2020 Social Trends

The new decade is coming in with a bang and once again social media strategists are switching up their social strategies to meet the ever-changing social trends.

According to Hootsuite’s 2020 Social Media Trends report and Falcon.io’s 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report, there are five key trends for higher ed social strategists to be watching for:

1. Balance between public and private engagement

  • 63% of people say messaging apps are where they feel most comfortable sharing and talking about content
  • Public content discovery and consumption remains a core use case for social—52% of brand discovery online still happens in public social feeds.
  • 2020 social strategies should use public feeds to guide audiences to private channels
    • For example: Create a Facebook ad that sends users directly to a private conversation with your business on Facebook Messenger to begin the conversation.
    • Tap into messaging bots to help reduce the workload, but keep in mind audiences still prefer to have human interaction when private messaging.
  • “This is all part of an ongoing shift in social that has private channels in the spotlight, putting increased pressure on brands to adapt. People have gravitated toward private channels to escape noisy and impersonal social networks—so don’t chase them with the same stargates that drove them there in the first place.”

2. TikTok shakes up the status quo—don’t discount niche platforms

  • TikTok was the most installed app in Q1 of 2019 and boasts over 800 million monthly active users who are spending on average 46 minutes per day.
    • 69% of TikTok users are 16-24 years old
    • 60% of TikTok users reside in China
  • Younger generations typically flock to new social networks where they can be creative without being showered with advertisements.
  • Instagram is putting pressure on TikTok with the creation of Reels—a new feature that allows users to set 15-second video clips to music, share them to their stories, and potentially see them go viral on the new Top Reels section in the Explore tab.
  • While you don’t have to be a producer on TikTok, the platform does give valuable insight into the tastes and motivations of the next generation on social media.
  • Check out our recent blog on whether it’s worth the ROI for higher ed to be on TikTok.
  • To note: LinkedIn is also rolling out a live video feature that will offer brands a way to deliver authentic video content to their audiences.

3. Social marketing and performance marketing collide

  • 44% of senior marketers cited “driving conversations” as a top outcome for social media, right behind brand awareness
  • With third-party social advertising tools, social marketers can easily master performance marketing.
  • “In 2020, the most successful social marketers will be those who can keep long-term creative strategy in mind while optimizing ads on the fly and working with data analyst teams to understand the impact of social across all channels.”

4. The social proof gap closes

  • Unite social data with other data for a holistic view
    • Web data, digital analytics, CRM system tie-ins
  • Focus on omnichannel integration
    • Integrate social ad strategies with email programs, PR activities, and advocacy programs for a stronger ROI
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to attribution
    • Use attribution models that have been successful for other marketing/advertising channels and apply it to social
  • Standardize UTM codes

5. Authenticity and Diversity

  • Glossy perfection is falling out of style
  • Humanize your brand
    • Add humor
    • Feature inspirational employees/students
    • Reveal what goes on behind the scenes
  • Celebrate diversity – Gen Z values diversity more than any prior generation
  • Strive to really understand your audience and create genuine content that will resonate with them on a more personal level

Posted by Emily Zangari

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