Social media is ubiquitous. Almost every person is using at least one form of social media, many use more than one, and usage tends to be regional dependants, as well as age, social strata and intention dependant.

For marketers, understanding how different audiences use social media is vital to reaching your preferred customer on their level. While for some audiences, Twitter is the main avenue for content, for others it is Weibo. People are online and using social media more than ever because of the pandemic. Your audience is online, and to reach them, you need to understand what is trending and how to make the most of the tools available.

Social channels are more than places where people connect. Many people also use social media as a start point for research, to find social groups, answer questions about services and products before visiting specific websites to learn more. For this reason, it is important that online businesses know how to use the tools available to them to guide people towards their websites.

Video Content Will Dominate

  • Users spend 88% more time on websites that have videos.
  • 92% of users watching video on mobile will share them with others.
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands.
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and image content combined.
  • 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video.
  • 85% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool.
  • By next year, as much as 82% of all Internet traffic will be video content.

Stories Matter

  • Stories are growing 15x faster than feeds.
  • Since 2016, the creation and consumption of story has skyrocketed 842%
  • 62% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story.
  • TicTock is a fast-growing success, despite attempts to have the platform banned in many regions over security concerns.
  • 69% of Millennials reportedly have a genuine fear of missing out, which can be used to drive many of them to make purchases.
  • You can add polls or ask questions to gain greater insights and further engagement.
  • Ephemeral content prompts people to post more of their unedited, less-than-perfect content without the fear of being judged.

More Companies Using Influencer Marketing

  • 63% of marketers plan to increase their marketing budget to include influencer marketing because the ROI is as high as US$5.20 for every US$1 spent.
  • Influencer marketing is still working as consumers have become untrusting of faceless corporate brands.
  • Social proof comes in many forms, whether it’s friends and family, acquaintances or the customer reviews section on an e-commerce store. In any case, consumers give more weight to these reviews than they do to a brand.
  • Small and medium businesses with a limited budget can harness influencer marketing by partnering with micro-influencers, people who have between 1,000 and 1,000,000 followers.

AR is Becoming Mainstream

  • Augmented reality is a technology that incorporates digital elements into the actual line of sight.
  • The AR and VR market is expected to reach US$209.2 billion in 2022, up from US$14.1 billion in 2017.
  • Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters and lenses are well-known examples of how Ar works in the real world.
  • Big brands, like Adidas, Lacoste and Clinique are using apps that include AR features so shoppers can try their products before purchase.
  • ECommerce, personalized marketing and product discovery apps are becoming increasingly popular as people in lockdown want to try before they buy.
  • AR incorporated with your brand allows people to experience your brand, products or services prior to purchase have a good ROI, and one that will continue to be valuable as people shop more exclusively online.
  • AR virtual stores on social media make shopping an immersive and personalized experience.
  • Interactive AR videos show customers how to use your products.

Social Commerce is Massive

  • Gen Z spends up to 3x more time shopping on social media than other age groups, mostly using Instagram and Snapchat.
  • 42% of 18-34-year-olds regularly use eCommerce.
  • Shoppable posts are vital to the success of your online store.
  • 87% of online shoppers believe social media helps them make purchasing decisions, according to studies.
  • Social commerce creates shorter sales funnels and gives consumers access to a smooth and quick buyer’s journey, increasing item counts and sales values.

Chatbots and Customer Service

  • Chatbots are smart, quick and always available, often used to replace the tired outsourced call centre operators answering calls for numerous companies.
  • 90% of businesses report faster complaint resolution with chatbots.
  • 56% of people prefer to message or email companies rather than call customer service.
  • Chatbots can save 30% on customer support costs.
  • XiaoIce is Microsoft’s biggest chatbot success story. The chatbot on Weibo is the top influencer in China and has over 850,000 followers.
  • People who follow XiaoIce interact with the chatbot more than 60x every month.
  • XiaoIce passes the Turing test for ten minutes, meaning that users don’t realize that it’s a bot for the first ten minutes of chat.

Prepare for the Digital Detox

  • Smart Insights reported there were almost 3.5 billion social media users around the world or 45% of the human population.
  • 35% of adults in the UK in 2019 cut back on social media due to trust issues (26.2%) and concerns over privacy and data protection (21.4%).
  • 8% of social media users have deleted accounts and removed mobile apps in 2018.
  • 27% of users stopped using social media because they felt addicted to it.
  • 29% of people deleted their social media account because they felt overwhelmed by the platforms.
  • 44% of users aged 18-29 deleted the Facebook app from their phone in 2019.
  • The pandemic has pushed more people to adopt social media to maintain social contact.