This is what businesses, brands and users can anticipate about the future of social platforms.
12 min read
The opinions expressed by employees are personal.
The last decade saw social networks solidify in successful and multifaceted communities in which more than 3.2 billion people are active daily throughout the world. More than 90 percent of millennials use at least one of these platforms regularly, and more than 85 percent of Generation Z is informed about new products through social networks. It is not difficult to understand why almost three quarters of publicists believe that social networks are an effective part of their business.
At the end of the decade there is no doubt that social networks will play an increasingly large role in our lives in the near future. So, how should businesses, brands, and even average users anticipate the future for social networks?
Here we tell you some of the biggest trends that we will see evolve in social networks during 2020 and the following years.
1. The death of the “like” button on Instagram
It is no secret that brands (and even regular users) tend to become obsessed with likes, comments or followers as a measure of popularity and brand recognition. But this obsession has a negative impact on our mental health and may even hamper the free flow of interactions. We do what everyone does, click a button and stop interacting significantly.
Instagram is the latest network looking to take away the “like” button. You will no longer be able to see the amount of Likes in the photos of others, although you will know how many likes yours have.
The idea has been conceived as a way to “reduce pressure” on Instagram and could help fight fake likes and followers, something that can make brands and influencers presume a greater reach than they really have. However, if the likes disappear, the publicists, brands and influencers will have to find ways to adapt to these changes.
2. Less emphasis on “vanity metrics”
Losing the “like” button on Instagram is part of a much broader trend to detract from the use of “vanity metrics” in social networks. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has said that fan counts are now irrelevant, and at a TED conference he said that if he could go back in time, he would not put so much emphasis on the “like” button.
For advertisers and influencers, this should be a sign that it is time to start looking for deeper metrics, such as the quality of user interaction. Smart advertisers will take note and start using the use of demographics and other relevant data to better understand how to communicate with their potential customers.
3. Video content stories are king
The video remains one of the most important trends in the world of social networks. In fact, according to Social Media Today the video will be 82 percent of all digital traffic in 2020. As social platforms look for more ways to prioritize video content, advertisers will focus much more on them as part of their overall strategies. to speak to specific audiences.
Watch closely how this format will revolutionize marketing strategies. There will be more emphasis on creative and engaging narratives that capture the user's attention in seconds. Brands will have to stay alert on how video stories interact with their users (especially on platforms where the “like” button will disappear ”).
4. TikTok remains disruptive in the social video
The emphasis on video implies that video-based platforms such as TikTok, Lasso and byte will continue to grow in popularity. Of all these platforms, TikTok is the disruptor that leads the way, especially in the Z generation.
The Chinese app is very well positioned to shape this trend, offering fresh ground for influencers, including micro-influencers (another trend we are also going to talk about).
TikTok is raising the interaction of users with entertaining, fresh and interactive content that does not focus on direct sales. In short, TikTok is the antithesis of your mom's Instagram because it is a highly curated and filtered sample of what Instagram was originally.
5. Audience segmentation
Whether we are promoting a product or ourselves, we create content for networks thinking about our audience, or at least the audience we think we have. The problem is that we are not always very clear who our niche is, and we fail to do a good job making messages that speak specifically to our audience. This general approach is getting out of the audience segmentation boat.
Segmentation involves strategically dividing your audience into meaningful groups, based on individual preferences. Segmentation goes beyond basic demographics, allowing you to talk to you and build a long-term relationship and a sense of community with a specific audience. In the coming years, segmentation will be the line that defines the best social strategies.
6. Personalized video marketing will be relevant
Audience segmentation goes hand in hand with greater personalization of social media marketing. It makes sense to combine segmentation with the love we have for videos and that this results in personalized marketing in the video format, that is, highly personalized and super relevant video content for specific segments of your market.
Social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are already making brands produce video content with their Story Ads , partly because these campaigns tend to be more effective than traditional ones. Twitter is also adding to the trend with six-second video ads. Custom content will take this trend to the next level.
7. Social shopping will be subtly integrated into social platforms
In the last 10 years, social platforms have played a significant role in the fact that ecommerce has become a multi-million dollar industry. The fact is that, currently, social shopping is a fundamental part of social networks.
Users expect and want to have access to brands and products on social platforms. The trick now is to create a high level of interest through an emotional and creative narrative (something that usually depends on video marketing and influencers marketing). Another basic is to create a friendly shopping experience in which customers do not have to leave the social network to buy products.
There is no doubt that this trend will continue to expand in the new year, in which we will see more posts where you can buy things, with links between all platforms and web pages. And although TikTok is not yet being used in this way, it is likely that it will not take long before it evolves and sellers start looking for ways to sell within it.
8. Less public interactions, more private interactions
As our lists of “friends” expanded and concerns about privacy increased, there are more and more users who are taking their conversations to private groups and messaging applications. These apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Messaging allow us to create much more intimate groups in which we feel safe to share personal information with others.
This trend, which is actually returning to direct communication, has the potential to be massive. In fact, messaging apps have surpassed social networks as connectivity tools between users. Today, top messaging applications combine almost 5 billion active users per month. These are more users than all traditional social networks worldwide.
9. Audiences want more meaningful connections
As people become more cautious when sharing things on public social networks, and interactions are migrating from the public eye to the private environment, marketing will have to follow the same path.
Brands should find ways to create more private and intimate connections with their audiences, without being too intrusive. This will be summed up in building communities around a brand (or groups), in which your message is relevant but where you are also receptive to direct messages.
For example, let's think of a survey conducted by Facebook in 2018 to 8,000 people, of which 69 percent said that direct messages with a brand help them trust them more. Other platforms such as Instagram offer a “List” feature to share content with a select group of friends.
The goal is to give the audience more meaningful connections and the feeling of being in a more intimate and exclusive environment.
10. Authentic content is the key to selling
Users are more skeptical than ever when it comes to moving from a social network to a purchase. What they want is to read the comments of real people before making a purchase. This is where the user-generated content and the content generated by your employees come in, and the key is that both must be authentic.
User-generated content (think of the reviews left by customers) offers proof that a product is worthwhile. The content generated by employees is a bit broader and can include videos, images or articles that talk about the company's mission and its values, as well as the general benefits of the products or services. Employees are perceived as insiders who can be trusted, and users feel that their publications are more genuine than what the company could do.
11. Influencer marketing bets on nanos
In terms of influencers marketing, it is time to look beyond big accounts, and to really have an impact on social networks, brands should consider working with micro and even nano- influencers .
Although there will always be a market for the largest influencers, we cannot underestimate the power of micro- influencers who have smaller and better defined audiences. At this level, influencers offer a higher level of customization and greater interaction with their audiences. And not only that, but users are more likely to follow an influencer they really connect with than a faceless brand.
12. Social networks are the place to build trust
Brands should remember that social networks are not only a marketing and advertising platform, but they are really the place to nurture trust and build a real relationship with their audiences. Social networks offer the opportunity to communicate the value of a brand and so that it can interact with its customers at the same level.
Achieving it means that brands must find ways to have a free dialogue flow and let go a little. Showing the human side of your brand and increasing transparency will build the confidence you need. Focus on a fun, simple and direct personalized communication, and find relevant ways to show your social responsibility and a deeper level of interaction. This will help you succeed in all the other efforts you make on social networks.