Here in 2020, the dominance of Social Media is more prevalent than ever before. Whatever industry your business is in, there’s no doubt that there’s a Social Media channel that perfectly pairs. For the majority of small retail businesses, platforms like Instagram and Facebook are definitely ones to get well stuck into once you have put together your marketing strategy, and understand your target audience.  

Here at Media Jelly, we believe eCommerce is a great way of expanding any local retailers reach and if done right can help to bring in thousands of extra £’s. Linking with platforms such as Facebook and Instagram makes it very easy for your customers to do business with you, but will also capture those impulse buyers who are not necessarily visiting your high street store.  

When putting together your marketing strategy and content plan, you need to be mindful of your target audience and the latest trends. We’ve put together 10 trends of 2020 that every marketer or small business owner should be aware of; and of course as a marketing and advertising agency here in Norwich, we’re here to offer advice and even help put together a killer plan for your business. 

1. Growing Platforms 

Niche Platforms Growing in Popularity

Whilst Facebook is of course the reigning king of the social media world, with its extensive marketing and advertising platform, with over 2.32 billion active monthly users, Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform. Active users are those that have logged into Facebook during the last 30 days. There is however, lots of evidence to support that smaller emerging platforms are up and coming and definitely worth investing some time into. You’ve probably hear of TikTok, it seems to be the latest craze. The time spent on TikTok grew 210% in 2019 over 2018 globally as a result of TikTok’s continued efforts to grow its base of users and increase time spent on the platform.  

Whilst Reddit has been around for about 15 years, recently the number of active users has jumped by 30% to 430 million, whilst monthly views increased by 53%. One of the beauties of Reddit is that it’s a great community base, a place for members to have discussions on topics, ask advice and share knowledge. 

Mobile has made the accessibility of social media even easier, and people love to flick through feeds on the way into work, the way home from work, during breaks and when at home on the sofa when there’s nothing great on TV. Catching up with the latest headlines, seeing what their friends and family are up to, watching funny videos or following communities and groups of their hobbies and interests. In 2019 there were about 3.5 billion social media users around the globe and that number continues to grow, that means around 45% of the worlds population are scrolling through social media every day; so make sure your business is being proactive and being seen! 

Going back to Facebook, with it being the giant in social media with it’s impressive global reach and total active users, it’s important to understand how the algorithms work and to ensure you’re maximising your opportunity and posting the right content to the right audiences. Optimising your content for either paid or natural organic reach is critical. 

2. Stories are better than ever 

Social Media Stories Are Not Going Anywhere

If you’re active on Instagram, you’ll know that stories are a pretty big deal! They’re perfect for sharing highlights of your day or broadcasting a message you only want to share for a short period of time. From January 2017 to January 2019, the number of daily active Instagram stories rose from 150 million to 500 million according statista. 

So how can you make Instagram stories work for you and your business? Start by making your stories engaging by adding questions, polls, music or fun stickers. Try to make the posts authentic and real rather than using stock art. You can jazz up your posts with apps like Adobe Spark Post.  

Stories on the Instagram and Facebook Social Media platforms mentioned above, allows users to post a limited-time update that disappears after 24 hours. Even though these features were all launched less than five years ago, it’s proven to be one of the more popular growing social media trends among users and their growth numbers certainly indicate that they’re here to stay. 

3. Video to capture the imagination 

Video Usage in Social Commerce

There’s no doubt about it, video is one of the most powerful assets for any business in the online space, whether that’s on your website or social media channels. Video attracts attention and stimulates people, naturally we’re inquisitive and will give a video a second or two to see if it interests us before scrolling on. 

According to Cisco Networks, the traffic for internet video is expected to jump fourfold from 2017 to 2022 with a compound growth rate of 33% annually. In 2022, live internet video is expected to make up 17% of the total overall internet video traffic.  

If you hadn’t thought about broadcasting Facebook Live or Instagram Live streams to boost your brand awareness, you should probably think about jumping on the bandwagon and introducing live video streams into your content strategy. Perhaps start with covering events, product launches, new stock in your store, or questions and answers. 

4. Online shopping is the future 

Social Commerce Is the Future

Nearly three out of every ten small retail businesses already have, or plan to implement within the next 12 months an online store. In the UK, we’ve already seen how online retail is killing the high street and how social media is becoming more and more popular.  

Fashion retailers contribute 55.2% of internet sales in the USA. With DIY shopping platforms such as Shopify on the up which allow you to synchronise your product catalogue directly with Facebook and Instagram to allow you to tag and actively market your products, for one click purchases, it’s no wonder why there’s so many up and coming online retailers. Millennials play a huge part in social-media led purchase with 50.6% reporting to have purchased fashion ware online having browsed social media channels.  

As a marketing and advertising agency, specialising in digital and social media, here at Media Jelly, we’re able to work with existing solutions you may already have in place or provide you with custom and scalable technologies to help your retail business grow and disrupt new markets.  

5. User-Generated Content is King 

The Power of User-Generated Content

Stock artwork, studio shots and professional video look pixel perfect and whilst highly effective in lots of advertising, on social media this story isn’t necessarily true. Photos and videos taken simply on your iPhone, with a natural and authentic seem to be gaining far greater interaction on social media platforms. 

Consumers are actually 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic when compared with brand content – quite the reverse of how marketers view branded content. Consumers say UGC is ten times more powerful than influencer content.  

Here at Media Jelly, when we’re managing our customers social media channels, we always ensure that there’s a great mix of both ‘home grown’ and ‘professional’ content. Encouraging users to engage and share their own stories and feedback with images and video.  

Google Business, Facebook Pages and Instagram allows users to tag or upload their own pictures or videos either of them at your store, at your events or showcasing your products.  

6. Make it Authentic 

Authenticity Matters in Social Media Marketing

Reiterating the point above about user generated content, statistics from Stackla in 2019 say that 90% of consumers today prioritise the authenticity of brands. Authenticity is very important for the younger generation, both Gen Z and Millennials claim to enjoy visual, raw and real content. 

You think you’re already producing truly authentic content? Think again! Whilst around 92% of marketers thought they were creating genuinely authentic and relatable content, 51% of consumers believe that less than half of all brands on social media are generating truly authentic content. 

So what exactly does being authentic mean in marketing? 

By nature, marketing isn’t authentic; well at least if we go by the dictionary definition. Brands and businesses try to position themselves in the best light, omitting any details that may be bad for their image and do everything they can to entice consumers. We’re  now in a world of unprecedented consumer empowerment, where the reality of products and services is just a Google search and tweet away. That’s led to an influx of marketers harping on the need to be “authentic.”  

Here’s what “being authentic” means for the marketeers of some of the worlds leading brands: 

Kyle Sherwin, vp of media, Sony Music 

As usual, it’s a word that is so overused by an industry that loves its soup du jour that it becomes almost meaningless. The original “idea” of authenticity was essentially a way for corporations to attempt to not sound corporate in their marketing efforts — or at the very least to stay true to their essence. Increasingly in the social age, it has come to mean a way for brands to be conversational, to be colloquial — a means of presenting yourself as a brand in words, in visuals, in advertising and in customer service — that is more direct and everyday and friendly than perhaps you have been or you think your competition is. I would say “real,” but that is simply the same side of the same coin and doesn’t get you anywhere. 

Rick Maynard, senior manager of public relations, KFC 

KFC’s social purpose is to celebrate “real.” To us, being real means being honest, inclusive, boldly unapologetic, refreshingly to the point, insightful and occasionally, a little edgy. We steer clear of being artificial, judgmental, insecure, full of hot air, timid or gimmicky. We try to celebrate our real fans, engage in real talk and encourage real consumer-generated content. We prefer “man on the street” images over staged food shots. That’s what being authentic means to our brand. And the great thing about being real is it’s also really easy. It’s much more difficult to try to be something you’re not. 

Brian Maynard, Jenn-Air director of brand marketing, Whirlpool 

There is a feeling by many brands that all social media needs to be in a certain language meant for active social media circles. There may be a bit of truth in this thinking. Social media language is often a bit more “casual” than other channels, more of a conversation. Even if this is true, you must stay true to your brand’s DNA; you must truly know your consumers and what language they expect from your brand. This language includes imagery. Using Jenn-Air as an example, our consumers are very engaged in cooking. They are foodies and very knowledgeable in this area. When we communicate regarding food, we must do so in a manner that is not made up; it must be authentic to a “cook,” or we will get called out. We need to feature chefs and food writers who are authentic and not just actors as many television “chefs” are these days. 

Kasey Skala, digital communication manager, Great Clips 

Being authentic simply means brands need to stay true to who they are, what they do and who they serve. You have brands that act and operate one way offline and their online efforts are completely opposite. It seems that digital is causing brands to have split personalities. My biggest gripe is brands trying to become “lifestyle brands” when they have no business doing such. Brands like Starbucks, Nike and Coke truly are “lifestyle brands.” But not every brand is or should be. At Great Clips, regardless of whether it’s in-salon or online, we know and understand who we are and why our customers want to connect with us. If we were to use digital to come off as a high-end luxury brand, our customers would see right through it. Our goal is to bridge the in-salon and online experiences and focus on bringing value to our customers, regardless of the method of interaction. It boils down to understanding your customers and what they want and expect from you. 

Joe Barbagallo, social media manager, Volvo Cars U.S. 

Authentic means being transparent. We know our audience knows us well, and so we have to be honest. We say whatever we can say publicly on social media. We give them behind-the-scenes looks at what’s going on at our company. I mean, it obviously depends on the way your brand is structured, but every brand needs to make sure it isn’t posting misleading information about itself. You’ve got to be forthright, especially if consumers are asking you a question. 

7. The New Research Tool 

Social Media as a Discovery Engine

Social Media now plays a huge part in customer journey. Consumers used to simply brag about their latest purchases, now around 43% of all consumers use social media in the early stages of the purchase timeline, taking an active roll in researching by asking for recommendations, reading reviews and watching videos. 

There are around 26% of consumers will purchase products after being served an advert for a product or service. If we were in a retail store environment, this would be like the cleverly positioned products as you’re queuing for the checkout, enticing us to buy even though we hadn’t thought about needing or wanting to buy in the first place. 

As you might expect, there is a trend in terms of the age of those who are using social media to lookup products and services, and this is noticeable with those under the age of 35. 

8. People are Addicted 

How much time do people spend on Social Media?

In todays modern world addiction is not with drugs and cigarettes, it’s with social media. Whether you choose to admit it or not, we’re all slowly becoming addicts with many of us spending on average 3 hours per day scrolling through our various feeds, watching cat videos, reading headlines, seeing what our friends are posting, seeing our distant relatives latest holiday snaps, eyeing up what our friend had for dinner at that fancy restaurant… social media has become inescapable and we have a fear of missing out, on what – we’re not too sure really.  

As social media is becoming more integrated into our daily lives, it unveils countless opportunities for businesses who are looking to reach out to their audiences. Not with post after post of hard selling – this doesn’t really get much interaction and isn’t usually very exciting and is a quick way to get unfollowed, but with well thought through, authentic, engaging and like-worth content. 

9. Influencers Continue to Rise 

social media influencers

As the daily use of social media continues to rise, brands and businesses are continually looking for ways to be seen by potential audiences and as a result are partnering with influencers and brand ambassadors.  

Consumers say that they feel more confident purchasing a product or service that has been recommended by an influencer. Lifestyle and luxury brands work well with influencers, as often their followers aspire to live a similar lives and mimic these idols.  

If done well, product placements and endorsements from influencers can work wonders for your business and can be extremely cost effective. Here at Media Jelly, we’re continually building relationships with influencers who have great followings in different industries. As an agency, we can help match your brand with the right audiences on the right platforms. 

Out of all of the platforms, Instagram has proven to be the most popular with YouTube shortly behind. Over the next 18 months, marketing managers and digital content planners are placing a greater emphasis on influencer marketing – with 63% planning to increase their budgets to collaborate with influencers.  

Though it may be tempting to enlist a mega-influencer for your business who has over a million followers, keep in mind that their large following may often mean a higher cost and interestingly, a lower impact. Influencers with fewer followers such as micro-influencers and nano influencers have been proven to drive higher engagement rates. 

10. Customers Reaching Out 

 Customer Service via Social Media

A critical point for businesses of all sizes to pay attention to is responding to your customers in a speedy manner. Three in ten consumers use social media as a way to communicate with businesses according to Drift.  

As customers, we love convenience and expect it to be easy to do business with and communicate with the companies we buy from. It’s disappointing that around only 10% of consumers said social media was a place they felt confident they’d get answers to complex questions, as they were advised to go to a support portal or call a helpline instead of being assisted through the channels direct message facility.   

The point here has to be, if you’ve got direct messages switched on, make sure you answer them quickly and can actually answer questions. We’re impatient and it’s likely that whoever is trying to buy or ask questions about your product isn’t just talking to you (unless its unique to your store), and the fastest finger wins. 

Conclusion 

Whether you’re looking to tweak your social media strategy or just looking to get caught up with the newest social media trends, these ten social media trends we’ve listed above will certainly help you understand how your customers engage with social media. 

And one quick note before we go: given that social media trends are constantly evolving, you’ll want to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest social media marketing trends so that you stay one step ahead of the competition! 

If you want to discuss your social media strategy with us, then by all means please do give us a call or drop us a message, often customers are surprised at how affordable digital marketing agencies are and how effective they can be with assisting with the growth of a business.