Top five social media trends for 2020
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Top five social media trends for 2020

Top five social media trends for 2020

Here’s how brands can break through the noise and be heard on social media

Gulf Business

Social media has really come to the forefront in the last few months, as we deal with the reality of living in a Covid-19 era. With social distancing and self-isolation in effect, many have switched to social media to consume news, get entertained and most importantly, connect with others. Concurrently, we have also seen a sharp rise in both marketers and businesses revving up their presence on social media platforms and competing for eyeballs.

As a result of this mass influx of content on social media, we are now experiencing ‘content overload’ where it’s tough for brands to break through the noise and be heard.

Thus, staying updated on the latest social media trends is vital. Here are the top trends that are sure to get you noticed:

Video, video, video
Video is among the most-shared content on social media and an easy way to hook your audience and capture their interest. It is estimated that by 2022, 82 per cent of all online content will be video content, so if you’re not already creating videos, it’s time to make them an integral part of your content strategy. Social media videos can generate up to 1,200 per cent more shares than posts or ads with text or images. Whether it is short-form videos like those on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, the future will be video-led.

Rise of social media commerce
Brands have been using platforms like Instagram and Facebook to market products for a long time, but social commerce (the act of buying and selling on social media networks) as an avenue for retail has gained tremendous prominence over the last few months. It may not be long now before social commerce takes mainstream retail channels head-on, as shoppable posts become the norm.

With Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all allowing for shoppable posts and 87 per cent of e-commerce shoppers believing that social media helps them make a shopping decision, it’s no surprise that we see social networks quickly evolving to become retail platforms.

‘Live’ and ‘Story’ formats gain more popularity
2020 is the year of ‘live’ broadcasts and stories. With social distancing and home quarantine in effect for millions of people, stories and being ‘live’ has replaced our ‘real’ life connections as we spend hours lying on the couch, watching friends’ and brand stories on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. It has enabled people to share their thoughts, voice their opinions online, get others involved and communicate in an intimate, authentic and personal way – while still being physically apart. With LinkedIn being the latest to jump in with the Stories function, we are all set to see the trend continue, as others follow suit.

User generated content will be key
User generated content (UGC) is an incredibly cost effective way to not only build brand relationships, but also ensure a steady pipeline of quality content. Certain brands mastered this early on and have built a tremendous portfolio of images and content – at no cost, to fuel their social media pages.

No matter how you want to leverage UGC, it will become an integral part of your content strategy in 2020.

Social listening
Social listening is the process of monitoring and evaluating what is being said about a brand across various social media channels.

It is an incredibly effective intelligence gathering tool, as it enables insight into what makes your customers tick.

Rather than making assumptions about what your customers are thinking, it allows brands to understand exactly what they are saying.

With a plethora of sophisticated social listening tools now readily available, brands are realising its enormous potential in gaining insight into what cannot be found anywhere else.

Social listening is critical for the effectiveness of a social media strategy and as the tools get more advanced and the insights more specific, we will see an increasing dependence of brands upon the process of active social listening.

Zaib Shadani is the founder and managing director of PR and social media agencies Shadani Consulting and The Comms Room

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