Social media has emerged in the back end of this decade as a serious player in the marketplace.
Marketers are now aware of the growing necessity of having a strong social media strategy. This growth is only going to gain momentum and so it is prudent to observe and predict what the future holds for the dynamic and ever-evolving industry.
The year 2020 is often used for predictions due to its symmetrical numerology but it is also a year that sees the rollout of a new generation into the workforce. People who were born in the year of Spiderman, Attack of the Clones and Ice Age are now coming of age and stumbling into an office chair near you.
Many people will have “Back to the Future” predictions over the state of affairs in the year 2020. Here at Matter we prefer to make our predictions from evidence. So here are 4 things you can expect to be see in the social media landscape of 2020.
Social growth continues
We Are Social recently published an annual study of internet, social, and mobile adoption across 239 countries.
The analysis discovered that social media use will continue on its current growth trend. There is a total of 1 million new people joining social networks every day and 250 million users coming online for the first time in 2017. Moving forward social media growth in Africa is expected to supplement further growth, with there being a 20 percent increase in the number of internet users across the continent annually.
By the year of 2020 Instagram is expected to become an even more relevant medium. Simon Kemp points out that, “Instagram users are a lot more older than people often imagine”. There are moe 45 to 54 year-olds using Instagram than there are 13 to 17 year olds. Instagram will quickly evolve over the coming years to become the home for brands.
Social commerce makes a new push
Western nations have not fully adopted social commerce currently.
It is emerging economies, consumers that have skipped desktop and traditional search engines, that are expected to drive the next phase of innovation in social media, not advanced economies
The role of social media in ecommerce will become far more relevant. We are beginning to see this now, Instagram allows businesses to build digital storefronts that promote visual and video content. This notion was corroborated by the analysis of GlobalWebIndex who predict, “shopping via social channels may be an APAC-based phenomenon for now, but a culmination of trends are laying the groundwork for social commerce to gain traction in the West.”
In order for you to stay ahead of the curve you should ensure your social video and social commerce are working in lock-step. Keep in mind that mobile shoppers prefer short, snappy and fun product videos. If you want to explore this phenomenon further, and I suggest you do, check out this report that illustrates how mobile-first shoppers are using social media across their entire consumer journey in China. This gives a valuable insight into a trend that will soon be integrated across Europe and North America.
VR and AR Adoption
Over the coming years we will see more practical uses of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in marketing.
Companies such as Amazon are experimenting how to utilise AR to aid consumers in trying on virtual clothes and explore products. Snapchat’s geofilter and lens function have already began being used in marketing campaigns, offering location-specific videos that show live events and store locations.
Generation Z (1995-2010) are the drivers of this technology with 22 percent of Gen Z using geofilters each month. Moreover, they are 40 percent above average for using online sources to research products. Their purchasing habits are also heavily influenced by social reviews with “likes” and “positive comments” often making them more inclined to purchase a product.
Novelty boosts user engagement and so social platforms will continue to push the boundaries of mobile AR features. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Bitmoji, WeChat, and QQ are social messaging platforms that will use AR to boost advertising revenue.
This report by TechCrunch explores how VR and AR will impact businesses. Inside you will find platform revenue data and examples of how mobile AR will be leading the market forward.
Artificial Intelligence Changes the Game
Cédric Villani once said, “Artificial intelligence will be everywhere, like electricity”.
The AI evolution is already well and truly underway. Companies like Google are dedicating massive resources into AI research and development. “In the long run, we’re evolving in computing from a ‘mobile-first’ to an ‘AI-first’ world,” says Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.
Gartner estimates that by 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will have employed some variation of artificial intelligence to augment and evolve at least one of their primary sales processes.
What does that mean for marketing I hear you ask? Algorithms are already deeply rooted into every aspect of our online experience. What you read, watch, discover and even marry are influenced heavily by algorithms. AI will improve and aid marketers, from predictive analysis to deeper insight into data artificial intelligence should empower marketers whilst taking away the burden of many tedious tasks. Algorithms can initially be quite daunting but I suggest approaching it as another audience and you will find that they’re more predictable and rational than humans. Once you understand this, many of your fears will dissipate.
The year 2020 has many surprises in store, these changes should be embraced not fought and open up a lot of exciting opportunities in the marketing space.