What should be in your 2020 Social Media Strategy?

3.5 million New Zealanders use social media (We Are Social), so it makes sense that marketers should be active on social platforms in the hope of connecting with their target audience. 

Thanks to the mass flocking of marketers, competition on social media can be stifling, making it difficult for you to stand out. But, staying on top of the latest social media trends (and integrating them into your strategy) can help you stand out in the crowd. 

To keep you ahead, here are eight social media trends we think you should have the heads-up on for 2020.

Stories are here to stay

Ephemeral content (content that is only available for a limited duration) is here to stay. 

Sorry if stories aren’t your thing YET… But we told you back in March 2019 that stories are taking over, and we’re backing that up now by saying stories need to be a key part of your social strategy in 2020. 

It’s common knowledge that attention spans are getting shorter, and content habits have also changed to reflect this. Stories are short, engaging, and addictive in a way that allows people to spend their time scrolling through one story after another. You can see the popularity of Stories in the daily active users graphic below.

Businesses getting ahead on social media have taken note of this trend; 64% of marketers either already have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to (Hootsuite). In fact, 1/3 of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses (Instagram). So get on board with this format of content if you haven’t already! 

Check out our blog for more on how to get the most out of Stories.

Video Content Will (again) Dominate

Video content rose to the stage in the last few years and will continue to dominate in 2020. Whether it’s short-form videos like those on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos are still the future of social media content. 

According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. It’s therefore vital (if you want to get the best possible reach) to ensure you’re harnessing the power of video in your social media strategy. 

DID YOU KNOW: Marketers that use video grow revenue roughly 49% faster than non-video users (Wordstream). So, if you’re not currently creating videos, start. To put it bluntly, anyone without videos in their content strategy will absolutely have a harder time being heard.

It can be frustrating if you don’t have video content to use, but Facebook now has some really great, easy-to-use tools which enable you to string together even still images to build a video.

Personalisation is now Paramount

Personalisation in marketing isn’t a new trend by any means, because consumers respond well to content that is targeted to their likes and wants. If you’re not thinking about this yet, you will be after this. 

Tailoring your social media posts to a variety of different consumer segments isn’t always easy. But any promoted content can; and should be customised to as many target segments as you’re aiming to reach. If you’re aiming to reach multiple user groups, we don’t recommend using the same piece of content. 

To aid personalisation, social media platforms have started providing advanced targeting and customisation options for marketers. These let you show the right ads to the right people at the right times, so start using this alongside tailored creative. 

Doing so means your promoted (most influential) content is being seen by users who are more likely to be engaged with your product, meaning you connect with them quicker… And shorten the journey from stranger to customer!

Social Media for Customer Service

Social media started as a platform for people to connect with their network, but now it’s also used for e-commerce, product discovery, and more recently customer service & social listening. 

83% of consumers expect a brand to be on social media (Sprout Social). So, with consumers reaching out to brands on social media, the transition to social becoming a customer service channel is well-underway. Rather than the one-off question or complaint coming through on social media channels, there is often a constant feed of comments, questions (and of course, still the occasional complaint) that needs to be managed.

In 2020, brands who haven’t already grasped social media as a significant customer service channel should recognise & and invest in it as one. Social is the representation of your brand online, and with that comes huge visibility. Anything posted on social media has the ability to endorse or discredit your brand, so it’s vital for brands to apply equally; if not more effort to their social customer service as much as anywhere else. 

Find out how you can nail community management here.

Digital Detox is a Thing

There are now 3.484 billion social media users across the globe (Smart Insights).

This is a 9% increase compared to last year. That equates to 45% of the world’s population being on social media. 

Despite this, a new (and healthy) movement is surfacing. We’re all-for the ‘Digital Detox’, ie deleting apps and profiles OR just taking a break from caring about social media for a while - whatever that looks like for you. 

You probably wouldn’t guess these next numbers… Only 6% of social users have ever removed an app from their phone, similarly, only 6% have ever permanently deleted their accounts. 8% have both deleted their accounts and removed social media mobile apps (Exposure Ninja). 
We advocate for using social media as a tool to benefit people in a good way. If social gives you anxiety, ditch it for a while. It’s not a Tamagotchi pet, it will still be alive and thriving when (if) you get back. 

Our MD, Mary Cullingford says, “We’re at a point in time where we (most people) know social media will be part of our lives. Finding a balance in how we use social, and how it benefits the human race is something we need to conquer right now. Young minds are vulnerable, so it’s up to us grown-up’s (AKA woke adults) to teach young people that social media can be a wonderful thing, however, it is a tool for connecting and making life better, not for comparison."

Why are we encouraging something that will not financially benefit our industry? 
Because we believe it will, in the long run.  

With users tuning out of social media, it’s important that any social media presence you have is as real, and as meaningful as possible. We’re into that. 
Your brand needs to offer more than memes bad clipart. You need to deliver content & customer care that has a positive and memorable impact on your audience. The winners in 2020 will be brands that people WANT to engage with when they jump on social media to ask their friends a question, or research a topic, or plan an event, etc.

Social Commerce will Further Expand

This year saw the rise of Shopping on Instagram, and with its success, social commerce is a market unto its own, only to get bigger. 

It’s fair to say, social commerce has rapidly become a mainstream retail channel to match websites and the OG retail experience. If you haven’t bought anything off social yet, wipe off the moss from that stone you’re hiding under and get on Instagram for your next purchase. 

It’s 99.99% likely that more social networks will release tools to aid users in-app shopping experiences, introducing more pro-selling features like shoppable posts.

Create your own Community

While this advice is not new, it’s definitely something that’s becoming more popular as group functions and opportunities unfold across all the major social media sites.

Communities are groups (not pages) created (often by brands) on social media to provide more of a ‘networking-feel’ or educational, etc vibe. They can be public or private, it’s a place where people (often like-minded) can join & talk about their shared interests. 

While sharing posts that you believe your target audience will enjoy is part of maintaining your social media presence, you also need to encourage and cultivate conversation with broader objectives than just a like or share.

If you’re looking for an example, check out our free Facebook Group, Social School. We created this group for small business owners, and anyone else trying to get a grip on social media marketing, to seek advice, learn, and more.

To infinity, and beyond!

You’ve got our views on some of the trends that will dominate social media in 2020 and beyond. Leverage these trends to your advantage, your audience will thank you for it! 

If you’re thinking about strategy and that's feeling a little scary, or you want an expert team to help with running your campaign, get in touch! We'd love to help.