7 social media trends to watch out for before 2020 hits

With the new year a scant three months away, communicators can and should get ahead of the curve by looking at emerging features and platforms. Here’s what to keep your eye on.

2020 social media trends

Social media is seeing fast-paced shifts and updates throughout key platforms.

Here are seven social media trends to watch for as the new year approaches:

1. More ad money will be spent on TikTok. The average user now spends around 45 minutes per day on TikTok, according to Fast Company, which is more time than users spend on Facebook. TikTok will probably siphon incremental ad budgets away from Facebook, as momentum keeps swinging in the new network’s favor.

2. Facebook will continue investing in long-form news shows, but with a European focus. The platform’s bid for long-form, episodic content shows no sign of lessening, leading to more mid-roll programmatic advertising opportunities for brands.

3. We will see more ads within Instagram Stories. Story ad frequency has spiked in recent months, to the point that it’s detracting from the user experience. For example, Instagram was experimenting with increasing ad volume in Stories via testing back-to-back Stories ads from different brands. That could really tick off users.

4. Instagram will continue its inevitable decline of organic reach. Facebook-owned Instagram will follow the path of its holding company. Organic reach will continue to decline, as brands must continue to pay more to access the community they’ve invested in cultivating. The latest data shows a steep decline over time, and this will accelerate in the next 12 months.

5. Facebook Groups will provide a big opportunity for brands. Facebook has platform challenges, as audience growth stagnates and young people leave the platform in droves. Facebook has to find a purpose in people’s lives, and the company believes that will come in the form of Groups. Facebook is changing the user experience to put Groups and community at the center of the platform, offering an opportunity for businesses that act quickly and nurture their own communities in this arena.

6. Twitter will continue to offer brands the most cost-effective opportunity to reach many people. Twitter retains value, despite changing since its inception. A well-written, well-timed tweet is one way that a brand can create viral magic, reaching millions without paying big media bucks. Due to the success of fast-food brands and other playful feeds on Twitter, we’ll see many companies try their hand at Twitter wit. More and more brands should be investing headspace and creative efforts into Twitter.

7. Half of all brands will launch or plan to launch their own podcast. Podcasting enables marketers to create self-owned media outside social algorithms and change their media offerings. With the entry level to podcasting rather low from an investment standpoint, many brands will create branded podcasts. Many will fail, but the 20% that get them right will reap big rewards.

A version of this post first appeared on MediaPost.

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