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5 Social Media Predictions for 2020

As a social media only agency, our favorite time of year is when we get look forward to the next year and make informed predictions about where the space may be headed.

While we don’t have a crystal ball, we have included social data and insights from eMarketer to help guide and inform our social media predictions for 2020 and trends to consider in the next year.

Let’s dive in.

1. Purely Organic Social Media Strategies Will Continue to Decline

According to e-Marketer forecasts, in 2020 social network ad spending as a whole (not inclusive of management or tool costs) is anticipated to grow by 20.4% compared to 2019.

social media predictions for 2020 - social network ad spending

Prediction: Surprisingly, there are still many brands who haven’t made a substantial investment in social media advertising – or who have kept organic efforts completely separated from paid. As we head in to 2020, we predict many of these brands taking a hard look at their social media strategies and looking for points of paid integration.

2. Marketers Will Still Invest Primarily in Facebook and Instagram, But Are Wary

Despite Facebook remaining in the hot seat for most of 2019, eMarketer data predicts that Facebook and Instagram ad revenues will collectively increase by 20% in 2020. The chart below showcases the predicted revenues by company in 2020.

As you can see, marketers are planning to continue to invest heavily in Facebook and Instagram.

social media predictions for 2020- social network ad revenues by company

Balancing this data with the growth projections, we start to see an interesting trend. For one, we see Instagram growing more than any other network in 2020, followed by Pinterest and Snapchat. This could be a result of increased targeting and competitive ad options like dynamic targeting recently released on platforms like Snapchat.

social media predictions for 2020- social ad revenues growth

Prediction: With the continued growth and dominance of Facebook and Instagram, we predict that many marketers are going to become wary of having too many eggs in the proverbial Facebook/Instagram basket. While these marketers are still not comfortable moving the majority of their ad spend elsewhere, they will begin to diversify by testing and learning on other platforms that offer competitive offerings.

3. Elections Will Impact Facebook Costs & Engagement Negatively

Already, we’re hearing the murmurs of marketers planning for the election year. On social platforms particularly, we predict the influx of political ads on Facebook will result in rising ad costs.

Along with these costs, we predict that social network engagement on Facebook will also take another dip in 2020. With over 73% of users strongly or somewhat agreeing that Facebook should ban political ads – advertisers may see users leaning toward passive consumption on this channel.

social media predictions for 2020- Facebook Political Ads

Prediction: Given how many marketers have a majority of their ad dollars allocated on Facebook, many will be forced to set lower goals – or increase ad dollars in the next year to meet or exceed last year’s performance. Less savvy marketers will suddenly want to switch agencies or strategies mid-year, wondering why engagement is down.

4. Early Movers will Test and Learn on Tik Tok

In June of this year, The Wall Street Journal revealed Tik Tok had spent around 1 billion in advertising on social networks like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook to drive new users in the US.

With this investment, the platform certainly isn’t going anywhere – but it does have room to truly grow mainstream adoption in the US market.

A GlobalWebIndex report reported by eMarketer noted that despite large global growth, TikTok (combined with Douyin) reaches 12% of internet users ages 16-34.

Prediction: With the level of buzz generated by advertising and the media, early mover brands will continue to flock to the channel to gain early mover advantages. Self-service ad opportunities will fuel experimentation on the platform, but many marketers will continue to struggle with a longer-term strategy for the platform amid privacy concerns, Chinese ownership, and inconsistencies with public stats.

5. Social Network Augmented Reality Still Won’t Reach the Masses

While everyone is hoping 2020 is finally the year that Augmented Reality takes off in social media, we are realistic that it’s still going to take some time to reach mainstream adoption.

As you can see from the chart below, Social Network Augmented Reality is predicted to increase steadily next year, but will still only reach around 11.9% of the overall population.

social media predictions for 2020- augmented reality

Prediction: Social networks will test a handful of “AR” use cases in the upcoming year with a handful of innovative brands. These tests will gain buzz and help slowly pave the way for new ad unit types or offerings to continue to advance.

That concludes our social media predictions for 2020. If you need help deciphering which trends to implement for your brand next year, we would be happy to help!

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