2019 was a bit of tumultuous year in terms of social media rumors, changes and predictions. But don’t let 2019 leave a bad taste in your mouth because the only direction social media is going, is up! Social media is moving toward a more authentic and engaging space. (And to give you the TLDR right up front… major social media platforms and social media marketing are going to GROW, not wither in this next year.)
In our recent video, our founder, Adi Gabay, went over some of the changes that took place this year and went over the top 5 changes for businesses in 2020. In this article, we will analyze and expand upon these trends.
- Instagram, Pinterest, and Yes, Facebook Still Reign as the Top Platforms
As you may know, Instagram has been rapidly growing over the past years and has now reached 1 billion monthly active users. (Influencer Marketing Hub) And with that, 71% of their user base is under the age of 35. (Influencer Marketing Hub) So if your audience includes this demographic, it is imperative you have an active and effective Instagram strategy.
While many think of Pinterest as a place for recipes and weddings, it is SO MUCH MORE. It is great for your SEO, easy to use and has a huge base of women 25-54. Again, if your audience includes this demographic, Pinterest should be in your 2020 marketing plan.
And finally, Facebook. There is constantly talk about Facebook fading away and becoming irrelevant but we are here to tell you Facebook is still going to be a major player in the social media environment. Roughly ¾ of Facebook users are on the site daily AND 51% of Facebook users are on the site several times a day and 23% use daily. For comparison, Instagram’s numbers are at 42% multiple times daily and 21% daily. (Pew Research) This is not to say that Facebook or Instagram is better than the other, just to say that both are still relevant and important for marketing your brand.
- Influencer Marketing Is Going to Be Bigger Than Ever
You have probably spent a lot of time this year wondering about the future of influencer marketing… will the algorithm or the soon to be hidden likes crush this marketing opportunity? The answer is no. Influencer marketing is set to grow in the next year, not slow. Instagram users are seeking out trusted voices and peer reviews. They want an authentic feeling experience and influencer marketing is the perfect way to achieve this.
And don’t just take our word for it…according to Influencer Hub Marketing, 63% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer marketing budget in 2020. In fact, influencer marketing is predicted to be a $10 billion industry by 2020. (Mediakix)
Even the big brands, like Estee Lauder, Hugo Boss and Burberry, have explicitly stated that they believe influencer marketing is playing a key role in driving their success on social media. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
One of the reasons small and medium sized businesses originally turned to social media was for the opportunity to reach audiences in a more personal and budget-friendly way. Influencer marketing has made this easier than ever. The trend for small to medium sized businesses will likely to turn toward micro-influencers, as they are less expensive but still provide an excellent opportunity to reach new audiences. Small and medium business can often find great success with influencers in the 10-100k follower range.
While influencer marketing feels very different from traditional marketing, where teams of writers craft a very specific message, don’t let this scare you away. Even if you lose a little control of the message, allowing a consumer to write about and show off your product changes a sales pitch to a personal recommendation, which is much more palatable to Instagram audiences. And if you still need convincing, keep in mind that businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. (Influencer Hub)
- The Great Social Advertising Debate
So, as we have been discussing, Instagram is an excellent place for organic-feeling, user generated, and authentic content. And while this provides many great marketing opportunities, the truth is that ad spend on Facebook dominates. Research shows that more than 60% of social ad spend is going to Facebook while, Instagram comes in second at 20%. (Martech Advisor)
And this isn’t because of old marketing managers who are behind the times. There is good reason for this allocation of budget! While engagement is high on Instagram, direct advertising still preforms best on Facebook. Facebook isn’t designed to be the organic platform that Instagram is. Using sponsored posts and sponsored ads allows businesses to target the right people for their product or service. During this year, average ad costs went down by 4% and ad impressions went up by 33%! And here’s the real kicker…. Facebook accounts for 80.4% of U.S. social referral share to ecommerce sites, whereas Instagram only accounted for 10.7%. (eMarketer) So in summary, on Instagram you will want to focus your advertising dollars primarily on influencer marketing but be sure to earmark some ad dollars for Facebook ads as well.
- Shopping ON, Not Just Through, Social Media
As we all know, the trend is moving from in-store to online shopping and social media is making that process easier and faster. This year, Instagram released Instagram Shopping, which allows a user to purchase a product without ever leaving the app. As a business you can include a product sticker in a post or story and users will be able to see an image of the product from your post, a description of the product, how much the product costs and a link that takes them directly to your website, where they can purchase the product.
Facebook is also making the management side of shopping much easier with product discovery, messenger ads, and chatbots. Even TikTok is experimenting with including the option to send a viewer directly to a website to make a purchase. (Martech Advisor) If these are not features you are actively using on your channels, you are losing potential business.
- Tell Your Story
Increasingly stories are becoming the leading content in social media. As users are seeking out content that feels organic and are shying away from obviously edited content, stories are the perfect balance. Which is probably why Instagram has 500 million people using stories each day. (Hootsuite) Businesses can post content that is raw and unpolished but it disappears after 24 hours, allowing you to still have a curated, polished looking feed. You can even feature products or sales in stories, without appearing as “salsey” as you would dedicating an entire post to it. (And it really works!) 62% of people said they became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story. (Hootsuite.)
For these reasons, we recommend that you post on your stories daily. While this may seem like a big commitment, the beauty of stories is they can be organic! So feel free to make some on the spot when you have something fun going on at the office, a last minute sale or your brand is at an event. They also can take the place of some of your feed posts: most things you would post on your feed would also be appropriate for stories. So in the new year, try switching up the traditional daily Instagram posts and focus on quality over quantity and take the quantity to your stories.