Did you know that this year it was predicted that more people will have mobile phones than running water or electricity at home? Mind-blowing.
It’s true, more and more people are being connected to the Internet, every single day. As you may have guessed, Google is the number one most visited place on the Internet, after which comes YouTube and Facebook, in that particular order. Twitter and other social media platforms showed some strong behaviour in website rankings too, according to We Are Social.
Which begs the question, if your brand doesn’t have a good social media strategy, what on earth are you doing?
We get it. A lot of our clients find understanding social media exhausting. It seems that as soon as you think you’ve mastered it all, there’s a change to a platform that throws everything you knew out the window. That’s why our clients leave it all in our hands. But to catch you up on a few of the latest changes in digital marketing for 2020, we laid out a few key points.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Facebook changes its algorithm, again.
Facebook, like many other social media platforms, is continuously updating its algorithm. Because Mr Zug has been in a bit of trouble in recent years, there has now been a huge emphasis on transparency, user experience and most importantly, privacy. Facebook’s 2020 focus is giving the users the power to control what they see, and personalise their user experience on the platform.
Currently, the algorithm ranks posts in the order that a user is likely to enjoy them, based on a few key data factors related to their previous behaviour and other users’ behaviour on the platform.
Like a post that your mom shared? Are you sharing a brand’s posts with your friends? Do you enjoy live videos? What Facebook group are you actively a part of? These are all examples of the data that is collected based on someone’s behaviour. The most important behaviour factors to keep in consideration are who users interact with the most, what type of media they enjoy, whether it is website links, photos or videos, and lastly, the popularity of the post.
The Facebook algorithm is all about how the platform decides which posts users can see, and in what order they show up on newsfeeds. They have placed a great emphasis on displaying content from friends and connections, which means seeing a lot less from brands.
Oh dear. This is specifically concerning to brands and how your audience views and interacts with your page organically. But don’t sweat just yet. Facebook tracks meaningful interactions, meaning if you’re creating content that your audience enjoys and engages with, it’s likely that they’ll see it.
Speaking of which, the algorithm has also been recently designed to recognise spam-like content or clickbait content from brands, as well as banning multiple ads that are running at once. Therefore, in order to show up, brands need to focus on creating naturally engaging content that their audience wants to see.
How can you make the algorithm work for you as a brand? Well, that deserves a blog post of its own. But here are a few quick wins.
- Encourage engagement with your audience by starting conversations that get people talking.
- Post when your audience is online, and post consistently and often.
- Video is high performing on Facebook, so if you can afford to, create engaging videos between one to three minutes long.
- If it makes sense to do so, create a group that can keep your audience engaged and within a community.
- Boost organic posts that perform well with paid ads.
What on earth is TikTok?
If you’re old enough to remember a time before social media existed, you’re probably confused about what TikTok is and how exactly people use it. You’re not alone. In fact, TikTok, previously know as Musical.ly, is mainly used by teenagers and young adults, or as us marketers like to classify them, Generation Z, which is probably why you know nothing about it.
Simply put, it’s a video sharing platform, similar to the now discontinued, Vine. Whilst Vine typically allowed users to create only 6-second videos, TikTok gives users 15 seconds to create a video on any topic. This has created a whole world of undercover content creators and comedians, all sharing their creativity with the limited time they have to grab an audience’s attention.
As TikTok describes themselves, they are the leading destination for short-form mobile video, and their mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. And according to Apptopia, the app is doing just that with more than 250 million active monthly users (excluding Chinese users).
Want to understand the basics the platform? Sure. Many young users of the platform are using TikTok as a creative outlet to start conversations or showcase their talents. Videos on this platform are vertical, and you can show appreciation through ‘hearts’ which is the equivalent to ‘likes’. TikTok users have the power and tools to create a variety of videos from dancing, challenges, tricks or comical videos, with ease. This is the main attraction of this app, as anyone can easily create videos with just a mobile phone. But brands are also using the platform to reach and establish themselves within the youth market, like Starbucks SA for example.
TikTok really has disrupted the existing social media world order! Is Generation Z a target audience for your brand? Don’t forget about Snapchat, too.
Instagram is now not showing likes.
Perhaps you’ve heard that Instagram has begun to roll out their no-like system after many months of testing. We’ve already seen this being portrayed on a number of our social business accounts we manage.
But why is Instagram hiding likes? Well, in an effort to reduce online bullying, and the mental health pressures that come from social media, it all comes down to making the platform a safe and healthy place to spend time online, especially for Generation Z.
Many have expressed relief about the update, while others, especially those who use the platform to make money as influencers, are concerned that this might mean having to change their strategies or even shut down the work that they do on the platform.
Users can still like other posts, but those who are already part of the test will no longer see the total number of likes and views on others posts. They will, however, still be able to see how many likes their own posts receive.
But how will this affect brands? Well, because the like count is out of sight, your brand can solely focus on the content you want to share, allowing your brand to be more creative and post more freely. Unfortunately, though, businesses working with influencers will need to be more creative in analysing data and understanding what their marketing goals are when it comes to social media management.
The good news is that likes were always a false reflection of engagement but were often an easy number to pull to show how content is performing. This forces brands to really dig into their analytics and find out what is actually really working with their content.
So whilst this may affect how influencers legitimise their worth to brands that want to work with them, we think this might be a good opportunity for small brands and businesses that are looking to grow. Brands can share freely and start from scratch without worrying about the little likes they’ll receive in the beginning.
Change happens all the time.
Well, there you have it, a very brief, overall update for 2020. Of course, digital marketing changes almost every day so if any of our clients are concerned about new updates, chat to us and we can consult on an in-depth basis.