Social Media Trends in 2020

As the world rapidly changes, so too does the way we shop, work, and communicate. A byproduct of this change is the way we interact with social media.  As a result, marketers must be agile with their strategies to ensure they’re not left behind. To assist we’re breaking down the key trends that are shaping 2020 to keep you ahead of the curve.


Upsurge in businesses utilising private messaging.

According to Hootsuite’s 2020 social trends study, they predicted that the most successful brands will be those who strike a balance between “driving awareness on public feeds and delivering meaningful one-to-one engagement on private channels”.  Although word-of-mouth, social ads, and comments provide the top sources of brand discovery, Hootsuite among others, has hypothesised that this alone won’t provide the highest level of positive brand sentiment. This is hard to argue when you consider 63% of people feel most comfortable sharing and talking about content in messaging apps, not only this, 52% of consumers say they get frustrated when brands don’t offer any human interaction.

What can you do as a business?

Try and be strategic where you use your automated messaging and use it only when necessary. If you have existing private messaging functionality or you’ve recently improved your private messaging services, let your customers know through paid and/or organic posts. 


Employers take centre stage in a divided world

Gone are the days when brands could shelter in the shadows of political issues. As the world increasingly becomes more divided, employees and customers are looking to their trusted brands to share their stance on significant political issues.  2020 has made a clear divide on brands who are willing to take a stand on moral issues and those who are not. Whether it be the Covid-19 pandemic or the Black Lives Matter movement, progressive brands have taken the opportunity to release statements on where they stand. This has not only forged positive brand sentiment with customers but has also helped build strong internal cultures.


What can you do as a business?

People are very wary of brands who participate in “woke washing”, i.e jumping on the bandwagon after the fact. This may be viewed as a marketing ploy, thus insincere.  Make sure whatever your mission statement is, you follow it through in all capacities; it should not be a just a marketing campaign, but rather a long-term belief that underpins the very fabric of your brand/company.



TikTok shakes up the status quo

TikTok’s exponential growth is something that can’t be ignored. With over 1.4 million active users in Australia driving 1.6 billion views every month, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Nike, Italy, recently partnered Tik Tok influencers with elite athletes to co-create a dance based on their chosen sport. The campaign successfully earned over 100 million views and generated more than 46,000 user-generated responses. More impressively, the TikTok campaign drove engagement on Nike’s owned channels as well, including a rise in NikePlus membership numbers and a shrinking gender gap in the region.


What can you do as a business?

Although TikToks tantalising engagement rates and exponential growth may seem attractive to many marketers, it is to be approached with much caution. If Gen Z isn’t your target audience, or if fun and playful isn’t integral to your brand, you should probably look to other platforms that can target your audience with more proven strategies. That being said, social marketers should always keep a close eye on how the platform adapts and changes. Although it may not seem like the right choice now, that could very well change in the future.


Social Marketing and performance marketing collide

We’ve all heard it before, “we need to hit our KPI’s!” or “we need more leads!” – These demands have only been exacerbated further in 2020 by challenging algorithm changes on Facebook and Instagram which have resulted in a steady decline in organic engagement. As Social Media Marketers are pressured for fast results over shorter periods, the long-term success of a business can often be lost in the chaos. This is problematic when you consider time and time again that studies have shown a balanced approach with both performance marketing and brand activations far outperforms a sole performance marketing strategy. For instance, Adidas found that brand activities – not performance marketing – were actually driving the majority of their e-commerce sales. This was a problem because Adidas’s advertising split was 23% into brand and 77% into performance. After realizing they were overinvesting in performance marketing, they introduced a new campaign frame-work with emotional, brand-driving activity at the center. As a result, they have found they have a healthier balance between short-term promotional goals and long term strategies around brand desirability and brand recognition.

What can you do as a business?

Too often is the misconception that organic posts are solely the only way to push overall brand pieces and paid social is only reserved for promotional posts. If this is how your current social media strategy stacks, you should probably reconsider reinvesting some of your paid spend budget for broader awareness campaigns that act as an educational piece on your brand rather than a hard sell.



Rise in Built-in Ecommerce Trends

As physical shops closed globally during the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses looked to ecommerce to keep their businesses afloat. Although ecommerce is nothing new, it’s role in many companies took precedence as physical foot traffic fell. As a result of this, social platforms upped their game with the capabilities they provide. For instance, in March of this year, Instagram launched a new e-commerce checkout feature to tackle the on-going challenge of delivering an end-to-end in-app e-commerce experience for users. This feature allows the users to complete purchases without leaving the app, thus shortening the path to purchase. A win, win for Instagram and their partners.


What can you do as a business?

The shorter your customer’s path to purchase the increased likelihood that their interest will convert to a sale. Where possible, utilise social platforms’ capabilities to assist. For instance, make sure you have all your key products included in a Facebook catalog so potential customers can easily access popular items.


Influencer marketing will continue to persuade

Some may have thought it was a fad, but as time goes on, influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. With 14% of digital consumers discovering new brands through celebrities, it’s not surprising that this strategy is sticking around. As you would expect with any marketing strategy there are both pros and cons with influencer marketing. Pro being that you are reaching a potentially untapped audience in an authentic way, con being you sometimes have to throw caution to the wind when giving someone outside your company the platform to advocate it.


What can you do as a business?

If you don’t have a massive budget to work with, often collaborating with micro-influencers (less than 10k followers) on a barter system is a great way to utilize the strategy in a cost-effective way. Not only can this save you money, but micro-influencers often bring a more targeted and authentic audience.





Atlas crafts beautifully useful marketing, experiences, and digital products that grow brands and businesses. We have over 20 years of experience in building hundreds of brands and businesses in an ever-changing digital landscape. Our team consists of number-crunchers, strategists, creatives, analysts, technologists, and with one goal in mind: to connect people and brands in more meaningful ways. We have proven methodologies to deliver world-class and award-winning solutions for our clients. We have proven methodologies to deliver world-class and award-winning solutions for our clients. Our knowledge, creativity, and technical know-how ensure that you can be assured of the delivery of your project with confidence. Our knowledge, creativity, and technical know-how ensures that you can be assured of the delivery of your project with confidence. Atlas crafts beautifully useful marketing, experiences, and digital products that grow brands and businesses.



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Mairead Comerford

Social Media Manager

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