It has been estimated there were about 3.8 million social media users at the end of 2019 (almost half of the world’s population) with an overall increase of more than 10% compared to 2018. What is more, people spend an average of more than two hours a day on social networks. According to the statistics, the use of social media will only continue to grow exponentially. As social media platforms are constantly being updated to offer users new experiences, marketers need to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. Below are the trends to watch out for to maximize the efficiency of social media marketing in the coming years.
Augmented reality (AR)
What many people may not be aware of is the fact that augmented reality has been used on social media for some time. The AR technology was initially displayed through Instagram and Snapchat face filters, but it will soon become a general trend in social media marketing, allowing people to virtually try out branded products before making a purchase. In December 2019, Facebook announced interactive AR ads and made the feature available to advertisers. The AR ads can currently only be displayed on the mobile news feed.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and improved customer support
Chatbots (AI) have already been integrated into social media and are widely used via Facebook Messenger. This enables brands to respond quickly to customers’ questions when human interaction is not required. The use of AI technology will be even more common for brands present on social media, ensuring a more personalized approach and greater customer satisfaction.
The rise of (micro)influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective social media marketing strategies and has a major impact on purchasing decisions. In return for a free product or on the basis of a paid partnership, influencers promote branded products on their social media channels, familiarising the audience with the brands they work with. Due to the increase of influencer marketing, the number of fake social media influencers has also increased dramatically. Brands are therefore constantly looking for trusted influencers related to a specific niche to reach their target audiences and improve their ROI.
As macro-influencers have become an expensive option for smaller brands, more and more companies are considering building partnerships with micro or – even smaller – nano influencers and the trend will only continue to grow. This will facilitate the process of conveying a committed brand message to the target audience and enable brands to build a closer relationship with their potential customers.
Focus on video content
Mark Zuckerberg believes that the future of Facebook and Instagram lies in video. Video content is a powerful marketing tool and is considered the most trusted visual form of advertising on social media. Video generates the best ROI and it has been estimated that people remember 95 % of the message transmitted through a video compared to only 10% of information transmitted via plain text. It is no wonder that brands that advertise using video content are better remembered than those that market via text and images. Video content easily attracts people’s attention and the video trend in social media marketing will undoubtedly expand in 2020 and during the upcoming years.
The importance of smaller communities
Dedicated niche groups not only allow individuals to bond with others with similar interests but also allow brands to connect with their niche audiences and even receive direct feedback on their products or services. The average person is generally more inclined to share his opinions in smaller communities than make them public and accessible to everyone on the internet. Displaying the brand’s products or services to the relevant community is considered much more authentic and has less chance of getting lost in millions of other messages. Small communities are thus becoming an even more credible source of potential leads and are likely to overtake larger networks for a number of businesses.
Social media platforms play an important role in almost every brand’s marketing strategy. However, due to their constant changes, it is important to keep abreast of their trends. In the coming years, social media networks will undergo many changes and therefore offer marketers many advanced opportunities to market their products and services.