Social Media Marketing is a vital component of small business brand awareness and lead generation online. With the low barrier to entry and high return on investment it’s a no brainer whether you invest in your social media presence. But it can be tough staying up-to-date with this ever-changing and evolving social media platforms and trends. Well we’re here to help! Here are 8 top trends shaping your 2020 timelines and that you can use to engage with your audience and get your business noticed.
Goodbye “Vanity” Metrics
Instagram recently rolled out a beta update removing the visibility of likes, and it seems that this could lead to the removal of publicly visible likes completely. The revolutionary move speaks to a greater trend: a focus on meaningful engagement rather than likes. Although a universal shift is still a few steps down the line, companies already need to start incorporating strategies that drive interaction when it comes to planning social media content. So don’t focus on likes but on making meaningful engagements with your audience.
Customers are increasingly appreciating hyper-transparency from businesses they follow. This means an increase in spontaneous behind-the-scenes content with low production value, upfront and clear information on pricing, admitting to mistakes and honesty when communicating with your audience. It’s time to be authentic and build trust with existing and potential customers.
While influencers with millions of followers have proven to be a great marketing tactic, audiences are paying less and less attention to traditional influencer promoted content. The gap is being filled by so-called nano influencers – social media users with fewer followers, but who share brand content with a smaller, niche, highly engaged audience. These micro influencers could even be staff acting as company ambassadors through platforms such as LinkedIn. The niche audiences will be much more likely to engage with the content that’s relevant to them, and the smaller follower numbers indicate greater honesty and trust than traditional mega influencers.
Ephemeral content are posts such as Instagram and Facebook Stories that disappear after a given period of time (typically 24 hours), and while this trend has been around for a while, it’s time to get creative with it. These micro-videos are highly addictive, and due to their ephemeral nature, followers usually want to view them immediately before they disappear. If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers it allows you to add a ‘Swipe Up’ feature on your Stories, allowing you to add a link as an additional call to action to your website.
Va Va Video
It’s estimated that 82% of online content will be video in 2020, so take this as a sign to focus on both short-form, ad hoc and promotional video content across all social platforms. Audiences engage with video in a different way than with graphic content, especially with many platforms allowing autoplay as users scroll through their feeds. Remember to stay up-to-date with video dimensions, and adding subtitles is best practice so that users can watch the video without having to play it out loud.
Turn User Content Into Posts
User Generated Content is a great way to continue posting regularly without having to create your own posts from scratch. Audiences love this type of content as it promotes trustworthiness and relatability. Consider running a competition where users need to submit content in order to enter or repost testimonials from happy clients. This way you’ll never run out of content to post.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated at last year’s F8 Conference that “groups are at the heart of the experience.” Ever noticed that after joining a group, your Facebook feed seems to be flooded with group posts? This is evidence that Facebook is focusing on building groups and communities. Make sure you are creating, joining and posting to groups regularly!
Depending on your products and/or services, you’ll probably already have a clearly defined audience, but a recent trend indicated that pointing out particular members of that audience can be more effective than addressing the group as a whole. Instead of appealing to one set of demographics for your business, try segmenting even further with specific niche interests and locations down to suburbs not cities. This targeting could help uncover new segments, or discover where most of your audience engagement and interest lies.
Although many of these trends are picking up where they left off in 2019, it’s important to pay attention to them as they could be the make or break difference in your social media campaign success. Overall, creating engaging content that audiences respond to doesn’t mean spending millions on high-production content. Keep it real, keep it honest, and speak to your followers.
GoSocial in partnership with Social Media Now is able to offer social media marketing packages tailored to the needs of SMEs. Social Media Now is a Cape Town based digital agency specialising in social media lead generation and brand building.
View GoSocial’s Marketing and Training Packages here.