As with everything in marketing, social media is constantly changing. What’s hot on Myspace yesterday is not going to fly on TikTok today.
Here are six predictions we see in 2020 for social media marketing.
1. Social media engagement equals customer experience
Social media, more so than nearly any other channel, is a two-way street. Though chat is growing and picking up the phone tried and true, social media engagement can be quick, simple, and help a customer or prospect get directly to the point or find a resolution.
It’s more than creating a personable brand that humorously trolls a competitor, it’s the person talking to the person in need of a laugh, an ally, a help desk, a knowledge base, a whipping boy, or a hotline asking for help.
“Revolve your world around the customer and more customers will revolve around you.” – Heather Williams
The best brands out there are using and transforming their social media channels to extend the cultural experience of your brand’s promise. From answering customer questions, solving problems, gather feedback, to recognizing your valued customers, great brands will ensure that their social media marketing makes the customer experience exceptional.
By the data: With 91% of retail brands using 2 or more social media channels and 81% of all small and medium businesses using some kind of social platform, did you know that 96% of people who discuss brands online do not follow those brands’ owned profiles. This means they’re talking about how your brand made them feel in places you might not be able to control or respond to. Walk your talk from a customer experience perspective at its highest level no matter the situation.
Pro tip: You might not be able to roll like Dominos and deliver your product by tweet to order, but likely there are small ways you can ensure your CX creates a better brand experience overall. Keep it simple from an engagement perspective.
2. If you’re not on Instagram, your brand is missing out.
Though TikTok is where the cool kids hang out, the Gram is where a brand can see incredible engagement while still being fun (sorry LinkedIn, we promise we love you too). It continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness for bringing buyers (B2C, B2B, association, and government) to your door and encouraging action.
By the data: 1 billion people use Insta every month, with at least 63% of users logging in once per day and spending an average of 28 minutes per day on the platform. We promise it’s not all Derek Blasberg apres ski; 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily.
Pro tip: with more brands investing in content, test out what works best for you for your paid versus organic content. And don’t be afraid of Insta Stories. ⅓ of the most-viewed Stories are from businesses.
3. Influencers aren’t going away.
Part of the “pay to play” landscape involves starting influencer marketing campaigns. A brand simply can’t hope to get ahead without the use of influencers who endorse your brand and bring traffic to you organically. Influencers have gone mainstream, clocking in as a $5-10 billion dollar industry in 2019.
“Influence is when you are not the one talking and yet your words fill the room; when you are absent and yet your presence is felt everywhere.”
― TemitOpe Ibrahim
By the data: You don’t have to invest billions though. 19% of marketers will spend $1,000-$10,000 annually on influencer marketing in 2020, 18% are spending between $100,000-$500,000, and just 7% are planning to invest more than $1million.
Pro tip: Start small, start local. One of Nifty Method’s favorite influencer Instagram account is @FortWorthWoman. It’s personal, friendly, and completely on-brand for this growing Texas city with a large audience of female buyers who love to drink margaritas, search for the best preschools, and watch TCU football. Other accounts we love to watch are @MissionMichelin, a local DC foodie who is eating her way through each year’s Michelin Guide and yes, @DerekBlasberg,
4. Segmentation Isn’t Just for Email
Gone are the days when Twitter could be your only social media channel. Everyone must diversify with multiple channels to get through to their target audiences.
This doesn’t mean you need to be on every social channel. If you’re targeting pharmaceutical reps, for example, they probably won’t be on TikTok. But you should be using LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube at the very least, as these are the most popular social media marketing channels for that segment.
Additionally, you’ll need to vary your strategy for each platform. Don’t post the same thing to every page. Change the delivery or style somewhat to match the platform you’re using.
By the data: Did you know that 50% of Twitter’s ad revenue came from international audiences? How about that 74% LinkedIn’s membership is based outside of the United States? Or the lie that continues to exist, “Only old people used Facebook” despite the fact that that the data points to 18 to 29 year olds being 81% of its users. Stats can be made to tell you what you need. Choose your data source wisely.
Pro tip: Do your research wisely before investing in a channel and establish clear goals.
5. Branding is more than your logo.
Think of the Apple logo. It’s nifty looking, yeah. But does it encompass the entire Apple experience? If you didn’t have the incredible store experience, the evangelists walking around with the latest tech in their ears and hands, or high-res photos floating across your social media feeds, would you believe that their products were worth investing nearly 5x more in than their competitors?
“When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.” – Meg Whitman
Similar to the CX we started our predictions with, ensure that your social media branding is also consistent across all social networks, which you’ve probably already mastered. The next step is to fine tune all the details from using the same font and colors to creating a clearly visual aesthetic or theme on your social pages.
Pro tip: When a consumer looks at your LinkedIn page or Instagram profile, they should know that they’re on your page simply because your images and videos are consistent. They have similar colors, subjects, and symbols that connect all your content.
6. A brand’s social presence must be human.
We like to hang out with people like us. Social media is a mirror. If your brand is showing its human side, it’s easier for a consumer to turn into a follower who is likely to be a “friend” and buyer.
“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” Jay Baer
We’re not saying you have to post pictures of your kids, but maybe your team likes to bond by delivering Meals on Wheels. Maybe you love eating cookies for lunch. Maybe your CEO hates cats so much he put up a painting of a raccoon in your office to point at in case you need it when someone interviewing for a job professes they love cat memes. Don’t shy away from the fun and human things that make your brand your brand. Embrace them!
By the data: 81% of consumers expect brands to get to know them and understand when to approach them personally. Shockingly, about 83% of marketers indicate that creating personalized content is still their biggest challenge.
Pro tip: Use these personal connections to increase the bond and loyalty between brands and your target consumers.
Bringing it all together
The more personal you get on social media, the better you’ll do. Brands that have a single personality as the face of your company perform very well because your audience gets to know the individual behind all the hard work (like @JarrettSays from Netflix. We love that guy, hopefully you see from the photo above why). They love to see behind-the-scenes peaks, personal stories, relatable interests, and vulnerable posts.
Ready to jump start your social media marketing today? Schedule time with our team and let's figure out how to turn your great ideas into action.