2020 Social Trends and Insights

January 24, 2020 - by Blog

Are you geared up for a new year on social media? As we all know, the social world evolves at lightning speed, so the Fusion social team has rounded some of the key trends and developments they expect to see in 2020.

In this two part blog post (part two following soon), the Fusion social team lays out what to consider when approaching social media strategy and content development for the next 12 months and beyond.

Instagram Unfiltered:

“Influencers have been actively speaking out about burnout, mental health, and the stress that comes with maintaining perfection.” – The Atlantic

The term authenticity is bandied around a lot when it comes to social media content, especially in the wake of Instagram removing likes from the platform, prioritising users’ mental health and wellbeing over chasing likes on perfectly ‘grammable shots.

In 2020, we’ll see the ‘realness’ upped even more. We’ve already started to see a big shift in content production – it’s all about an in-the-moment approach; slightly low-fi and rough around the edges, to ensure that it looks and feels true to life, relevant and shareable.

Many of the newest Instagram influencers are shunning the typical ‘for the ‘gram approach’, instead focusing on unfiltered content where rules do not apply. And in some cases, the ‘worse’ the content production, the better.

Reese Blutstein has gained a following of 238,000 followers in a year by doing just that; posting unfiltered shots with a refreshing attitude to the platform – ““I’m not afraid to over-post. I don’t think, Oh, will this mess up how my feed looks,” she says. “I don’t think too much about it. If I like an image, I just post it.”

This is especially true when it comes to the future of social video, particularly short form – and this also provides an advantage for marketing teams, because experimenting with low-fi creativity won’t blow the budget.

So what does this mean for brands? It’s about content accessibility and a new approach; perhaps ditching the over-curated feed to instead tell an authentic story to followers and give them something they can relate to. Brands can spend big budget even on social imagery, but we should consider that more polished isn’t necessarily more engaging.

Build it, and they will come:

Something we’ve known for a long time is that building audiences and communities isn’t just about follower numbers, and groups / micro communities are fast becoming the most effective way to communicate as audiences fragment even more.

Would you rather have 100K followers who like your content but don’t interact, or 10K followers who proactively engage with your content, comment and strike up conversations with other members of the community?

As social media users’ desire grows for privacy and wellbeing, micro-communities based on niche interests are emerging a key area where brands can get involved and harness the power of these fragmented but more highly engaged groups. We’ve seen this at Fusion where we focus on micro influencers in cycling and running.

Instagram has already taken steps towards this enabling users to create their own communities, introducing their Close Friends options for sharing Stories, and the new messaging app Threads, to help users communicate more seamlessly with their closest friends.

Facebook Groups were part of Mark Zuckerberg’s company-wide initiative to refocus on privacy and curated communities last year, and some small tweaks to their design and improved convenience of being included in the main navigation when the app has opened.

“As consumers shift into smaller, tight-knit groups, brands will have new opportunities to make more deliberate and genuine connections in online spaces,”
says Mark Schaefer, author of Marketing Rebellion.

From a brand perspective, this means treating your audience like friends not prospects.

The ‘gram:

We’ve already mentioned Instagram a fair amount already, but for very good reason. Let’s look at the stats;

· 1 billion people use Instagram every month
· 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day.
· The potential advertising reach on the platform is nearly 850m users.
· 200 million users visit at least one business profile per day on Instagram.
· 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.

To keep up with advancements and developments across competitor platforms (we see you TikTok), Instagram has already released a whole host of new tools, focusing on keeping users in Instagram Stories, giving more tools to create the best possible content. We’re already seeing a Layout integration with the Stories format this year, along with new types of Boomerang.

82.2% of marketers will invest in more video content in 2020. 55% will invest in Stories – AspireHQ

Ephemeral marketing is a proven key engagement tool for Instagram – Stories has nearly doubled the amount of users spending time on the app thanks to its visibility on the platform. Its success is partly due to a richer selection of interactivity tools available in Stories (polls, question sticker tags, quiz functionality) where brands can easily gain audience feedback, and strike up authentic conversations with their communities, and tell their brand story in a creative way.

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