To get straight to the point – Yes, you should include social media as part of your digital marketing strategy in 2020.
Over the last decade, social media has evolved from a platform for connecting with social circles and sharing daily updates to a powerful medium for influencing choices with the targeted distribution of optimized content, the active promotion of thought leadership, and purposeful engagement with the community.
Thus, social media is an effective medium for sharing content. It is a proven platform for building your business’ brand and reputation, promoting products and services, and creating strong and sustainable relationships with your customers.
If social media was part of your digital marketing strategy in 2019, read on! The tips we provide will make your 2020 strategies more relevant, effective, and impactful.
And if you haven’t included social media in your digital marketing strategy, it’s not too late! 2020 is as good a time as any to start your first campaign.
Why 2020 Is A Good Time To Launch Your First Social Media Campaign
In 2019, there were an estimated 3.484 billion social media users worldwide – a 9% increase from 2018.
The increase in the number of social media users goes hand-in-hand with the number of Internet users. The more accessible the Internet becomes, the more people will venture to social media.
In 2018, the Internet was accessible to 3 billion people. In 2019, the number of people on the Internet was estimated to be 4.4 billion people.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the growth of the Internet will slowly catch up with the growth of the population.
The group forecasts that by 2021, 75% or 6 billion of the projected population of 8 billion people will have Internet access. By 2030, 90% or 7.5 billion out of an estimated 8.5 billion people will be online.
Based on these trends, we can reasonably expect that as the population grows, so will the number of social media users.
If you are still thinking of including social media in your digital marketing strategy, remove your “thinking” cap and put on your “working” cap. It’s time to get social!
7 Social Media Trends To Watch Out For In 2020
Social media is in a constant state of evolution because people’s interests, tastes, and preferences are always changing. The strategies that produced results last year may no longer be effective in 2020.
Here are 7 social media trends that could shape your digital marketing strategy in 2020.
1. Less Focus on Getting People to “Like” Your Content
Social media is no longer just a platform where the objective of posting content is to generate the highest number of “likes”.
Getting a “like” will do wonders for your ego but very little – or nothing at all – for your business. It could just be a sympathetic gesture from friends who want you to feel good. But clicking the “like” button does not mean people like your content.
People are looking for content that has value. They want content that addresses a specific need, compels opinions and ideas to be shared and helps members of the community arrive at the best decisions.
For this reason, social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are putting less emphasis on “vanity metrics’ – like the “like” button and the number of followers.
Digital marketers feel that the pressure to garner “likes” only succeeds in affecting the person’s mental health and does little to strengthen the brand or put the product at the forefront of the consumer’s consciousness.
Instead, the focus should be on the quality of content and the rate of community engagement.
What good would it do your business if you have 1,000 followers but only 10 members regularly engage with your content? On the other hand, your page could have only 100 followers but 50 of them could be actively engaging with each other in your posts.
2. Video Content Will Be King
Bill Gates once famously wrote, “Content is King”. Today, the billionaire-founder of Microsoft would willingly amend his statement as “Video Content will be King”.
A 2019 study that was published by Social Media Week revealed the following eye-opening numbers about the future of video content marketing:
- 82% of all online traffic will be composed of video-based content.
- 78% of daily Internet users spend their time watching videos.
- 72% of consumers prefer video as the medium for learning about a company’s products and services.
- 95% of consumers retain information better with videos.
- 54% of consumers want more video-based content.
Video marketing is an effective driver of content because it appeals to the senses of sight, sound, and can potentially trigger powerful emotions that can compel the audience to comply with your call-to-action.
Today’s smartphones have cameras that can capture good quality videos. Start a YouTube channel for your business and upload video content about your products and services.
How do they work? What problems or issues can they fix? You can also post videos about your personal life to give the audience an idea of who you are and what you do outside of work.
At Mountaintop, we recommend having an explainer video made. You can post it on YouTube then embed the link on the homepage of your website. An explainer video will get more people to stay on your website and check out your products and services.
3. Social Media Audience Segmentation Will Play a Bigger Role
Social media gives you the advantage of targeting consumers who may be interested in your products and services. Even if you’ve acquired a good-sized following, they remain part of a community – your social media community. They followed you for a reason.
People follow you for different reasons. Yes, most will probably follow you because they are fans of your business. They love your products and want to stay updated on future developments.
There could be those who followed you not for the products you are selling, but for the tips you provide in your blogs. Maybe they are not interested in your products but they value the insights you provide in the industry.
Keeping track of who engages in your content; the ones who ”like” or share your blogs, and reading through the discussions in your posts can give you valuable insights on the market segments you are attracting.
You can use social media analytics to give you key data on the types of content that are generating the highest levels of activity on your page. Take note of who they are, where they are coming from, and how they are accessing your content.
Use data to create specific buyer profiles of your customers. Having data-backed information will help you customize the types of content that will target specific market segments.
4. The Continued Rise of Social Shopping
If you’re a retailer, having an e-commerce website is a key component in maximizing online opportunities. The website is where interested parties go to view your product and transact with your company.
On the other hand, social media platforms have become effective in generating inbound traffic to your e-commerce website.
Research has shown that social media has significantly contributed to the growth of e-commerce in the United States in the last decade.
Posting images and information about your product on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest has been proven effective in influencing the buying decisions of consumers.
Publishing blogs on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Plus about your business, industry insights, opinions on current trends, and providing useful tips that solve common problems will do wonders for your online reputation as a valuable resource.
To get people to visit your website, always include a link with your call-to-action in your blogs and other types of content.
5. Public Sharing Will Give Way to a More Personalized Approach
Privacy remains an issue on the Internet. Other than the constant threat of cyber-attacks, you want to manage the risk factors that you can control. When engaging in social media, it’s a good idea to take full control over your personal information.
Concern over the security and integrity of personal information is one of the major factors that have contributed to the popularity of messaging apps such as Messenger.
For example, if a follower of your Facebook page asks for details about the price of your product and preferred mode of payment, you can just send the person the information via Messenger.
Another example is dealing with customer complaints.
If a customer posts a complaint on your Facebook page, you can shift the discussion from the public thread to Messenger. This is a great way to manage your online reputation and at the same time personalize the approach for your customer.
6. Greater Dependency on Authentic Content
The Internet is rife with online merchants offering a wide variety of products and services. Unfortunately, you take the good with the bad.
While there are e-commerce websites that you can trust, the Internet has its fair share of businesses that have malicious intent as their primary objective.
Also, there are businesses with the “take it or leave it” mentality. They only care about the sale – not the customer.
In a sense, social media has tipped the balance of power toward the consumer because it has given him a platform to air his opinions about a business. It has given consumers a valuable resource for getting information on a product or service before making the decision to patronize the business or not.
Think about your own experiences. If you liked your dining experience at a particular Italian restaurant, wouldn’t you take pictures of the food you ate and post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
In contrast, if you had a rough encounter with the customer service people of a telecommunications company, wouldn’t you post about the incident on Facebook or LinkedIn?
Powerful emotions compel people to write reviews about a product or a service. This is why consumers value them. They are content that is perceived as sincere and driven by purpose and therefore, authentic.
Invite your followers to post reviews and comments about your products and services on your social media pages.
Your willingness to leave your business vulnerable to the risk of getting scathing reviews shows your confidence in your offerings. We will continue the discussion in the next section!
7. Social Media Builds Meaningful Relationships
For businesses, product reviews and other types of customer-generated content are a win-win situation. Yes, getting bad reviews can be good for you!
In the first place, there is no such thing as a perfect product. Consumers have different tastes and preferences.
Perfect service is the goal but it is not realistic to expect it 100% of the time because people are human and there are days that they can be off their customer service game.
If you get a negative review, don’t ignore it. Act on it right away! Use it as an opportunity to show your other followers that you care by addressing the issue directly on the thread.
For example, a customer named Matt posted a complaint on your Facebook page that the Wi-Fi router he bought from you did not last 2 days.
A good response would be:
“Hi, Matt! Thank you for calling our attention to the router. We are sorry about your experience. I am Roger and I handle technical support. I just messaged you my email address and contact number. Kindly email the details and let’s schedule a phone call over the next 24 hours. Rest assured, we are committed to making you a customer for life!”
When you respond to a comment, it will not matter if the customer is irate. For sure, he will appreciate your immediate attention and timely response to his concern.
And if the customer is happy, an appropriate response will show that you value the relationship and not just the business.
The “social” aspect of social media refers to its dynamic nature. As people change, so do their online behavioral patterns. You have to keep track of these changes in behavior and apply your findings to your strategy so you can stay ahead of the competition.
Social media will remain relevant, useful, and valuable in 2020 and beyond because it gives your business more than just an online presence.
Social media humanizes your business. It creates bridges that connect you with your customers, followers, and potential end-users.
In combination with a thoughtful, purposeful, and engaging content marketing strategy, social media will give your business a personality that consumers can connect to and develop a strong, long-lasting relationship with.
For consumers, it’s not just about “What” your business is – it’s about “Who” your business is.
Let us help you get back on track with your social media program!
Give us a call or drop us an email. We can design a smart, data-based digital marketing strategy for your business that will optimize our content-driven social media marketing campaign.
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