Nov 26, 2019

Social Media update: What you need to know

There is no doubt that social media plays an intrinsic part of people’s daily routines and lives, but due to their dynamic nature and quick development, marketers need to consider what 2020 will bring to their social strategy.

  • Social ads now account for more than half of the UK’s £11.6 billion online ad market.
  • While social is a more pronounced method of marketing for brands, each brand is at a very different stage of their social journey.
  • Social media has a wide range of demands, but it has undoubtedly become one of the most effective marketing methods.

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users. TikTok has more than 625 million monthly active users worldwide, up 85% year after year, and influencer marketing is on track to grow into a $10bn industry by 2020. The effectiveness of social in brand uplift is undeniable and now it’s time to consider how this will develop in 2020.

Don’t underestimate niche social platforms

While Facebook and Instagram have been leading the way as the largest and most popular social media platforms, recent years have seen other more niche platforms emerge and conquer.

Social media video app, TikTok, is a prime example. In its first year, TikTok gained over 1 billion downloads and while at first glance the platform may appear to be an array of unrelated posts, its rising popularity and video-focused design offers brands with new, unique marketing and brand awareness opportunities.

Instagram is changing

Instagram is attempting to join the family of messaging apps with their recently launched Threads, a camera and messaging app that allows a user to chat with their friends. Like Whatsapp, this app allows the user to choose from different statuses or design their own. What makes the Threads app unique is that conversations made on this app will still be visible on Instagram so the conversation never has to stop. It will be interesting to see how Instagram’s audience reacts to this recent development and how it will transform the user experience.

Instagram’s bold move to remove the number of visible ‘likes’ on several accounts worldwide has left algorithms, content creators and brands working with influencers on edge and unsure how the platform will maintain engagement levels whilst securing platform growth. To combat this, Instagram has released the ‘@creators’ account, where they will release tips on what it takes to become a creator. Instagram designed this to encourage creators to ask questions to keep their community alive.

A user’s favourite stalking feature has been removed. The ‘following’ tab on Instagram has left the platform and users can no longer see the activity of people they are following. Instagram justified this change by identifying that it was not used as often as the ‘explore’ tab, which is more beneficial in discovering inspiration, people, hashtags and more.

Social commerce is not slowing down

Instagram and Facebook are common platforms used by brands to sell products and the social commerce trend has provided a new retail avenue for brands that shows no sign of diminishing.

Social commerce will soon equal other mediums like websites and offline stores now that more platforms are including features like shoppable posts. They are continually evolving to become retail platforms which brands and marketers can incorporate into their sales strategies.

Video content is a winner

According to a study conducted by Cisco, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. It is clear that to remain relevant in the social media domain, use of video content is imperative.

More regulated legal control

While there are many benefits of social media, the negative aspects that have been revealed in recent years cannot be forgotten. Data privacy and security are two buzzwords that send uncertainty and worry into the minds of users and have often made the headlines for platforms like Facebook.

In light of the misuse of data on certain platforms, social networks and regulatory bodies will implement more policies in place to avoid this problem arising again. Many users consider social media an unsafe platform and it is in the interest of brands, creators and users to work on changing this.

Social media channels are dynamic and developing at an incredible pace. These are just a few trends on the horizon for 2020 but are necessary to incorporate to remain relevant and ahead of competitors.