2020 Social Media Trends

What went right in 2020?

In the world of social media, nothing stays the same. And this year is no different. From ground-breaking new e-commerce features to crazy TikTok challenges, 2020 has been a year like no other…

Ready for a recap? Let’s gooo!

  1. Metrics that matter
  2. The rise of social shopping
  3. Storytime
  4. Video is KING
  5. 3,2,1… Action!

Metrics That Matter

Earlier this year social media giant Instagram made a huge announcement – it would begin hiding ‘likes’ from the platform for some users, leaving photos only with the vague caption that it had been liked by ‘others’.

This decision received a mixed reaction but ultimately meant people had to look beyond the surface data on Instagram.

Gone were the days of measuring a post’s success with its associated number of likes.

Factors like shares and comments became more important and perhaps even more genuine indicators of true engagement.

Rather than desiring a high number of likes by anybody and everybody, the mindset has shifted to building meaningful connections with the target audience.

The take-away? High-quality relationships with your key audience matter more than vanity metrics.

The rise of social shopping

There’s no doubt about it, 2020 has been the year online shopping has gone mainstream.

With the COVID pandemic forcing many high street shops to close, there has been a huge switch from ‘bricks to clicks’ including on some of the most popular social media platforms.

Instagram has introduced a new ‘Shop’ tab to the homepage as well as launching IGTV Shopping and shoppable Instagram Guides.

Allowing users to simply shop from ‘tags’ on photos rather than following a ‘link in the bio’ opens a HUGE window of opportunity for businesses and means that companies don’t need to be shy about selling via ads in this era.

Shopping via Pinterest, Facebook and even TikTok has also gained momentum this year and probably won’t be slowing down anytime soon!

On the subject of shopping, more advanced dynamic shopping ads have also grown in popularity this year.

Facebook brought out new personalisation features for even more precise targeting, allowing each ad to be tailored specifically to the user for the best outcome (genius, right?).

But whether you choose to invest in paid ads or not, it’s safe to say shopping via social media is here to stay.


Stories’ have been a big trend on social media for the past few years and nothing has changed about that in 2020.

This year has seen the story function released by the likes of Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest – making it a feature on every major social platform going.

Interestingly, one-third of the most-viewed stories on Instagram are from businesses – proving there is a lot of opportunities to show your content to potential customers!

I believe the success of stories is due to how short and sweet they are, making them the perfect recipe for the short attention span of most users on the internet.

These bite-sized snippets of content can be made even more engaging with the use of stickers, gifs, music, polls and more. So get those creative juices flowing!

Tip: check out our favourite game-changing Instagram story editing apps here.

Video is KING

You may have heard the saying that if a ‘picture speaks a thousand words a video speaks a million’.

This is certainly true on social media, with video content continually being favoured by users over any other type of content.

In fact, a recent study suggests that by 2022, 82% of all content online will be video.

So if you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, it’s time. And with so many options on a smartphone now, there really are no excuses!

TikTok is a great example of video content booming this year – with organic reach on this platform hitting an all-time high.

Amazingly, the app was downloaded almost 115M times in March alone!! Branded the ‘social media sensation of lockdown’ this popular app demands a mention in the top 2020 trends.

Following suit, Instagram launched ‘reels’ this summer – a way to create and discover short entertaining videos set to music with an array of filters and effects.

Establishing themselves as a video entertainment platform has been a major breakthrough for Instagram this year and although it might be too early to tell, it’s likely to be a huge hit with users in the upcoming year.

Whether your thinking about fun TikToks or creative Instagram stores or even more lengthy YouTube videos, remember that video content continues to win in terms of captivating the audience!

3,2,1… Action!

With millions of businesses closing their physical doors this year, live video has been the unexpected fairy godmother.

Brands have created all kinds of live content for their audiences, from personal trainers live streaming their workouts, to chefs cooking Michelin star meals at home in real-time.

And with most social media platforms supporting live video today, it’s been easier than ever.

Dynamic and authentic, this type of content stands out from the regimented and perfect posts that take up so much of our social atmosphere.

There’s nothing fake about live video and it gives users a chance to connect with brands on an emotional level.

Personally, I like to think it’s the little mistakes and nuances we make as humans that make a live video so successful! And never has live video performed so well as it has in 2020.

In fact, in April, Facebook and Instagram saw a 40% increase in usage and views for Instagram Live and Facebook Live doubled in one week alone!

With so many forward-thinking brands becoming broadcasters this year, live video has definitely carved the way to bring communities together virtually in the future.


We’ve shone a light on the biggest social media trends of 2020 and it’s fair to say that a lot has changed this year!

I predict a lot of these trends are here to stay in 2021 but we will be diving into that in more detail soon…

For more information on working with our Birmingham social media specialists, contact us here!