With each year, social media is rapidly turning into an advertising beast of its own. Pick any social media platform and you’ll find that its features grow and change with it as its design matures, even as users come and go. While social media users might find these updates to their liking, keeping up with such frequent changes can be challenging for e-commerce businesses. Just when you thought you had social media marketing down, something new drops and you end up going back to the drawing board.

Keep up with each year’s social media trends so you can use them to your benefit and outperform the competition.

Influencer Marketing 

Every year, both offline and online businesses invest millions of dollars in influencer marketing, who in turn help them achieve their marketing goals. Influencer marketing has been trendy for the past few years and is expected to grow even more this year.

Social media influencers are way more effective in terms of building brand engagement than paid ad campaigns and are also considerably cheaper. Additionally, you can use them to achieve a variety of marketing goals, not just for the primary purpose of generating leads. You can even collaborate with a network of small, relevant, niche influencers to get to a specific market segment.

Data-Driven Advertising

The costs of advertising online are going to skyrocket in 2020, so you’ll need to be very careful in deciding which posts you want to boost on your social media pages. A simple method would be to take a data-driven approach with all the ads you run. 

Use the organic traffic on your social media as a focus group to help identify your best-performing content. Study statistics carefully and analyse user responses on specific posts. Once you’ve found your ‘star’ content, run ads to boost the reach even further. Instead of spending small amounts on each ad, spend more on the content that is more likely to drive your desired results.

Revisiting Facebook Groups

Recent Facebook updates have been directed more and more towards Groups. As a user, you might also have noticed group posts appearing more often in your feed than they used to before. The constant growth of Facebook Groups will improve user privacy and allow for more personalised messaging and community building for brands. 

You can create a Group for your business, join groups related to your niche, or find other ways to tap into these user-built communities. The word-of-mouth within these groups is remarkably strong since they all consist of like-minded people. This essentially means that once you build your trust with the community, they are going to market for you without you even asking them to.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is a fun new addition to social media that enhances real-life experiences by adding computer-generated augmentations to it. Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook have been using AR in multiple ways to enhance their user experience. Instagram, for example, uses AR to create numerous photo filters that make it seem like you’re wearing makeup, sunglasses, or even bunny ears through digital magic. 

However, AR in social media is not just limited to creating wacky filters. Brands can also use AR to provide better shopping experiences to their customers. Beauty brands, for instance, could develop photo filters to make people try out their lipsticks before purchasing them. Ray-Ban even tried this out for their sunglasses and it worked out pretty well for them.

Alternative Platforms

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been the core social media platforms used by most online businesses to market directly to consumers. However, a lot of users are growing fatigued with these core platforms and are switching to newer alternatives. 

One fast-growing social media platform that is becoming a go-to, especially for younger generations, is TikTok. TikTok has been able to gain 500-million monthly users globally, and shows no signs of stopping. Businesses have yet to effectively advertise on the new platform, but once they find out how to do so, the rewards could be outstanding.

Similarly, Pinterest is another platform that has been seen to work best for e-commerce businesses. A recent study shows that 75% of the users on Pinterest say they are “very interested” in trying out new products, compared to just 55% of people on other social media platforms.

User-Generated Content

Social media users simply find content posted by their peers way more trustworthy, influential, and compelling than the content created by the brand or the corporation itself. There’s a million ways you could use this User-Generated Content to your advantage, but make sure you always have a place for it in your content mix. You could start with starting simple campaigns by asking people to use your hashtag, or take it a step further and ask them to post a picture with your product.

Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content are posts that are available only for a short duration and disappear afterwards. Instagram and Snapchat Stories are the perfect examples of this type of content. 

People today generally have shorter attention spans and therefore prefer content that is short and engaging. This is the main reason Snapchat and Instagram stories are more popular than ever.

Marketers will start using more and more ephemeral content over 2020. In fact, according to a recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers have either already incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to do so in the near future. 

Video Marketing

The total view time of videos on both Facebook and Instagram is around 5 times higher than static content like text and images. The number of businesses using video content in their social media marketing strategy has drastically increased over the past few years and will grow even more in 2020. 

According to a study by Cisco, by 2022, 82% of the content available online will solely be video-based. Investing in video content is now more important than ever to stay relevant in the social media domain.

Localising Social Media

Social media platforms now allow users to filter posts from nearby places or by specific locations. Considering this, brands have also started using geo-tagging in their posts and stories, and this trend is expected to increase even further this year. 

Geo-targeting works particularly well for promoted posts. For instance, when you’re boosting a post on Facebook, you can select a particular location you want to target. You can also use this feature to invite people to a local event you’re organising or to promote a product in a specific area where it is the most demanded.

Privacy and Security

Finally, as users become more aware of how their data is being used, privacy becomes more of a concern. Social networks and regulatory bodies will tighten their rules and put more policies in place to protect user data and make the whole platform a safer space for users to share their data. Moving forward, you will also need to keep an eye on all the regulations to avoid any legal trouble.

Social media is a highly dynamic and competitive space with no hard and fast rules on who wins the game. The key to success in such a dynamic field is to always look out for any upcoming changes or developments so you can adjust to them in time and stay ahead of your competitors.

 

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