During the 2010s, we saw social media become our most important communication platform, thanks to cellular phones becoming our primary work and life tool. The need for brands to establish themselves on social media was born, and the power of building communities began.
When it originated, social media was about creating communities to share common interests — whether it be friendship or food, interior design or the latest news. We can’t help but notice that social media’s mission had taken a different turn over the last 10 years, one that put a new emphasis on perfectionism and consumerism.
Social media has also had a considerable impact on marketing. 10 years ago, brands were just starting to become active on social media and understand the power of building a digital community of fans. Content for brands was all about perfectly executed campaigns, and similarly, users started branding themselves with curated feeds and posed looks. The term “influencer” was coined. The digital spotlight was on everyone, from celebrity to brand to consumer alike. Social media became more media than social.
In time, users became exhausted with the need for constant perfection and the constraint of projecting an idealized version of their life. People were craving real-life, less-than-perfect, everyday content. Hence why Snapchat gained so much momentum with younger generations.
And now, authenticity is back on center stage. We see more plus-sized, disabled, and transgender models on the covers of magazines and walking for top designers during fashion week — it is the rise of inclusivity and refusal of everything fake, thanks to social media.
Looking ahead to the next 10 years, we can’t help but wonder what will become of social media… Where will it take us? What will our focus shift to?
Below are six trends we expect to see dominate the social media space in 2020, and beyond.
Video Content Will (Continue To) Be King
Less typing, more viewing. Video is the best performing content type on every social platform and that will continue to be in 2020. According to a Cisco study, 82% of all online content will be video content by 2022. This trend will carry on, as we are watching more video content across our cell phones, laptops, etc. Brands will need to keep investing in this medium to tell impactful stories that can be revisited by viewers.
Instagram Stories Will Become Marketers Darlings
Ephemeral content (content that disappears after a short amount of time) will continue to gain popularity. Stories can also give those that use them a way to instantly grow engagement – adding polls to Stories and asking questions that can be answered with a simple click.
Live Content Will Thrive
Whether it’s Instagram Live, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live, live streaming is a powerful way to deliver interactive content. According to a Forrester study, users watch live video 10x to 20x longer than on-demand content.
Hidden Likes Will Promote Community-First Content
Instagram decided to hide likes for all users starting in 2019. That means there will be less peer pressure, less focus on likes, and more emphasis on content that speaks to your community and triggers true engagement and word of mouth.
Private Groups Will Gain Importance
As organic reach for Facebook pages is plunging, businesses will need to get more comfortable with Facebook Groups to engage with their core target audiences, in a more personal voice.
Micro-influencers Will Become More Effective in Promoting Brands
Brands will increase their focus on working with micro-influencers (less than 100K followers) and nano-influencers (less than 25K) as these influencers’ connection with their communities is often much stronger and can generate more results.
There you have it — our predictions for the most impactful social media trends to come. Which do you think will make the biggest difference in the digital landscape?