Social Media

Social Media Vs Messaging: Is The Backlash Looming In 2020?

Marketers – online marketers, and especially social media marketers, have a shift looming. 2020 looks set to make new demands on them. They’re ever-analysing and ever-current, always watching for buzz and pasting campaigns together at a moment’s notice. They are the “look and feel” behind the look and feel of Facebook, Instagram, and many other platforms. Very soon, social media positioners and marketers might be migrating to more personal messaging apps to ply their trade. 

Inputs like SEO, AI (presenting a whole new frontier for marketing, period), and influencer marketing are shredding former funnel marketing models. Businesses, large and small are finding the pace quickened and results require more innovative fishing. Right now, there are languid-yet-large shifts happening in how we communicate and participate. A few obvious, prevalent factors might have prompted some of these shifts. 

User concerns around overload and privacy keep rising, and the sight of Mark Zuckerberg before senate committees has been accompanied by the grisly realisation that social media is geared towards vacuuming up time, personal data, and indeed, reality. By now there have been enough embarrassing moments in social media history (especially for younger users) to have lost the bewilderment and turn slightly away. Personal messaging apps are on the rise, not only in terms of people communicating, but also participating and shopping.

Someone With Their Finger On The Pulse

It’s no exaggeration to say metrics have become far more complex, demanding both more intensive and extensive sampling to determine a profitable online marketing direction. Those blessed with a genuine gut-feeling and an eye for a rising moment are highly sought after. Currently, businesses need to manifest the motivation to listen, apply its ethics and good judgement, and roll out campaigns as and where seems most suitable.

That “most suitable” arena is growing and shifting as we head into 2020. Personal messaging app marketing often appears corny or even unwelcome, but this is changing. The lines between pushing for sales and following the preferences of users of these apps will need to blur for businesses to present as genuine and acceptable. Those able to trade on the subtleties of a generation now moving into adulthood will be the ones succeeding “online.” For entrepreneurs in the UK, London IT support companies like Prosyn can help businesses get that competitive edge over rivals. 

The truth is, online participation is becoming more diverse and refined. What this means for businesses is that an honest and prompt readiness to put money into rising and/or otherwise possibly lucrative platforms, or people or events on these platforms, will see a host of new faces in strange places. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram still dominate social media, with WhatsApp and Telegram at the top end of messaging apps, the messaging apps are starting to emulate social media platforms. 

Most importantly, the latter appears to be happening on the back of an organic symbiosis with users: the sweet dream of every social media marketer.

Trends to watch for 2020

  • Niches 

    need to be mined. Look at figures from various messaging and social media platforms – it takes investigation and participation – and pick a direction. “Broad saturation online marketing” like links and banners will die slowly, as it still has value. However, modern consumers are starting to consciously resist ad saturation, and it’s likely niche advertising and participation will bring home far higher returns in the future than a broad-spectrum approach. 

  • AR And VR

    will become more mainstream. Shopping experiences that involve Augmented Reality (AR) are likely to rise meteorically over the next three years. Virtual Reality (VR), too, is likely to mainstream in developed nations by 2023 as both entertainment and as an accompaniment to innumerable aspects of life, including shopping. The proliferation of ecommerce features on formerly sedate media platforms is evidence already. Facebook offers tools that enable the experience of shopping (discovery), purchase, after sales care and subsequent evangelism throughout its various channels. Facebook owns WhatsApp, and that platform’s e-commerce potential is being constantly sampled and pursued. Instagram has launched Instagram Shopping. The year 2020 looks set to be the year in which social commerce (where users buy directly off messaging or social media platforms) exceeds visits to online stores as a global metric.

  • Visual Content

    is now nothing short of mandatory. For better or worse, visual humans are becoming even more so. Books seem archaic now to many, as even ebooks are considered positively studious. Video remains rising as an imperative inclusion for many brands and their campaigns. Blogs are still good fare for many users and provide the solidity of a company that cares enough to entertain its audience, but video insists on consideration nowadays. Podcasts, too, have huge audiences. Live streaming has gone from being intimidating for practitioners (and sometimes shabby for consumers) to a natural component of daily life. Content remains king, but it will require a diversified dissemination to find traction with the global shopping population.

  • Messaging apps have already surpassed social media usage. While people still participate in public posts, the glow has dimmed and users who’d rather opt for personal or limited group messaging on WhatsApp, for example, are rising. Interestingly, the desire of users to find their favourite brands on messaging apps is growing, too. Companies looking to reach such holy ground will glean the most profitable results from understanding how people use these messaging apps. Gone are the days of just getting in there          because “everyone is on it.” Fake followers, scam artists, trolls and the wanton stripping of personal data makes “just being there” a potential liability in 2020, not necessarily a plus. The faithful participation on social media platforms is contracting on the back of distrust and the desire for a new way to interact.   
  • Influencer Marketing

    is likely to increase and diversify. Online users have established a trend of seeking out assuring and knowledgeable reviews when shopping or participating online. This phenomenon has sculpted a tremendous opportunity for influencers to connect authentically with others on platforms. The influencer industry is a fledgling one, and micro-influencers will flesh out the trade in 2020. Larger influencers will become more exclusive and expensive, while more targeted micro-influencers will start to swell the ranks, helping to establish a comprehensive industry offering.