The five trendiest social trends of 2020

By Giulietta Avenia

20th January 2020

Head to any news site in January and you’ll see lists upon lists upon lists of expected trends for 2020. Middle Eastern recipes will be brought into our homes (and our taste buds are excited), health regimes are being tailored to our DNA and everyone is talking about sustainability. But with so many trends to be aware of, it can be overwhelming to wade through the information for what’s relevant to your brand.

So we’ve stepped up. We’ve combed through every social media nugget we could possibly find to bring you five key trends that will impact the way we work in 2020.

The Chinese app Gen Z can’t get enough of

Everyone’s new favourite social app, TikTok, is delightfully addictive. Users can share short 15-second videos on any topic, whether it’s comedy skits, dance routines, lip-syncing or pranks. It’s particularly popular among younger audiences and provides endless hours of scrolling fun.

TikTok was launched in 2016 and took just two years to become the world’s fourth most downloaded app in 2018. It saw a 62.5% growth in mentions in 2019 and this growth doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. TikTok is experimenting with social commerce links (such as an Instagram-style link in bio) and new ad types to attract big brands and businesses. It’s also keeping busy fixing security flaws and exploring curated content feeds, to calm worries about branded content appearing alongside NSFW, distressing or illegal user generated content (UGC).

With all these measures taken, we expect brands to flock to this space as a way to reach the younger demographic. But they should expect a challenge if they are to blend seamlessly into the channel with creative, funny content that isn’t overly simplistic or patronising to Gen Z.

From audience to ad-makers

Want your audience to trust your brand? Then get them to endorse you. Several brands such as Daniel Wellington, Visit Scotland and Adobe Photoshop almost exclusively use UGC on their Instagram feeds, to fantastic effect. With 83% of consumers more likely to trust peers over a brand and 80% more likely to trust a customer product review than a well-known influencer, it’s never been more important for brands to connect with their audience and leverage UGC.

Facebook and LinkedIn groups are a particularly great way to harness UGC. Encouraging your audience to create content and tag your brand, so you can feature their content on your channels, can help your brand seem more trustworthy and authentic.

The rise of the micro-influencer

The use of influencers has become a stock tool in a brand’s promotional arsenal. But the way marketers work with influencers is changing. Micro- and nano-influencers (with between 5,000 to 100,000 and 1,000 to 5,000 followers respectively) are an untapped market. They are an effective way to put content in front of niche, but hyper-relevant, audiences.

Glossier, a Manhattan-based beauty start-up, owes its success largely to influencer marketing. It prioritises engagement rates over followers, meaning its strategy focuses on using micro-influencers.

These influencers are cheaper than their macro counterparts (influencers with 100,000+ followers) and typically achieve higher engagement rates. A win-win for all. Gone are the days of working with influencers with 1 million followers and above, in the hunt for mass reach. We’re excited to see brands work with ‘the influencer next door’ to directly tap into the lives and niche interests of their audiences.

Blink and it’s gone

The creative opportunities for brands to experiment are expanding with ephemeral content. This is content that is only available for a short duration of time, before disappearing forever. Just like the type you’ll find on Instagram and Snapchat stories.

In January 2019, there were 500 million daily active users on Instagram Stories, compared to 400 million daily active users in June 2018. We can expect these numbers to grow further. Sixty-four percent of marketers are incorporating Instagram Stories into their strategies, or planning to, and brands are now posting a Story once every four days, on average.

While this perhaps speaks sadly to the shortening attention spans of consumers, Stories do offer fun opportunities for brands to engage with augmented reality (AR), another hot topic for 2020. AR filters have already gone down a storm. Take a look at the ‘Which Disney character are you?’ filter on Instagram. We couldn’t resist.

Video killed the flat lay star

While video certainly isn’t a ‘new’ trend, it remains vitally important to your brand’s success. According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. Whether it’s short-form TikToks or Stories, or long-form pieces on YouTube, video content is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s a ‘must-have’.

Not sure how to improve your brand’s video portfolio? Here’s a few simple pointers for building social-friendly short-form content:

These are just some of the social media trends that we’ll see influencing our timelines in 2020. Being mindful of these when creating content in 2020 will help our brands stay relevant and ahead of their competitors. And who knows, if you adopt them for your personal account, you may just be the next micro-influencer.

Find out how Eulogy can apply these social media trends to your brand’s digital presence by dropping us an email here.