Social media trends to watch
A social media marketing strategy is on the mind of many small business owners. And if it’s not on you, it should be!
Major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram vie for market share by adjusting their business models to deliver better returns for shareholders while improving user experience.
As these platforms evolve, so will how you use them for your small business.
Let’s look forward to some ways to promote your business on social media in 2020.
More than 18 months later, the Federal Trade Commission has officially ruled that Cambridge Analytica defrauded Facebook users. The agency collected the personal data of millions of Facebook profiles without people’s consent and then used it for political advertising purposes.
Despite going bankrupt in the immediate aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is still working hard to tighten its data access processes and convince people to trust its new dedicated news platform.
Facebook has promoted Facebook News to a subset of the United States. This means that while you’ll still see posts from family and friends in your main feed, Facebook News will post content from a team of journalists (employed by Facebook).
This year, the company is also focusing on cryptocurrency and establishing its Facebook Pay feature. This could mean that your small business can soon include on-platform sales in your account.
Although the Facebook Watch launch did not go as expected (only 140 million people watch videos and shows per day, which sounds huge, but does not compare to the 1.6 billion daily actives of the platform as a whole). Still, it looks like Facebook is going to make another attempt in 2020, so let’s see what this means for video marketing.
What do these changes mean for your social media marketing strategy?
We will have to wait and see. The more proprietary content companies create, the more marketers can compete to stay visible.
We also wonder what the company’s vice president of design and research, Dantley Davis, meant by his recent announcement of a series of changes that could be coming to the platform as early as next year.
How will it affect your business promotion on social media?
You can have the ability to limit who retweets your tweets (which I don’t see a feature entrepreneurs will use much, we love our retweets!), and the ability to tweet something to a specific group based on their interests.
Learn more about how to use Twitter hashtags.
Since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has become the world’s largest professional networking platform.
Microsoft acquired the platform for $26.2 billion in 2016, and with access to Microsoft’s resources, we’ve seen updated professional insights and more targeted advertising.
We’ve also seen LinkedIn Groups make a comeback.
A LinkedIn group allows your business to create a discussion board related to your industry. This gives you the opportunity to start a special interest group of like-minded people specific to your product, service and/or expertise.
Groups also provide excellent visibility for your business, as your group partner will display your logo on each member’s profile. Group owners also now have the ability to post a variety of media such as images and videos, and instant notifications enable real-time conversations.
Executive Suite has over 300,000 members and brings together executives with a web series, practical advice and discussion boards.
What do LinkedIn groups mean for your small business?
Hopefully, it’s a good way to build a sense of community, find candidates for open positions, and gain brand visibility to name a few.
You may remember that Instagram is testing the removal of likes in several countries, including Australia, Japan, Italy, and Ireland. Likes aren’t over in the US and Canada—you can still see the number of likes on your own photos and videos—not just posts from others.
So where did this come from? Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has long dealt with people using hacks and workarounds. These mostly come from bots and unscrupulous businesses that use the app to make themselves or other users appear more popular than they really are. So, this is an attempt to make Instagram more authentic.
Instagram says “We hope this test takes the stress out of how many likes a post can get, so you can focus on sharing the things you love.”
While many entrepreneurs and small businesses are fine with this, influencer and video marketing companies are not.
How can they show businesses how popular they are? How will they demonstrate engagement?
But for the average small business owner who isn’t buying likes or gaming the system with bots, this can be a good thing.
If your social media marketing strategy includes engaging content and you’re happy to focus on comments and growing followers, you’ll be fine.
While IGTV got off to a slow start, it is now considered one of the biggest social media trends out there. After Instagram announced earlier this year that Instagram would allow one-minute previews of IGTV videos in the main Instagram feed, users (and companies) began to take notice.
Unlike your other Instagram videos, IGTV videos can be 10-60 minutes long. This makes for a great video marketing opportunity for interviews, behind-the-scenes features, and more.
Since we can now add landscape-oriented videos as well, I’m adding my Business Edge Show videos that have gotten a lot of traction.
These are just a few of the changes you can expect to see across the main platforms this year. I’m sure there will be more as the year goes on, because things always change!
To effectively promote your business on social media in 2020, it is essential to not only understand social media trends, but also embrace them.
If you find staying on top of social media a challenge, consider hiring an agency that can create strategies that will be specific to your social media needs and goals so you can focus on building your business.