2020 social media trends

New features offered by your favorite platforms may help drive leads, nurture customers and encourage loyalty.

Illustrated men and women using their phones engaging with social media, texting and calling.

Hindsight is 2020 and we want to be sure you don’t look back on this decade wishing you had leveraged all the organic social media marketing opportunities possible to move the needle in your business.

Leading up to this decade we saw a rise in consumer expectations around engagement and the trend toward deeper, relationship-building communication. Additionally, our favorite platforms have added useful features, and platforms many of us have been skeptical about for a while have really started to gain traction.

Check out what’s happening with popular social platforms to get your digital marketing strategy for 2020 kicked off right. Let’s begin with our insights on current consumer trends.

Consumer insights driving social media trends in 2020

  • 52% of brand discovery online happens in public social feeds. (We are Social and Hootsuite, Digital 2019)

This means that social feeds still matter and investing in a social media strategy that focuses on organic and paid social media content is a must. Keep in mind that although discovery is paramount for amplification, nurturing new audience members is key for loyalty and longevity.

  • 52% of consumers say they get frustrated when brands don’t offer any human interaction. (Invoka, New Invoka Research conduced by the Harris Poll)

Consumers follow hundreds of brands, news outlets and influencers across several social media platforms. Despite that, they still take time to engage with brands by leaving comments and asking questions. Brands who jump at the opportunity to engage and implement a strong social management strategy will find more success than those who don’t. And don’t be afraid to supplement human interaction with chat bots.

  • 60% of internet users said they had watched a video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram in the past month. (Globalwebindex, Social Media Flagship Report, 2019)

Video is still the king of content right now when it comes to engagement, and we’re not talking about high production brand videos and social media ads. We’re talking about raw, unpolished, behind-the-scenes snapshots like the ones found on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram Stories. Consumers want to see real people interacting in an authentic way. Consumers are skeptical of highly edited anything — photos and videos — and look more and more to influencers, ambassadors and real people to show how products perform and companies conduct themselves.

  • Over 80% of Instagram users say the app helps them make purchasing decisions. (B2C, 6 Massive eCommerce Predictions to Watch Out for in 2020)

Instagram is working hard at creating a seamless interest-based, e-commerce experience. Brands would be wise to start nurturing shoppers now by creating meaningful sales content that illustrates lifestyle, builds community and adds value for when shopping features become scalable and available to all.

What’s new with our favorite social media platforms in 2020

Facebook

Facebook has been working hard to improve profitability for advertisers by incorporating new ad performance testing features, more robust scheduling tools and improved community benefits. 

  • Advertisers will appreciate that Facebook has upgraded its A/B testing tool, now allowing creators to test several options for headlines and ad copy.
  • Non-profits can now enjoy ‘donate’ stickers for Facebook stories which allow audiences to easily interact with content and make contributions on-the-spot.
  • The Creator Studio on Facebook isn’t actually new news, but lots of brands still aren’t taking full advantage. You can now create and schedule news posts, events, live videos, offers and job postings on Facebook as well as create and schedule Instagram posts and publish IGTV content.
  • Insights for performance has just improved, giving marketers a deep look into how long people are watching videos and where those views are coming from.
  • Engagement in Facebook groups is skyrocketing and brands can create them based on the interests of their target personas to improve brand engagement and nurture loyalty.

Instagram

This app is making it easier than ever for brands to schedule content, interact with customers and create memorable experiences:

  • Marketers can now use Facebook’s Creator Studio to schedule feed posts as well as publish IGTV content.
  • Instagram continues to improve it’s in-app shopping experience. Brands are already seeing a huge number of sales referrals from social media with these features.
  • Instagram has begun rolling out DMs on the web, meaning more and more users every day find themselves able to access their DMs on desktop.

Snapchat

As a result from a redesign, SnapChat suffered user decline for the first time but it’s working hard to recapture user interest by launching a variety of new features. Here’s what’s new:

  • Snapchat continues rolling out new features for targeted ads, making it a quickly growing destination for advertisers.
  • The Snap Originals programming launched last year has been wildly successful and it’s safe to say that advertising opportunities associated with Snapchat’s original programming will be huge for brands targeting the Gen Z and millennial user base.
  • Snapchat continues to expand the functionality of its filters and lenses. Users still feel that these features allow them to customize their content, making it more engaging. The features allows users to express themselves and brands are taking full advantage by creating filters of their own which, when combined with geotargeting, can be very effective in creating brand awareness.
  • The Cameo feature was launched, allowing users to replace the faces of people in videos with their own in order to create looping, shareable videos featuring themselves and friends. This is a great feature for brands willing to go off-script and get silly.

Twitter

For those who aren’t comedians, influencers, celebrities or politicians, Twitter continues to elude, but new features may add just the right amount of ‘user-friendly’ needed to increase use and improve engagement.

  • Twitter is rolling out a feature in 2020 that allows users to limit replies during the composing process. Users will be able to choose from a variety of options, including Statement which allows users to simply post a statement with no opportunity for fans to respond. Brands will want to be wary of this feature as it may make consumers feel their voice and access to the brand is limited.
  • Threading is another new feature that will enable users to view the thread of a conversation on one screen to make interaction within a single conversation easier.
  • Twitter launched Topics — a way to follow content based on interests — and this could be a huge resource for brands leveraging trending content to inform their social media strategy.

TikTok

The perfect platform for burgeoning comedians, musicians and performers of all kinds, but especially for users who just want to have fun uploading silly lip-sync skits, songs, and dances. TikTok's 15 second clips can be strung together to create longer content. This platform is still elusive to most outside of the Gen Z and millennial generations but it’s quickly gaining in popularity. Here’s why:

  • Advertisers currently have to go through the TikTok sales team to place ads but the app is in the process of rolling out a self-serve model to make advertising easier.
  • The app is developing a Creator Marketplace, enabling brands to connect with talent who fit their requirements for promotion via ambassadors and influencers.
  • Like Instagram a few years back, TikTok launched the ability for a single user to add up to five accounts. This is great for social media community managers working on multiple brands.
  • TikTok is investigating plans around creating a curated content stream similar to Snapchat’s

Pinterest

Primarily used by bloggers and e-commerce brands, Pinterest is still a great destination for users to create inspiration ‘boards’ for whatever interests them. Brands should be using this platform to post about products and services. Pinning a product to a board today could turn into a sale tomorrow. Here’s what’s new:

  • In an attempt to make its platform more advertiser friendly, Pinterest launched an analytics dashboard last year. Now, brands can better track organic and paid content performance.
  • Creators now have the ability to add titles to each of their pins, helping increase traffic by optimizing their content for search.
  • Video posts are no longer limited to just ads. Pinterest is rolling out the ability for all users to post video as part of regular pin content.
  • Pinterest now offers a carousel feature so users can upload more than one photo on a single pin. This is a great feature for lifestyle brands as it allows them to show their product being used a variety of ways in a single post.

Social media platform relevance and functionality seems to change by the day, and sometimes hour. Without a strategy, brands are at risk of putting money and time into the wrong platforms. We can help you turn down the noise to identify exactly which social media investments are worth making.