and people are wondering about the changes in the digital marketing industry.
A majority of the potential changes are taking place in the social media marketing or SMM.
Social media marketing is a dynamic and thriving platform with a vast reach and high user engagement.
According to the latest studies, there were 3.72 billion social media users in 2019. On average, people spent 142 minutes per day on social media browsing.
Nearly 91% of retail brands and 81% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) initiated some social media activities in the past year.
In this article, I have listed the 11 most prominent social media trends in 2020 and beyond. Here we go.
1. More Personalized Social Media Posts
In the new decade, a typical social media marketing trend will be using more personalized content to get users’ attention.
Many people are skeptical of whether brands and marketers will be able to personalize their social media content for diverse consumer segments. Well, we have to wait for that to happen. However, brands can customize their ads on various social media platforms for a range of target segments.
Several social media platforms are already providing new ways for marketers to customize their ads. This way, the ads will appear to the right users with the right information.
As a user, you may have already noticed how personalized ads work on social media platforms. When you check an ad on Instagram or Facebook, within minutes, similar ads appear all over your social media feeds. It happens because social networking sites capture the data regarding consumers’ search behavior and customize ads for similar products or services from different brands.
2. Major Revamps on Instagram
Instagram has come up with several changes. It starts with Instagram feed changes or hiding of likes to reduce the numbers of fake followers. This social platform will roll out a tool to audit audiences and evaluate the authenticity of the users’ accounts.
Other changes are implementing native scheduling with Creator Studio, adding engagement stickers, and enabling to tag users and re-share stories.
3. Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)
Facebook rolled out CBO in September 2019. Now, effective from February of 2020, the social media giant will re-implement it for the remaining advertisers. CBO is a new feature that optimizes the distribution of a campaign’s budget across the ad sets. Under CBO, Facebook will automatically find the best opportunities for ad results based on your objective across your ad sets. It will then distribute your budget in real-time for the best results.
4. Integration of Live Videos on LinkedIn
Finally, LinkedIn has given its nod to incorporate live videos on its professional networking platform. LinkedIn Live will allow individual users and organizations to broadcast videos in real-time. To be able to broadcast live videos, you first need to apply through LinkedIn Live application or communicate with a LinkedIn Marketing Solution representative for approval.
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After getting approval, click on “Link Account” next to LinkedIn Live. Then you need to select if you are going live on the personal profile or the company page. Select the channel to which you have access.
5. Niche Social Media Sites and Apps Will Grow
Major social media players such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have long been popular for their diverse social content. Now several niche social media platforms are growing in popularity as well.
Relatively newer social platforms such as TikTok, Behance, WeChat, and Vero have made their mark in recent times and positioned themselves as alternatives for niche users.
In the New Year and decade, we will see more such emerging players that will fragment the market share.
6. More Focus on Targeting the Local Audience
Just like the local search engine optimization or SEO, companies will focus more on targeting the local audience through social media marketing to generate more organic traffic. Many brands and marketers have already incorporated location-specific targeting to get users’ attention.
To target the local audience, companies can apply geo-tagging in their social media posts and stories. By adding a specific location to social content, they can draw the attention of potential local customers.
Geo-targeting is especially effective for promoting social posts as they help marketers connect with the right audience.
7. Social Commerce Will be a Major Revenue-Generating Tool
Companies with a social presence on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have been using these social platforms for generating leads. Going forward, more companies will incorporate social commerce to sell products/services and increase their revenue generation. Mainly, social commerce will work as a mainstream retail channel for offline stores and websites.
8. Influencer Marketing Will be More Prominent
Influencer marketing is going to redefine social marketing for promoting brands. According to a report by Business Insider, the influencer marketing industry will be worth $15 billion by 2022, which is up from $8 billion in 2019.
All the major social media platforms are using influencers to some extent. However, Instagram is leading the way as nearly 79% (four in five) brands use Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns. Other social platforms for influencer marketing are Facebook at 46%, YouTube at 36%, Twitter at 24%, and LinkedIn 12%.
An increasing number of brands are collaborating with niche influencers to get higher user engagement without having to spend a fortune.
9. User-Generated Content (UGC) Will Be in Focus
Do you recall some of the ads by Coca Cola, Apple, Airbnb, Dove, or Olay where users shared their experience of using those products and expressing their loyalty to the brand? These are examples of user-generated content or UGC in short.
User-generated ads are effective because they work as strong “social proofs” for potential customers. In this new decade, we are going to witness many similar examples of leveraging UGCs on various social media platforms. More brands will encourage their consumers to create content and tag them to be featured on the companies’ page.
10. Increasing Dominance of the Social Media Communities
In recent years, social media groups have become popular, and this trend will continue.
Various brands have created social media communities or social groups where users can share their stories or experience. Interested users can “like” and “follow” these groups to start receiving interesting updates. Companies use such groups to bring together their customers and interact with them to enhance a brand’s social value.
According to the latest statistics by Facebook, the most popular brand pages include Vodafone Zoozoos, SBI, Hyundai, and Airtel. There are many similar social communities, such as writers’ groups, travel groups, book lovers’ groups, designers’ groups, and others.
11. Integration of AI in Customer Service
Another major upcoming trend will be incorporating Artificial Intelligence or AI for communication and customer service.
Several social media brands have already integrated chatbots and marketing automation into their marketing strategies. Some of these social platforms are Facebook, Telegram, Slack, Skype, Twitter, Kik, Hipchat, and more.
The latest report by Gartner shows that 25 percent of customer service interactions on social platforms will use virtual customer assistants (VCAs) or chatbot technology by 2020. Brands are scaling up their customer service to be more responsive to their vast audience.
Besides the listed social media trends, many other trends are already making waves. However, it is not feasible to fit everything in one article. I have picked the ones that are getting more attention these days.
If you are a social media marketer, keeping a tab on these trends will help you formulate better social media strategies. If you are a user, staying informed will get you better social experiences.
Let me know what you think of this Hub and share your valuable input by putting comments. I will be back soon.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Sumit Chakrabarti
Rajinder Soni from New Delhi on February 10, 2020:
Social media is the need of the day. Without marketing your content on social media platforms you would not get lot of traffic on your website or blog. Thank you so much for sharing this unique and valuable article with us which will actually help us generate traffic and ultimately help us in earning money from our articles or online business.
Abitha from Chennai, Tamilnadu on January 28, 2020:
We live in interesting and chaotic times! With social media trends reshaping the idea of marketing and becoming more user-centric, a lot of issues will come under the scanner and evolve for the better. What next is a crucial question now!
Sumit Chakrabarti (author) from Kolkata on January 16, 2020:
Thanks, Devika for your comment! Yes, you are right that social media marketing unleashes an innovating form of marketing that was never imagined before. It is opening up new avenues for marketers/brands and allowing consumers to make decisions based on their own social triggers.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 16, 2020:
Social Media has opened the eyes of most generations to see what really works when it comes to marketing and other skills too. Informative and useful to any one in this modern day.
Sumit Chakrabarti (author) from Kolkata on January 15, 2020:
Thanks for your meaningful comment, Mahesh! It is true that social media is the most dynamic form of marketing, and the changes happen here are to keep up with consumers' social demands and fulfill their needs. I appreciate your input!
Suchismita Pradhan from India on January 15, 2020:
Your articles are treasure of important information for the new age.Thanks for sharing.
Mahesh Chandra Gaur on January 15, 2020:
A detailed account of emerging social media marketing trends being adopted by various organizations to draw the customers' attention towards their products or services and enhance their brands' values. Keep it up.
Sumit Chakrabarti (author) from Kolkata on January 14, 2020:
Thank you, Prantika ma'am for your insightful comment. Your range of knowledge and use of excellent vocabulary goes much beyond the travel domain, and it shows from your comment. It's true that digital marketing has drastically changed the marketing techniques from the traditional "brick-and-mortar" to virtual platforms by applying social psychology. And yes, chatbots will be an integral part of the social media customer care going forward. Thanks again for your input!
Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on January 14, 2020:
A relevant article of the digital era when people are more into social media. The market has changed significantly in terms of promoting a product. New strategies have been adopted to make people think more rationally. Chatbots are creating waves and I find them quite effective as it gives me the feeling that I'm talking to a human and not missing the human touch. As a result, I can open up more sharing my requirements more clearly. Keeping a tab on social media trends is essential as most businesses are using various platforms of social media. The power of AI currently cannot be ignored or overlooked.
Sumit Chakrabarti (author) from Kolkata on January 13, 2020:
Thank you, Murali sir for your precious comment. I am glad to know that you keep a tab on social media trends and the aspects of social marketing. Social media marketing has transformed the way marketing has been done over the years. It deviates from typical sales pitches and inclines to "connect" with people on informal social platforms. Applying social psychology plays a crucial role here. It is more about persuasion than forcing someone to buy something. And, yes, social media platforms are going to implement AI-powered customer service for vast coverage of the user base. Thanks for your input!
Sumit Chakrabarti (author) from Kolkata on January 13, 2020:
Thanks a lot, Prateek for your insightful comment! You rightly said that millions of users have made social as an integral part of their lives. From a business perspective as well, social media marketing has opened new avenues of generating leads. I have been writing social media posts for the past 6 years and saw how social media helped businesses grow. Awareness of new updates and trends will make it easier for individual and business users to capitalize more on social platforms. I am glad that you liked the write-up.
Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on January 13, 2020:
Hi Sumit, I was very interested to go through the useful information provided by you on the aspect of social marketing. Now digital marketing using social media is the trend and the market transformation makes it most needed skill for success. You have written a timely article with detailed information. Thank you. It was interesting to know the activity of AI-powered chatbots.
Prateek Jain from Madhya Pradesh, India on January 13, 2020:
Hi sumit sir, your article is very realistic with respect to modern times where everyone is updated their information in social media platforms by way of images or text post. Millions of users spend hours in surfing in social media and use it for various purposes such as to chat and share information or to promote and Advertise their product. Well said about the artificial intelligence integration in customer services. Everyone should be aware of these basic information. It is a must recommend for all to read as many times they would like and gain knowledge from your article. Very well going sir. Waiting for your next article.