The digital world is constantly evolving, and big shifts occurred in the social media landscape as we head into 2020. TikTok continues to grow rapidly, Instagram decided to remove its Like counts, Twitter changed up its format–and those are only a few of the changes that took place this year.
For authors hustling to make connections with readers online, keeping tabs on those changing trends can be important! It might change who you reach with your posts, and even how you can best get readers’ attention.
So what new behaviors are emerging among social media users as we turn into 2020? Here are a few of the top things to know.
Facebook is on the decline
The social media giant’s user shrinkage actually started in 2018, and it’s only picked up momentum this year. In 2020, as users become more dubious of how Facebook uses their data and algorithms and makes it harder and harder to reach your followers without ads, users have become jaded. Meanwhile, new options like TikTok continue to draw younger generations away from the network their parents are on.
If your author page is booming, this doesn’t mean you have to close up shop today. But you do probably want to take a look around for additional social media networks to engage in beyond Facebook, if you haven’t already. Don’t wait until your personal audience on Facebook is flailing to start growing your community elsewhere!
Video is on the rise
Using images has been an easy way to dramatically improve your social media post engagement for years. Increasingly, video can superpower your posts even more. In fact, as Facebook’s members go down, the next generation is flocking to YouTube and TikTok instead–two channels designed specifically for video.
But you don’t have to be on these networks to take advantage. You can start experimenting with video right now regardless of your favorite network. Want to wish your readers a happy new year, or to share an announcement about an upcoming book release? Consider sharing in a brief video instead of a text post! This interaction can make readers feel more connected to you.
Niche audiences offer big impact
As marketers sought ways to get around traditional advertising, influencers have been hot the past few years. But now, more and more are discovering that nanoinfluencers–individuals with a loyal community of 10,000 or less, focused on a dedicated topic–may be able to offer even more than those with huge followings. Why? Because they can offer a trusted voice with a hyper-focused audience–are you more likely to read a book a celebrity endorses or one your best friend tells you is a perfect match for your tastes? For many, this is the power a favorite nano influencer holds.
This can be great news if you’re trying to spread the word about your books! These nano influencers can be more accessible and help you start connections with just the right new readers. Just be sure to do your research, and remember, always act like a professional.
2020 Takeaway: Connection over trends
Time moves fast, and social media moves fastest of all. But remember, while it’s useful to keep track of the trends, that doesn’t mean you have to chase every one of them.
Follow your curiosity and have fun trying new things! But, don’t let pressure to keep up with every new trend keep you away from social media altogether. Do what feels right for you, your readership, and is sustainable for you over the long-term to build meaningful connections, not fast sales or follower counts.
While the way we engage may shift with the trends, most users still want what they have always wanted: a sense of connection and authenticity.
By day, E. J. Wenstrom is a digital strategy pro with over 10 years at communications firms. By early-early morning, she’s an award-winning sci-fi and fantasy author of the Chronicles of the Third Realm War novels, starting with Mud. She believes in complicated characters, terrifying monsters, and purple hair dye.