5 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2020

Social media has taken over. Marketers and agencies alike are relying heavily on social media to build their brands and provide growth. Compared to other ways to communicate, social media appears to not only be less expensive, it also seems to have a built-in credibility factor that makes it doubly attractive. Who doesn’t want to be believed by more people at a lower price?

However, gaining followers and engagement organically on Facebook and Instagram has become increasingly difficult, leading brands to devote more resources to promoted posts and paid ads. In 2020, marketers are increasingly rethinking what “success” looks like for social media. Making sense of social data while finding new ways to engage with customers is vital.

J.O. has done some research and identified several trends you’ll want to be aware of and consider acting on.

1. Re-Evaluating Metrics That Matter

According to the most recent Sprout Social Index, there are a variety of metrics being considered when marketers are determining what’s working and what’s not on social.

While marketers have been heavily reliant on “likes” and comments to measure success, these are rapidly being labelled as vanity metrics because their contribution to sales is uncertain. According to Sprout Social, 72% consider likes or comments as successful measures, while less than 40% identify revenue attribution, consumer action or emotional responses as measured factors indicating success.

With the removal of public likes from Facebook and Instagram, a shift will be seen in how brands measure social success. Marketers will be looking for long-term engagement over viral moments. Personalizing audience communication and social listening, where a marketer can analyze sentiment, will continue to grow.

2. Growth In Private Communities

Not only are brands looking for ways to relate to consumers on a deeper level, consumers are demanding a stronger value proposition from brands that want their information and privacy issues are growing.

For example, new features such as Instagram Threads allow people to only share their Stories with a select group of friends. This gives the platform a more intimate, friends-only feel.

As organic reach on Facebook is flat for most brands, Facebook Group marketing is a way to market to smaller, private communities.

3. More Advanced, Dynamic And Direct Social Ads

Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the concept of social shopping in general, so brands continue to invest in encouraging direct sales through social media.

Facebook rolled out personalized ad experiences that dynamically change the way it presents products to potential customers. Formats (carousel, collection) and calls-to-action change based on who the ad is being served to.

Facebook personal experience screen

The advent of Instagram shopping also highlights the growth of direct social selling. The platform essentially represents another arm for ecommerce and retail brands looking to start selling on Instagram without having to funnel followers to a bio link.

LinkedIn advertising also offers ways for B2B brands to get their products and services in front of prospects easily.

All in all, brands have a number of promising options to reach prospects directly to secure sales through social media.

4. Stories Are A Growing Trend

Stories will continue to be a big trend in 2020. Not only are Instagram stories dominating its platform, Facebook Stories’ engagement is on par with Instagram, reporting approximately 500 million daily users. Creating polls and interactive Stories are effective methods to engage your audiences, making your content feel more relevant and must-see.

5. Video Is The Thing

The most-shared content on social media is video, both long- and short-form. Although Instagram is known as the hub for influencers, YouTube ranks second behind Facebook for number of active users. And that’s where marketers are heading.

Video offers a prime opportunity to connect with your audience with customer-centric content — whether a brand uses ads or organic video to reach them.


Remember that setting expectations upfront and aligning with management on what social media success looks like is the first step to creating value. Make sure to monitor conversations, engagement and growth, and make that data readily available to your team.