Social Media Trends for the 2020 Holiday Season Social media can play a crucial role in your holiday season marketing strategy. In 2020, a tactical digital presence is more important than ever before. It’s no secret that social media professionals have had to shift gears this year. Everything from engagement strategies to posting schedules has adapted to better appeal to certain audiences during the pandemic. So, what does this mean for holiday planning? Let’s get into the holiday spirit and take a look at the industries leading trends for this unique holiday season. Tell A Story Through Stories If you have been on any social media platform in the past – oh I don’t know, ever – you’ve seen a feature commonly known as Stories. This content has a 24-hour lifecycle, which is enticing to viewers with the “now or never” urgency that comes with the territory. These days, consumers have shorter attention spans and even shorter tolerance for irrelevant content. These quick snippets must be engaging, memorable, have a distinct call-to-action, and leave a lasting impression on the viewers. Stories can be a great tool for brands looking to engage with their audience! Stories featuring Polls give advertisers instant access to knowledgeable focus groups providing immediate feedback. While polls shouldn’t be overdone, it is important to listen to your audience, understand their preferences, and adapt your strategy accordingly. Stories also work well for reminders on upcoming events, sneak peek on sales and promotions, and revealing product launches. Speaking of product launches, brands can utilize stories to walk through product details or tutorials that will be sure to engage and inform interested viewers. Stories have proven to be an effective feature in the world of social media, as platforms such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter have all rolled out their own versions all within the year. Video Content Is On The Rise Interrupting the mindless thumb-scrolling is a feat in itself for social media marketers. Videos have grown in popularity this year, as short-form videos on platforms like Tik-Tok opened the doors for other platforms (i.e.Instagram recently rolled out Reels (short-form), in addition to IGTV (longer-form)). Videos are an effective way to promote product collections, as we discovered through our successful campaign with a Canadian Men’s retailer – which was recognized as the 2020 Glossy Fashion Awards Best Use of Video. A huge consideration when filming videos is to make them mobile friendly! Posts on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and others will be viewed on mobile devices more than on desktop. This means that filming should be done vertically to avoid poor user experience. In addition to the video itself, marketers should incorporate audio and text to enhance user engagement. Catchy music or calm voice-overs give viewers a second sensory experience that contributes to the content. Lastly, including text like captions can highlight the “purpose” of the content. A common theme among social media strategies is the goal of captivating audiences within a small window of attention before viewers move on. Videos should be concise and get the point across as soon as possible without feeling forced. Videos can quickly inform viewers, showcase the brand’s voice, and engage the community with relatable content. A study conducted by Cisco revealed that by 2022, 82% of online content will be in a video format. Regardless of the social platform, video content is proven to be engaging and a must for holiday planning. Social Commerce – The Integration We’ve Been Waiting For The days of seeing a product on social media and not knowing how to get your hands on it are slowly fading away! Many social media platforms have slowly phased in shopping capabilities right on social media posts! Instagram and Facebook might come to mind, as they have been riding this train early on. Not only can consumers see the items for sale, product details, and pricing – but they can purchase within the social platform itself. Instagram specifically has really upped the competition on this shopping capability. In fact, the platform reformatted its layout to push the IG Shops. To clarify, this is different from just running ads on social platforms, but through shoppable posts and within their profile. Consumers now have a seamless way to purchase products immediately and easily. Retailers should look into not only implementing social commerce into their holiday strategy but optimizing for long term use as well. Community Engagement is More Effective Than You’d Think Throughout the pandemic, we have all had less social interaction than we are used to. Thankfully with social media, we can engage with our audiences in a personal way that is much needed right now. Social media also doubles as a type of customer service. This means that comments and questions on posts are quality opportunities to build customer loyalty through organic engagement. During the holiday season, this year especially, shoppers may have questions about products that they normally would go view in-store, questions about shipping, or other concerns that could be vocalized over social media platforms. Staying engaged with customers on social media is a casual way to provide great customer service, strengthen the relationship between the brand and consumers, and ensure that all purchases are seamless for the upcoming holidays. Social Listening is a great way to hear your consumers, understand their wants and needs, and be able to make more consumer-centric decisions moving forward. Word of Mouth Marketing – But Make It Digital A great way to build trust in the community is to share or repost pictures from actual consumers who have enjoyed your product or service. This sense of community is honest, personal, and (luckily) great for business. Did you get a spectacular review? Share that with your followers! User-Generated Content can sometimes have more engagement and make more of a lasting impression than a high production photoshoot that blends in with pretty much every other brand’s posts. A less organic way to attract audiences is with Influencer Marketing. I only say “less organic” because of the transactional nature of this arrangement. First things first, not every celebrity is right for every brand. It is important to find the right fit, which would be a celebrity that is relevant to the brand’s audience, and that the partnership makes sense with no disconnect. Influencer Marketing is a great way to enhance the confidence of prospective customers when it is someone they know and like. As the holidays near, shoppers are looking for deals, inspiration, and an overall great customer experience. Social media is a great way to express the brand’s voice, connect with customers, and drive conversions. If there is one thing we have learned about 2020, there is always room for improvement! I encourage you to experiment with your audiences and see how their preferences and interests have varied during this time. Regardless of any changes or shifts in strategies, stay true to your brand’s vision and voice – authenticity is everything. The team at AVX Digital wishes everyone a lucrative, safe & happy holiday season! For a more in-depth and personalized social media strategy evaluation, contact the team today!