7 Social Media & Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

Because social media changes so often, it’s crucial to find out what is starting to trend and to stay up-to-date with the current and most popular happenings across various channels.

While building a genuine connection with your online audience through relevant and entertaining information is always the gold standard in social media, there are a few social media trends in 2020 that it’s time to pay attention to.

1) TikTok Will Continue to Grow

TikTok now has 1.5 billion users and should continue to grow in 2020. This app, which many believe is similar to Vine (which was acquired in 2012 then shut down by Twitter in 2017), could lend to its popularity. TikTok allows users to lip-sync and do choreography to known songs, as well as original pieces of audio that are created by other users.

Overall, there isn’t a lot of companies on TikTok presently, but done right, this could be a good opportunity for brands. Celebrities like Howie Mandel and Bob Saget are active on TikTok to promote their TV and hosting gigs, whereas other celebrities like Reese Witherspoon get actual news coverage when they join the platform. The main point of TikTok is to share feel-good videos that are funny and make people laugh. Many memes and songs have become popular because of TikTok, and the trend will only continue.

2) Time Spent Watching Video Will Increase

According to marketing agency Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts for 2019, the current amount of time spent watching video is 84 minutes. The study reports that it will only increase up to 100 minutes by 2021. That’s over 21 days a year (and increasing) that users are spent watching video across multiple platforms, mostly mobile.

The approximately 1.5 hours spent watching video daily also counts social media videos, like Instagram and Snapchat Stories, which are watched regularly by millions of users. Instagram Stories, in particular, has 500 million active daily Story users, as of January 2019 according to Statista. Combined with the growth of TikTok, which is completely video-based, watching video online will take up more and more shares of overall social media usage.

3) More Ways to Buy on Social

With Pinterest and Instagram allowing users to buy products directly through shopping links quickly and easily, it is easier than ever for users to buy products on social media.

According to the social sharing tool AddThis, users are ready to live in the world of shopping on social media. 78% report they use Facebook to discover and find new products to purchase and 30% say they are ready to shop completely on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Facebook does allow you to offer and sell products completely through its platform. You can also run ads to these products, offering a complete experience for users to find, learn, and buy your product directly on a social media platform.

4) You (or Someone You Know) Will Consider Starting a Podcast

The majority of Americans have listened to a podcast, according to statistics compiled by Convince and Convert. The time spent listening to podcasts on a daily or weekly basis will likely continue to trend upward, giving the time spent considering if it’s right for your brand validity.

However, even though podcasts may continue to be a trend through social media and other online platforms, it doesn’t mean they are going to be the right choice for every company. While considering a podcast can be valid, deciding to do one comes down to current competition and what is already being covered in your specific niche. For instance, there are already several dozen marketing podcasts available to listen to.

Launching another marketing podcast that doesn’t have a unique angle will likely not see the type of growth that comes from a very niche podcast in an area that hasn’t been done yet. For instance, a podcast just about Facebook Ads would likely be more popular than a new podcast about social media advertising as a whole. Consider how niche your podcast could go in order to be of interest to your audience (by being something new they haven’t heard of before).

5) More Use of AI and Chatbots

Using artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbot programming to interface with current and potential customers will continue to grow as a communication method on social media. The previously linked AddThis post mentioned that 70% of social media users say they would buy a product through a messenger or chatbot window. This lack of hesitation presents a valuable opportunity for social media advertisers who wish to reach customers in a new way.

There are several services out there that allow companies to build chatbots relatively easily, and AI technology can be harnessed through APIs to make the best use out of communication technology to reach customers. Whether it’s through an app like Facebook Messenger or via a chat form on your website, consider using these types of automated services to reach more users, more often.

6) Digital Detox Will Increase

Ironically, while video and social media apps like TikTok will grow in 2020, social media trends may power a movement for less time spent on specific apps and to do a “digital detox.” According to Smart Insights, 29% of users remove social media apps on their phone because they felt overloaded by it.

Because of this, you can reasonably expect social media users to stick to spending their time on only one or two social media platforms instead of all of the biggest ones like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Users will start to niche down and only spend time on the ones that bring them the most benefit mentally (by helping them relax, connect with friends, or laugh). Other apps that don’t see as active with people they presently want to engage with won’t be used as often.  This gives brands the prime opportunity to interact with users on the specific platform their target audience prefers (instead of attempting to do everything at once).

7) Microinfluencers Will Make a Difference

It’s not just about the online influencers that have millions or even hundreds of thousands of followers anymore. Brands are finding out that micro- and nano-influencers are bringing in a good amount of sales as well. Studies have shown that consumers trust influencers when it comes to product recommendations and reviews, even those that have smaller audiences.

If your company does any influencer marketing, consider spending your campaign budget across a few smaller influencers instead of just one large one. You may get more exposure, especially if you partner with them to do a social media giveaway or contest. This can motivate an influencer’s audience to learn more about your product and share their information. Just don’t have any requirements in the giveaway that are against any platform’s terms of service where the contest will be shared.

Key Takeaways: Social Media & Marketing Trends Going into 2020

Social media continues to change in trends and usage every year, so taking the time now to brush up on what’s next for 2020 can help your social media campaigns get more leverage and results.

Here are a couple points from above you should consider:

  • Utilizing video, microinfluencers, and other trends mentioned above enables brands to reach a larger audience in a new way.
  • Offering products for sale on additional platforms like Facebook or Pinterest makes it easier than ever for customers to make a purchase.

While the list above surely doesn’t encompass all the trends for 2020, they can give you a head start for planning the next three to six months!