As people change the way they want to experience brands on social media, brands need to change to meet these expectations and deliver the experiences their consumers desire. And this means far more than establishing an expansive friend base. Consumers expect to have meaningful connections with the brands they follow. Below are the top 5 social trends we see impacting brands in 2020:
- Love Beating Likes
Vanity metrics such as likes, page views and registered users simply don’t offer relevant business insights. Forward-thinking brands are tracking their mentions in cross-platform conversations and the number of direct conversations they are having with consumers. Just like in life, you should foster relationships with the people who actually care.
- Talking, Not Telling
To become a part of the consumer conversation, brands need to engage in more conversations themselves. The traditional purchase funnel is evolving, as people turn to their friends for recos and reviews, often bypassing paid media messages. Brands will account for this by shifting their focus to relevant engagements like social conversations, rather than the one-way communication of traditional ads. By nurturing more emotional connections with the audience, brands will retain top-of-mind status in the conversations where purchase decisions are being made.
- Meeting Your Match
Much like any dating app, social media audience segmentation makes it possible for brands to connect with niche audiences. Likewise, consumers are looking for connections with relevant brands that can give them a feeling of exclusivity – a literal welcome to the club. Brands will be personalizing content as much as possible to create emotional connections that lead to affinity, loyalty and repeat business.
- Staying Fresh
Ephemeral content – content that disappears after a certain amount of time – keeps a brand presence feeling fresh and of-the-moment. Live feeds drive greater excitement and draw more attention, while topical video content can be more personal without risking irrelevance over time. Social media trends change every day – brands will need to follow suit.
- Honesty Remaining The Best Policy
When speaking to consumers, brands will remember that the medium is the message. Micro-influencers (1,000-100,000 followers) and nano-influencers (<1,000 followers) are better regarded as experts by consumers, meaning their opinions will count for more. User- and employee-generated content also represent strong sources of authentic, persuasive content as the day of the celebrity spokesman comes to an end.
It’s Time To Get Real
With the ever-changing social landscape and the growing importance of meaningful connections between brands and consumers, an engaging content strategy is more important than ever. It will be crucial to showcase authentic content that speaks to specific audiences in relevant ways. Brands will combine owned and paid media into a seamless experience for consumers through tools such as social conversation targeting and customer published content. Throughout their entire journey, consumers will want a deeper connection with the brands they purchase and expect a high-value, highly personalized touch. Sound overwhelming? We can help!