As of 2019, there are about 3.5 billion users of social media with Facebook having 2.3 billion monthly active users. About 1 billion people are expected to join by half of 2020. At the moment, there are about 5.11 billion unique mobile phone users in the world today. To cap it all, there are about 4.39 users of the internet.
The figures provided above are not expected to remain stagnant. The number of social media users is expected to increase dramatically in 2020.
With the expected increase in users, newer trends are already paving their paths into the social space. To keep up with emerging trends, newer features are being added on several social media platforms.
For a social media marketer, it may be the case of either evolving with the times or staying in the past. Emerging statistics have shown newer inclinations of social media users and interests which are gradually evolving into trends.
Because 90% of brands use social media to increase brand awareness, it is important that they get ready and are even putting social media strategies in place to keep up with the trends.
If you are a social media marketer, well, it is not too late; here are social media trends to look out for in 2020.
2020 seems like a hallmark year. Apart from the evenness of the number, there is the aura of a new phase that comes with it. Let’s see how this plays out in social media.
Stories are taking over from feeds
Nearly a billion people use stories across WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. – Hootsuite
Social media stories started with Snapchat. Instagram adopted it; stories became features with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Stories enable social media users to share short, fun, and cool pictures and videos of them with their social media friends and followers, with the video disappearing automatically after 24 hours.
Stories have proven to be highly effective as a lot of users upload and view stories across all platforms every single day. This feature is an important resource for brands and businesses to tap into for 2020 as more people are going to view and upload stories.
On Snapchat, over 50% of active users open a brand’s story. Instagram statistics also show that one-third of the most viewed stories are made from business accounts, with one in five stories receiving a direct response from viewers.
The advantage of social media stories is that they last for only 24 hours and they can be made very creative. Filters, stickers, tags, and a couple of other features are provided on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to make each post fun and creative.
With nearly 80% of Instagram users following brands, they are sure to view stories of brands daily.
Interesting stories attract people. Make it lively. People view brands already and lesser of feeds, add life to your ads.
More Preference for Videos
The above figures go a long way in showing how much video consumption is on social media. The trend has shifted from text reads to video views. Figures still show that text content is still more common with the older generation like the Baby Boomers; but with the Gen Z-ers, video content is primary.
A 2018 Pew study showed that 85% of teens use YouTube. And according to Google (which owns YouTube), they are using it to gain knowledge or learn skills. For this generation, their attachment to video content has set a trend in the social media marketing sector as it is either you use videos or vanish.
Statistics have shown that Gen Z-ers have a preference for social media platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.
By 2020, over 75% of global mobile data traffic will be video content. 7 trillion video clips will be uploaded in 2020 – 2.5 daily video clips for every person - Cisco
Live VideosThere are emerging statistics showing that live videos gain more traction and lead to more conversions when used for marketing.
Research has shown that 80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog. And 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts. - Quicksprout
This met a sharp response as live video content becomes a primary medium of interface with customers. It has been a crucial part of the brand marketing strategy starting from 2018. Facebook retains the largest share of the live video sector.
ChatbotsWhat started as a feature on AOL Instant Messenger has evolved into a business tool used by businesses to communicate with their customers on social media.
The advantage that chatbots have is that they are available 24 hours a day and for the seven days of the week. More, they are not susceptible to the common human character flaws and foibles which can be unpredictable.
Businesses are also going to save more money with chatbots as lesser humans would handle customer inquiries. Certain large industries like the healthcare and banking industries will have saved about $8 billion using chatbots.
Gartner forecasts that by 2020, over 85% of customer interactions will be handled without a human.
Privacy and Information Security will be a Priority
Facebook and other social media platforms have beefed up privacy and security. There are massive investments to ensure that a repeat occurrence does not happen.
AR and VR
In 2018, Amazon patented a blended-reality mirror that lets you try on clothes virtually while placing you into a virtual location. This means customers don’t have to physically try the clothes on to see if they fit or not.
AR – augmented reality – is a fast-growing feature on social media.
Augmented reality (AR) is a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer-generated display, sound, text, and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience. – techopedia.com
The platform with the most use of AR is Snapchat. The fancy camera filters like dog filters, 3D Bitmoji and pretty much all of its camera features are powered by AR technology.
AR can be employed to create brand awareness and to enhance the buying experience. Customers can scan products and get additional information on it through AR.
More Users to Embrace Voice
Prof Scott Galloway of Stern Business School predicted that “Whoever controls voice is going to control a quarter of all computing,”
According to Google, 20% of all searches are voice. 31% of smartphone users, worldwide, use voice tech at least once a week.
Predictions from 99firms.com show that 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020. With Google’s Voice Assistant in over 400 million devices, more people are expected to embrace this technology.
Soon enough, keyboards may become outdated as voice commands and cameras would gradually take the place.
Interactive Social Media PostsHave you ever clicked on a product on Instagram and the price popped out? When you click on the price, you are then taken to a page where more information is given about the product. These are interactive posts or shoppable posts. More posts like this are expected in 2020.
According to statistics, 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram, and more than 200 million people visit at least one business profile every day. 60% of Instagram users claim they’ve discovered at least one new product on the platform.
2020 will indeed be a year to mark the end of two decades of speedy technological and digital innovations. What used to be the norm will be archaic or better put, vintage, in 2020. Social media marketers, however, have a lot to keep up with retaining, and even increasing, their market share. Every innovation has an underlying need to make a process better and faster – sell better and faster in 2020.