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What can I expect from social media in 2020?

Social media is an everchanging landscape, with changes to platforms, interfaces, algorithms and people’s usage habits frequently meaning that what may have worked well for you before is falling flat now. Keeping your social media marketing efforts running smoothly means staying abreast of the latest trends, thinking strategically and having the knowledge and skills to get where you want to go.

Here’s some trends in the world of social media to keep an eye on in 2020, so you can keep your social media marketing game on fleek.

Brand are building communities

Big or small, mum and pop bakery or international conglomerate, there’s no shortage of brands with a social media presence, but how many brands can you think of that are genuinely engaging? What brands can you honestly say you look forward to seeing posts from on Facebook? Or to ask the big hairy audacious question: what brands do you really care about, and why do you care about them?

You’re exposed to brand marketing on a regular basis, but you can probably count the brands that you really engage with on one hand. There’s no shortage of brands with enormous followings on social media that create content that their followers really aren’t interested in. This leads to the question: how do you make your ideal customer care about who you are and what you do?

Disney is a great example of social media community-building done right – from videos showing Disney fans of all ages and life stages sharing the love, to content appealing to communities of fans from particular areas, of particular movies, etc.

Marketers are increasingly getting into this territory, which combines marketing with community engagement to build a networked community of advocates for a brand. An active community of brand evangelists who love what you do and feel linked to each other is a fantastic asset for a business. Marketing guru Seth Godin’s advice to “find your tribe” rings true – and great marketers helps tribe members to find each other.

The way we use social media is changing

It doesn’t seem that long ago that Facebook was the undisputed king of social media, with Twitter a close second – but with the numbers of both platforms on the wane as Instagram’s numbers rise, and alternative platforms such as Tiktok gaining steam rapidly, great changes are afoot in the social media space. It can be hard to keep up with these changes, and many a business owner has found themselves scratching their head.
Different platforms suit themselves to different media and audiences, with Tiktok particularly effective in B2C marketing to the younger crowd, and Pinterest particularly resonating with women aged 25+.

Of course, this only scratches the surface of how social media is being used today – here at Glide, we create content for everything from Facebook to WeChat! Combined with the backlash against cheesy influencers and the trend of the digital detox, the fascinating and ever-changing way that users interact with brands on social media is well worth keeping your eye on.

A key takeaway from this unpredictability is: don’t keep all your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing. Changes to algorithms, platforms or the way people interact with platforms can impact your ROI, while a lack of understanding of what platforms could work to achieve your goals may mean you’re leaving money on the table.

Social media as a dialogue with brands

We’ve covered building engaged communities on social media, but what about your relationship with your customers on an individual basis? The stereotype that millennials love spending time on their smartphones but hate making actual phone calls rings true, meaning that if you’re waiting around for your phone to ring, a large demographic will be wondering why they can’t just message you on social media instead. And let’s face it, this phenomenon isn’t confined to millennials – ever waited on hold for half an hour, or had to make half a dozen calls to ask a simple question? Shudder.

Responsiveness is key to harnessing social media as a tool to generate leads or deliver customer service: if you take days (or even hours) to reply to an enquiry, there’s a good chance the interested party will have gone somewhere else.

You can make this process smoother by using a chatbot to answer the questions that come up regularly, so that your customer can get an answer in an instant; and make sure that you have notifications set up on your phone, so that you’re not leaving opportunities in the lurch. Easy!

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