10 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2020

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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New social media trends affect 3.2 billion people worldwide who are active on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis.

Social media has grown in popularity from its early existence in 2005 when only around 5 percent of Americans used social media. Now, 72 percent of people in the U.S. are active on at least one social media platform.

Social media trends change in response to tech improvements such as smarter chatbots and more accessible augmented reality technology.

Other trends are affected by the need to make social media safer for users. Instagram, for example, is reducing the prominence of “likes” to protect vulnerable users from cyberbullying.

To remain competitive, brands need to keep up with the latest tech trends and innovations.

 

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Here are 10 social media trends to watch in 2020.

Changes to make ‘Likes’ less prominent on Instagram

The importance of the “Like” or heart button on Instagram is in decline and this will continue in 2020. The social media giant is now hiding likes on posts in an effort, says the Facebook-owned company to make Instagram “safer” and to counter cyberbullying. This move makes it difficult for brands to gauge the value of influencer marketers who often use likes as a major metric.

Influencer marketing will continue to grow

In the age of social media overload, consumers are becoming more discerning about what they see online. Social media users are now seeking reviews from people they trust when making purchasing decisions. This gives influencer marketing the edge. Brands have noticed this and recent research shows that 59 percent of marketers plan on increasing their influencer budget in 2020.

Video content is king

Video as content has been growing in importance for a number of years and this is expected to continue as one of the key social media trends in 2020. Videos will make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2020, according to SocialMediaWeek. As users have short attention spans and limited time, the focus will be on creative, engaging storytelling that captures user attention in seconds.

The ease of shopping on social media

A few years ago, the thought of shopping from within a social media platform seemed strange but 2019 showed that major players in the social media world are working to make social shopping a massive new trend. As Social Media Today puts it, ” Now, with just a few clicks, you can go from seeing something you like while scrolling Instagram to sharing your credit card information and making a purchase right then and there.”

The rise of micro-influencers

While influencer marketing as an industry is not expected to slow down any time soon, the focus may shift slightly in some cases. A new breed of influencers is on the rise. Micro-influencers, which are social media users with 10,000 or fewer followers that are genuine and considered experts within a particular niche, are getting the best results for brands and businesses, according to Buffer.

A return to direct communication

A growing trend that is likely to continue in 2020 involves users turning to private groups and messaging apps to connect with others. Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Messaging allow us to create more intimate groups where we can share personal info with others. This return to direct communication is visible in that many messaging apps have outgrown social networks. The top messaging apps now combine for nearly 5 billion monthly active users. That’s more users than traditional social networks have worldwide, according to Entrepreneur.

Video stories have spread to multiple social media platforms

Stories began as a Snapchat idea, but soon Instagram and Facebook Stories came out and have been a popular way to interact with users. Stories can provide viewers with more authentic insight, as the videos are often created on the spot. As these video stories disappear rather quickly, usually within 24 hours, this is the perfect time for marketers to capitalize on the fear of missing out and to offer short-term deals that only loyal users will learn to look for, according to SocialMediaToday.

Social media is the place for brands to nurture trust

Brands may use social media platforms for marketing and advertising but they must also remember that these platforms are the best place to nurture trust and build a relationship with their intended audience. Social media offers a great opportunity for communicating brand value and engaging with potential customers on their level. Brands can do this by showing their human side and finding meaningful ways to show social responsibility and a deeper level of social interaction, according to Entrepreneur.

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Augmented reality will become mainstream

Augmented reality technology is expected to make its way into social media in 2020 as a means to bring product discovery, special offers and more to life. An example of his augmented reality is already used by a big company to entice customers is Ikea’s augmented reality app that allows consumers to see what their items will look like in their homes before they decide to purchase, DigitalMediaSolutions reports.

Chatbots aimed at improving customer service

Familiar with the immediate replies that are enabled on some Facebook company pages when a message is sent to the brand in question? These are possible thanks to chatbots. Algorithms are improving chatbots’ effectiveness by allowing them to understand what users are writing to them. Brands no longer have to stock the bots with prepared answers, as chatbots, in some cases, are capable of searching the web to find the answers consumers are seeking. Chatbots are also able to talk to multiple people at the same time, offering a boost to any business’s customer service team. Chatbot intelligence is expected to continue improving in 2020 to the benefit of social media, according to SocialMediaToday.