At the start of July 2020, new data revealed global social media users grew by 10% or 3.96 billion over this past year – likely due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on people’s daily lives. For the rest of this year and next, marketers are taking notice and seeing social media as becoming even more important to brands’ and organisations’ marketing strategies and their effectiveness.

Besides the increase in users, social media Ad revenue decreased in Q2 of 2020 due to many factors such brands’ marketing spend being paused, live events and sporting suspended as well as major companies like Unilever boycotting social media ads in support of the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign.

With this significant increase in social media users, it is being predicted that we will see Ad spend ramping up for the rest of the year and especially leading up to Christmas 2020. It is also likely people will start to shop early this year to decrease the risk of delivery concerns with many possibly wanting to gift directly to their family and friends rather than ordering and giving gifts in person. As a result, marketing messaging may be shifted to include this behaviour change to help brands better target consumers and create awareness early on.

Social commerce looks like it will continue to gain momentum for the remainder of 2020, driven even more by features recently released on Instagram and Facebook. On Instagram, the eligibility for Shopping has expanded so anyone with a business or creator account can now sell from the platform. Facebook Shops also offers a similar service that now lets all types of businesses set up an online store on the platform.

With both Instagram Shopping and Facebook Shops opening up to allow users an easy way to set up their online store, some of the traditional barriers to e-commerce are removed, meaning businesses, that previously did not have the resources or budget, can sell online. 

Businesses also have a greater chance of being found by these users who are now using social media to discover, browse, and shop especially since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. According to data, almost 75% of consumers have had to experiment with new or different shopping behaviour during this time, with social media being a key resource of information regarding new methods and places to shop. 

Going forward, social media will likely steer the way for new and exciting shopping opportunities, particularly with platforms like Facebook and Instagram adapting and changing the way we connect and now do businesses.