With an estimate of 3.48 billion active users, social media has connected people and businesses in ways we wouldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. With the dawn of a New Year and new decade, the influence social media has over lives and businesses is only going to increase.
To help you plan your social media strategy for the upcoming year, we compiled a list of social media trends that will make the biggest impact in 2020.
Audio on Instagram Stories
Instagram stories have seen a huge increase since its launch in 2016. As of January 2019, there are 500 million accounts that use stories daily. If you’re already using stories to interact with your followers, that’s excellent! In 2020, audio is going to play a huge role in stories. Many bands are already using music and voice to make it more interactive and interesting.
Buffer recently posted a story on Instagram where the text that appeared on the post was readout. This added a sense of auditory presence to an otherwise ordinary or perhaps even boring post. While we recommend that you start using videos for your stories, experiment with adding voice or music and see how your followers respond to it.
When shoppable posts were launched in Australia in 2018, it changed the way people shopped online. It allowed retailers to turn their Instagram accounts into virtual stores, providing an easy and interactive shopping experience to consumers. With the seamless transition from Instagram account to the retailer’s website, the buying journey was shortened to scrolling and a few clicks. So you can see why its popularity is increasing in the New Year. More people are choosing to engage in online shopping than actually having to visit a shop.
Companies like Incy Interiors, Country Road and Myer are already using Instagram shopping to sell their products. This is a great tool for small and medium businesses who are looking to expand their customer reach using social media. However, there are a few things you need to know if you’re planning to get on board with shopping on Instagram.
- Facebook primarily permits merchants who sell physical products
- You need to have an Instagram business account
- Ensure your Instagram account is connected to a Facebook Page
- Your business account needs to be connected to a Facebook Catalogue
- Most importantly your business needs to comply with Facebook’s merchant agreement and commerce policies
For more details on shopping on Instagram and their policies click on the link.
Shopping on Explore
With a separate feature dedicated to shopping on the explore feed, Instagram is connecting brands and users from around the world. The feed is curated according to different interests and behaviour of the user, offering a more relevant and individualised shopping experience to customers. This feature serves a dual-purpose of connecting genuine customers to businesses as well as providing shoppers a hassle-free shopping experience based on their taste.
In the coming New Year, video content is going to get bigger and better. From Facebook, Instagram, YouTube to LinkedIn, all research and data are pointing towards a huge increase in videos. With 85 per cent of consumers wanting to see more video content from brands (source –HubSpot), more people are actively using videos to influence their customer’s purchasing behaviour.
So if you’re looking for a reason to start on video content for your business, there’s no time like now!
Big brands such as Nike, Dove, and Gillette have tackled subjects such as sexist assumptions, beauty stereotypes, male behaviour, and sexual harassment through their video campaigns. These videos went viral and resonated with millions across the world.
While it’s true that the companies have big budgets and entire teams working behind these campaigns, the number one takeaway should be that when you create videos focus on telling stories that matter to you as well as your audience. At a time where people are looking for authenticity and connection, genuine content will have a deeper impact and resonate better with your followers.
With over 1.9 billion active monthly users, YouTube is the second most popular social media platform in the world. So naturally, when video content increases in the New Year, YouTube’s popularity is going to soar through the roof.
From educational how-to videos to brand messages, more people are subscribing to channels on YouTube to learn, discover new ideas, products, and services.
If you’re looking to expand your customer reach and share content that has the potential to make an impact, starting a YouTube channel is something you should consider for your business.
Micro-influencers and Facebook Groups
We have all heard of how influencers with millions of followers can impact the aspirations and purchasing behaviour of their audience. However, now more people are relying on individuals they know and trust instead of celebrities or well-known influencers who they cannot relate to. Consumers are looking for honest reviews and want to be told the truth.
This is why micro-influencers, ideally from your community will be able to create better relationships with potential customers who are from the same group. Communities will see them as a trusted friend who they have something in common with as opposed to a hyped-up influencer.
In 2020, the number of micro-influencers and community Facebook groups will see a significant increase. Social media will serve as the platform for communities to engage in one of the oldest yet one of the best ways of advertising and promotion: word of mouth.
If your business is looking to participate in Facebook group discussions, go to the group feature on explore and find groups that are associated to your industry and interests. Join a few groups and provide useful information to create engagement.
Social Media as Customer Service
One of the first things we do when we want to visit a new restaurant, café, bar or store is to read their reviews online. And when we have questions, we prefer sending a message via social media instead of calling them. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have really shined through as customer support and service tools in the last few years. In the New Year, social media’s role to provide this service is only going to increase.
So remember to always make time to engage with your followers on social media, whether it’s liking a comment or leaving a ‘Thank you’. How you interact with your followers and customers online reflects your business and ultimately its reputation.
Here are the key things you need to keep tabs on the social media front for the coming year. There’ll be an increase of videos on all social media platforms and audio on Instagram stories. Interactions and engagement between retailers and consumers around the world will increase as a result of shoppable posts and the shopping feature on Instagram.
Businesses will have to rely on micro-influencers to do their advertising and promotional work for them as more people will turn to Facebook community groups for recommendations. And importantly, YouTube is going to be big next year, so start thinking about what kind of videos you’d like to create.
As we prepare to welcome 2020, we must keep ourselves updated with the latest trends to help us improve interactions with our followers which will eventually lead to better relationships and ultimately a higher conversion rate.