If you want to be successful on social media in 2020, you need to base your strategy on the latest real-world data and social media trends.
That’s why we interviewed more than 3,000 marketers toward the end of 2019. We also spoke to dozens of industry specialists. This gave us multiple perspectives on the social trends that matter most in the year ahead.
Finally, we pored through the latest data from respected research organizations, like:
- The CMO Survey
As we sifted through this huge mountain of information, five key trends emerged that we predict will shape the social media space in 2020 and beyond.
Here’s our insider look at what you need to know for the year ahead.
Download the full Social Trends report to get an in-depth analysis of the data you need to inform your social strategy in 2020.
Top 5 social media trends for 2020
- Brands strike a balance between public and private engagement
- Employers take center stage in a divided world
- TikTok shakes up the status quo
- Social marketing and performance marketing collide
- The social attribution gap closes
1. Brands strike a balance between public and private engagement
2019 was a big year for messaging.
Instagram launched Threads, a camera-first messaging app to connect with close friends. LinkedIn began rolling out Teammates. It’s a new feature that helps users better connect with people they work with in real life. And Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to unify Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Nearly two-thirds of people say messaging apps are where they feel most comfortable sharing. And half of the senior marketers we polled say they’re rethinking their content strategy to make the most of private channels.
But the future of social media is not going to be completely private. People use social to find entertaining posts, read news, and research products, all in public channels. More than half of brand discovery online still happens in public social feeds.
This is a clear opportunity for marketers who understand how to strike the right balance between public and private:
- Public feeds are the place to drive awareness.
- Private channels are the place to drive meaningful one-to-one engagement.
For example, look at the Data Open tournament, a game-based social recruiting program from the hedge fund Citadel. Citadel used traditional public social feeds to promote the tournament and create excitement.
But they used private channels to give the game sticking power. They helped students connect through an invite-only Facebook Group. And they used a Facebook chatbot to test students with complex math problems. Those who completed the problems successfully had their resumes sent to the top of the pile.
Students interested in the Data Open spent 149% more time on the Citadel website than other visitors. The Facebook chatbot drove more than 5,500 conversations. And the number of applications for entry-level positions increased by 74%.
Likewise, the meditation app Headspace uses public social channels to raise awareness of its brand.
But they also have a closed Facebook group with more than 17,000 members. Headspace users discuss meditation practices, ask questions, and lend support to one another in this private space.
The Facebook Group includes no product placement posts or advertising. It’s all about developing a relationship between the brand and its customers, and creating a sense of community.
What you should do in 2020
- Create a pathway from public to private. Use public feeds to guide customers to your private channels. Try using a Facebook or Instagram ad to send users into a private conversation with your business. This is easy to do with the click-to-Messenger feature.
- Automate the easy stuff. Use a blend of automation and human connection to build relationships. Bots can address common customer queries. But real people still need to handle more nuanced customer requests. More than half of consumers get frustrated when brands don’t offer any human interaction.
- Respect the intimacy of private channels. Don’t invade private channels with impersonal brand content. Offer real value that builds brand loyalty over time, rather than trying to make a quick sale.