We’re gearing up towards a new year that is full of challenges and opportunities for marketers and leaders who want to make the most of social media.

2019 was a very interesting year for social media marketing both in terms of the rising trends but also the emerging technologies that got us thinking of the best ways to include them on our strategies.

It’s a good time now to step back and review your current strategy and what you need to change in 2020.

Here are five key trends for 2020 to keep an eye on:

Going beyond likes

Instagram has started testing the idea of making the like counts private for a number of users all over the world. Private like counts make an interesting experiment both for our personal and professional use of Instagram.

It might not be an official launch from Instagram yet, but the early experiments indicate positive reactions.

This means that 2020 may be the year that we shift our focus from likes as an indication of success to the engagement and the quality of the content.

Thus, it’s time to go beyond likes when measuring the success of our content to dig deeper to what we define as effective content.

This decision could also potentially change the face of influencer marketing and how brands collaborate with influencers.

It is not necessarily a bad idea to become more critical with what we define as a successful post.

All we need is to adjust our thinking with a move that could possibly make social media more interesting and less focused on like counts.


Embracing your brand’s personality on social media

A big challenge on social media marketing is to stand out from your competitors. A successful social media strategy acknowledges the importance of grabbing your audience’s attention from the very first second.

In a time of busy social media feeds, it’s crucial for brands to be different both in creative and strategic ways.

2020 will be the year that more brands would work on improving their tone of voice and the authentic presence that sets them apart from their competitors.

In a time that social media is a big part of our daily lives, having a presence on social media is not enough anymore.

That’s why brands that master social media marketing tend to experiment with new ways to be innovative and appealing.

A clever and authentic tone of voice, for example, can help lift a brand’s affinity among its customers.

Even a witty comment in an engaging topic can still contribute to improved awareness of the brand.

A humanized approach to marketing can even bring your brand closer to your customers by building trust and showing its human side.

What’s important is to incorporate your brand’s strategy to your social media marketing so that you become more proactive with your future decisions.

Ad-hoc success with a clever post that goes viral can bring short-term wins but a more thoughtful strategy on what your brand should sound like can lead to long-term results that can even be linked to your ROI.

Exploring new channels to test your creative direction

Social media is changing at a very fast rate and it’s always useful to keep up with the latest trends.

For example, one of the biggest trends in 2019 had to do with the popularity of TikTok and the fact that it even became the #1 most downloaded social media app.

TikTok has seen impressive growth over the last 12 months and it is expected that it will appeal to more brands in 2020.

It might still be at an early stage, compared to the big giants like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s also highlighting a growing need for a creative expression that focuses on users.

Not everyone is still fully familiar with TikTok though and it should probably be on our New Year’s resolutions to get to grips with it.

As we’ve seen with Snapchat before, the earlier you jump on a popular social channel, the higher the chances for your brand to be among the early case studies.

In the case of TikTok, it can also help you improve your creative direction among all your social media channels by understanding what stands out as engaging content and how you can imitate this strategy to your overall strategy.

Social media commerce and product discovery

Every social media channel can have different objectives in your social media strategy. However, it’s encouraging to see that social media is reaching a stage of linking the awareness and the consideration with the actual conversion.

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and many other channels are now making the purchase of products through social media easier than ever.

The options to launch a Facebook store or ”shoppable” products and pins can be very helpful for businesses that don’t necessarily have a big budget to allocate on paid social.

When it comes to big brands, it is a great opportunity to turn their creative posts into a “shoppable” display that can make the conversion easy even through a mobile phone.

It is also reassuring for the C-level executives to be able to see how social media can lead to sales making it easier for marketers to get the buy-in for new ideas.

Social e-commerce will grow even more in 2020 offering a good link between physical and online shopping. Personalization and chatbots can even play a bigger role in this growth by making sales easier and direct through social channels.

A new challenge that comes up with it is to ensure that social media marketing is aligned with the sales funnel to reflect the shift towards conversion.

Attribution touch points become more important among many different channels to understand how social is contributing towards bigger objectives.

Integrating conversational AI

Another big trend that we’re seeing on social media is the use of Artificial Intelligence to improve communication and customer service.

Chatbots and marketing automation are already integrated into many marketing strategies and they are not expected to slow down over the next year.

As the competition increases in social media, brands feel the need to scale up their efforts. The bigger the audience you need to talk to on social media, the bigger the needs to be responsive as fast as possible.

That’s why a new report from Gartner projects that 85% of all customer interactions with brands will be automated by 2020.

Conversational AI can make a good way to future-proof your business for 2020 and here are five ways to include it in your marketing strategy.

What’s next?

There are always new trends coming up when we’re starting a new year. However, before we start trying all of them, it’s important to review what’s working best in our current strategies.

It’s a good time to review:

  • channels
  • metrics
  • ROI
  • tools
  • internal systems

Find the gaps that you need to fill in your strategy and explore how the latest trends can shift your focus towards more efficient tactics. Ready to deal with new challenges?

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