Social media, while emerging only a few years ago, is evolving at a rapid pace. Between social movements and adaptation to the legislation that is being put in place, the needs of client companies and the desires of users, the coming months may still shake things up. To give you a taste of what awaits us in the coming months, we interviewed 10 experts in the field who give us their predictions for 2020.
Branding and Social Media
Today, brands are realizing that their product is no longer the only center of attention: ethics has made a remarkable entry into the world of Communication and Consumption. The public has become suspicious of corporate campaigns but also of sponsored content. Consumers are now turning to the advice of their peers rather than to partnerships. It is time for brands to have transparent communication and a healthier relationship with their consumers. Each purchase becomes more thoughtful and is part of a tendency to want to experience a 'consum'action'. It is therefore important that they feel involved and recognized by the brand. The brands descend gradually from the pedestal on which they were installed.
Due to the multiplication of channels and messages, there is an overall “fed up” with the advertising pressure. In fact, the French are almost twice as equipped with adblockers as the world average. Worse, the advertising investment model of the big brands is outdated and pushes to make volume, like Google and Facebook which broadcast massively with sometimes questionable metrics. There is a tendency and an opportunity to invest less but better. Slowadvertising is a virtuous and ultra-profitable approach which allows better distribution of better-worked content while measuring results to continuously improve the system. A sort of efficiency cure for the online advertising approach that boosts results, while reducing pressure on the consumer.
The 2019-2020 trend of the search for well-being, kindness, disconnection (faced with the increasing risk of mental nuisance that accompanies social networks) echoes another trend: that of leaving digital spaces that are too large and toxic to move towards smaller spaces of peer communities that resemble us and with which we share values and ideals.
The result is a trend that I anticipate: to continue to maintain a social media dialogue with its consumers, the brand will have to leave its ivory tower and finally get wet. It can only really belong to one or more community (s) only by becoming a real member: either express clear opinions, have opinions and affirmed positions in relation to social and / or cultural issues, in complete transparency. Leaving the vague domain of "on" to enter that of "I" in a way ...
2020 will be marked by an acceleration of social e-commerce. This was initiated in 2019 with the arrival of shoppable formats on Snap and TikTok, advertising on Pinterest and the integration of "Shopping" on Facebook & Instagram.
The acceleration should be driven by the current deployment of the "Check-out" functionality. It will integrate the transaction - the purchase - inside Facebook & Instagram. Inspiration, consideration and sale can take place within the same platform. Thus, we could potentially see a social lever often mishandled as a finisher become a direct contributor to business.
Advertisers and Social Media in 2020
For advertisers, product flow management, scripting for media and content campaigns, as well as cross-channel approaches integrating search and first party data will be key to taking advantage of these new opportunities. 2020 carries a business promise!
Social media… it's not what it used to be. Can we say that "it was better before?" (Slogan very often used, it seems to me, at one time, before everyone or almost everyone landed on Twitter). I think so (with nostalgia). There is a kind of ingenuity, humanity and freshness that has completely disappeared. Certainly, there is creativity and ingenuity in the operations launched today by (some) brands. Certainly, and this is normal, "things" have become professional, "industrialized", automated ... But what I consider essential is no longer there.
A certain weariness has settled in among Social Media managers, community managers and subscribers whoever they may be. What if 2020 was a homecoming? A return to basics,
After a frantic quest for virality and reach not only by users but also by social platforms, we have recently witnessed a reversal of this movement functionally supported by networks. Closed groups on Facebook, Super fans on Facebook, close friends lists on Instagram, targeted audience on LinkedIn, protected tweets reflect an awareness of the networks to respond to a strong expectation from an informed public who wants to reserve their publications for a selective hearing. The mainstream quest is no more, except for event coverage. This trend was first initiated by value-added influencers, then spread to the general public as shown by the exponential growth of Facebook groups. Some companies are aware of this and translate their marketing segmentation into communication which is also segmented. The Web finally returns to its origins: communities of interest. "
Pinterest in 2020
In 2020, I am convinced that Pinterest will have many attractions for other brands than for the "natural" advertisers of this platform. Why ? Because Pinterest is good, but not only. Beyond the characteristics of its audience, rather CSP +, the users of this inspirational catalog are a strongly intentional target. We come to Pinterest because we have a more or less long-term project. Look for pins on strollers is a signal that will not only interest a childcare brand but why not a car manufacturer, an insurer or a property developer. If Pinterest does not yet have the striking power of the social marketing giants, the platform does not have less an interesting audience and a DNA which allows to very naturally create traffic towards external sources.
Negative Use of Social Media in 2020
At a time when the scandals on privacy are multiplying, social platforms will be threatened tomorrow by a certain censorship. On the one hand, the public authorities want to define what can and cannot be said on social networks. Behind a commendable motivation, these attempts are discussed by NGOs who fear large-scale automated censorship regardless of gravity or context.
On the other hand, the rights holders try to define what can be published or not in connection with works. Ask a YouTube creator what he thinks of stripped videos with no possibility of recourse, or a Twitter user what he thinks of a Disney who wanted to ban all the Gifs of Baby Yoda.
If we agree on combating online hatred and respecting copyright, we can wonder about the ability of networks to adapt to these constraints that challenge the heart of Internet: the discussion. Not to mention the growing social pressure on what you share on your networks with a difficulty in expressing yourself which is only growing.
I see 3 possible changes to our uses:
1. Networks will become simple showcases where discussions will be hyper-policed with a conversation leveled down
2. Users will increasingly close their accounts to regain privacy
3. Users will take refuge on networks with different moderations or in more intimate channels (FB groups, Reddit, Telegram…)
Beyond that, the entire advertising model can be called into question. Because less discussion is less interaction. And less freedom means less affinity. So less personalization of the data collected.
Often considered as a hidden subculture in obscure closed groups with a very little licked design, memes are today general public and will be all the more so in 2020. Each community already has its account of memes: by astrological sign, by profession, by region ... and brings together several tens of thousands of subscribers. The simple image allows an efficiency of comprehension, a speed of production and an ease of consumption defying any competition on the other formats of contents. The meme therefore has all the assets to federate a community. After a difficult relationship between Instagram and the creators of memes (note: Instagram deleted dozens of memor accounts in 2019), they are making a comeback in social network strategy, by encouraging us to do so. As a medium, the same image is not confined to being light and silly, it can also have meaning through its humor. For a brand, the limit of the exercise will be to remain always benevolent towards the communities, above all not to give in to the ease of the "like" by using already worn-out templates and to use images free of right or to appeal to creators. Netflix or McDonald's are already doing it, why not you?