As 2019 comes to a close; it’s time to look forward to the social media forecast for 2020! What will we leave behind and what will give us the edge for the year ahead in a social-sphere we’re our waking moments are spent encapsulated by our social media feeds.
Ephemeral content will conquer!
It will come as no surprise to most of us that our attention spans are growing shorter and shorter and how we consume content has changed noticeably. Thus the rise of story content gaining much greater traction for being short, engaging and addictive in a way that people can spend hours going from story to story. I know I’m guilty of flicking through my following’s Instagram stories to pass the time on the treadmill, shocking I know! But the reality is that our consumption of Instagram stories alone has risen from 100 million viewers in 2016 to 500 in 2019!! So, if you weren’t making use of this tool before, it’s time to take notice.
Is it time for the niche platforms to shine?
Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media realm as the largest and most popular platforms, however, in recent years, several other niche social media platforms have not only emerged but have significantly risen to fame. The likes of TikTok, in particular, have caught our attention, launching in 2016 it’s not had much traction until now capturing the imagination of Generation Z in particular, it’s a great platform for brands with a younger demographic; bursting with fun, engaging and super shareable video content. LinkedIn is still a favourite amongst B2Bs and Twitch, amongst gamers with several others creeping up in popularity and will continue doing so in 2020 and beyond.
Time to bid farewell to ‘likes’
It’s really happening, likes are going. In their efforts to reshape the social media landscape Instagram and after recent successful beta tests, the removal of ‘likes’ is set to be implemented globally. Their logic being that likes have become much more than they ever intended to, and are now deemed responsible for determining a person’s social value and waiting for such validation is detrimental to people’s mental health – we’ve all been guilty of removing a post that we feel didn’t ‘do well’. However, there is speculation that this change hasn’t been made for that reason and is purely to make them more money. As brands are paying huge sums of money to influencers to promote their products. None of this money goes to Instagram. In fact, influencer marketing has become so popular that brands are moving away from traditional marketing methods like advertising.
So, how will it affect brands? Well, if Instagram removes likes then brands won’t be able to measure the direct impact of their campaigns as easily as they do now, which will likely encourage brands to invest more in Instagram Ads as they can easily track the ROI for those. A scenario where Instagram successfully removes likes and gets more marketers to move to their ads feature could be transformative for social media marketing. This will not only affect influencers but may also encourage other social networks to make such moves, which in all honesty doesn’t sound cheap! There’s no doubt these changes are only just the start of the evolvements we’re going to see and for now, we can only take steps to prepare for the impact these changes are going to have – 2020 let’s be having you!