It’s that time of year – a look ahead to what to expect in social marketing for 2020. Social marketing is changing… and luck favors the prepared.

Let’s get started.

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Here are the social media marketing trends we are seeing from the Suite!

  • Global retail sales is expected to continue climbing, up to $4.4 trillion by 2021. This means there has never been a better time to start a new business than right now. Start a boutique, build a store in your corner of the Internet, get your name out there and branded and you could find yourself as part of this boom.
  • Video on all channels. If you haven’t noticed, Lives, Watch Parties, Episodes, Stories, Pinnable videos, everywhere is video. Video is becoming a dominant and prioritized content medium. The trend is moving toward longer, vertical videos (newsfeed optimized), optimally 3-5 minutes in length.
  • The rise of smaller communities and niche influence. Social media marketers have the great opportunity to create communities around niche value. Micro influencers (followings up to 10,000) will hold the power, and are who many brands should be looking to partner with in the coming year. This could include partnering with sellers from non competitive brands, and collaborating on different offerings.
  • 52.2% of all Internet traffic is generated through mobile devices – including social media and shopping. If you want to leverage this traffic, this means making it easy to communicate with you, shop with you, and read through your content just as easy on mobile as it is on desktop computers.
  • Chatbot communication will increase dramatically in the next year. One year ago, less than 5% of marketers used any form of bot marketing. With most consumers connected to Facebook messenger, expect this to shift in 2020 as Facebook Messenger messages have the highest open rate of any communication channel. Small business owners should be investing in training on bot marketing, and developing the automated bot sequences for things like follow-up and better customer service.
  • The rise of narrative and visual storytelling. Consumers are looking for more than just quick one-time post. They are looking for connection with others who share a similar story or vision. What does this mean for small business owners? Creating and sharing stories through products, customers, and partners, creating content arcs and narrative that bring the consumer on a journey.
  • Facebook's organic reach will continue to drop. Small business owners will continue to see a decline in both page and group reach as Facebook continues the shift to pay-to-play, ad-driven newsfeed placement. With over 85% of Facebook content viewed in the newsfeed, small business owners cannot rely on consumers coming to their pages or groups.  Sellers must diversify onto new channels, or expand into paid advertising.
  • Social savviness. It’s not 2014 anymore. Consumers are more discerning and jaded, having been plagued by data breaches, spam, and fake news. They are seeking community and connections, and are quick to unfriend, unfollow, unlike, and block. Gone are the days of simply posting product images, and pulling out tons of leads, sales, or bookings. Those who will find success in 2020 will have a solid social strategy, create a compelling story that focuses on value to the consumer, and creating an extended relationship.
  • Facebook is still ruling the social media platforms in terms of usage, audience, and reach. In fact, Facebook accounts for 53.26% of all social media shares in the United States — more than half! While I still advocate that you should diversify your social strategy and stop relying on Facebook, to abandon Facebook completely would be a mistake. Instead, develop a strategy that allows you to work within Facebook's ever-changing algorithm.

So what are the big takeaways?

To be successful in social marketing for the next year, small business owners should be focusing on building a long view strategy, developing content that drives community engagement, nurturing long-term relationships, and extending their reach to new channels through video, and new communication methods.

Content may be king, but a solid social marketing strategy still rules the castle!


Brenda Ster in a computer frame sitting at her desk with her phone in her hands with the words Social Media Trends to watch for the blog post Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2020

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