Social Media Trends – 11 Top Trends To Watch In 2020

Written by Hugh McCabeBlog


Social Media Trends To Keep You Informed

2019 will be an exciting time for the consumer-brand relationship as marketers update their digital marketing strategies to reflect changing consumer desires and opinions. So, what type of changes do marketers need to prepare for? Let’s take a look at social media marketing trends 2019.

In this day and age, we are spoilt for choice on how to learn more about social media marketing. You can do this by listening to podcasts, reading about the latest social media trends 2019, following social media experts and attending social media courses Johannesburg.

Live Video Content Will Continue To Grow

social media trends 2019

According to Hubspot, Facebook announced changes to its News Feed algorithm that will once again shift the type of content users to be from their friends and family — instead of the Pages they follow.

In other words, posts that spark the greatest amount of discussion among users — especially when shared by those in their own personal networks — are expected to rank better.

And the one type of content that Facebook highlighted as seeing the most engagement? Live video.

According to Facebook, live videos receive 6X the engagement as non-live ones, which bodes well for their sharability and potential for such engagement as comments and Likes.

Source: Hubspot

Rise Of Private Groups And Accounts

latest social media trends

According to Sprout Social, a new social media trends we see is that Facebook invested new features into Facebook Groups, such as being able to participate as a business Page, updating with Stories, posting Live videos within the group and creating social learning units.

Groups took off in 2018 as a way for brands to directly connect with fans without the algorithm affecting their posts.

They’ve been used to not only garner quick feedback about products but also as an additional engagement tool.

With the addition of the Close Friends feature in Instagram Stories, brands could choose to create a more “insider look” feature for their accounts. New Stories features will likely include more friend groups, similar to Facebook’s own Friend Lists.

All of the above features combine to create feelings of envy and fear of missing out rooted in human psychology. 2019 will be the year that brands take advantage of this through private groups and accounts.

Source: Sprout Social

Instagram Stories

popular social trends
According to Unbox Social, Instagram stories will continue to be one of the top 2019 social media trends.

The short-form content option, one of the latest social media trends, that this feature on Instagram offers works for you in many ways. It is perfect for providing short glimpses into your brand.

The audience is always inquisitive about brands. Combine this curiosity with the fact that the first thing your audience views on their Instagram feed is the stories.

Leverage the stories feature to share everything about your brand.

Launched a new product? Holding an important event? Added a new blog on your website? A popular social media trends 2019 will be for you to use Instagram stories to draw your audience to your website, to a new product or even a blog.

You can also use it to interact with your audience. If you have more than 10 000 followers on Instagram, you can add the link button to your stories as well. You can use this feature as a CTA leading to your website, product or a landing page.

Instagram stories have always worked for creating awareness about your brand in unique ways. Showing the human side of your brand will never go out of fashion.

Source: Unbox Social

Chatbots Are Taking Over


According to QuickSprout, chatbots are being integrated with social media platforms to continue the best social media trends. Businesses are using chatbots to communicate with their customers on social media. This trend is growing at a rapid rate.

In the first year of the new Facebook Messenger platform, we saw the number of chatbots jump from 33,000 to more than 100,000.

A recent survey suggests that roughly 80% of marketing executives have used or plan to use chatbots by 2020.

It’s a winning solution that’s a cost-effective alternative to paying real customer support representatives.

Chatbots, one of the biggest social media trends, is estimated to save businesses in the healthcare and banking industries a whopping $8 billion per year by the year 2022. That’s compared to $20 million in 2017.

Sure, nothing can replace the personal touch of human response. Well, at least not yet. But these chatbots out there right now are certainly on the right track.

Source: QuickSprout

TRUST Will Be A Key Issue For Consumers

social listening trends

After a year of scandal, trust in social media companies has never been lower.

Users have grown distrustful of influencers and fake followers, relying instead on immediate friends, family, and acquaintances on social media, as well as traditional journalism outlets.

For brands, efforts should shift from maximizing reach on social media to nurturing trust. It will be important to invest in transparency, community building and creating personalized interactions.

Four in 10 consumers say they are unlikely to become emotionally attached to a brand unless they are interacting via social media, but in 2019 consumers are looking for those interactions to be authentic and personalised.

Source: Social Media Strategies Summit


social media trends for 2019

According to Search Engine Watch, social media data has become essential to any marketing strategy, hence social listening is on this list.

However, this past year proved just how little knowledge we as a society have of the scope and impact of social media data collected on a daily basis.

Last year was marked by an array of privacy scandals, with Cambridge Analytica being the most prominent one.

However, Facebook wasn’t the only one who suffered, Twitter, YouTube, and even Reddit reported at least one security breach last year.

Data is one of the most important resources in social media marketing, and ethical collection, as well as unbiased evaluation of it, will be a major priority for companies this year.

Our century is marked by brands developing personalities for themselves and building relationships with their audiences. Gaining the trust of the audience will become the focus of social media platforms’ strategies.

Source: Search Engine Watch

Micro-Influencer Marketing

social media influencer trends

According to Hubspot, social media influencer trends and influencer marketing plays a major role in all types of modern marketing (ads, videos, social media, blogs). But businesses are no longer limited to major celebrities and names that everyone knows when deciding to work with an influencer.

Micro-influencers have found their niche in the social media world, too — and it’s a big role they’ve started to play in converting leads, connecting with audience members, and boosting brand awareness.

Micro-influencers are social media promoters with a smaller, niche following (typically, thousands to tens-of-thousands of followers). They may have fewer followers, but their posts often pack more punch due to their higher level of engagement.

Additionally, since they’re considered “average” and “everyday” people (unlike hard-to-reach celebrities), audience members view micro-influencers more like friends and family and, therefore, are more likely to trust their opinions and recommendations.

Although it may be tempting to only look at the number of followers a user has to determine their influence, remember true influence lives in engagement rates (clicks, subscribes, and purchases).

Source: Hubspot

Social Listening

new social trends

According to Social Media Today, social listening (monitoring) is the act of crawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand (or any other keywords) and top of the social listening trends.

This includes untagged brand mentions on social media, mentions of industry keywords that signal the interest to buy a product, mentions on blogs, forums, and news sites.

The current primary goals of social listening are customer service and reputation management, even though there are, of course, many others.

While using social listening for these two causes is expected to become even bigger, the real trend of 2019 is going to be using social media listening for lead generation and social selling.

So far, only a tiny number of brands do this, yet that number is gradually rising as marketers discover that they can find people looking for the exact services they offer on social media.

Given that people sharing their frustrations, ideas, and recommendations online are not about to stop, social listening usage will continue to grow, and expand to include new possibilities.

Source: Social Media Today

Mobile-Friendly Content

 best social media trends

While mobile-friendly content may have been optional in the past, social media and content marketing trends that will shape 2019, is now essential for any business that wants to reach their mobile audience. And that mobile audience is quite significant.

In fact, there are currently 5.11 billion mobile users worldwide. That’s a 2% increase from last year’s statistics.

Every year, the number of mobile social network users continues to increase.

Not only are consumers researching new products and shopping from their mobile phones, but they’re also accessing their social media accounts from mobile apps.

According to Marketingland, almost 80% of users on the top three social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat) are accessing these platforms from their smartphones.

This makes mobile-friendly content one of the top social media marketing trends that you just can’t ignore.

In order to stay ahead of this trend, you’ll want to make sure that any content you post to your social channels is mobile-friendly. Include more visual or video content to capture the attention of your mobile audience.

And make sure that any written post content is short and sweet so it’s easy to read on a mobile device.

Source: Lyfe Marketing

Vertical Video

social media video trends

If you don’t have to rotate your phone, will you watch more video content?

By 2019, users are expected to spend more time looking at mobile devices than TVs. Not only that, but over 60% of all online video views now take place on mobile. With those facts in mind, it’s no surprise that video content is getting more and more optimized for smartphones.

One of the biggest steps toward mobile becoming the new normal is the rise of vertical video. This layout intuitively makes more sense for smartphones, since users hold their phones vertically 94% of the time.

Several social networks have already realized that it feels unnatural for mobile users to turn their phones horizontally to watch fullscreen videos.

The increasingly popular Instagram Stories format, for instance, has seen great success among users and advertisers with its portrait layout.

Voice Search

social marketing trends

Is your brand being heard? If not, your search results could be suffering.

Consumers are becoming more comfortable conducting voice-activated searches through programs such as Siri and Alexa. This means it’s time you began adapting your content – and your SEO strategy – to accommodate these type of searches.

Today, 40% of adults conduct at least one voice search per day, and that number is on the rise. By 2020, voice searches are expected to account for 50% of all online queries, which is up from 20% in 2016.

There are many reasons as to why consumers are shifting away from text and towards voice.

For instance:

  • Voice search is hands-free
  • Voice search is easier and faster than typing
  • Voice-enabled technology is becoming more accurate
  • And as these searches use more natural language, voice searches tend to be longer than textbased searches and are often phrased as actual questions – not just a string of keywords.

This is the year where various brands are enabling voice search in their digital marketing plans to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers.


What are your favourites from this list of social trends? Share your top 1–3 trends and why you like them in the comments below?

If you are looking for ways to upskill yourself in social media marketing then attend one of our social media courses. Click here: Social media courses Johannesburg to learn more.


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