Where is Social Media heading in 2020?

It might be hard to grasp due to our quick adaptation to their permanent changes, but social networks are evolving at a fast pace right before our eyes. This year won’t be an exception.

Either you are a Community Manager or you’re simply a user who cannot unplug for a minute, it is necessary for you to learn about these 7 trends which will define our ways of interacting with our contacts and with our favorite brands during 2020. Why don’t you join us?

#1 Press Play! – Video will still be top positioned

It is undeniable that including a video within any Social Media strategy has a positive outcome. It can be in a short format such as TikTok videos or Instagram Stories, or long version videos such as YouTube or livestreams –whatever format, videos build a higher sense of engagement than any other type of content, and in the next few years they will get even more relevant.

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It is estimated that 80% of the content we’ll consume will be in that format, so we can state that the video is the future of social media and any strategy excluding it will be doomed to failure.

#2 Together, but separated – Niche social platforms and community-based social media

Although Facebook and Instagram lead the ranking of the most popular social networks, in the last few years new niche social platforms have emerged, such as TikTok or Twitch, and they seem to be staying for good. These niche platforms, just like it happens with the communities within established networks, aim at smaller groups joined together by common interests and customized content.

For brands, these platforms or communities have the huge potential to bring a higher ROI and help them reach specific audiences with relevant messages.

#3 Backing down – Micro-influencers are here!

Some people think that the boom of influencers – those who get paid staggering amounts for just advertising a product through a post, will soon come to an end and will bring about a new type of communicator: micro-influencers.

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What’s the difference? Less followers, more effectiveness. Micro-influencers communicate to smaller niches, but get more cohesion. They generate more engagement for a lower cost. If this trend strengthens, brands in 2020 will prefer hiring a bunch of micro-influencers instead of hiring only one at a similar cost.

#4 Fast and personal – User-generated content and transient content

Two trends which are not new but which will keep gaining popularity in 2020 are user-generated contents and transient content –lasting for only a short time after being posted. According to Entrepreneur, 200 million users use Instagram stories monthly. This has become an essential tool in any marketing strategy on the social media.

On the other hand, as this sort of worship to influencers/celebrities seems to vanish, more brands will aim at using user-generated content to reach their consumers in a more actual and reliable way.

#5 I like, I buy – Increased use of social networks for sales and customer service

At the beginning, social networks started as a virtual space to connect with other people. Today, however, they have pushed their own boundaries and are far more than that!

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Trading (Social Commerce) and customer service will continue expanding by this means in 2020 with the integration of new features focused on facilitating direct sales and enhancing contact between brands and clients (which is always public) through these platforms.

#6 Futurama – Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In 2020 these three technologies will be integrated into social platforms, driven by user demand as they want to live better experiences, where they can feel more engaged. It might still be hard to see but they are already being implemented, as it happens with AI to improve user-x through chat-bots.

A survey from Hootsuite revealed that the growth of chats has surpassed the goals and in 2020 over 85% of customer service interactions will be performed by AI robots. On the other hand, AR is already present in the filters we use daily to improve the appearance of our videos and pictures. And this is just the beginning!

#7 Getting disentangled (at least a bit)

As any movement going forward at great speed in one direction, there is always a counter-movement. Its complementary opposite, in this case, the awareness of the negative impact of social media on users’ mental health. Along with this raising awareness, the need to disconnect, to limit the use of the internet, to delete apps and disable accounts.

The #DigitalDetox will also be trendy in 2020. This represents a problem for brands, though at the same time it poses a big challenge, as brands will have to find new ways of interacting with their audience and improving the quality of their messages to keep them engaged.

Conclusions

Regardless of the impact that these trends will have or won’t have on the social media along this year, something is certain: the use of these platforms will continue to grow. And it will go on shaping and transforming the way that we connect with others. It’s up to us turning that virtual connection into a humanly enriching experience.

Being brands or companies that advertise their products or services and communicate values through the social networks, we must do so with responsibility and authenticity, with quality content, inspiring people to improve their lives and projecting them to a better future.

** This article is a collaboration of Beto Elías, Social Media Manager at Workana

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