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5 SOCIAL MEDIA PREDICTIONS FOR 2020

Interviews & Opinions

As we enter the New Year, we have a chance to reflect on what we think the coming year will bring and consider the innovations that will come to fore, across the ever-changing digital landscape.

In less than a decade, this space has grown into a rapidly evolving multi-billion-dollar industry, with more brands and talent agencies alike entering the scene than ever before.

Read on to find out why social media will continue to dominate content strategies and how we can seek to revolutionise best practice by better understanding the latest tools, features and trends in order to engage with the savvy consumer.

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1. VERTICAL VIDEOS

As marketers, we know that rich, visual content is a very effective way of drawing in an audience and vertical videos do just that.

In fact, on Instagram alone video posts receive 38% higher engagement and generates 2.1X more comments and likes. The social giant has listened to this demand and as a result provides four forms: video posts, stories, live streaming, and IGTV for creativity.

Consequently, marketers, now more than ever have a diverse way of reaching their audience at scale. That’s why looking forward, with the success of stories, in particular we believe that Instagram will continue to pave the way for video content and experiment with new ways, but with a specific focus on vertical formats whilst learning from user performance.

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2. SECRUITY ON SOCIAL

Speaking of video marketing, we saw new players enter the scene last year. Such as TikTok, for instance, who was confirmed as the fastest growing social network in 2019, with an estimated 500 million users now sharing and watching content within the app.

However, despite this rapid growth, reports began to circulate that the Chinese owned company, had a built-in feature that could allow users to create deep fakes. Deep fakes are the latest form of manipulated media where a user can take an existing image or video and replace the person or object with the likeness of another by using artificial neural networks. This issue, was originally raised during the overnight popularity created by an app called ‘Face Swap’ which allowed users to scan their face and transfer their image to videos and consequently caused concern.

To make matters worse, both the U.S. Navy and Army have banned the use of TikTok for servicemen and women; revealing the concerns those organisations have over the potential for ByteDance’s apps to cause national security threats.

2020 needs to be more focused on consumer security, so they feel safe when using these platforms and indeed creating content. As a result, it’s our responsibility, to educate our community and raise concerns when something isn’t right, in order to promote privacy.

3. A FOCUS ON FIGURES

In 2019 Instagram made a bold statement when announcing that they would be hiding likes. The aim of this action, the company stated, was to remove the element of “pressure” from the social media platform and to stop it feeling “like a competition”.

Certainly, this move made some serious waves in the industry, since many marketers value this data when reporting campaign success. Moving into 2020, we predict that brands will instead focus on a holistic and conscientious approach, that values creativity over and above vanity metrics.

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4. TRENDING TOOLS

As more social media platforms continue to enter this space, more features are being realised by giants such as Instagram, in order to enhance their offering. For example, GIFs are just one tool which have been used by brands and talent agencies alike in order to increase awareness – that can’t be copied by other competitors. Beyond creativity, businesses can also use GIFs to draw attention to important elements in Instagram Stories, like a call-to-action or the swipe-up button.

Consequently, we believe this year, more brands will tap into building their own unique marketing assets, such as GIFs in order to get ahead of the competition and promote fresh, stand out content.

As this interest continues to grow, apps must deep dive into the insights they can provide, so marketers can further report on data such as Sticker Taps, when analysing campaign success.

5. THE YEAR OF AR

Snapchat has long been seen as a creative innovator by leading the way with its vast array of filters. But augmented reality (the use of technology to adapt and change a real-life image of reality) has also been picked up quickly across various platforms.

For example, Instagram and Facebook now also support AR filters throughout their stories and is indeed the premise of what TIKTOK has been built.

Moving forward, we believe VR will continue to develop, and as such, include more voice control stemming from AI natural language processing, increasing immersion by reducing the reliance on icons and menus intruding into the virtual world. This will especially influence sectors such as the gaming industry, who can further explore how to better engage users during their experience.

In fact, the likelihood is that anyone will be able to generate their own AR filters and users will suddenly be able to wear their favourite fancy dress outfits, try on new fashion items from their sofa, change their hairstyle and nail colour, all through the use of their mobile.

This means that brands will be able to extend their presence outside of reality and fully engage with their consumer, in a new way.

But these brands will need to be on top of the ever-evolving AR trends –  to ensure they don’t miss a beat and so that they can continue to enrich the consumer journey.

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TO CONCLUDE

No matter what happens, above all it will remain our job as industry experts to watch the ebbs, flows and keep on top of the changes in the social media landscape in order to be reactive and responsive to the modern consumer.

Most of all, our focus will be to try to predict the unpredictable in this truly digital age and focus on true talent, over and above influence.

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