To be successful at using social media as a big part of your marketing strategy, it’s necessary to be aware of emerging trends so that you can incorporate them into your overall approach. A survey conducted among thousands of marketing professionals at the end of 2019, and used in conjunction with information from various research organizations, shows five clear trends which will be prevalent in the coming year.
Employers will take center stage
As curious as this may be, many people have more faith and trust in their employers than they do in their country as a whole. Only about 20% of people today believe that their social and economic systems are actually functioning as they should, and that means most people do not have any confidence that their lives will be better five years from now.
Millennials in particular have a distinct lack of confidence in the country, with less than 25% of them expecting any kind of improvement in conditions next year. Far more millennials have faith that their companies can deliver improvements on diversity, inclusion, community impact, and development of talent. Brands which are able to secure the trust of their employees are expected to have a major competitive advantage in the coming year, especially since it’s known that companies which are purpose-driven will typically expand three times faster than their competitors.
These same companies also enjoy greater customer satisfaction as well as a more contented workforce. All this has given rise to one of the trends which is expected to gain serious traction in 2020. A group including approximately 200 of this country’s top CEOs have declared that their companies will commit to focusing on considering their employees, customers, communities, and their societies at large. While shareholders certainly won’t be ignored, it is expected that focusing on these other groups will become a major social trend in 2020, and one that continues on into the future.
TikTok will become a major player
In the first quarter of 2019, TikTok was by far the most installed app, and it has already achieved a subscription of more than 800 million active users, who spent at least 46 minutes per day on the app. When you take into account that the average TikTok video only lasts for 15 seconds, that’s an amazing amount of time. In a very short period of time, TikTok’s addictive video clips have had a major impact on popular culture, and its re-posted content is appearing on many other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
This is likely to cause brands to rethink ways that they connect with their followers and customers, one excellent example of which Nike provided in 2019. Nike officials noticed that very few young women in some countries participated in sports, but at the same time those women were happy to perform physically challenging routines involving dance on TikTok. By matching up TikTok influencers with elite athletes, they were able to create a dance based on specific sports, and then introduce them to the vast TikTok audience.
Brands will seek to balance their public and private engagement
More than half of all marketers today agree that the emergence of private social channels will have a major impact on their strategy for marketing during the coming year. Almost 66% of people say that they feel most comfortable sharing information and messaging apps, because of the privacy it affords them. While this is something that has to be accounted for, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the future of social media will be totally private in nature.
Vast numbers of people still use social media to come across entertaining posts, to research products and services they are interested in, and simply to read news. All of these take place on public channels, and considerably more than half of all brand discovery online also occurs as a result of public social feeds. This means that marketers will be forced to strike a balance between public and private usage of social media, with public feeds being used to drive awareness, and with private channels being best suited for one-on-one engagement.
The social attribution gap will be diminished
Even though social marketers have a great deal more access to data than in the past, it can still be difficult to measure return on investment. Those companies which are most successful at measuring ROI tend to have three basic characteristics which they excel at. For one thing they are capable of uniting social data and data from other sources to produce a holistic view. This means web data, CRM systems, and digital analytics must all be considered to produce a meaningful overall view of things.
Next, the most successful companies focus on integration of several channels, for instance combining customer engagement with social media and other channels, so they can have higher confidence in their social ROI. When it comes to attribution, these companies know better than to reinvent the wheel. They use attribution models which have been tested in outdoor advertising, television, and search engine marketing and then apply them to social media applications. This is particularly true of multi-touch and market mix processes for modeling attribution.
There will be an intersection of performance marketing and social marketing
For quite some time now, most businesses have primarily used social media to cultivate brand awareness. With organic reach shrinking, many businesses are now contemplating how social media can be used to deliver measurable return on investment, and that’s where performance marketing comes in. What’s meant by this is using social ads so as to accomplish specific goals relative to conversion, for instance clicks, leads, or sales, rather than follows and likes.
A full 44% of senior marketers consider increasing conversions their number one goal for social media, after increasing brand awareness. The intersection of performance marketing and social marketing will come as brand building activities are merged with efforts to increase conversions or to develop leads into paying customers. Striking the right balance between these two activities will be crucial to making the most effective use of social media in the coming year. This may be a challenging task, but it’s one that will be necessary in order to stay abreast of changing times and the evolution of social media.