The past and the present reflect the future. Just a couple of months ago if one were asked to project the future of social media marketing trends for 2020 it would be a relatively easy task. Post COVID-19 the projections become skewed. Take a look at both.
Social media matters!
It has 3.484 billion users, which is about just less than half of the world’s population. 4.54 billion people use the internet and 3.8 billion use social media and that tells you a lot.
The Post-COVID-19 world social media marketing trends projections 2020
It was relatively straightforward in the pre-COVID-19 times. The customer took center stage and you targeted customers on social media directly or obliquely.
1. Community is made up of people
The accent is less on marketing and more on social. It is important to build relationships and sustain them.
Give them the experience they expect not the one you wish to thrust down their throats.
Mary Davies, President, Beanstalk Internet Marketing stated that “The businesses need to come across as being a friend in a community and help.” That was before COVID-19. This echoes into the future post-Covid-19 era when “helpful” and “friend” will gain traction.
Elena Salazar, Digital Marketing Manager of VMWare maybe was a bit prescient when she said that “The accent should be to listen to audiences and humanize your brand.” This will be even more important in the post-COVID-19 era and even during the ongoing global lockdown.
Social media users are getting tired of all the pushy activities of brand marketers and being bombarded with offers that always carry a proviso. They expect, and social marketers should deliver engagement and interaction. 29% of people removed social media accounts due to overload. 27.2% considered it a waste of time and 26.7% saw a lack of trust. Yet, it is worth focusing on because of the returns. For every dollar spent the social media channel returned $ 5.20.
The trend is to make the community a key platform rather than a herd of customers to be milked at the right time. Brands are expected to entertain and educate and facilitate meaningful interactions between fans, users and followers. Marketers will have their work cut out to write the right contents, respond to comments and posts and send direct messages.
Mel Carson, Founder and CEO of Delightful Communications put it succinctly “people not just pixels”.
2. Influencers in 2020 and beyond
If you cannot get the job done, call in an expert. This is what your boss would say. Ergo, one turns to influencers with a strong position to put in their two words for you. It works so why not take advantage of influencers in 2020. Post COVID-19 the influencers may sing a different song but their voice will matter just the same.
3. Things are happening in places other than Facebook
Talk about social media and the triumvirate of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter spring to mind.
In 2020 and beyond social marketers will shift sights elsewhere and the most likely candidate right now is TikTok, the phenomenally young upstart phenomenon that has inundated the social world. Side by side you have the respectable Reddit. TikTok has 800 million active users and it is growing. Younger audiences are shifting from Facebook to TikTok.
4. No blah
People want something interesting, fresh and engaging and social marketers go blue in the face pushing blah blah and more blah that people simply do not want. No wonder TikTok with its extremely brief but telling videos is so popular. So, from blah, we go to such short-form videos and animations to engage the community. TikTok is purely video-based and therein lies a lesson for 2020 social marketing: More videos, please. YouTube is the new mecca.
5. User and community-generated content
For how long and how many stories can you push on your pages? It would get boring. Instead, the trend is to let users tell their stories and reward them for doing so. Try it. It is the “other people’s effort” principle in action. Apart from happier interaction, this type of involvement could generate positive reviews about your brand.
6. Employees matter
The mad chase of the customer has slackened a little. Businesses find a valuable asset they have been sidelining so far and that is employees. 75% of employees trust employers but are employers repaying the trust and letting them do their bit for the brand on social media? Employers, hopefully, will focus on making it easy for employees to participate in social media chatter through advocacy programs.
7. Customer service
In recent times over 28% of customers use social media for service related queries with the company. 30% said they found it convenient and 23% say they get prompt attention at any time. So, going forward in 2020, emphasize customer services and, importantly, “care” in the COVID-19 era.
8. Post COVID-19 likely scenario of social marketing
Genuinely or otherwise, companies will be forced to show more concern for people, their health condition, their economic status and overall wellbeing with sales taking a backseat. If you do not, you then come across as heartless and money-driven. Expect social marketers to dream up strategies that drip with the goodness of humanity.
9. More offers, better terms
The accent shifts from time-limited offers to long period redemption offers and more incentives. You do not have a choice. Plus, companies will have to show more readiness to allocate budgets for social services or to help those in need and make social media presence a platform to facilitate such assistance. It becomes our duty. It is not just for customers. It is also for vendors, dealers, retailers, and employees.
10. Motivating people
Governments may not be in a position to help. People will help people. Social marketing could do with motivational stories that promote aid and assistance from companies as well as individuals. Let people tell and share heart-rending and heart-warming stories. Instagram does this and has over 500 million active daily stories users.
Social media marketing experts are probably thinking hard about trends that would have shaped their strategies in normal times. However, these are not normal times. The COVID-19 era trend should likely see a changing trend in the use of social marketing.