How social will 2020 be?

The social media sphere was a busy one in 2019, with platforms buying others, introducing new features, testing new layouts, changing much loved features and with regulation becoming a major talking topic.

So, what changes will the social media landscape see in 2020, and what should brands and businesses be aware of?

An Olympic Year on Social

With 2020 seeing the Olympics taking place in Tokyo, forecasters are predicting that the digital athlete will be more important than ever before. With the Olympics gaining attention and traction across all media platforms, it is a perfect time for athletes and brands alike to power the interest and excitement of the games.

Athletics and sports have become more digitally synced via tech and data tracking – and it is not just those who are professionals and those who are just trying to keep fit.

Genuine and authentic content is a big thing and with sporting stars like triathlete Lucy Charles Barclay who employs a photographer full time for social content and GB gymnast Nile Wilson who has over 1.2m subscribers, now is the perfect opportunity for brands to show their sportsmanship and partner with athletes.

Influencing who?

With the rise of the influencer across social media platforms, we have also witnessed the rise of distrust of the influencer. Audiences and shoppers are starting to question authenticity of brand partnership – is it that this brand is actually good, or have they just paid a nice little sum to the influencer? 2020 will see a time where brands and influencers alike will have to work smarter and more streamlined to ensure that genuine content is produced, and there is actual influence on audiences.

Brands will need to be smarter and more strategic about doing their research, and who they invest in as their influencer or brand ambassador. While the influencers who will see a return on their investment will be those who stand for something, are not afraid to say no when asked to be affiliated with a business that they do now know/support, those who are transparent in their ‘deals’ and those who show that they genuinely use the products rather than a simple #ad on one post every month.

Social TV and Video Content

The popularity of video content has been on the rise throughout 2019, and its popularity will continue to increase in 2020. Video content tends to outperform other formats, and those that include subtitles are leading the pack.

Speaking at the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam, Facebook revealed some major new video features specifically aimed at Pages and Creators. We’ve rounded up the four key highlights below, so read on to find out why it’s good news for brands and creators.

With the introduction of mechanisms such as Instagram TV, Stories and Watch Parties, video content production is a factor that brands, and businesses need to have the skills to do in order to ensure they retain their audience on social media.

Creating not copying

Those who succeed in 2020 will need to demonstrate ‘next-level’ creativity!

To not only be seen but to retain an audience, social media users will need to ultra-creative and show that they can do things differently on social media rather than solely copying other users’ content.

Thinking outside the box, being different from all the other influencers and showing you are thinking about your content rather than simply posting something to have something will be a major factor of 2020.

Privately social, or socially private?

2019 has seen the introduction of more private methods of communicating on the social media platforms. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted the push for a 'privacy-focused vision' for the future of his social media company in one of his blog posts.

Zuckerberg was referring to the path in which he was taking his company down and recognised that:

"If we do this well, we can create platforms for private sharing that could be even more important to people than the platforms we've already built to help people share and connect more openly."

There seems to be an increasing appetite for more private areas of social media through messaging and stories, as well as closed groups, and 2020 could continue to see the popularity for these.

Staying ahead of the trends and having your social media skill set sharp will be even more important in 2020 to ensure your business or brand remains socially savvy!