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5 Twitter Trends for 2020: Latest Predictions According To Experts

Category: B2B News

What are the Twitter trends that businesses should be aware of? We’ll provide you the answers to these and more with our analysis of Twitter trends. In this article, we’ll explore the directions of Twitter as well as present and predicted developments and what they mean for your business.

An understanding of where Twitter is today and where it is headed tomorrow is vital for businesses that use the platform through social media management tools. It is also equally important for those planning to use Twitter for marketing purposes to know what they are getting into.

The facts and figures in our Twitter market research speak for themselves. You’re looking at a huge audience of over 300 million active monthly users that you can share your brand and message with. And that’s just for starters. We’ll go through many more interesting facts and figures in our Twitter trends report below.

twitter trends main final

Where is Twitter Today?

Worldwide, Twitter is only 12th among social media sites in terms of the number of users. It is outranked by four giant social media networks from China with membership count ranging from 465 million to 1.11 billion. Nevertheless, Twitter’s 330 million monthly active users as of QI 2019 is an increase from 321 million of the same period in the previous year. On a daily basis, 134 million users log in to Twitter, a figure that’s also up from 120 million a year ago.

Most Popular Social Networks Worldwide as of July 2019

(Ranked by number of active users in millions)

Facebook

YouTube

WhatsApp

Facebook Messenger

WeChat

Instagram

QQ

QZone

Tik Tok

Sina Weibo

Reddit

Twitter

Douban

LinkedIn

Snapchat

Pinterest

Viber

Discord

Source: Statista

Designed by

So how is Twitter holding up despite being overtaken membership-wise by newer and, for the most part, unknown social sites? We’ve all heard of Tik Tok, but QQ and QZone?

In its home country, Twitter still holds sway as among the most widely-used online platforms in the US, accounting for 22% of adults there. Among these American adults, 25% say they visit Twitter several times a day, 17% about once a day, and 58% less often. Still, the user base is relatively small compared to other social media sites which, inevitably, affected its bottom line.

The company’s net income was in the red from 2010 to 2017. But in 2018, Twitter achieved a net income of $1.2 billion compared to a net loss of $108 million the previous year. Earnings were driven by increases in revenues in advertising and data licensing. Outlook for 2019 will depend if Twitter can sustain its gains especially with the increase in the number of users.

According to marketing guru Jeff Bullas in his Twitter predictions, three factors will determine the direction for Twitter. These are the company itself, market forces or external developments, and trends in social media and social search. It is in the context of these factors that we’ve identified these Twitter trends.

1. Twitter will become a dominant site for news

A 2018 Pew Research Center study revealed some interesting insights. Nearly two-thirds or 68% of US adults get news from social media sites. And one-in-five gets news there often. That much number of people who flock to social media for news is despite the fact 57% think news there is largely inaccurate. In contrast, 42% think the news on social sites is largely accurate.

By the sheer number of its users, Facebook and YouTube are the top social sites that have become pathways to news. Twitter ranks third. But when it comes to sites with the most news-focused users, Reddit leads the pack followed by Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram.

By demographics, news consumers on Twitter are mostly in the 30-49 age group (42%), followed by those ages 18-29 (33%), and 50-64 (18%). Males (51%) slightly outnumber female (49%) Twitter news consumers, and most are college level or college graduates (41%).

Social Media Sites with the Most News-focused Users

Reddit

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

LinkedIn

Tumblr

Snapchat

WhatsApp

Source: Pew Research Center, 2018

Designed by

Twitter is already the go-to site for live breaking news, trending news or viral news. These cover the whole gamut of news from different fields—politics, world events, business, entertainment, etc. Often, a world breaking news complete with video or images will first be tweeted by on-site responders, participants, and eyewitnesses. You can follow a news event as it unfolds even before mainstream media picks it up.

It is the power of the live events and newsworthy content that is transforming Twitter into a news channel. And people, indeed, are turning to Twitter to consume news—from tweets of world leaders to protesters in certain parts of the world and the latest in sports, movies, games, celebrities and more. Of course, these are on top of leading global news networks that deliver breaking news through their Twitter handles.

What it means for your business:

  • As Twitter becomes a predominantly news broadcast platform, you can use it to live-feed your events. It’s not different from the video conferencing software solutions in the market.
  • Leverage the platform to spread the news about your service and products through tweets, live streams or if you have the budget, advertising.
  • Likewise, you can be updated of the latest events especially in areas that concern you like the stock market and business developments.
  • Moreover, you can feel the pulse of your audience, see what’s trending in your industry, and know what your competitors are up to.

2. Expanded character limit won’t change the ballgame

twitter expanded character limit

Reason for Twitter character limit expansion from 140 to 180

When the company expanded in 2017 the character limit of tweets from 140 to 280 characters, it sent a ripple through the Twitter-verse. Users thought that the company went against the core principles of Twitter, that of being the platform of brevity and accessibility. The original 140-character limit was set by Twitter founders in 2006 and maintained thereafter not only for branding purposes. It was meant to be an instant messaging software alternative to relay information fast.

According to Hagerty Consulting, the potential impacts of expanding character limit include:

Pros:

  • More Tweet content – Not only are users afforded a longer message; they are also able to include other rich media such as videos, photos, and links.
  • Fewer workarounds – Users won’t be limited to using shorthand abbreviations, multi-tweets or simply omitting content.
  • More constant tweeting – Users are likely to Tweet more frequently and make it easier for them to send Tweets faster.

Cons:

  • Diminished SMS Compatibility – Receiving longer messages can be an issue to those still using SMS-based communication devices.
  • Longer time to craft messages – Crafting long messages lessens the speed for information distribution.
  • More complex tweets – Simple and clear messaging may suffer.

only 1% of tweets hit the 280-character limit

The above benefits and drawbacks were made in the context of emergency management where concise messages and speed in writing and sending them are paramount. But they also apply in many other situations where brief messaging is advantageous.

However, the truth is that users stuck to the short form of tweets. Yes, people are tweeting more but not longer despite being given expanded space. In its Twitter Blog, the company noted that only 5% of users actually exceeded the standard 140-character limit and a measly 2% topped 190 characters.

What it means for your business:

  • While you can now fit longer branding and marketing messages in your tweets, take note of what your audience prefers.
  • They want it short and straight to the point. Curiously enough, the most common length of tweets in the English language has remained the same at less than 50 characters.
  • While keeping your messages short, you can boost engagement by tweeting more often, sharing mentions, and using hashtags, among others.

3. Twitter of tomorrow will be video-centric 

video on twitter

Video is increasingly used in Twitter

A HubSpot 2017 Content Trends Survey found out that majority of consumers prefer to see video content from a brand or business they support. Some 54% of consumers prefer video while 46% prefer emails or newsletters and 41% prefer social images. Video has revolutionized how businesses promote their products and services. It has also transformed how marketers create and deliver content to reach consumers. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of the total worldwide internet traffic will be driven by video by 2020

Twitter is not the social media platform that comes to mind when it comes to video. This type of content is more associated with Facebook and YouTube. In Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2019, marketers plan to use more the following social sites for video marketing in 2019 – YouTube (88%) and Facebook (78%), Instagram (67%), Twitter (43%), and Snapchat (10%).

Despite its lower popularity ranking as a video platform, studies have shown the effectiveness of using Twitter for videos. One study has shown that videos on Twitter are 2x as memorable as those on other premium platforms.

Moreover, tweets with video attract 10x more engagement than tweets without video while promoted tweets with videos save over 50% in cost-per-engagement. These insights are sure to drive Twitter in the direction of a video-centric platform ideal for broadcasting and live streaming your brand.

Actually, this video trend in Twitter started when it acquired live video startup Periscope back in 2015. This allowed users to video stream live from their mobile phones, further empowering users to create onsite and in-moment video content. It has been reported that live content streaming on Twitter is increasing.

Content Type Consumers Prefer to See from Brands They Support

Videos

%

Emails/newsletters

%

Social images

%

Social videos

%

Blog articles

%

PDF content to download & read later

%

Source: HubSpot, Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing 2017

Designed by

What it means for your business:

  • It’s time to harness the power of live video through Twitter to boost your brand.
  • You can live stream your product showcase or business events to get maximum coverage and exposure.
  • Video as a marketing tool on Twitter has proven to be effective at boosting engagements. It’s something you should take full advantage of.

4. Tweets will show up in search results

A deal between Twitter and Google in 2015 allowed the latter to crawl data from the social media site. This means that users can get live feed results instead of just profile information when using Google’s search engine. Now Twitter also provides data to Yahoo! and Bing, further ramping up search results for tweets. What this translates to are opportunities to improve rankings and SEO.

So how do you leverage Twitter to show up on Google search results? Search Engine Land suggests some ways. In no particular order, they include:

  • Tweet consistently
  • Interact with other Twitter accounts
  • Tweet frequently
  • Build up your base of followers
  • Tweet interesting multimedia content
  • Boost your engagement
  • Tweet what gets more likes. replies, and retweets
  • Use popular hashtags
  • Tweet something of humor
  • Use emojis

global brands show up on Google’s page 1 search results

Currently, tweets from popular brands appear on Google searches. Some 30 out of the 50 top global brands have their Twitter account pages showing up on the first page of Google’s search results. It just goes to show that Twitter is emerging to be a robust platform for engineering the identity of your brand or business. In other words, it is proving to be an excellent platform to manage your brand reputation.

What it means for your business

  • Twitter will likely open up this feature to smaller brands to give them a level playing field.
  • Twitter will be one of your tools to improve search rankings in tandem with other SEO practices you’re implementing now.
  • Your followers are not the only ones tuned in to you on Twitter. Even search engines will be listening as well. 

5. Twitter is changing the world

twitter as mediator of change

Driver of global conversation: here’s a graph of global conversation about climate change on Twitter

In its IPO filing in 2013, Twitter’s owners described it as a “global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time”. All through the years since it was launched in 2006, Twitter has grown beyond the bounds of self-expression and conversation. It has given us a new way of tuning in to the world. Through those tweets – micro messages that can snowball into mass communication – Twitter has become the mouthpiece of the world live, in real-time.

The Conversation cites six ways Twitter is transforming the world around us.

  • Politics has found a digital platform on Twitter to organize mass actions (protests/rallies), raise political awareness, and spread political campaigns and messages.
  • Science has taken advantage of Twitter for collecting data and information such as on urban flooding that can be simulated in the lab for better prediction/preparation.
  • Business has used Twitter to get real-time consumer feedback as well as gauge sentiment regarding products and services.
  • Journalism can now be practiced by anyone with a mobile phone, allowing the tweeting of newsworthy events by ordinary people on site. It can spread like wildfire faster than it can reach mainstream news outlets.
  • Relationships good and bad, fake or real, personal or otherwise are forged in Twitter’s highly public social media platform, bringing out a whole new way of personally connecting with others.
  • Celebrity culture blurred the lines between image and reality and introduced a new breed of celebrity endorsers.

What it means for your business

  • Be aware of Twitter developments. Not all news on Twitter or any social network for that matter is real. Many people are now able to spot fact from fiction. You should too.
  • Steer away from anything controversial or that can trigger a backlash. Twitter has been criticized for allowing it to be a platform for harassment, hatred, and abuse. In 2018, Twitter removed millions of fake accounts reducing its user base by around 6% in the purging process.
  • Keep your business messages, tweets, interaction and other Twitter activities clean, legal, and within the rules of the site.

Add Twitter to Your Overall Marketing Mix

All the above trends and direction are compelling reasons for you to include Twitter in your marketing. You may already be using social CRM tools to collect data from social sites.

Maybe you are implementing social media monitoring solutions to effectively feel the pulse of your audience on various social networks.

Furthermore, you may be already utilizing content marketing platforms to create and publish brand and product-related content on leading social sites.

Whatever marketing tactic and solutions you use, don’t forget to include Twitter in your marketing mix. Our analysis of the Twitter trends shows it to be a solid platform for you to reinforce your brand, promote your business, and build your audience.

If you’re still not on Twitter, now is the time to put your business on the site and harness its tools and potentials for your benefit.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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