As we enter into a new decade, there are a host of new social media features that can help companies take their reach to a new level. With more than 2.65 billion active social media users worldwide,1 the marketing power that social media can generate is undeniable. It shows no signs of stopping, as $28.9 billion in 2019 alone was spent by companies on the top three social media platforms to drive sales. The key for marketers to leverage the new features will be in how they can be used to engage social media followers and compel them to buy. 

Here are the top 5 social media trends you need to watch:

Facebook Messenger Ads

Getting in front of consumers, in real-time, is a highly effective way to increase sales conversions. With Facebook’s new feature, marketers can use stories to initiate conversations and allow consumers to quickly message businesses. Companies also have the ability to choose their preferred Facebook chatbot application to automate and better personalize the user experience. With personalization becoming a key differentiator for consumers, the more instant, one-on-one communication companies can provide, the better.

Full-Screen, Instant Experience Ads

There’s no better way to capture your target audience’s attention than through the full-screen ads, Facebook calls “Instant Experiences”. With this new ad option, rolled out in late-2019, marketers can instantly immerse their target audience by allowing Facebook users to swipe through carousels, explore tagged images, and tilt to pan, automatically readjusting the ad to fit the viewer’s screen. 

Click-to-Buy Post Content

For image-driven social media sites like Snapchat and Instagram, giving followers the ability to shop directly through posts is helping businesses increase their sales without having to drive traffic to their website. With Instagram’s new Checkout feature, users can make purchases through in-feed posts and story content, merging social media and e-commerce together. Businesses can tag up to five different products in a picture, enabling them to creatively showcase their products in front of consumers that are ready to buy.

Hidden Replies on Twitter

Managing your brand image is key in today’s digital world. And, with spam accounts rapidly taking over many social media platforms, being able to control who comments on your posts and what they comment is important. That’s why Twitter’s new hide replies feature is taking off. Both individual and business users can hide comments posted to their tweets from their public profile. The key in leveraging this new feature will be in finding a good balance between hiding inappropriate or offensive comments, while also allowing customers to truly provide their experience with your products or services, even if it is unsatisfactory. Censoring all negative replies, especially from real customers, can damage your brand’s reputation.  

Non-Skippable Ads on YouTube

As social media platforms look to make their advertising features more accessible to smaller companies, it will become easier to tap into each platform’s marketing power. For example, YouTube has recently made 15-second non-skippable ads available to all businesses, for the first time. This will empower brands to get their content in front of their target audiences, without having to reach a certain spend limit or have a required number of YouTube followers. And, as YouTube continues to expand to offer more video streaming options to viewers, having access to non-skippable ads will get brands in front of more captive audiences to drive sales.

These are just the top 5 must-watch social media marketing trends. With the competition between platforms heating up to attract more followers and to increase engagement, expect a host of additional features to be rolled out over the next 2 years. The key to effectively maximizing your social media marketing will be in how well you can tap into these new features to give your target audience a new, convenient, and seamless shopping experience.

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