In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, many times the only constant is change. The new decade promises to be no exception, as different social media platforms emerge and long-established strategies for reaching audiences on social continue to shift. Fear not — the social media experts at Scooter Media are here with everything you need to know to take your brand’s social media profiles to new heights in the New Year.
Here are a few of the most important social media trends to keep in mind in 2020:
Trend #1: Social Seals the Deal in the Customer Journey
For a long time, social media was primarily viewed as a tool for attracting audiences at the top of the sales funnel, helping to familiarize potential customers with the basics of your brand or business. However, thanks to more sophisticated tracking tools as well as new features like Instagram’s “Shoppable Stickers,” social media is now helping to bridge the top and bottom of the funnel by becoming an important part of the conversion and closing stages of the customer journey.
How can your brand or business take advantage of this trend? Most importantly, if your business is not already using techniques that will help to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your social media marketing efforts, now is the time to start. For example, all of your brand’s social media posts should utilize a UTM tracking code that will help you to clearly understand how much traffic your posts are driving — and, even more importantly, which business objectives they are achieving.
Brands can also benefit by using this data to get a better snapshot of the role social media plays in their company’s broader PR and marketing mix. By shifting your perspective and viewing social media holistically — rather than as a siloed part of your business — you can begin to understand how social can complement your other activities in the digital and physical marketing spaces.
Trend #2: TikTok Takes Over
Much ado has been made about TikTok, the rapidly growing social media platform that allows users to create and consume videos and “meme-worthy” content. The channel now boasts over 800 million monthly active users, who are spending an average of 46 minutes per day consuming addictive bite-sized videos featuring popular songs, celebrities, and more.
Despite this meteoric growth, you shouldn’t rush to get your brand on board the buzz-worthy platform just yet. For one, TikTok appeals almost exclusively to a Generation Z audience, as nearly 70% of the channel’s users are between the ages of 16 and 24. Additionally, the channel’s fun and playful tone is not necessarily a good fit for many brands; if your business has more serious messages to convey, it is probably best to look toward other platforms where they might be welcomed by more mature audiences.
Even if your brand won’t be taking over TikTok in 2020, the platform’s incredible growth still holds several key takeaways for social media marketers. For one, the channel’s quirky and unpolished nature points to the growing importance of authenticity on social media as more and more users begin to look past the so-called “Instagram aesthetic”; as one 15-year-old stated in a recent interview with The Atlantic, “it’s not cool anymore to be manufactured.”
Trend #3: Closed Channels Click with Key Audiences
Although social media may have risen to prominence as a way for people to put the spotlight on their public personas, that paradigm is shifting as audiences seek more intimate, one-on-one interactions via platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Even Mark Zuckerberg boldly announced that “the future of social is private” during Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference last year, pointing to the company’s investment in innovative ideas such as Instagram Threads where users can connect with close friends in more intimate settings.
For brands that have built their social media presence on public pages with high visibility, this shift can present something of a challenge — but also a tremendous opportunity. A great way to get started with developing one-on-one interactions with your fans is to experiment with adding the “Send Message” button to your brand’s sponsored Facebook posts; using this button, users can opt to begin a one-on-one conversation with your business, allowing to more deeply interact with target audiences.
If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to ignite more intimate interactions with audiences, Headspace is a fantastic case study. The popular meditation app uses its public social media pages such as Facebook and Instagram to promote its product as well as the health benefits of meditation; however, the company also maintains a closed Facebook group called “Everybody Headspace” in which users of the platform are able to connect with each other, ask their own questions about meditation, and seek support. Although Headspace owns the group, the brand keeps the channel free of product promotion and instead uses the channel as a way to foster relationships with its key consumers.
Indeed, it is this kind of relationship-building that brand managers would be wise to keep in mind throughout all of their social media marketing efforts in 2020. Whether it’s using social media as a way to convert leads into customers or turning to emerging platforms such as TikTok to reach new audiences, reconnecting with the aspects of your brand that are the most human will go a long way toward helping your business become successful on social media.
Scooter Media is Your Social Media Resource
Scooter Media is your resource for navigating the ins and outs of the always-changing world of social media. Looking for more social media tips? Get started with our primer on “The ABCs of Successful Social Media Campaigns,” then take it to the next level with our guides to scheduling your social media posts and understanding the basics of social media analytics.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in Greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media.