7 of The Most Important Social Media Trends in 2020

Social media is rapidly growing and evolving every day. If you’re an aspiring social media manager or PR professional, it’s vital to stay on top of the trends and start recognizing patterns. Here are the seven things you must know about social media as it is currently and how it is predicted to evolve in the near future.

 1. Niche platforms, like Tik Tok, are ruling Gen-Z’s social media habits

In the past, the top social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have dominated the social media world and conversation surrounding social media. Recently, people have been looking for smaller communities with more relevant niches and more chances for genuine engagement, leading to the rise of niche platforms like Tik Tok, Reddit, Twitch, WhatsApp. Being early to trends and staying on top of the ever-evolving landscape will be essential to success on these smaller platforms.

 2. User-Generated Content (UGC) is more crucial than ever

While UGC is not a new or recently emerging trend, it has become incredibly powerful in the 2020 social media landscape. Brands utilize UGC in a number of ways, from encouraging customers to create content for a chance to be featured or included as a part of a specific campaign to only using customer-generated content on their pages. According to a 2017 study, 90% of purchase decisions are led by user-generated content. This is due to the authentic and shareable nature of UGC that allows brands to build a community rather than simply sell a product.  

 3. Influencer marketing strategy is changing

In the past, brands have relied on influencers with massive followings to promote their brand with little success in determining the actual return of investment of such investments. Now, brands are recognizing the impact of smaller micro-influencers. Because their audiences are smaller (typically between 500-10K followers), their audiences are more dedicated and expect genuine content. By investing in multiple deals with micro-influencers, brands are able to spend the same amount of money they would on a bigger influencer, but they are capable of reaching narrow audiences on a wider scale.

 4. Emphasis on “Digital Detoxing” is huge in 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic sending millions to work from home and take online school, the average person is consuming mass amounts of media and spending most of their time on their devices. 63.9% of mentions of #DigitalDetox are on Twitter rather than traditional news outlets. This indicates that digital detoxing is a social movement led by social media users themselves after discovering the adverse effects that social media and time on the internet can have on both mental and physical health. Because users are looking to manage their time spent on social media, brands must ensure that the content they are sharing is of high quality and quickly digestible.

 5. Video is essential to thriving on social media

According to the Cisco Annual Internet Report, 82% of all content online will be video by 2022. Video has always been instrumental on social media – just look at YouTube with a massive $15.1 billion in revenue in 2019. However, bringing video to all social platforms will be crucial to maintaining audience engagement in the future. With platforms like Tik Tok and the new Instagram Reels feature, it’s more essential than ever to include video in your content strategy.

 6. Short-form content is key

Short, bite-sized clips or images that disappear after a certain period of time, or ephemeral content, is driving engagement quickly and easily. Due to the short length and the fact that it is only visible for a certain amount of time, it’s easy for users to click through and get the message without boring them or extending past the average attention span. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook (and possibly Twitter soon) have Story features that allow users to post ephemeral content.

 7. Adoption of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will become the norm

As technology continues to evolve, social media platforms evolve with it. Adoption of augmented reality technologies like Snapchat and Instagram “filters” is projected to continue spreading across multiple platforms. Facebook has introduced its social Virtual Reality social experience called Horizon, where users can play games and connect with each other. As these technologies become more prominent and more accessible, social media platforms will support both AR and VR tools for their users. For brands and influencers alike, it will be crucial to understand and use these tools to stay on top of the trends.

Whether you’re an aspiring social media manager or just love staying up to date with social media, these are the seven top trends to look out for in 2020.