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Imagine being a social media manager a couple of years back and relate it to the social media managers of today. You can easily grasp how much the world of social media has evolved over the last couple of years. In a highly competitive social media sea, you need to stay one-step ahead of the competition, lest you thrash about in an effort to surface to the top again. Staying abreast of the latest social media trends in 2020 will help you make good on that aim.
Apart from the symmetrical numerology, 2020 is a year we are all looking forward to for more than one reason. Be it the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo or 2020 World Expo in Dubai, 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year already. Have you wondered what the social media landscape will look like in 2020? In this article, we sweep through the years and give you a glimpse into the future of social media. Here are some year 2020 predictions for social media that every social media manager needs to know today.
1. Social Media Growth Will Continue on its Merry Way
According to a study conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social, social media users have exceeded the 4 billion mark, which translates into the fact that 53% of the world’s population is leveraging social media. What is even more fascinating is that this pace will only accelerate in the coming years. As the high-speed internet and mobile devices go mainstream in the underdeveloped regions of the world, we will see them hop on to the social media bandwagon, which is bound to speed up the social media growth.
In addition to skyrocketing social growth, we will also see some shift in the popularity of different social media channels. The market leaders of today will slowly lose ground against some emerging players. Yes, I am referring to Facebook and Twitter, which will take a back seat, paving way for LinkedIn and Instagram.
Recent developments, such as the Cambridge Analytica incident and Twitter’s move to double the word count limit from 140 to 280 characters, further strengthen this claim. Ryan Homes, the CEO of Hootsuite predicts, “Instagram will become the new home for brands.” More and more businesses will start to use LinkedIn to generate leads for their businesses.
2. Product Discovery Goes Social
Did you know that more than half of internet users follow a brand they like or from which they want to buy something on social media? The new era of product discovery has dawned upon us, and it is more social and visual than ever before. Traditional product discovery channels, such as search engines and online reviews, will no longer be pertinent as social media rises to prominence.
According to a Global WebIndex study, 28% of users turn to social media to conduct product research online. In fact, social media surpassed search engines as the preferred channel for product discovery in a plethora of emerging markets. Another game-changing trend that will take the world of social media by storm is voice search. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020.
With smart speakers and voice-based gadgets already flooding the markets, it might happen even before 2020. Social media channels will start to introduce voice features geared towards making the user experience much more convenient. We might see some innovative voice features coming out of popular social media platforms soon.
3. Social Selling Will Become a New Norm
With product discovery going social, it will also lead to arise in popularity of social selling, which will boost social commerce in the long run. What is interesting is that this growth in social selling and social commerce will not come from developed regions, but rather stem from emerging economies. Users who have moved on from desktops and prefer social media over search engines will become the drivers of this change. From major brands to small businesses, everyone will join the social selling revolution. Instagram lets you create digital storefronts laced with visual content.
4. Generation Z Will Set Social Trends
Be it VR or AR adoption or using different social networks for making purchase decisions, Generation Z will set the direction for future social trends. As a social media marketer, Generation Z is the group that you need to set your eyes on. Market research has proved that 85% of Generation Z latches on to social media to learn about new products. Moreover, 59% of them are more likely to connect with brands on social media as compared to older generations.
Social media platforms will introduce new features to make the social experience more immersive for users. We might also see some big names such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger leverage VR and AR technology to upsurge their digital marketing revenues. With Gen Z spending hours on social media day-to-day, they will be the trendsetters for social media in the future.
5. Social Video Will Dominate
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook predicts, “Over the next few years, the much bigger driver of business and the determinant of how we do is going to be video, not Message.” Stats exist to back his claim up. According to statistics, social videos generate a whopping 1200% more shares than text and images combined. In addition to this, 82% prefer to watch a live video from a brand than to read their social media posts and 80% would watch a live video rather than skim through a blog post.
Another trend that is gaining ground among social media marketers is the use of live videos. According to Tubular insights, viewers spend 8X longer online videos than with on-demand videos. Brands have already started to use live videos to broadcast their product launch events and answer customer questions as well as conduct interviews. Come 2020, we will see many brands innovate and tinker with live video. If we are lucky enough, we might see live to see social media videos reign supreme over all other forms of content.
What will the future of social media look like in your option? Feel free to share your views with us in the comments section below.