New year, new social media tricks. 2020 is almost here and the social media world continues to evolve.

From improved branding, better product discovery, different approaches to analytics, the continued growth of video and so much more, there is a lot for social media gurus to learn and adapt to this year.

Here are seven social media trends for 2020 that all social media managers and businesses should keep their eyes on.

1. Likes will be less important.

We love metrics as much as anyone else in tune with social media. However, it’s always important to focus on the metrics that matter. In 2020, look for likes to become less of a useful metric.

Take Instagram, for example. The photo and video platform has already begun rolling out keeping likes private here in the United States. Only the user who posted the photo or video will be able to see the likes under this new setup.

Instagram has said the goal of hiding likes is to make the platform a safer space on the internet, a way to take the pressure off people who maybe put a little too much stock into how many people tap a heart on an app.

This is likely a great move for individuals, but it’s also good news for brands and businesses. It shows why gathering thumbs up and heart counts is not everything even for social media marketers. Rather, it’s more important to focus on engagement and posting quality content that helps a business accomplish its goals on social media networks.

2. Social media will become vital in ecommerce

For most retailers and product sellers, social media started off as a way to advertise, build brand awareness and interact with customers who fit that brand’s personality. Ecommerce strategies for selling products directly through social media have been sorely lacking.

Expect that to change soon.

Once again, Instagram is leading the charge here by letting businesses to sell their products in its visual content. Other platforms may soon follow.

That means businesses need to know exactly how they can best reach mobile-first customers, those who likely belong to younger generations that have skipped shopping online via computers and almost exclusively shop via smartphones and tablets.

3. Brands will strengthen customer service on social

Many major brands have already looked to social media as a funnel for handling customer service. A great approach to customer service goes a long way in forming a positive customer experience. When it’s handled over social media, that service is public - and can really help a brand’s image.

Customers have never been afraid to seek out help from businesses or leave reviews about them on social media. In efforts to take advantage of building on positive public interactions that occur on social networks, expect more businesses to take proactive approaches this year to beefing up their customer service on social media.

4. Community-building will become a focus

With a growing focus on meaningful interactions, brands are looking for better ways of engaging with their loyal customers. One way we are seeing this is in efforts by brands to build communities where their most loyal followers can engage with them on a deeper, often more personal level - and with fellow followers, too.

These communities are great for brands and their customers. They encourage better interactions and can really help a brand establish a strong personality. Audiences on social media want more meaningful connections with the brands they follow. This focus on community provides that.

Some ideas for building better communities for your customers could include creating an open or even private Facebook group for particular segments of your audience. That could be your most loyal customers or customers who fit a specific customer persona. Another strategy is conducting chats on Twitter.

5. More customers will research products on social networks.

For years, customers have researched products on the internet by reading reviews and comparing one product with its competition. More and more, though, potential customers are not just researching products, but the brands themselves. It makes sense, then, that almost half of internet users follow on social media brands they like or are considering buying from.

Social media hasn’t quite caught up to search engines in terms of product research, but it’s closing the gap every year.

That’s why in 2020 it will be critical for brands to be on top of their visual content and messaging games on their social platforms. Shoppers doing their due diligence before making a purchase will want visuals and ways to have questions answered.

6. Video will remain king on social.

For many businesses, video content has quickly become some of their most successful on social media and across the internet in general.

According to Social Media Week, 82 percent of all internet traffic is made up by video. Both social media networks and the brands that use them have taken notice. The networks continue to prioritize video over other types of content.

For brands, that means there will need to be a continued focus on how to produce better video that creates quality and meaningful engagement with audiences.

7. Monitor new and emerging platforms.

First it was Snapchat that was trying to draw attention from Facebook, Instagram and the other social media juggernauts. While Snapchat hasn’t gone away, there are new platforms that are now trying to establish themselves as successful social media networks.

The fastest-growing of these is TikTok, a video sharing platform that is taking the social media world by storm, particularly among younger users. While networks such as Facebook and Twitter have seen drops in total active users, TikTok is growing exponentially. The platform now boasts 500 million active users around the world.

For business-to-consumer brands that have younger audiences, consider TikTok a near-necessity in your social media plan for 2020. Jump on board soon and you could get soem bonus credibility for being an early adopter.

Make 2020 your business’s best year on social media

Overseeing a business’s social media accounts takes a lot of time. Let Emagine help you develop a social media marketing strategy that creates results for your business.

Schedule a free consultation today!

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