Posted on 12/17/2019 at 10:59 AM
How to Use Social Media for Marketing in 2020
With as many as 3.2 billion daily active users, 2019 saw the continued rise and total domination of social media as a primary place for digital marketing strategy execution. The nay-sayers were silenced as companies continued to notice that “79% of American internet users are on Facebook (lyfemarketing.com)”. This is more than a hot trend; it’s the future.
Most consumers who have positive experiences with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to others. These one-on-one experiences mean new ways for brands to reach consumers, obtain valuable feedback, and engage for next-level customer service!
We’ve cast our gaze deep into our crystal ball (researched a ton of trends and analytics) to peer into the future and make some predictions about consumer expectations and want to share our vision with you, dear reader, in the hopes that you might grow your brand and enhance customer experiences!
Top 5 Predictions for the Future of Social Media Marketing in 2020 and Beyond
1. Consumers will Continue to Seek Opportunities to Engage Beyond the “Like” with Their Favorite Brands
People like to feel valued. They love instant feedback, and most have a deep need to feel that their voice matters. Social media has provided consumers with the ability to have a voice, be heard, and spread their message of support or disdain on a grand scale!
Did you know that research suggests that if a consumer reaches out directly to a company via Facebook, they expect an answer within 24 hours? On Twitter, 78% of people who complain to or about a brand expect an answer within 1 hour! If they do not get a response, they feel ignored, avoided, and undervalued. Some consumers compare a lack of response to calling a customer service phone number only to be hung-up on.
On a positive note, responding to comments, mentions, and messages daily helps reassure your customers that your brand cares about their support and feedback! Social media is the new word of mouth!
2. Businesses will use Social Media to Target the Other 98% of Users
Statistically speaking, only about 2% of website visitors make a purchase or otherwise reach out to the company behind the website they are visiting. In other words, unless your website is fantastically, strategically designed and provides optimal value, you’re missing out on interacting with up to 98% of potential customers.
Fun fact: social media users tend to forget (or choose not) to log out of their platforms when they switch to other websites.
Thanks to “plug-ins” like the Facebook Pixel and LinkedIn Pixel, businesses now have a way to reach the other 98%. With retargeted, custom, and look-alike ads on Facebook which uses the pixel to track which pages on your website people visit and hyper-target only them, the power to capitalize on and maximize, buying intent is higher than ever! Sure, it takes a bit of technical work and research, but the ROI potential is through the roof!
3. The Cost of Social Ads will Start to Increase
Digital marketing experts agree social media ads are grossly undervalued right now. That is a great thing for you but it won’t always be the case! Consider this: 5-10 years ago, the cost of running a print ad was thousands of dollars to reach a few hundred (to a couple thousand if you’re lucky) people who may or may not act. Television ads still cost thousands of dollars. The problem is that this is not where most consumers are! People are online and will be for the foreseeable future! With a Facebook ad, less than $100 allows you to potentially reach as many as 5-7 thousand people!
A recent Forbes article noted that more and more Americans are getting their news from social media. The Pew Research Center says that people even prefer to get their local news online rather than on TV. The research is clear;0 attention is the currency in today’s digital environment, and that attention is online. As bigger companies start to realize the untapped value on online advertising, they will jump in the ad game, forcing the prices up for the rest of the smaller fish in the social pond.
What can you do about it? Choose your platform wisely. Look at the analytics (insights) of the various platforms your company is on and start shifting your ad spend budget to the social platform with the highest audience for your market now. Building brand value and equity now mean increased and maintained sales later. If you spend on Facebook ads, you have the added value of also advertising on Instagram (kind of a two-for-one deal).
4. Customers will Continue to Research Products and Services on Social
According to a recent article on Oberlo, “54% of social browsers use social media to research products [and services].”
Facebook and Instagram both offer a marketplace platform to sell services and products online. With a clean image, product descriptions, and strategically using stories to highlight “hot deals” businesses can sell like never before, adding to their revenue streams in new and exciting ways! Plus, these activities have the added benefit of being non-invasive to customers!
A further, and more advanced, strategy goes beyond optimizing your social media profile. For best results, add products, descriptions, and images to your Google My Business account!
Optimizing your Google My Business will give the algorithms more data to direct people to your website and do wonders for your organic SEO!
This final “prediction” may be the most valuable. If you click the words Mobile, Voice, or Video from the section header above you will find some pretty in-depth articles about how and why you should maximize your efforts with all three.
e. When it comes to attracting the attraction of both consumers and search engine algorithms, convenient, reliable, and consistent content reigns supreme. People are visual creatures. We give our attention to things that catch our eyes. Often this means great (voice-search optimized) video and pictures attached to posts.
Forbes.com says “By 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen.” The convenience of voice search means that your content (both on website and social) will need to be optimized for voice if you hope to be found. No one ever takes the second suggestion of Alexa, Google Voice, Cortana, or Siri.
It’s what is used most. More than half (54% to be exact) of all global website traffic is accessed via a mobile device and that number is expected to continue to rise. Also, search engines prefer websites that load quickly and are optimized for mobile devices. Making sure your content loads quicker than your competitors (even by a second) can mean the difference in higher organic search engine rankings!
“91% of all social media users access social channels via mobile devices. Likewise, almost 80% of total time spent on social media sites occurs on mobile platforms.” -Lyfemarketing.com
It is estimated that 70% of all internet data transferred in 2020 will be thanks to video. Keep in mind that various platforms use video in different ways.
Instagram has IGTV which allows for 1-15-minute videos (or up to 30 minutes if you have a large following). With 15-second previews posted to the Instagram Feed or Stories; teasers can be used to draw people into the longer content. The content can be video interviews, product reviews, or repurposed content from blogs! The opportunities for rich content marketing are endless!
Facebook has many ways to use video. Target video ads, Stories, and even the new “experiences” form of posting (which allows for photos and videos to share the same space) mean that Facebook offers a lot of ways to reach your audience. Keep in mind that only about 15% of people watch Facebook videos with the sound on. In other words, be sure to include subtitles that are easy to read on mobile to create truly thumb-stopping content!
YouTube is alive and well. There are two key points to remember about YouTube:
First, let us never forget that the owner of YouTube is Google. YouTube is the 2nd most widely used search engine. Content on YouTube provides more opportunities for SEO. You can have up to 3,000 words in the description of a video. Let’s be clear. Video descriptions aren’t for the viewers (okay, maybe a little, and the links are), they’re for the algorithms. Including hashtags in the actual description of a video can help boost visibility organically and even help in voice search!
The majority of YouTube videos are listened to rather than watched.
Tik Tok is the real deal. Some experts predict that if Tik Tok were to add the ability to upload stand-alone photos, they would overtake Instagram, and potentially drive them out of the game. If you aren’t paying attention to Tik Tok and considering its practical business applications in relation to marketing, you’re setting yourself up to miss out on a huge opportunity.