As we come to the end of another year we start to think about what lies ahead. Social media marketing is a very changeable thing, and new developments can seemingly come out of nowhere and change how we work with the audiences we have.
We thought it would be a good idea to take a good look at some of the changes we can see coming up in the next twelve months.
The trends we cover are generally seen as being part of the new social media landscape.
A tightening of the reins
When Cambridge Analytica broke, everyone got very scared, very quickly. The trust that Facebook used to have quickly disappeared and it has had to work hard to regain it. However, this doesn’t mean that things will go back to being how they were before.
Expect to see plenty more activity as regards regulation and controls in 2020. We can see major social media platforms making ‘voluntary’ concessions to privacy and integrity. When we say ‘voluntary’ we mean stuff like Jack Dorsey saying he is banning political ads on Twitter.
All joking aside, we can see an attempt to further bolster the safety and security of social media. Users want to feel safe, and if they are able to get that safety with one platform and not another, there is every chance they will migrate. While this may happen in 2020, expect to see a lot more activity around the topic of data security and data integrity.
Instagram will dislike Likes
Instagram has already been experimenting with removing Likes from posts. It’s a big thing for the company. And it has put forward a strong reason for doing this.
We can see Likes being played with even more by Instagram. Its argument for testing out Like removal (or more accurately, hiding) is that it will help people with their mental health. The idea that Likes make you popular will never go away (thank you Facebook), and with Instagram being such a visual platform, it has some rather unpleasant links to poor self-esteem when your photo isn’t liked. On top of all of that, Instagram is the true ‘Influencer’ platform, where models and other conventionally attractive people are making huge careers out of being pretty and handsome.
People feel jealous and unfulfilled if they don’t get Likes because of their looks. While this may sound a little far-fetched to some of us, it’s a real thing to many. So removing Likes will do some good for users of the platform.
However, if the Likes are removed, brands may turn to ads because Influencers will be less valuable. Okay, that sounds cynical, but it could be the truth. Watch this space. Because if brands turn to ads, they give more money directly to Instagram.
Yep, we’re saying that video will be an even bigger part of everyone’s content strategy in the year ahead. Video is now basically the only way to offer a stable backbone to a content strategy. Social media marketing needs video if it is going to make any real progress against any goals.
Look at TikTok, and while brands may not be using it much it is a sure sign that video is simply what people like to see. If by any small chance you are not creating and sharing videos as part of your brand’s content and social media marketing strategy, we really cannot stress enough that 2020 will be the very last year you have a chance to jump in.
The rise of social media customer service
Customer service is now all about social media. The sheer speed at which a customer can communicate with a brand is incredible, and this has a lot to do with the speed of social.
Sure, brands are using bots on social to make transactions happen, or to fill mailing lists, but right now, we are seeing brands embrace social as a place to actually hang out. Customers will go to social first when they have a complaint or they have a question about the purchase they are thinking of making. Push the bots aside, and you have real people answering customer service questions just like they would on a phone line.
Believe us when we say that the vast majority of brands will push their customer service onto social media in 2020.
And the long shot…
Facebook Watch is one of those projects that Facebook simply doesn’t want to fail. It can afford for it to fail, but it’s important to bear in mind that it simply isn’t doing what Facebook wants it to do.
In 2020 we can expect to see Facebook possibly having one large push with Watch. One ace card it has is the News tab. This will have video content created by Facebook, which is exciting. Facebook continues to try and take over the world, basically.
Obviously, it’s very possible that things won’t turn out like this in 2020. But we are seeing clear signs of trends in these areas. We will all have to wait and see, but whatever happens, expect to see social media marketing undergo some major changes again in 2020.