Trends you need to know to gain an edge on your competition.

One word to summarize the world of social media this past year? Explosive. There are 2.45 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, 330 million monthly active users on Twitter, and 260 monthly active users on LinkedIn. Across the board, each of these platforms is seeing increases that would have shocked people 10 years ago. The good aspect of this for you and your business? You can still get on board and utilize the power of social media to attract new customers! Our Hashtag Creative team is constantly researching to remain at the forefront of this ever-changing landscape and here are the trends we believe will be prominent in 2020.

Finding Your Audience

In the world of social media, there are four big players. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Understanding which of those platforms would be right for you can be a challenge, but there are ways to break it down. Are you a business-to-consumer organization or a business-to-business organization. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the best for those organizations that are business-to-consumer but other platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are best for business-to-business. Whether you have a large company or a small one, your audience is on social media and it is important that you are too. The content that you post on one platform is easily digestible on other platforms with just a bit of tailoring so getting going is all about identifying what works. Keep in mind, every industry isn’t using every platform so it is all about testing and seeing what truly works.

Pay-to-Play

For most businesses, the days of free exposure are practically over. Organic reach is not what it used to be and the effectiveness of referrals is dwindling. To find your specific audience in the new year, you are going to need to do some researching and some spending. For us, being specific is the name of the game. The world of “free exposure” is coming to an end and tactics such as boosting posts, targeting posts, and pay-per-click campaigns are becoming a new normal. This trend has really shown itself in 2019 and it will be even more powerful in the new year. 

This change is something that all social media users will have to accept. For us, as professional social media marketers, we have to focus on rising to the top. For more specific targeting, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are ideal. Rather than tossing content onto social media hoping something sticks, you can be strategic about who sees it. This is based on interests, locations, demographics, and even more attributes. We recommend setting a marketing budget so that you can actually see your return on investment and do less of the guessing.

Share Your Story

One of the most honest, and greatest ways to gain a following on social media is by getting personal and sharing your story. What makes you unique and gives you an edge on the competition. This is a major trend for B2C businesses and B2B businesses. Social media users adore a company that they can get behind. This builds trust and allows a brand to be so much more than just a logo with content. In the world of social media, trust is a key word and it is essential to getting the community on your side. From publishing photos from a community event to a blog article to going live on Instagram when you are out and about, building that real connection is so important. This belief in your business is what will turn a social media user to a valuable customer. It is crucial that in 2020, you don’t focus on posting content, you put your energy into building a brand. 

At Hashtag Creative, we know that every company has an amazing story and we know exactly how to get it out there. We specialize in detailed, strategized social media plans that will connect you with your audience. 

To learn more about our services, give us a call at 727-258-5822!

Start Participating

Once you are connected to the world of social media, you need to participate! Talking with users is so easy and it is possible to answer a consumer’s questions. Truly, it has never been easier for a business to communicate with a user than it is right now. That communication can take place through direct messages, comments, or a different one of the many channels that each platform offers. These interactions feel personal as if that person was right in your business. Not only are small businesses getting behind this trend, but larger ones are too. We all know about that time Wendy’s went viral on Twitter for responding to comments. 

According to Instagram, 80% of its users are following a brand. This showcases the fact that people aren’t against following entities that aren’t their friends in “real life.” Take advantage of this change in the new year, we know it will work out for you. Messaging through social media is quick, easy, and effortless, which is why it is becoming much more popular.

Some businesses choose to have an in-house marketing team to respond to this trend, but we understand that can get very expensive very fast. It is hard to find people who know the ins and outs of every social media platform and can also keep up with the trends. 

At Hashtag Creative, this is why we offer the services that we do. Social media is the name of our game and we are here to elevate your brand to the largest audience possible. We have the specialists and the team in place to benefit you while showcasing analytics and monitoring services that will ensure you stay on top. Let’s make 2020 your year. 

The Power of Video

For marketers like us, video is becoming one of the most effective forms of content. In 2020, this will only continue to grow. The good thing for you? The videos don’t need to be highly produced. They just need to offer an inside look at your brand. This form of content showcases company culture and has the highest engagement rate overall. This coming year, get to creating videos.

The results are out, everyone. Social media users adore video.

Are You Creating Ephemeral Content?

Short-lived content is rapidly gaining popularity. First Snapchat came along and released stories and then Instagram did as well in 2016. Once this happened, the average time on Instagram rose from 7 to 13 minutes per day. 

This form of content gives people the idea that they have limited time to view what you are posting, which makes them want to keep logging in to see what you have going on. The commitment to watch a short video is low – exactly why people love it.

We’ve added Instagram and Facebook stories to our social media packages, so give us a call and let’s get to attracting your audience. 

Influencer Marketing

The idea of influencer marketing is to use a celebrity or local personality to sway followers to get behind a brand. Today, people trust other people more than they trust some businesses, which is why this form of marketing is on the rise. If you choose to use this avenue, we believe it is important to utilize people who are trustworthy, reliable, and actually pair well with your brand. In 2020, this form of marketing will be huge.  

User-Generated Content

Another wildly popular type of content that is going to be big in 2020 is user-generated content. Not everyone is going to give credit to a business for a job well done but they will get behind a person who promotes how amazing your business is. People truly value the honest opinions of others through reviews, shout-outs, and even creative things that people have done with a product. People trust people so use that to your advantage!

AR, VR, and Robots!

Technology – what an amazing tool. In recent years, features such as AR and VR have taken platforms by storm. We even remember when Snapchat first came out with those face filters by mapping out the faces of their users to create a mask that moved once they talked. Many social media users and organizations are finding amazing ways to use this new technology and it will become much more popular as it becomes more affordable. 

The Takeaways

To summarize everything, stay current. Social media is here to stay and it is becoming integrated into our daily lives in more ways than we even realize. Don’t ignore it, use it to your advantage and get out there. Your competition is on social media so you should be too. 

With the insights from social media platforms and the ability to target specific audiences, your content can get right out in front of the people who you want to see it. Not only is this a game-changer for your social media presence, but it is one for your business as well. Keep improving and innovating, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

For businesses large and small, if you need help implementing social media into your strategy, give us a call. We live and breathe social media marketing and understand that building a following is a marathon, not a sprint. The sooner you start elevating your social media presence, the better.

At Hashtag Creative, we offer industry-specific content creation, social media engagement and monitoring, and cutting-edge analytics that will showcase the growth of your business’ online presence. When it comes to social media, we are full-service. We’ll save you time while you watch the leads flow in. Work on your business, not in your business. Let’s make 2020 your year!