In today’s world, traditional marketing methods almost seem niche. That’s in part down to the seismic rise of digital marketing, with mediums like social media accounting for 13% of global ad spend. Compare that with print’s 6% market share, and it’s easy to see the impact digital marketing has had on keeping current and new audiences engrossed. 

2019 saw companies spend an incredible $84bn on social media, a 20% increase on previous years. But with social media’s ever-changing landscape, keeping up with the latest trends can prove tricky. As technology advances so too does social media, with new devices and platforms opening up more ways for interaction. 

It can be especially difficult keeping up with the latest trends if you’re a busy marketer trying to implement your marketing strategy. But, worry not, as we’ve put together a list of the latest social media trends that you can expect to pop in 2020. 

1) Location-specific marketing

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Smartphone with location displaying

One of social media’s biggest strengths is its ability to connect people from all over the globe, making the world seem that little bit smaller in the process. If you’re focusing on a local audience, however, sometimes it’s worth turning the volume down on that global noise. 

Location-specific marketing involves reaching audiences based on their geographic location and is already a popular method for interacting with customers. Nearly two thirds of marketers use location data for targeting ads, and its importance looks set to grow in 2020. 

Looking at physical foot traffic to see a customer’s location means marketers can create tailor-made social ads. Expect to see more scenarios where customers get notified about special deals as they get within close proximity of a store with a promotion. Location-marketing will bring you closer to your customers, literally!  

2) Instagram TV

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Old fashioned TV

When Instagram Stories first released in 2016, many thought it could be the end of the social media app as it moved away from the image-based posts that initially made it such a hit. One year later, it had 250 million active users. 

The recent launch of Instagram TV looks set to be monetized by marketers in much the same way as Stories. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, and the next 12 months are going to be pivotal for brands reaching out to audiences via videos.

With IG gradulary removing likes from posts, more marketers will move away from paying people to advertise their products directly, instead choosing to go straight to IG’s advertising options. And Instagram TV looks like it might be one of the primary benefactors. 

3) Better customer insights

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Analytics

Social media is already becoming effective at collecting user data. As more people sign up to social accounts and monitoring systems evolve, marketers will gain even more insight to the profile of their customers. 

It means you will be able to scale research at a fraction of the cost and produce completely unique adverts aimed at specific customer personas. Brands will essentially have digital R&D departments where they can refine products and services to make customer experiences even more seamless. 

4) Tik Tok

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Tik Tok logo

Tik Tok has 500 million users worldwide, and yet only recently have marketers treated it as a legitimate way to advertise to their audiences. Expect 2020 to be the year of Tik Tok advertising, as marketing professionals master how to monetize the app. 

As one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, Tik Tok opens up a rath of possibilities. 41% of Tik Tok users are between the ages of 16 and 25, so you can expect companies to try and influence the next generation of consumers. 

2020 is likely to see a spike in the creation of brand accounts on Tik Tok, with the most creative ones finding smart ways to interact with audiences. Influencers will be able to open up branded content to a larger, well targeted audience, and Tik Tok’s campaign options should also prove popular. 

5) Social communities

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: People gathered around a computer

Audience engagement has risen to new levels with the introduction of social media, as brands provide more meaningful interactions for their customers. With audiences expecting more from their brand experience, 2020 will see even more marketers focus on engaging with communities on a deeper level. 

Building communities around content isn’t a new concept, but it is one where brands are seeing positive results. Over the next 12 months, companies – both b2b and b2c –  will explore how they can be more interactive with their audiences. The use of social media suites will help to bring it all together and simplify outreach. 

6) More user-generated content

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Someone taking a picture (UGC)

It seems strange talking about user-generated content (UGC) as a trend for 2020, especially as it’s been around for a few years now. But brands are still understanding how to fully utilize the concept, and next year could be when they crack the code. 

Much like social communities, UGC is the perfect tonic for making customers feel more included in branded output. It takes a typical A to B interaction and adds another layer, asking the customer to contribute directly. 

From customer reviews to content of people interacting with your product or service, UGC creates more trust between consumer and brand. 90% of US shoppers say that UGC is the most influential part of their purchase decisions. And social media is the perfect platform to champion UGC, as the majority of your target audience already operates there. 

Bonus: Virtual reality

Social Media Marketing Trends for 2020: Virtual Reality headset

Looking beyond 2020, virtual reality has the potential to make big waves in the world of social media. Initially it failed to meet lofty expectations, but it looks like that could all change. VR is particularly popular with Generation Z and Millennials, and with prices for the tech decreasing, its popularity looks set to grow.

Virtual reality advertising hasn’t yet been fully utilized, but that could all change within the next few years. As more people adopt VR, marketers will need to look at how they can take advantage of the tech to  interact with audiences. 

One of the obvious ways is by inserting advertising within the social worlds that are created. Another could by curating social media communities where people get together to discuss products and other aspects of a brand. Whichever form it ends up taking, the possibilities should get marketers excited.  

The future is now

2020 promises to take social media marketing up another level, which is why it’s vital that you stay on top of current trends. Which one of our social media marketing trends excites you most? Perhaps you’re using some of them already. We’d love to hear your thoughts.  

Keeping up with the latest trends needn’t be a chore, and implementing these new concepts also doesn’t have to be complicated. Especially for companies that use social media management tools to aggregate their digital marketing output. 

Exciting times lie ahead, and marketers have a great opportunity in front of them to increase brand engagement and excel in their social media marketing efforts.