Over the last ten years, social media has become an integral part of the lifestyles of Americans as well as an essential touchstone for communication, news dissemination, and even marketing.
Between the relationships established on Facebook, the responses on Twitter, and the captivating quality of photos on Instagram, there is a wide range of interests and features across the channels. Just about every demographic has somewhere to share and browse their interests on one platform or another.
Now that another year is coming to a close, digital marketers should review what happened in 2020 with their social media efforts and also look ahead at what 2021 might have in store. Let's take a look at some of the numbers—and trends—that have defined social media in the past, and give us a glimpse into the future. Increased
1. Social Media Usage
The continued success of social media should come as no surprise to those considering the successful expansion of any convenient or useful technology. Social media has taken the world by storm, and growing use is a tribute to all these factors. But just what kind of increase in social media use are we talking about?
In 2020, there are around 4 billion social media users worldwide, and this number is only growing. One of the reasons for this high usage of social media is because mobile possibilities for users are continually improving which makes it simpler by the day to access social media, no matter where you are. Most social media networks are also available as mobile apps or have been optimized for mobile browsing, making it easier for users to access their favorite sites while on the go.
2. Mobile as an Important Role
Although it is true that social media is certainly on the rise, the devices used to access it are one thing that cannot be overlooked. While many people still engage in social media at work or at home on desktop computers, there are billions of people around the world who use social media on their phones or tablets.
Almost 90% of all social media users access social channels via mobile devices. Likewise, almost 80% of total time spent on social media sites occurs on mobile platforms. Smartphones and social media are evolving side by side, and your brand should make sure to keep up. Mobile friendly interfaces are the way forward, and if you’re marketing online you need to make sure that your content and layout is optimized for mobile. And why not? People take their smartphones everywhere with them. If you want to be accessible, you have to keep mobile in mind.
3. Increased Chatbot Usage
“Bots" on social media are responsible for inaccurately conflating user numbers or interactions and are often cited as the chief tools of political or propaganda wars on social media. However, when used honestly and ethically, they provide significant value to businesses.
However, it’s critical to keep in mind that legitimate chatbots are not weaponized pieces of software trying to fool people into thinking they are human users. Instead, chatbots are software that is designed to interact with people in a customer service role, assisting with cooking tips, helping to facilitate financial transactions for banks, or even coordinating a timetable for public transport like buses and trains. These bots are just automated software, without attempting to hide its true nature or intent, but providing a familiar, easy interface to help people achieve their goals.
4. Interactions and Connections are Important
When it comes to social media, one of the most important things you can do to manage an account is to strictly monitor your behavior. While there's a pretty broad range of interpretation for what constitutes "irritating," almost half of the social media users will unfollow a social media marketing account if they feel they see "irritating" behavior.
Among the things that people respond positively to, responsiveness is high on the list to keep users engaged and willing to follow an account. If they feel a company they are interested in is positively interacting with them in a timely manner, they’re more likely to be receptive.
Hence, brands that ignore interactions, and, worse yet, belittle interactions or even pick fights are losing that engagement and get unfollowed very fast.
5. Visuals are Important
Humans love visuals. Thanks to Facebook, YouTube, and even Instagram with IGTV, video is one of the most popular forms of marketing in social media today. Of course, there are plenty of good reasons for this. Video consumption is easy, regardless of the age demographic.
More importantly for marketing, you can see where the money is going, and how it is being spent. Similarly, the traditional metrics for the success of film, television, and commercials can be applied to video marketing as well. However, digital videos have the added bonus of more accurate user data, since digital technology more accurately measures usage and engagement and preserves this data for analysis. It's much easier to allocate a budget for video production since the parameters for a good product are well established.
After all, social media continues to be an important platform for communication and marketing and it will be interesting to see what the future might have in store. If you’re interested in using social media to your advantage, surely the trends above will help!