MENA, global experts define social media trends for 2020
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MENA, global experts define social media trends for 2020

MENA, global experts define social media trends for 2020

The awareness of the impact of social media on our mental health is increasing, and social media addiction is now a recognized affliction, changing the perception of the social media landscape.

  • In 2020, there will be a revolution of how marketers manage their influencer campaigns
  • Micro & nano influencers (500 to 10,000 followers) will help mitigate the potential risks
  • The Talkwalker report found 1.6M mentions of the TikTok app, growing 62.5% to 2.6M mentions by June

Talkwalker and HubSpot have gathered industry experts, PR professionals, and social media gurus from the Middle East, US, Europe, India, APAC, and the rest of the world to co-author a report that defines the trends that will shape the industry in 2020.

Below is a summary of five of the biggest trends and our data-driven predictions of how they will evolve in 2020. 

1. Influencer marketing 

Conversations around influencer marketing have dropped by 42% year on year.

Inversely, mentions of fake influencers are on the rise, driving over 9,000 engagements in the first half of the year.

9% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations before making a purchase, which is why 61% of marketers increased influencer marketing spend in 2019.

However 38.5% of marketers say they still don’t have a framework for measuring influencer campaign success. It’s easy to burn money without a tangible ROI.

In 2020, we predict there will be a revolution of how marketers manage their influencer campaigns. Micro & nano influencers (500 to 10,000 followers) will help mitigate the potential risks. These are influencers who have built smaller, more enthusiastic audiences. Not only do they help brands avoid the potential of fake influencers, but they often drive more authentic engagement.

2020 will see brands building networks of these smaller influencers, with more groups arising to manage them effectively.

2. TikTok will become an integral part of marketing strategies 

The increase of social mentions for TikTok tells a story. In January 2019, Talkwalker found 1.6M mentions of the app, growing 62.5% to 2.6M mentions by June. This is especially important for the younger generations, as 66% of TikTok’s users are under 30.



The growth in mentions of TikTok through 2019.

For 2019 trends, 0.01% of mentions discussed the rising importance of the new social media platforms. For 2020, that number is already at 0.27%.

The diffusion of innovations means that early adopters will benefit more from new technology. This has been proven when it comes to brands engaging with social channels first. It’s a risk, but one that can pay off in the long run.

3. Social media wellness 

There have been 78,000 conversations surrounding social media wellness so far in 2019.

The awareness of the impact of social media on our mental health is increasing, with platforms changing their approach, to make their communities friendlier and less toxic. Social media addiction is now a recognized affliction, changing the perception of the social media landscape.

People are becoming more aware of how social media can impact their mental health, and taking individual actions to decrease their online hours. It isn’t a crisis but more a social movement driven by consumers, with the vast majority of social media addiction mentions happening on Twitter (63.9%) rather than in news headlines.

Look at how #DigitalDetox is invigorating users to balance their social media usage with their mental well being. The joy associated with the hashtag shows that people aren’t moving away from social media, just learning to manage their time on it more effectively.


The #DigitalDetox movement is a significantly joyful movement, helping people manage social more mindfully.

If you can’t engage the trend, consider how your consumer consumption habits are changing. Focus more on quality messaging over quantity— if people are cutting down on their social media usage, you’ll have fewer opportunities for them to bite. Give them something worthwhile everytime.

4. Data privacy & fake news

3.1% of news stories related to brand trust were related to fake news and disinformation.

Fake news mentions dropped by 10.2% in H1 2019, compared to H2 2018.

Social media has suffered a trust issue in the last few years, due to two major issues: data privacy and disinformation. In 2020, social media channels will adapt to tackle these issues, and rebuild their brand trust.

Data privacy is not a new trend— it’s the right to privacy, framed in a different way. Data privacy is now a story that drives stories. 

News stories are very interested in data privacy, forcing the topic to trend. In the first 6 months of 2019, 39% of the mentions of data privacy came from news, broadcast, and blogs— a significant increase from the previous 6 months.

Fake news also remains an issue. Comparing H2 2018, to H1 2019, fake news mentions have dropped by 10.2%. Improvements from brands and the social media platforms have helped, but there’s still work to do.

Expect a savvier level of consumer in the coming year. You’ll have to balance a fine line between data privacy and personalization. The privacy paradox shows that consumers have less trust in brands when it comes to data privacy, but are still more likely to give companies data in exchange for more personalized services.

5. Marketing to Gen-Z 

Advertising is getting tougher. In the last 13 months, the conversational data around the topic has dropped significantly in net sentiment— people no longer want to be sold to.

84% of millennials say they don’t trust traditional advertising. With that generation owning significant spending power, new disruptive technologies will be needed to shake up marketing strategies.

New methods, like voice search and social media e-commerce are driving more conversations, with 172K and 226K mentions respectively. 


The sentiment of advertising has dropped drastically over the last 13 months. 

Author
AMEinfo Staff

AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.

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