Social media is now a firm fixture of our day-to-day routines, and it’s set to stay that way. Since the creation of Facebook in 2004 and Instagram in 2010, social media has developed to become something so many of us can’t live without (and are even becoming addicted to).
As social media has come to be such a prominent feature in our lives, businesses and organisations are increasingly turning to social media platforms to target and engage their audience, in the hopes of helping their strategy to stand out against that of their competitors. In today’s post, we’re breaking down a handful of social media trends we can expect to see in 2020 and the impact they’re expected to have on the marketing strategies to come, so your business can stay ahead of the digital crowd.
The ever-growing importance of ephemeral content
Ephemeral content is, by definition, something that’s only available for a short period of time. Think Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook stories, which are designed to elicit an immediate reaction, and, as a result, boost engagement.
This 24-hour spotlight on your content could be the key to your business’s success in 2020, as marketing experts continue to place greater and greater emphasis on tangible engagement. With the power to create an information explosion using just seconds of viewing time, ephemeral content is a savvy way to keep users ‘in the know’ about your business efficiently and effectively. Hence, ephemeral content is creeping its way into the daily routine of millenials thanks to its speedy delivery of useful information.
So, it’s no surprise that ephemeral content is set to be an extremely effective way to increase brand recognition in 2020. Throughout 2019, we’ve increasingly seen fast-fashion brands share funny, dynamic and engaging content that creates an instant bond between the user and the brand, from meme culture to adorable animal-centric content that leaves users with no option but to hit the ‘share’ button. While ephemeral content may not necessarily contribute directly to the long-term perception of your brand, it’s fast becoming the key to hooking your target audience, and drawing in those all-important followers.
A focus on content over likes
This year, Instagram announced its plans to remove the visibility of likes on posts – yes, you read that correctly. As one of the most influential platforms in the social media landscape, this revolutionary update seeks to place less importance on users requiring validation for their content. Instead of displaying the number of likes received on a post, it will now appear as ‘liked by [username] and others’.
While this signals an inspiring change towards social media providing a more positive environment for its users, we can expect to see a huge change in the way Instagram operates, too. Without the ‘number of likes’ feature, it will be much more difficult for brands to measure the direct impact of their marketing campaigns. As a result, influencer marketing as we know it will experience an overhaul, with brands looking to collaborate with big, weighty household names in an aim to increase their perceived authority.
Video content domination
With 45.6 million people estimated to watch digital video content at least once each month in the UK, creating eye-catching video content will become an essential component of any social media strategy – with this format having gone from strength to strength in recent years. Short-form videos have already stolen the spotlight in light of the rise of ephemeral content and the explosion of platform TikTok – and this dynamic content format is set to stand its ground throughout 2020.
Videos are a fun, versatile way to deliver engaging content that offers a real-life snippet of what’s going on behind the curtain of your brand – all while offering the potential for a meaningful return on investment. Instagram has capitalised on this, introducing Instagram TV (IGTV) which allows smaller accounts to share 10-minute videos and enables larger accounts to share videos of up to an hour in length. Whether your brand chooses to share exclusive content, create a video series or share the latest news, Instagram TV is set to take the mobile world by storm thanks to its digestible, engaging and entertaining content.
The likes of Facebook, Google and Instagram have been updating their algorithms endlessly over the last few years, changing the order in which we view content on our feed on a personal basis. It goes without saying that the more targeted your content is to its audience, the more successful your marketing campaign will be – and there’s no better way to capture the user’s attention than designing something based on their activity.
In 2020, expect to see marketers fine-tuning their organic and paid social media marketing strategies with the aim of delivering the right information at the right time – whether in the form of entertaining ephemeral content or informative 30-second videos. Better yet, brands will give users a voice through user-generated content to enhance their brand’s image and, in turn, grow its following. As a result, marketers will aim to use social media to build a thriving community around their brand, driving maximum user input and winning the loyalty of those users as their reward.
As social media becomes an increasingly core element of daily life, platforms will continue to evolve in unimaginable ways – transforming our scrolling, clicking and sharing habits as we know them.
While we can’t help with your social media addiction, we can certainly help with your social media strategy. Get in touch to talk to our expert team of social media marketers about your brand-building aspirations today.