If you’re looking for ways to keep your social media marketing mix fresh, make sure you know the latest social media marketing trends to try out. Fortunately, with the constant growth of technology and social media, there are several new ways to engage and excite consumers this year. Take a look at 7 of them and decide which ones are right for your brand!

1. Brands Building Social Media Communities

Social media groups have been popular for years now, and most people probably belong to a few. But the latest social media marketing trend involves brands starting their own groups that cater to consumers—including current and potential customers. More specifically, several big brands have started groups that center on interests that their target audience might want to discuss, giving them a great chance to engage.

For example, Condé Nast started the Women Who Travel group on Facebook. This encourages female travel fans to come together and talk about their latest trips, share travel advice for upcoming adventures, and even plan future trips with likeminded women. And since Condé Nast is at the helm of the group, it’s a great chance for the brand to get customer feedback, launch new products, and just generally make connections with the target audience. Other brands that are known for their online communities include Lego, Starbucks, and Xbox, so check them out for ideas on how to connect better with your target market this year!

2. Social Selling

Gone are the days when simply having a website and/or brick-and-mortar store would be enough to keep shoppers satisfied. Now they want to be able to purchase your products on social media, as well. And most brands aren’t complaining! In fact, several companies have made their products available to buy on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Just a couple of big brands that have done so include Marvel and Jordan.

If you’re wondering why this social media marketing trend is so big right now, it’s because it makes the online shopping process easier than ever. Consumers don’t even have to stop looking at an image on your social media page to buy what they’re interested in. When they see what they want, they can click and know it will be on its way to their house soon! This cuts the sales funnel in half, which is good for your bottom line, and great for shoppers who are short on time. That happens to describe a lot of consumers, since in April 2019, 42% of shoppers between 18 and 34 years old said they shopped on social media consistently. No wonder social selling is considering a trend to watch in 2020!

3. Continued Popularity of the Stories Feature

Snapchat might have started the Stories trend, but it didn’t take long for other social media platforms to pick it up, and now nearly all of them feature it. The Stories tool is simply well liked by people who use Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. After all, it’s basically a visual news feed that makes it easy to go from one image or video to another without ever hitting a wall of text.

Stories have grown 15 times faster than news feeds, with the use of them growing by a whopping 842% since 2016! So if you’re looking for another way to grab the attention of consumers through social media in 2020, use the Stories feature on any social platform your brand is on. It’s a great way to build rapport with anyone who follows your page, as well as get feedback through polls and questions. Plus, since Stories disappear after one day, your followers will be motivated to check your page daily so they don’t miss out on anything!

4. More Influencer Marketing

The process of paying influencers to market your brand online is not going away in 2020. In fact, 63% of marketers said they will increase their influencer budget in 2020, likely because the typical ROI is $5.20 for every $1 they spend! So it makes sense to incorporate this into your marketing plan this year if you haven’t already, especially as consumers grow wary of traditional ads and look to people they trust—from celebrities to subject experts—to advise them on what to buy.

If you can’t afford to pay the rates that a really well-known influencer commands, you’ll be glad to know that this year, more businesses are focusing on hiring micro-influencers. These people have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers, so their fanbase isn’t as big. But their audience tends to be extremely engaged and well defined, and their rates might fit your budget better.

5. Increased Use of AR

If you’re not a big follower of technology, augmented reality (AR) may sound intimidating. But you’ve probably already interacted with it in various ways you might not be aware of—and now it’s time to add it to your social media marketing mix for 2020. First, start with knowing what AR is, which is technology that enhances reality with digital elements, such as images and features. One example is the filters you see on photo apps, including Snapchat and Instagram. If you’ve ever added digital elements—such as various colors or even dog ears—to a picture, you’ve used AR. And now there are even more uses for it, which brands have recently discovered.

For example, when you make an explainer video or product demo video interactive, you’re using AR to engage viewers. When you give viewers a virtual tour of a room like many real estate agents do, or let them virtually move around furniture and change paint colors like IKEA does, you’re using AR for marketing. And when you let shoppers upload a photo and try on makeup online like Sephora does, you’re making great use of this technology as you create a better shopping experience! It’s no wonder that by 2022, the AR/VR market is predicted to be worth over $209 billion.

6. More Personalization

Another social media marketing trend for 2020 is increased personalization. Brands have learned the value of segmenting their target audience, largely through social media ads. This means the right people see certain ads at the right time, ensuring they’re served ads that are most likely to interest them. You can see this in action by simply clicking on an Instagram or Facebook ad and observing that you’ll see ads for similar products minutes later!

And the more ads you click, the more personalized the next ads you see will be, as the platform will better understand your personal preferences so you’re more likely to see ads that truly interest you. Facebook, in particular, is working on making it easier for brands to serve personalized, curated ads to consumers. It does so by taking note when customers prefer one format to another, such as the carousal ad over the collection, or vice versa—since this affects their engagement and eventual conversion.

7. Video Will Remain Popular

Video has been big for years, and 2020 will be no exception. After all, on social media, video gets 1,200% more shares than images and text posts combined! About 72% of consumers prefer to learn about products and services through online video, and 75% of people take an action after watching video online, so it makes sense that 81% of businesses now use video for marketing.

Odds are you’re in that group of marketers, meaning you already posts videos on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, etc. But one new trend for 2020 is the rise of TikTok, a video-driven platform that has caught the attention of young people. In fact, it has over 500 million active users around the world, and 41% are between the ages of 16 and 24. If this is your target audience, TikTok is a good platform to keep an eye on this year, as brands are finding it’s a great place to post fun, engaging videos that will appeal to a younger audience.

Have you tried any of these social media marketing trends in 2020 yet? Let us know which ones you’re most impressed by so far!