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As of January 2019, there were more than 3 billion active social media users across the globe – that’s 3 billion newsfeeds you could potentially feature on.

With so many people and brands with a social media presence, it can be hard to know what to do to ensure your content stands out on their feeds. Unlike other digital marketing tools, social media is constantly evolving, which means marketers and brands have to keep up to stay ahead of their competitors, and most importantly, to stay relevant.

The rise of TikTok

As people’s habits are changing, so is the popularity of different social media platforms. While Facebook continues to be the number one social media platform, TikTok is gaining traction by the day. Originally designed for Gen Z, TikTok is a video-sharing social platform where users create short music, comedy and talent videos. With a growing audience and the introduction of ads to the platform, TikTok is a great opportunity for marketers and brands to tap into this generation and advertise their products and services to.

Social commerce will become a ‘thing’

More brands will use social media in 2020 as a retail channel. Although Instagram Shopping, Pinterest and Facebook Marketplace have long been places where consumers can shop from, more brands are going take advantage of these platforms, especially as the platforms are making it easier for consumers to buy. For example, consumers no longer have to leave a page to make a purchase – they can complete the transaction through the channel.

The use of social listening will grow

We predict that social listening will be a growing social media trend for 2020. More brands will realise they can’t ignore what is being said about them on social media, especially as 54% of social browsers use social media to research products, which means they’ll want to control how they are perceived online. Social listening allows brands to monitor and listen to what is being said about them, their products and competitors, and look at ways they can improve themselves, whether that’s by replying to positive reviews or engaging in conversations about their product.

Brands will use social media as a customer service tool

Social media in 2020 will be used more as a form of customer service. While email and telephone are still the main communication channels, more customers are using social media to contact and communicate with brands because of its convenience. This means that the time brands are expected to respond to a question or complaint is reducing, as customers demand a response within a matter of hours.

Video content will continue to thrive

Stories on Facebook and Instagram will become even more popular in 2020. As people’s attention spans are getting shorter (an average of eight seconds to be exact). Stories allow brands to create quick, snappy content for their consumers and directly link to their product pages.

Live content will dominate social media platforms, especially live streaming. Instagram TV (IGTV) will gain popularity as more brands will start to see the benefit of producing long-form content to talk about their products and services. The customer journey is also slicker as they can educate the consumer and direct them from Stories to IGTV, and straight to a shopping page.

Instagram will remove likes

Finally, our last social media trend for 2020 will be platforms looking at the way they negatively impact users’ mental health. There’s been the talk of Instagram removing likes for a long time, and while the platform has tested it in a beta test, it looks like 2020 will be the year it will be rolled out globally. While it will be harder for brands to measure the direct impact of their campaigns – much to their dismay – it should have a positive impact on people’s mental health.

Those are the social media 2020 trends we’ll be backing for the year ahead. Which ones will you be following?

If you’re looking for help to define your social media strategy, get in touch to speak to one of our in-house specialists!

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