• M. Lloyd, Social Light

Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020

Updated: Apr 14

It’s no secret...the landscape of social media is changing, and marketers will have to too.


We’ve mostly seen changes and testing with Instagram. But what will social media “success” look like in 2020? How will brands, and businesses have to change with the times and social algorithms?


Below is a breakdown of 2020 social media trends based on research and recent happenings in the space:


1. Brands & the metrics that matter most:

Remember when Instagram tested the removal of Likes? Although we haven’t seen Likes completely disappear, brands are realizing they might have to look below the surface of what the public can see when they come across your post. Long-term engagement means more than a short-term spike in Likes. Rather than chase a viral moment, brands are rightfully trying to understand what’s driving conversations with customers.

2. Creation of communities

Yes, brands and businesses want to reach as many potential customers as possible, but they’re increasingly building meaningful connections with their current audience. With this, brands are looking to reach younger consumers via conversation. Brands are even responding directly to customers and engaging in smaller communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


3. Social purchasing

We’re seeing an increased rise in customers shopping on social media now that brands are making/can make it easier than ever to purchase or explore their products. Instagram has their product tags and Facebook allows for personalized ad experiences along with carousel ads. With all of these recent features, consumers are seeing brands newest products/services to purchase immediately on their social media, products/services targeted specifically towards their purchasing behavior, and products/ services that they may have purchased before. Companies don’t need to be shy about selling online and via ads in 2020. They have tons of options to be more targeted and allow consumers more direct purchasing options.



4. Brands are being selective about influencers

We’ve covered that brands aren’t just looking at Likes anymore, but it’s more than just total engagement. Brands are looking at the authenticity of influencers and their community/relationships. With the issue of fake or disingenuous influencers and the de-emphasis on Likes, influencers will need to show their “backend” data (insights) to ensure their influence and match their price tag. This data can include total engagement rates, past purchasing influence over their audience from past campaigns (some brands will provide this data to the influencers), audience demographics, and more. Brands are often requesting this information to see that an influencer provides their own community space for, and has a certain connection with their followers.


5. The all-powerful Instagram stories

Because of the immediacy and interactiveness of Instagram stories, they’re not slowing down! It’s such a quick, efficient way for brands (and influencers) to interact with their audience and create that community and connection. It’s a great way to prompt their audience to engage with them. In 2020, Instagram’s new business features including Growth Insights and “Stories About You,” are just the beginning this year.



6. Video content is all the rage

The key to video content is making it unique and eye-catching. However, we can’t talk video content without bringing up TikTok. Brands may still be trying to figure how to work TikTok (or decide if it’s even on par with their brand), but that doesn’t mean that they’re not using the platform's influencers! One way or another, it’s clear that brands can’t sleep on anything that’s predicted to be, or already is, trending.


7. User-generated content

Companies such as Warby Parker and Follain are great examples of businesses that re-share their customer’s content. This reinforces that connection that brands build with their audience - by asking their customers to tag them in their photos to be featured on their page. For example, Follain encourages customers to use their hashtag #livefollain and gives credit to the original poster. Warby Parker shows users content to promote the authenticity and visual recommendation of their brand and accuracy of product and features.



A consumer wants to know that other people are buying this product and recommending it to their own followers, which provides legitimacy to the brand. Encouraging user-generated content and customer photos is a smart move for the sake of social proof.


Social media is always changing. The great thing about these trends is that you’re not required to start from scratch! Keeping up with social media trends allows for your brand to simply evolve over time and allow more freedom with the way you interact with your audience.


It’s definitely work to keep up with these trends and changes. That’s why we’re here! If you need help with your social media, feel free to get in touch with us for a free consultation.