With the number of worldwide social media users predicted to reach nearly three billion in 2020, advertising on social media is a powerful business tool. In an increasingly competitive world, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the trends, and your competitors.

Advertising on social media – what you need to know

Social media marketing connects your business with your target audience through online platforms. It’s an effective way to build your brand, increase traffic to your site and boost sales. You can achieve this by sharing compelling content that allows you to engage with your audience and develop relationships and credibility.

Social media has become a massive part of people’s lives and daily routines. In 2019, UK internet users spent one hour and fifty minutes on social platforms every day.

The most popular social media platforms for businesses are:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat

Trends for 2020 and beyond

To help your business succeed online, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you stay ahead of your competitors.

1. The rise of new social media platforms

Facebook usage declined by nearly a third between June 2018 and June 2019. It’s predicted that there will be a further decline in the number of users in 2020 as people start using alternative platforms. Therefore, your business needs to be aware of upcoming platforms such as:

  • TikTok – A video sharing platform that allows users to create and share 15-second videos. The app achieved 738 million downloads in 2019.
  • Lasso – This is Facebook’s version of TikTok. Users can create short videos and put filters and effects on them before sharing.
  • Vero – An Instagram alternative with the benefit of no advertisements. It has the ability to choose whom users share posts with between four categories. (close friends, friends, acquaintances and followers).
  • Steemit – This is a blockchain-based blogging site that offers users rewards for creating content.
  • Caffeine – A platform that allows you to create live broadcasts. Viewers can comment on your post with text and emojis.

2. Using social media for customer service

Consumers expect companies to respond quickly to a question or complaint raised online. Social media is a convenient way for businesses to provide a digital customer service experience 24/7. It’s also a great way to respond to comments or feedback that people have left regarding your product or service. It’s essential to have a strategy in place that details how you will respond to customers on social media. It should also include how you will deal with the negativity that can take place online.

3. Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is temporary content that usually takes the form of a video or image. Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories and Snapchat allow you to use the ephemeral content technique. Although it’s not a new method, it is predicted to become more popular this year as it encourages an immediate reaction from viewers. It also requires minimal effort, with maximum user engagement.

4. More user-generated content

User-generated content is created by people on social media who are fans of a particular brand, product or service. It has proven to be successful due to the way it can build credibility with target audiences and help others make purchasing decisions. Sharing content other people have produced is extremely powerful, however, always remember to ask permission first and credit the original creator.

5. More social media communities

Brands create social media communities or private groups for their customers to interact and share stories with people who have similar interests. Businesses then encourage customer feedback and reply so that everybody in the community can see the response. It builds strong consumer relationships and trust with people who love your brand enough to talk about it with like-minded people. You can also use the community for advertising new products or services to a targeted group of people. A great example of social media communities is Facebook Groups.

6. Shoppable posts

Instagram launched their shoppable post feature in the UK in 2018It’s likely we will see a lot more of this feature on other platforms in 2020 as they play catch up.

Businesses can tag products in a post, allowing shoppers to make a purchase by clicking on the product, without leaving their social media profile.

It’s an excellent way for businesses to provide a seamless shopping experience for their customers and use interactive content to keep followers engaged. Shoppable posts is a perfect example of the effectiveness of advertising on social media.

7. The adoption of voice search

Google introduced voice search in 2011. It is a fast and convenient way for people to use their devices to speak their request rather than type it on a keypad. For businesses, this means that they need to optimise their SEO strategy to include voice search if they want to feature in search engine results. Technology is continually improving, and devices such as Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Google are becoming ever more popular.

8. The requirement for a stories strategy

Other social media platforms have been quick to follow the launch of SnapChat’s stories feature. Instagram Stories now has more than 500 million daily Stories users.

This feature creates constant engagement with followers by releasing content in stages throughout the day. It keeps viewers hooked and wanting to keep checking their page, so they don’t miss out.

Businesses who take advantage of this feature and add it to their marketing strategy will retain current followers. They will also attract new ones through consistent, fun and engaging content.

Start with a robust digital marketing strategy

A comprehensive strategy is essential if you want to take advantage of emerging marketing trends and ensure you are advertising on social media successfully. Through careful planning, you can select the trends that are the most relevant to your business and your target audience, giving you maximum results.

If you want to build your brand or grow your business, our comprehensive range of digital marketing services can help you achieve online advertising success. Contact Simply Media’s social media experts to choose which service you’d like or combine several for a winning digital marketing strategy.