It is that time of the year once again, where you are reviewing how the year has been and you want to come up with your new year’s resolutions. And we, the social media experts and ‘thought leaders’ are starting to churn out our predictions for what’s coming from various social media trends and platforms in the twelve months ahead.

Saying that most people spend a good part of their days on social media would not be an exaggeration. Not in today’s world. Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and daily routines. Some are addicted to it so much that the first thing they do after waking up is to check their social media feeds. Thanks to technological advances and a change of consumer behavior, by 2020 social media will provide consumers a unique and comprehensive understanding of products, services and experiences before they purchase. The reliance upon social media helping us as consumers make informed choices on decisions will only increase.

 

Let’s fast forward to 2020 and look at how social media will be playing a big part for your brand.

 

1. More and more “social on social” community will arise.

This would not come as a surprise as the more people get connected, the greater the community will be and grow.

With many social media supporting group like features, this makes it much easier to form a mini social network community around certain topics.

In the future, I think, as more and more such type communities are formed, the information in certain niche or topics can be easily found or filtered.

Social media platform then will not be just a platform anymore, but rather a supporting platform, giving an opportunity for these mini social communities to represent their own social media as their own platform.

2. Ephemeral Content Will Keep Gaining Popularity.

Ephemeral content is something that is available only for a short duration and disappears afterwards. Instagram and Snapchat Stories are perfect examples of this type of content.

Today, people’s attention spans are short and the way they like to consume content has also changed. This is why content formats like Stories have become popular. They are short, engaging, and addictive in a way that people can spend hours scrolling through one Story after another.

This is evident by the substantial rise in Instagram Stories’ daily active users. Marketers have taken notice of this trend and will continue to leverage it to their advantage. Another study suggests that brands post a Story once in four days, again, proving the point that these are getting more and more popular.

 

 3. Niche Social Platforms Will Perform Well.

Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media as the largest and most popular platforms. However, in recent years, several other niche social media platforms have not only emerged but have significantly risen to fame.

TikTok, for example, is one such platform that started in 2016 and immediately gained popularity among youth. B2B companies prefer LinkedIn for their social media initiatives, while the gaming community flocks to Twitch. There are several such alternative social media platforms that are gaining popularity and will continue doing so in 2020 and beyond.

 

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4. Instagram Will Remove Likes.

Instagram is one of the largest social networks and there is the possibility of Instagram removing the likes feature for posts. The logic that it has given is that likes determine a person’s social value and waiting for such validation is detrimental to people’s mental health.

However, there are a lot of people who outright reject the reason and think that Instagram wants to implement this change to earn more. Brands pay enormous sums of money to influencers to promote their products. None of this money goes to Instagram. In fact, influencer marketing has become so popular that brands are moving away from traditional marketing methods like advertising.

If Instagram removes likes then brands won’t be able to measure the direct impact of their campaigns as easily as they do now. This might encourage some brands to invest in Instagram Ads as they can easily track the ROI for those.

 

5. Social Commerce Will Expand.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook have long been used by brands to sell their products. Social commerce has become a new retail avenue for brands and this trend is only going to get stronger.

Social commerce is well on its way to becoming a mainstream retail channel on par with other mediums like websites and offline stores. This trend will strengthen further with more and more social networks introducing pro-selling features like shoppable posts.

From shoppable posts to Instagram Storefronts, social networks are continuously evolving to become retail platforms. Brands and marketers will leverage these and incorporate social commerce in their sales strategies.

 

6. Increase in the Use of Social Media for Customer Service.

Customer service is always going to be a vital aspect of providing a good customer experience, but in the digital age, the customer service you offer is a lot more visible to everyone online. As well as online customer reviews, customer complaints and issues are easier to find than ever before due to the fact that a lot of them are shared on social media.

It has become a retail platform, a product discovery platform, and now, even a customer service channel. A lot of brands have started recognizing social media networks as platforms for delivering customer service.

This transition happened gradually as brands started noticing that a lot of customers try to reach out to them on social media. This may be because of a lack of response on other channels or just because it was a more direct way to reach the brands.

It goes without saying that brands started responding to such messages and directing those customers to the right channels.

Fast-forward a few years, and imagine the number of such interactions growing multifold. It’s not just some one-off cases where customers post their questions or complaints on social media and brands respond. Now, it has become a significant enough customer service channel for brands to recognise it as one.

And, it is one of the most important customer service channels, owing to the massive repercussions of not handling a customer well in front of other users. So, it becomes all the more important for brands to handle these customers well.

7. User-Generated Content Will Continue to Be Popular.

Brands leveraging user-generated content is not a new trend but is a trend that is still going strong and will continue to do so. The only thing that has changed is the rate of adoption, with more and more marketers utilizing UGC.

No matter how you want to leverage UGC, you should have a place for it in your content mix. User-generated content is free and is considered much more authentic than branded content. It can help your brand seem more trustworthy and can do wonders for your image.

So, if you have never experimented with user-generated content for your social media profiles, it’s time that you start using it.

8. Video Content Will Dominate.

Video content is one of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate the social media a clear winner over all other types of content. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos are the future of social media content.

Studies show that 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start utilizing video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.

If you’re not currently creating videos, it is time that you include it in your content strategy. In the near future, videos will dominate social media and anyone who doesn’t realize that will have a tough time.

9. Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Soar.

One benefit of building social media communities is the fact that they help with word-of-mouth marketing, which is another big social media marketing trend for 2020. Communities allow you to engage with nano or micro-influencers who are already advocates of your brand in order to get them to share honest views and experiences of your products or services.

We all know that influencers have been around for a while and they have now become an expected part of the social media experience. The adoption of this trend can be seen from both perspectives. One can be seen by the sheer rise in the number of influencers on social media. Second can be seen by the increase in marketing spend on influencer marketing by businesses.

Investing in influencers is much cheaper than running paid ad campaigns and yet it delivers good results. Moreover, influencers can help marketers achieve a variety of marketing goals and not just generate leads. These are the two main reasons why it has become so popular and is continuously getting stronger and bolder.

 

10.  Product discovery becomes more visual (and social).

Almost half of internet users follow brands they like or brands they are thinking of buying something from on social media. Search engines, online reviews, and PR are the traditional discovery channels. But by 2020, we’ll see dramatic growth in five areas:

·         Visual searches

At least 50% of searches by 2020 are going to be through images or speech. A lot of the future of search is going to be about pictures instead of keywords.”

·         Voice control

Voice will help to make searching (and typing) easier. Voice technology helps consumers who have lower levels of reading literacy, making it a key technology for the next billion consumers about to come online for the first time. This will both change how consumers discover products and how they communicate on social channels—a new set of digital behaviors that marketers will need to adapt to.

·         Messaging apps

Facebook predicts that by 2020, 80 percent of smartphone users are projected to be using a mobile messaging app. Customer service is one of the most obvious use cases. But many local businesses are using messaging apps as their primary customer communication hub. This opens the door for conversational commerce to extend far beyond messaging, with messaging apps becoming the center of mobile commerce, customer relationship management workflows, and product discovery.

·         Chatbots

From product galleries on Instagram to product launches on Facebook Live, social content is already used by younger demographics to discover and evaluate products. As more consumers research potential purchases on social networks, it’s a short leap to buying directly on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram.

Chatbots will help consumers transition to social commerce, making it easy and seamless to discover products, ask questions, process digital payments, and see automatic updates on your order’s delivery date.

11.  Adoption of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

As the world develops, as so technologies. The much talked about in recent years are AI and AR.

By 2020, we’ll see more practical uses of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in marketing. Amazon, for example, are exploring how to use AR to help consumers to try on virtual clothes and explore products. Snapchat’s Geofilters and Lens functions have been broadly adopted in marketing campaigns including creating location-specific videos to influence nearby customers such as event attendees or pedestrians near a store location.

Social platforms will obviously continue to push mobile AR features, as novelty always boosts user engagement (both for new features and ad campaigns by early adopters). Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Bitmoji, WeChat, and QQ are social messaging platforms that will use AR to boost advertising revenue.

12.  Become the primary source of news information.

As the internet slowly replacing TV and newspapers, more and more people prefer to consume information especially news on the internet.Many internet users will see the breaking stories on their feed and go to the news sites to learn more.

This is because the information is spread out so fast on social media. From one person to another and eventually the whole world knows about it. Facebook and Twitter have become the main source of news. The moment something important happen, you can instantly see that the topic’s hashtag becomes trending.

And that’s all for the 20 social media future trends 2020 and how they have the potential to evolve. Many of them are happening right now and we can clearly observe this, and the trend is rising as well. As more and more people depend on technologies and connections using the internet, social media will continue to evolve.

Read More:

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So what do you think of these trends? Do you have any other ideas or logical reasons for how social media will evolve in this near future? Let me know in the comment section

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