With the first month of 2020 already having come and gone, social media still remains a prime source for product and service marketing. In the past few years, many marketing experts have predicted the latest trends in social media that would yield the most success. With this continuous shift of promoting in social media, it is important to be aware of the trends that have been proven to be beneficial in digital marketing. Here are some important trends to remember in order to maximize a brand’s presence on social media.

1. Expansion of Consumer Generated Content

Before defining what consumer generated content is, it is important to emphasize that content created by a brand should be posted on different social media outlets to ensure that a wide-set of audiences are reached. Consumer generated content refers to creations that are made by the designated target audience with a company’s own products or services. This is an innovative idea that has been adopted by large companies like Starbucks as it opens a forum for engagement, which is helpful in building a brand’s recognition and reputation.

2. Social E-Commerce

With social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook allowing the promotion of advertisements, this opens up the opportunity for brands to use this as a marketing tactic to sell products. Online advertising is not new, however, given the extensive reach of social media platforms, it is an effective way in promoting a brand’s product or service. As SproutSocial noted, social e-commerce opens up the opportunity to create personalized ad experiences where individuals are given ads that would likely cater to their purchasing interest. This is due to algorithms that have been collected from a user’s search history, and from a marketing perspective, it is an excellent tool in adding sales.

3. Influencers and Collaborations

One of the reasons why some brands become instantly recognizable is due to the association with an influencer, a person who has a large social media following. As Influencer Marketing Hub reports, it is no surprise that many brands choose to opt for paid promotions as it is usually effective in reaching a wide audience to promote a product. Influencers and celebrities play an important role, where campaigns that feature famous people often make them the “face” of the brand. This is beneficial in boosting a brand’s recognition, which in turn increases the popularity of a brand.

4. Personalization

As brands continue to aggressively market on social media, it is important to take a step back and understand who the target audience is. Personalization and authenticity is vital for a brand because some audiences may feel more inclined to purchase from a brand that wants to create a personal connection with its consumers. When brands are simply associated as a corporate entity that wants to drive sales, customers may not feel as valued which may turn customers away. When it comes to marketing, it is important to satisfy the demands of customers, but also taking careful steps in keeping customer retention.

5. Inclusion and Accessibility

When it comes to advertising, a brand takes careful consideration in how they want their brand to be represented through the selection of actors, settings and themes. But what some brands fail to consider is the importance of inclusion, as well as accessibility in its social media advertising. With inclusion, this refers to the idea of representing a diverse audience through its selection of actors who are featured in ad campaigns. According to the Journal of Business Research, there is a concept called “ethnic marketing” which is effective in targeting certain audiences from different areas.

Accessibility on the other hand, is another important consideration with how social media ads are optimized to be accessible. For instance, some ads are created to include captions for those who may have hearing difficulties. Understanding the importance of inclusion and accessibility in digital marketing is important in ensuring that a wide-array of audiences can be engaged with. 

The Future of Trends in Social Media Marketing

Social media is dynamic, and the trends that follow it also evolve. With the emergence of new platforms like TikTok, marketers will certainly find new ways to capture new audiences. Two things are constant – understanding the audience is crucial and audience building is integral for growth. It is only the beginning of 2020, and new trends may arise as the digital preferences for people continue to change.

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.