How will social networks evolve in 2020? The near future promises a rise of social media, with a greater focus on social commerce and a growing role for Generation Z.
Hootsuite explains the trends that social media will experience in the coming years through 11 predictions:
The growth of social networks will continue
Social networks will continue their growth. 1 million people joined the networks every day last year. This growth will continue, driven above all by regions such as Africa, which is experiencing the highest growth rates at present.
In 2020 highlight the dominance of Instagram, especially among the older demographic groups. Instragram will continue to evolve and will become the new refuge for brands.
The search for products will be more visual (and social)
According to GlobalWebIndex, almost half of Internet users follow brands they like or whose products they are thinking of buying through social networks.
Search pages continue to be traditional channels to discover products and services, but the trend is favorable to social media for these tasks. 28% of users already resort to social networks and, in emerging markets such as Latin America, the Middle East or Africa, social networks already surpass search engines for product research.
By 2020, at least 50% of the searches will be done through images or voice systems. “Much of the future of the search will be about images, rather than keywords,” said Ben Silbermann, founder and CEO of Pinterest.
The social video will tend toward saturation
The current trend in social media is the domain of video. Mark Zuckerberg stressed that in the coming years, “the biggest driver of the business will be the video.”
It is an undeniable fact: 56% of Internet users watch videos on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram every month. 81% of people aged 55 to 64 watch online videos every month and one in three viewers of social media videos watch videos made by brands every month.
And this consumption has room for improvement as consumers in emerging markets continue to enter the Internet. The opportunity for social video increases with the rise of messaging.
But by 2020, marketers will face video saturation. It will be necessary to focus the production of these contents in a different way, in an environment with a lot of social competence. The video will have new uses, such as the one for ecommerce, focused on publicizing products.
Marketing professionals will have to adapt to these highly personal new uses of video. Video will end up becoming a social experience, an experience that builds a community of customers instead of content in the most traditional style.
The social commerce will live a new impulse
Social commerce has been adopted slowly in Europe and North America. The next step of innovation and development will correspond to the emerging economies, whose consumers have dispensed with the search pages for the discovery of products and have gone directly to social networks.
The role of social media will grow within electronic commerce and will be relevant for all types of businesses. One example is Instagram, which already allows companies to build their online stores with visual and video content.
Here it will be fundamental for brands and businesses to align their social video strategies with ecommerce.
Practical uses of virtual reality and augmented reality
By 2020, we will see more practical uses of virtual reality and augmented reality in marketing. Amazon is an example of how to use augmented reality to help consumers try on virtual clothing and explore products.
Generation Z will help further boost these technologies as their members are more prepared for their use.
Social networks will continue to promote the functions of mobile augmented reality, since the novelty of this technology will increase engagement with users.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Bitmoji, WeChat and QQ are social messaging platforms that will use augmented reality to increase advertising revenues.
The “social” CEOs will triumph
The social is already changing the way of working. By 2020 the greatest impact will be experienced in the increase of managers who understand and use the social to listen to customers, communicate their business vision and mobilize employees.
In this sense, companies must understand that the influence of employees is important. Your comments should be handled in a similar way as in the complaints and the feedback of the clients are managed at present.
By 2020, CEOs will have a professional adoption of social media and will need to adapt their communication styles, which will be more personal and direct.
Amazon will break the duopoly of advertising
In 2020, the influence of Amazon and Snapchat will increase in the face of the slight reduction in the dominance of Google and Facebook. According to eMarketer, Amazon’s advertising business is expected to grow this year to almost 3% of the market from 2% in 2017, for a total of 2,900 million dollars in advertising revenue.
Amazon has built the world’s largest digital store, which has allowed it to study the behavior of millions of consumers. This is the great advantage it has, which will allow you to earn money from advertisers.
Artificial intelligence will influence more
30% of all B2B companies will use some kind of artificial intelligence, according to Gartner. Algorithms already influence almost every aspect of our digital lives. Many of the innovations in artificial intelligence will help marketers increase their impact and eliminate the most routine and tedious tasks.
It is necessary to understand that algorithms are not incomprehensible, but more predictable than the behavior, sometimes irrational, of consumers. Artificial intelligence can help build more efficient content and SEO strategies.
The emerging will mark the mobile trend
By 2020, Facebook predicts that there will be more people with mobile phones than with running water or electricity at home. 3,000 million people will have access to mobile phones by then.
The mobile will be the only way to connect these people will have. According to Facebook, more than one in four Internet users are already mobile only, with India (70%) and Indonesia (67%) at the helm.
Messaging applications will play a key role in this mobile-centric world, offering micro-businesses new ways to communicate with customers. Social networks will play a fundamental role in the financial life of mobile phone consumers.
In this environment, digital communication will evolve drastically. The visual content will dominate the social and messaging activities and the digital experiences will be more enriching for everyone.
The fake news will cause a greater increase in regulation
By 2020 the main social networks will be more regulated, but there will still be many articles on fake news, data privacy and Russian hackers.
As eMarketer points out, sellers will also face stricter regulation. We are already seeing the impact of regulation, in the current case with the implementation of the RGPD and all the mechanics of user consent.
Generation Z is the future
Millennials will be the most numerous workforce in 2020, but Generation Z will be the new generational wave, made up of socially connected people.