Social Media

What’s the Future of Social Media? 18 Social Media Predictions 2020

Katrine Sorensen

Written by Katrine Sorensen

Content Marketing @ Konstruct

Here at Konstruct, we get pretty excited about the future of social media. When 2020 rolled around, we couldn’t help ourselves. Our team was bursting with predictions about social media trends 2020, and we needed to make a list. Of course, the biggest game-changer in early 2020 is the COVID-19 outbreak, which will have a profound impact on our society, including the way we use social media in 2020 and beyond. Even in these uncertain times, we’ve harnessed all our predictive superpowers to make some educated guesses about how social media will change in 2020. 

Are we social media nerds? Yes! Are we digital marketers with clairvoyant powers? Maybe…

Because we firmly believe in crowd-sourcing, and because we couldn’t shoulder the awesome responsibility of the future of social media alone, we also asked our network of amazing digital marketers what they think 2020 holds in store for social media. 

Without further ado, here is our shortlist of social media predictions 2020. 

COVID-19  Impacts on Social

1. A Surge in Social

With the absence of social gatherings and mandatory social isolation, social media activity and social media consumption is likely to increase dramatically across all demographics. Account usage, new sign ups, and app installations (especially Facebook messenger), should rise in a bid to replace many forms of face-to-face communication, help users stay informed, and kill time. 

Certain businesses may also benefit from heightened usage and potential spikes in organic reach. We are likely to see company updates/announcements posted through these platforms, and even money injected into them to capitalize on a potentially wider, more engaged audience. 

Support groups/communities are likely to form in order to combat the potential to propel toxic information regarding COVID-19, and the transmission of legitimate information from governments and health bodies is likely to increase through social media. All in all, social media will continue to be a highly effective medium to allow people to come together digitally and perhaps, soften the burn.

–Nick Scott, Social Media Specialist at Webfirm

2. Social Media Becomes Key for Connection

Given the current social, economic, and psychological impact that a pandemic at the scale of COVID-19 has and can have, I think social media will continue to trend towards the remote work/working from home movement. Social will grow rapidly, fuelled by people taking initiatives to promote positive mental health in both the workplace as well as in our personal lives. 

Communication has never been more important, especially for those employees who traditionally worked in offices with their colleagues. I also believe the encouragement of effective, digital communication – which was already growing in popularity far before the novel Coronavirus was declared to be a global pandemic – will continue to be prevalent in 2020 and beyond.

–Bhanu Ahuwalia, Co-Founder at RankMath 

Ecommerce and Social Shopping

3. Shopping Directly on Social Media Platforms

The fewer steps a user has to take to complete a purchase, the higher your conversion rate will be. That’s why we’ll see the introduction of checkout and payments directly through social media platforms in 2020.

I predict Instagram shopping will soon move to the next level. With enhanced functionality, when you see a product on Instagram using the product tag, instead of being taken to another website to purchase the item, you can complete a one-click checkout right within the Instagram app.

This is a functionality that’s not just applicable to Instagram, but it could be introduced on Facebook Marketplace, added to YouTube videos, and much more. Google’s shopping portal is already starting to experiment with checkout directly through Google. It is only a matter of time before social media platforms jump on this wagon!

–Joel Messner, Client Marketing Manager at Konstruct Digital

4. Introduction of Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) will be introduced as an effective social media marketing tool in the coming year. AR technology will allow brands and influencers to apply filters that create an ultimate immersive shopping experience for the end-user.

This technology will include product tagging in live Instagram stories, Facebook Live, IGTV, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. Shopping will be easier than ever – the user sees what they like on Instagram stories and has an opportunity to purchase the item on the spot, simply by tapping on it!

Valerie Sergienko, Account Manager at Konstruct Digital

5. Social Media as the Primary Customer Service Tool

In 2020, consumers in all age groups will embrace social media as the primary way to communicate with businesses and brands. Forget about call centres and emails, the customers of the 2020s want instant and accountable, public communication with businesses. 

In response, social media platforms will have to step up their game with tools that can support businesses in making social platforms their main customer service channel. This development will be a major challenge for a lot of businesses, as any examples of poor customer service will be out there for the world to see.

Katrine Sorensen, Content Marketer at Konstruct Digital

6. Lead Generation on Social Media Ad Platforms

When users see an ad on social media that speaks to them, wouldn’t it be nice if they could contact the company running the ad right then and there?

That’s why I believe you will see more social platforms allowing advertisers to run ads where users can complete a lead form directly on the platform. WordStream ran a test that found lead form ads convert at a 19.7% higher rate than landing page ads! While lead form ads also cost more, more conversions are something every advertiser wants, and high-converting ad methods are coveted.

Google Ads and Facebook have already introduced lead form ads. On Facebook, these ads allow users to fill out a form to contact the advertiser right within Facebook without ever leaving the social media platform. It is only a matter of time before more social platforms join in!

-Joel Messner, Client Marketing Manager at Konstruct Digital

Social Content

7. (Video) Content is King on Social

As 2020 rolls on, an increasing number of digital marketers will start to create high-quality, short-format video content across platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Video as a marketing channel for social media will become the norm. In the summer of 2019, Facebook reported that 720 million people spend at least 1 minute a day watching content on its platform, so marketers can’t afford to be left behind.

–Daniel Cooper, Director at lolly.co

8. Focus on Viral Video Content

In 2020, I think the biggest trend will be a continuing shift towards video content on social media. People love to consume video, and it’s a much more viral media format overall. I foresee social media managers emphasizing video over other forms of content in the year to come. 

Nikola Baldikov, Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix

9. LinkedIn is Flooded by Video Content

A perfect storm of thought leaders, business developers, and a (so far) attentive audience means that LinkedIn will be flooded with video content by the end of 2020 from purported experts from across all industries. 

While the current perception of slick video = credibility is enough to generate a moderately high engagement, the continued refinement of low-cost saas video tools (Canva for videos, for example) will further lower the barrier for creating video content. The risk is that the tsunami of video content will drown the strong content in a sea of misinformation and awkward would-be influencers.

–Matt Cox, Managing Partner at Konstruct Digital

Social Reach

10. Pay-to-Play on Instagram

In the new year, I predict that the Instagram algorithm for businesses will follow in Facebook’s steps, and it will be increasingly difficult for businesses to get organic reach.

Instagram wanted businesses to get hooked, but now the gold rush is over! Instagram is continuing to trend towards more ‘pay-to-play’ to reach your audience.

Amanda Thomas, Managing Partner at Konstruct Digital

11. Declining Organic Reach

Facebook and Instagram will be crippling organic reach in the near future. While the decline in organic reach has been going on for a while, now that Instagram has likes hidden globally, we’re seeing a dramatic downwards trend in terms of engagement. It’s hard for people to notice this, as we can’t see how many likes others are getting! Facebook is now also toying with the idea of hiding likes on posts. I have a feeling this will again lead to a decline in organic reach on Facebook as well. 

Joey Reinhart, Social Media Marketer at Konstruct Digital

12. Social Platform Homogeneity

Social media platforms will continue moving towards uniformity by removing likes, shares and limiting organic reach through hashtags, contests, and other engagement-boosting techniques.

Stripping users’ ability to harness the effect of herd mentality will boost media spend, from influencers in particular, who rely heavily on high engagement rates on their social channels. 

Valerie Sergienko, Account Manager at Konstruct Digital

13. TikTok Peaks in 2020

TikTok is really the new Vine, but whereas Vine rewarded creativity, TikTok has lowered the barrier of entry for influences dramatically. TikTok encourages emulation, so all influencers have to do is to copy a trend. 

The easy entry coupled with the catchy trends means that everyone–even your mom–will soon be on TikTok. Although TikTok’s growth will be explosive, I also think it will peak earlier compared to other platforms. TikTok has turned into an assembly line for influencers, not a meritocracy where creativity is rewarded. Although the platform will experience a surge in popularity throughout 2020, the appeal will quickly fizzle out. 

–Matt Cox, Managing Partner at Konstruct Digital

Policy & Regulatory Changes

14. TikTok Grows Up

I see TikTok changing a bit, as more brands start advertising on the app. Right now, TikTok is total anarchy when it comes to content creation. People are making almost obscene content on the app, and if I were advertising on it, I would not want my ads to be seen near some of it. 

TikTok has changed its copyright policies, community guidelines, terms of service, and a few other things at the beginning of 2020. They will probably start to crack down on inappropriate and copyrighted content soon and it may change the kind of content that we see on the app dramatically.

Joey Reinhart, Social Media Marketer at Konstruct Digital

15. Influencer Marketing under Regulatory Scrutiny

Regulatory bodies will start putting more pressure on the influencer industry in the coming year. Advertising watchdogs and regulatory bodies are already starting to crack down on influencers that don’t adhere to advertising standards. This pressure on influencers will likely intensify as other regulators such as CRA start focusing on this multi-billion dollar industry. 

While the professional influencers will likely remain and micro-influencers might band together in agencies, influencer marketing will no longer be the wild west, where anything goes, and anyone can be an influencer. The industry will mature in 2020, and that’s probably a good thing for everyone.

Katrine Sorensen, Content Marketer at Konstruct Digital

Social Advertising

16. New Players in Social Marketing

As ad costs continue to rise on the major platforms, marketers will test more ad spend on Reddit, Quora, and Twitter. Twitter became a $3 billion/year ad platform in 2019. Instagram (and Facebook) Stories ads will remain a bright spot within FB’s ad inventory for certain verticals. And keep an eye on the rapidly growing Amazon ad platform, as they continue to take a bigger bite out of e-commerce marketing budgets.

Additionally, performance marketers’ ad creative is going to have to become a lot more memorable in 2020. Aggressive retargeting on Facebook is becoming harmful for your campaigns, and FB will start banning accounts. For social platforms, this is a move to prioritize ad freshness over ad fatigue.

Jason Thibault, Digital Marketing Manager at Massive Kontent

17. Skyrocketing Growth of Stories and Sponsored Messaging

With Facebook Ads seemingly getting more costly by the day, I think people are quickly going to catch on to leveraging Stories/Story Ads and Messenger/Chatbots/Sponsored Messaging. Both are cost-effective but are also gaining a lot of hype. I’ve had some experience working with a tool like Mobile Monkey, which enables you to build customized Messenger bots on your website to generate leads or offer customer service. They report here, that Messenger averages 70-80% open rates, which beats the hell out of email. 

Steven Orechow, at trunksly.com

18. Algorithmic Targeting

In 2020, I think we’ll see marketers starting to drop interest-based targeting in favour of algorithms. The social algorithms on Facebook and Instagram are both on the cusp doing a better job of predicting who will interact with your ad than digital marketers.

This shift towards algorithmic targeting will be huge in social advertising and make it a much more effective advertising platform.

Amanda Thomas, Managing Partner at Konstruct Digital

Are you Ready for Social Media Marketing 2020?

There you have it: social media trends 2020 and the biggest social media future predictions. 

After going on this mental journey into the future of social media marketing, you might be wondering if your business is ready for the future? If not, Konstruct Digital can quickly get your digital marketing strategy caught up to 2020 and future-proof it for this new decade.

As you’ve seen, we’re obsessed with following the latest social media trends. Maybe we also have predictive powers? Only time will tell, but one prediction we know will come true: if there is a new trend in social media, we will find a way for our clients to capitalize on it. 
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your business grow in an ever-changing social media landscape!

Updated: May 2, 2020

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