Only a mere month away, 2020’s coming fast!

It’s the time of year business owners reflect on what’s passed and also prepare for the future. When it comes to social media marketing, it would take an entire book to explain the changes that 2019 endured: from Facebook Ads Manager getting a full revamp to TikTok gaining serious cred, oh…and the big ban on IG Likes.

This month, we’re focused on three of the marketing trends that gained traction in 2019 but should explode come 2020. We predict these will continue to grow in popularity and, more importantly, help your small business thrive:

  1. Instagram will take further steps to remove Likes from posts
  2. Groups will help create meaningful experiences across the social landscape
  3. Social will soar as a concierge for customer service

Let’s get to it!

Instagram and the War on Likes  

Instagram’s Like counts will no longer be displayed for all to see. Instead, profile holders will be able to check out Like metrics in their insights.

There are a few reasons why Instagram could be choosing to hide Likes. Right now, they’ve cited mental health as being the leading cause. Regardless, hiding Likes could be a good move for businesses as it forces marketers to create real engagement, such as conversation-centered comments and shares.

In 2020, your Instagram marketing focus should be devoted to building genuine relationships with followers. Opt for candid conversations over ‘gram-worthy’ pictures and memes that fall short when it comes to authentic interactions.

Groups are Where to Get and Keep Fans

There’s a theme to this article: be present and offer an experience. Groups allow small businesses to do this virtually. Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, and many other social platforms are turning to Groups or Communities to help build a better connection with customers, and we fully support it going into 2020.

Social Media Today released an infographic on 2020 Content Trends, and their point on geographic areas applies to Groups as well. SMT talks about using “location-based pages to promote local events and branch-specific deals.” Why not apply that same local interaction in Groups? Chances are you’ll get more engagement vs. simply posting on a business page.

Another smart way to utilize Groups is presenting a niche topic. Let’s say you own a shop that sells home décor. Don’t just create a group on “all things home.” Instead, develop something like “seasonal décor to maintain an inviting home on a budget.”

Managing Groups takes time. Always brainstorm topics and projects that deliver value to your online group. We suggest hiring a college intern to help you. Provide brand training and guidance first, and it’ll be a win for everyone. Your business will build a localized, niche audience and interns gain real-world experience.

Use Social Media to Leverage Customer Service

Is the customer always right? That may be up for debate, but you still need to give your customers a chance to be heard. Sometimes that’s all it takes to resolve a problem.

This is where social media becomes an even handier tool. Leverage customer service practices on social platforms! Big Commerce reported, “If you give a positive social media customer service experience, 71% of your consumers will likely recommend your brand to others.”

It all stems from the idea of making it easy for a customer to reach out for help. It’s that simple. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social platform, be very clear on how people can report their problems and when they can expect a response.

What’s the windup? Conversation is still king. All three of these trends leverage the power of relationship-building with your audience. The importance of authenticity and consistency in your brand voice on social channels, and at every touch point, cannot be overstated. And although it’s nearly impossible to predict everything that will unfold across the ever-changing digital landscape, these three trends are a good indicator of where to spend your time and energy moving forward.

So, as we welcome a brand-new year, let’s also toast to the best of what social media has to offer when used to its fullest potential: meaningful connection. If you’re looking to build and execute a top-notch social strategy for your niche but are short on time, or just not sure where to start, book your strategy session today.

From all of us at One Part Social, wishing you and your business a happy and prosperous 2020.