With 2019 coming to an end, we are bound to see a million people making new year resolutions in the heat of the moment. Some might vow to lose weight, eat healthier or exercise more, some might lean towards the pursuit of happiness as the year wears on, some might promise to move forward in their careers, and the list is endless. However, as a social media marketer, I have my own list of new year resolutions which would inevitably help me stay relevant in the social media sphere in 2020.
1. “I will Come To Terms With Facebook’s Demographic Shift.”
As Elsa says, I am going to “let it go”. Facebook is undergoing a major user demographic shift and there is nothing we can do about it. But that does not mean that you should move on to other platforms; you just need to embrace Facebook’s demographic shift. When Facebook first went live in 2004, it was wildly populated by young college students. I don’t want to make you sound old, but the older millennials of today are those same college students of 2004! On one hand, most Gen Z members don’t even have a Facebook account, on the other, those of the Boomer” generation are increasingly signing up on Facebook.
This is nothing to moan about. Look at the silver lining; both the older millennials and the boomer generation are more tolerant of advertising, are less financially burdened, and most importantly, boast a much higher disposable income. Stats reveal that almost 62% of online seniors aged 65+ are on Facebook, while 72% with an average salary surpassing $75k, are between 50-64 years of age. Additionally, of the total Facebook users, boomers are the most likely to spend an hour or more daily on Facebook.
I often hear my fellow marketers ignore this major chunk of users with regard to their social media usage. I, on the other hand, find it tough to dismiss a generation that gave us Steve Jobs, Paul Allen, and Bill Gates! I say that a better strategy is to evaluate your target audience before you decide on the right platform to reach them. For instance, I would be missing out on a huge chunk of business if I try to target Gen Z on Facebook. Similarly, if you need to target older millennials through to boomers and you are not even considering Facebook, all your marketing efforts could go down the drain. Instead of being a stick in the mud, make a vow to embrace multichannel marketing to reach the right people using the right network this year, especially if a you are representing a brand with diverse demographics.
2. “I will Explore TikTok More.”
Well, while we are on the subject of embracing new demographics and exploring newer horizons, I resolve to delve deeper into the marketing possibilities TikTok has to offer; a burgeoning platform seeing over one billion downloads should be on your radar by now.
Ever since its launch in 2017, TikTok has retained its place as the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store for five consecutive quarters. Now, one of the reasons I am going to be vouching for TikTok in 2020 is because it is literally bursting with user generated content! And what does UGC gives you: authenticity! 90% of Millennials say authenticity is important to them when it comes to choosing the brands to support. As part of my TikTok strategy, I am planning to encourage UGC whenever possible, and mainly participating in conversations and helping shape those conversations towards my brand.
Here are some of the current TikTok trends you can try in 2020:
Viral Challenges: Here’s one thing you should know; the app isn’t geared towards getting people to follow you. Instead of dwelling on community building, TikTok users jump from community to community by participating in different challenges. Remember that famous challenge where people transformed themselves into cowboys, and how it made “Old Town Road” a chart sensation? You can jump on an ongoing challenge to get the max eyeballs or create your own challenges to make people engage with your brand.
Influencer Collaborations: Influencer collaborations are only going to increase on TikTok in 2020. You would be prudent to collaborate with an influencer to make a video promoting your product in a fun way. Even better, if they can do so in a way that inspires others to riff on your idea. TikTokers love to play with ideas and make them their own.
Duets: On TikTok, a “duet” means collaborating with anyone by creating a split-screen video. This feature is amazing for putting yourself “in” videos with friends, strangers, and celebrities. This could be used to create a funny video or perhaps a response to a popular challenge.
Memes: Meme culture is very well thriving on TikTok as it is on other platforms. meme posts can be viewed millions of times, but the key is to make sure your audience is laughing with you, not at you.
Authenticity: TikTok has nurtured a platform of raw, unfiltered content that can be created with minimal time and effort. You don’t have to be perfect. Just let your hair down and don’t be afraid to be “judged” or coming off as silly.
3. “I will be more authentic.”
Most internet users are wary of insincere video messaging and fake social media adverts and keep looking for authenticity. The social savvy users of today are not so tolerant towards inconsistencies between what a brand projects, and what they truly are. In fact, research says that 89% customers expect businesses to exude integrity in all that they do. Similarly, 63% of customers value transparent even more than innovation and quality and would always go for an authentic brand. Modern brands now understand the need to show transparency and authenticity in their social media marketing.
So, in a nutshell, you need to make sure your brand is authentic. If you are found doing any of the following, you are going to incur the wrath of the social media community.
• Deleting negative comments on posts or ignoring user complaints
• Working with influencers who have no relation to your product to promote on your behalf
• Using too much of stock photos in your blogs
• Fabricating insincere responses to complaints instead of owning up to your mistakes, or lying to cover up blunders
• Aligning yourself with popular causes or charity just for the sake of attracting eyeballs
• Only featuring your upper management and forgetting everyone else
• Not putting faces to your brand
• Constantly promoting to your followers
• Sounding too formal, and inhuman
4. “I will Craft More Video content.”
Not only are videos one of the most engaging content forms of all time, they will inevitably come out a clear winner over all other content types, come 2020. Be it long-form content on YouTube or short-form videos like the ones we see on TikTok and Likee, one thing is indisputable; videos are the future of social media!
A cisco study predicts that 82% of all online content will be video content in 2020; this shows that you clearly need to start utilizing videos in your content strategy to stay on top of your social media game! If you are not doing so already, include this to your social media new year resolution list. Those who fail to realize this simple truth will pay big time for this.
A great place to get your feet wet in video content is to use features like Stories both for your social media content and for advertisements. Videos can also be added to your social media posts, even on platforms that were traditionally dominated by text or image-based content.
5. “I will Personalize my social media content.”
While the global consumer trend of personalization has been raging rampant for quite some time now, the concept is relatively new in terms of social media. Some people completely negate this by asserting that it is not possible for brands to personalize their content for various consumer segments. Yes, that might be true. But have you ever tried customizing your social media ads for all your target segments?
Marketers and businesses are bound to use this trend in their social media ads in 2020; after all, you can see how social media platforms are already offering a host of advanced targeting and customization options to marketers. Marketers can leverage them to ensure that the right ads are being shown to the right people, at the right time.
In fact, personalization has elevated these social media platforms to such an extent that they can now comprehend what kind of products you like, or which products you might also like based on what you are buying now. Not only that, they show you ads for similar products from different brands.
Here’s a little experiment you can do to see what I am talking about. Try clicking on any ad in Instagram, let’s say. Just wait a while to see ads for similar products start popping up on your news feed. In fact, the more ads you click on, the more it can plot your preferences and online behaviors. Pretty soon, you will start to notice how your Instagram ads are personalized and curated to your tastes.
6. “I will Create More Stories.”
When they were first introduced, Stories were limited to SnapChat. But soon thereafter, Facebook and Instagram joined the race, and now even YouTube has its own stories format. Here’s what makes them so popular; since these videos are created on the stop, they can offer more authentic insights and “behind-the-scenes” sneak-peak to viewers. And think of all the vast array of opportunities that Stories format offers.
For instance, due to the ephemeral nature of these videos, marketers can cash in on the Fear of missing out and offer flash deals and sales to loyal users, that expire after the 24-hour period. This can also attract new users looking to avail “insider” specials. As for marketers, Stories are one of the best ways of growing engagement. You can even ask questions in your Stories or add polls to get more people to interact.
7. “I will Incorporate Social Listening In my strategies.”
Social media can offer a repository of data and insight to businesses that they can use to refine their social strategies. And, with so many social listening tools in the market, anyone can access these insights with no trouble. Social listening is creeping into every marketer’s strategy since it’s a piece of cake to draw meaningful insights from social conversations. Marketers are bound to get creative in using it for a vast array of use cases.
From comprehending how people perceive a brand to understanding the impact of social media campaigns, social listening can give you a lot of information, which is why many social media marketers are putting it at the heart of their social media strategies.