Social media is a dynamic and everchanging tool. Here's what you need to know to be prepared in 2020 and beyond.
Social media is an inseparable part of our lives. Nearly half of the world’s population is actively using social media to communicate, socialize, shop, and entertain themselves. No wonder, businesses are increasingly relying on this media to connect with their target audience and generate quality leads.
The cut-throat competition and content overload are forcing marketers to come up with innovative ways to stand out and gain more market share. Not to mention, the dynamic nature of the social world!
Smart marketers are the ones who are aware of future trends and proactively prepare for them. Pay attention to the top predictions shared in this post to fuel your social strategy and increase your brand visibility and conversions.
1. Nano-influencers Are the next big thing
Social customers have been increasingly relying on niche-specific influencers for making purchase decisions. However, modern marketers are realizing the significance of nano-influencers who are able to engage their limited audience in an effective way.
Though nano-influencers have a smaller follower base than micro-influencers, they offer content that’s specific to the niche interests and of local relevance. A study conducted by SocialPubli reveals that the social engagement rate with nano-influencers is 10X higher than other influencers.
Further, authenticity and credibility is a huge issue with macro and micro-influencers as they tend to have a large following are unable to have meaningful conversations with their followers on a regular basis.
Nano-influencers, on the other hand, carry a ‘girl/boy next door’ vibe around them; hence, followers are better able to relate to and trust the content shared by them. Not to forget, the amazing returns they fetch at a low cost!
No wonder, brands of all sizes are investing in nano influencers to monetize their social media expertise.
Check out the brand collaboration between Lauren Schneider, a nano-influencer and Dunkin Donuts to reach a new audience and improve awareness. Notice how her followers are actively liking and commenting on the post, indicating the high level of engagement.
Thus, nano influencers are all set to rule social marketing in the future. Make sure you identify the relevant ones in your niche and partner with them to leverage a ready-made audience.
2. Social commerce will boom
Shopping, whether online or offline, has always been a social experience. People are always looking for social proof. Social channels allow consumers to discover new products, read reviews, and buy products in-app. Further, as mentioned earlier, social media allows people to follow social influencers that point out to the latest trends and help them make sound purchase decisions.
An increasing number of businesses are vouching on social media as an affordable way to promote their brand. No wonder, most social channels are introducing features like built-in shoppable images, videos, and posts to improve the shopping experience and shorten the purchase funnel for brands.
The Shoppable AR Lens feature on Snapchat is an excellent example of how technology is being used to improve the online experience. Nike recently used this feature to encourage American women’s soccer team fans to try and buy the band’s new kit before the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
Social media has been influencing people’s online purchase decisions for over a decade. But, social shops did so in rudimentary ways. It’s only recently that social channels have come up with innovative features to make the journey from the first touchpoint to the final purchase short and engaging. This had greatly reduced the friction of buying a product on another platform after discovering it on social media.
Thus, the market for social shopping is expected to surge with social channels continuously offering super-innovative shoppable features.
3. IGTV will drive the video trend
It’s no surprise that video content is the most popular and engaging content type in the digital world. A HubSpot Digital Consumer Trends Report confirms that people prefer video content over other content types.
4. Augmented Reality will find more applications in the social world
Right from the time Pokeman Go was introduced, AR has taken the digital world by storm. The immersive technology has been used by brands to offer an interactive online experience to their audience.
The use of lenses and filters on Instagram Stories and Snapchat has taken customer engagement and experience to the next level. In the coming years, AR will be increasingly used by brands to offer innovative shopping features. For instance, the AR technology is being used by Lenskart to offer customers a try-and-buy option in their virtual showroom.
You can expect social channels to come up with more such features, allowing shoppers to make a purchase decision without having to leave the platform.
5. Regulatory control will tighten up
Data security and privacy have always been a concern in the social world. User information on channels like Facebook and Instagram can be easily misused by hackers and spammers. With regulatory bodies like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) introducing stringent requirements for how personal data must be handled, the social world is expected to become a safer place for users.
This change is in the interest of all; so, social marketers should get ready for more regulatory control, penalties, and legal scrutiny this year.
6. Social world will be more welcoming
Cyberbullying has been quite common on social media. Statistics reveal that virtual harassment has been most prevalent on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat
Instagram and Facebook are already making efforts to combat issues like cyberbullying and social media addiction. For instance, the two channels recently beta tested removing likes or making them private to harbor a positive social environment for all. The number of likes on a post seems to determine an individual’s online value and constantly depending on external validation can be harmful to one’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
The removal of likes is expected to transform the social marketing world. As this change is implemented across all regions, it will encourage other channels like Twitter to follow suit.
Before you know, predictions become trends and trends become the standard norm! Therefore, it’s important to know what lies ahead in the social media realm. Keep an eye on the top predictions shared above and plan your social media strategy accordingly.