Social media trends for 2020: Voice marketing, more influencer transparency

As the year draws to a close, online and social data analytics company Talkwalker has surveyed 50 social media experts and distilled what is thinks will be the key social media trends for next year.

Talkwalker and HubSpot gathered industry experts, PR professionals, social media gurus, and influencers, from the US, Europe, MEA, India, APAC, and the rest of the world to define the trends to make your marketing win in 2020.

From the rise of TikTok to the growth of video, from the growing significance of brand trust, to the acceptance of AI, “these trends are what every marketer will be discussing next year,” according to Talkwalker.

Some key points from the study include:

  • TikTok should be part of your social strategy for 2020. TikTok is the latest short-form mobile video platform. In 2019, we saw Instagram hit 1 billion monthly active users, cementing it as the 5th largest social media channel.  TikTok is catching up, an estimated 750 million users.
  • The awareness of the impact of social media on our mental health is increasing, with platforms changing their approach, such as hiding likes, to make their communities friendlier and less toxic, so ‘social media wellness’ will be a key trend next year.
  • Data Privacy: Social media has suffered a trust issue in the last few years, due to two major issues: data privacy and disinformation. In 2020, social media channels will adapt to tackle these issues, and rebuild their brand trust. Your brand trust could be destroyed if you’re linked to anything that puts customer data at risk. You’ll have to balance a fine line between data privacy and personalization.
  • Fake news also remains an issue. Improvements from brands and the social media platforms have helped, but there’s still work to do.
  • You will be using more augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in your marketing. Social media conversations about these topics had 13.2 million engagements in the first half of 2019, up 0.5% from H2 2018.

The study says brands like Coca-Cola are integrating augmented reality into all aspects of their digital transformation, particularly targeted towards the generation that doesn’t see a line between the online world and the offline, the reality and the augmented reality. AR will help improve the user experience instore while VR will be essential for boosting it online, according to the research.

For example, Japan Airlines is allowing customers to pre-experience trips as easily as trying on clothes, with their JAL xR Traveler.  While Lowe’s Holoroom allows customers to learn new practical skills in a virtual environment. VR will help customers “pre-experience” events or activities before they buy them.

Cheryl King, MD of marketers says we are seeing the rise of the Spotify generation and the ramifications of the Netflix effect. 50% of searches for podcasts are being done via voice search. “Converged media is all consuming and audio is powerful in a way like never before,” says King.

Voice marketing is another emerging channel according to Dave Chaffey, Digital Strategist and Co-founder of Digital Marketing Learning Platform Smart Insights. He quotes recent UK research that found 60% of smart speaker owners have used them to make a purchase in the past year.

Despite the growth of new and social media trends, Chaffey comments thay traditional media advertising “still wins in many markets.” He quoted an example of a radio ad run in Thailand that did 4 times better than search marketing.

Christina Garnett,  a strategist at ICUC says: “As influencer marketing continues to gain traction, and Instagram and Facebook looking at removing likes, we are finally (hopefully) going to abandon vanity metrics and determine the real ROI of social media.” Look for:

  • More trackable options and referral programs for influencer marketing
  • A shift in Facebook’s ads. If likes are removed, people will realize they need to jump into ads manager and create more strategic ads. Friends don’t let friends boost content
  • More and more ad spend is shifting to digital opportunities.  You need to continue to test and optimize what works for your business.

Anvesha Poswalia, Digital Marketing Lead at L’Oreal Professionnel & Declor told the study: “Influencer marketing is increasingly moving towards greater transparency with brand associations & measurement of deeper metrics. Brands are extensively using social listening to understand if any brand associations are being faked & to measure the overall sentiment towards influencer associations… it is not just about the popularity of the influencer, but about the fitment of the individual.”

The full research report is available here.  



Main Photo: Shutterstock

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