Social media is constantly evolving, with changes occurring not just each and every year but month on month. 2020 looks set to be one of the biggest years yet for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with new features, new trends, and new expectations anticipated to play an integral role in shaping the way businesses use these channels.
So just what can we expect to see next year?
- Greater Access to Qualified Leads
According to the United States Cyber Security Magazine, 42% of Facebook users are stepping back from the platform, yet only 26% have removed the app. This suggests that, far from making this a full social detox, many are simply limiting their interactions.
This may seem like bad news, it’s actually beneficial. Next year, social media may no longer be the default. Users will actively choose who to engage with through the platforms. If you’re connecting with audiences on social media, you’re connecting with audiences who have made an active decision to be there; they’re ready to engage.
- Increasing Technology Adoption
Social networks are already rapidly adopting new technologies, and this is a trend that we can expect to see continue and grow even further throughout 2020. Facebook is leading the way, using virtual reality (VR) to power Facebook Horizon, available in Beta.
But virtual reality certainly isn’t the only technology we can expect to see implemented across social platforms next year. Augmented reality (AR) is another emerging area of interest for social channels, along with artificial intelligence (AI) which is expected to bring greater levels of automation to the social space through systems like chatbots.
- Social Channels as 24/7 Customer Service
Three quarters of Americans expect responses through social media, and of these, 83% expect a response within 24 hours. Expectations are even greater for millennial population, with almost half anticipating a response within an hour… or even less.
As the millennial population continues to form one of the largest demographics next year, we can expect businesses to utilize social channels as ‘always on’ customer service solutions to meet these needs. Making use of some technologies mentioned above, such as chatbots, social is fast becoming a 24/7 customer service sphere.
- A closer Relationship with Marketing
In April this year, Google reluctantly put Google+ to bed after failing to infiltrate the social circle. However, Google still owns the ‘Determining Influence in a Social Community’ patent, which has some experts making guesses at what’s to come.
Without its own social channel, some people are predicting that Google will form a closer relationship with existing social media platforms next year and incorporate social signals into its ranking algorithm much more thoroughly. If true, this suggests that the current relationship between social and marketing will become much, much stronger.
- Improved Personalization
Demand for personalized experiences and interactions is at an all time high, and businesses are clear on how improving personalization in communications can bring value. However, social is one area where personalization has been slow to take off.
Why? Because of the issue of privacy. Facebook infamously hit the headlines late last year when it collected user data through a research app without authorization. Users have become naturally wary of sharing through social, but chatbots are expected to transform this, offering personalized experiences using only data willingly shared by users
- Alternative Engagement
Finally, one more trend that we can expect from social media in 2020 is a rise in alternative forms of B2C and B2B engagement. With news that Instagram has been toying with the idea of hiding likes, users may be looking for other ways to engage.
Typically, a ‘like’ — or a platform’s ‘like’ variant’ — has formed one of the biggest key performance indicators for measuring social content reach and success. However, the potential for this indicator to be removed is sparking a need for businesses to consider alternative ways to connect with audiences, and monitor and track interactions.
Of course, here at ConvertoBot we also expect to see chatbots playing an ever more critical role in social media to drive engagement and nurture relationships. Will you use a chatbot as part of your 2020 social media strategy? Book a free demo to find out how we can help.
ConvertoBot is a leading chatbot website and social media bots platform. Start a free trial today.
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