Digital marketing, Social Media

How social media changed in 2020 and what that meant for businesses

How social media changed in 2020 and what that meant for businesses

Much changed across the social media landscape during 2020 and with these changes comes a need to alter your social strategy. Whether it’s our old friend Facebook releasing new algorithm updates or the new kid on the block, TikTok, starting to show its full potential, the way businesses communicate though socials certainly changed. In this blog we’re going to pick out 3 key changes in 2020 and explain their impact for businesses both now and in the future. 




WhatsApp Shopping

It has long been part of Facebook’s strategy to integrate online shopping into its social channels. We’ve already seen this with the Facebook Marketplace and Instagram product tagging functionality. In 2020 it’s the turn of Facebook owned WhatsApp. The in-app shopping feature allows users to buy directly within chats. Businesses can talk directly to customers in chats and send links to products, from which customers can click to purchase right away.

What this means for businesses

Reduced clicks, higher conversions

If your sell products or services online then you’ll know that the fewer clicks a web visitor has to make in order to complete a purchase the better. Fewer clicks mean fewer opportunities for users to change their mind or get distracted by something else and a recent case study found that reducing the number of clicks by 2 can lead to increased conversions of over 50%.

Being able to purchase directly within WhatsApp will significantly reduce the amount of clicks needed to convert. Immediately these 3 actions are removed:

  1. Exiting WhatsApp
  2. Opening a web browser
  3. Finding the product online

Convenient and personal checkout experience = higher conversion rates

By converting the checkout experience into a direct messaging experience, the checkout becomes more personal and trust is built during the process of purchasing. Furthermore, any hesitations customers may have can be resolved immediately and with the support of an actual human, increasing conversion rates, and helping the customer feel more connected with the brand which improves their overall experience. Put all this together and you have more happy customers who are ready to become advocates for your business.


The Rise of TikTok

The most important social platforms of 2020 was TikTok. While the app has been around longer than just this previous year, 2020 was the year businesses got involved. While it may seem far from your usual marketing channel, it’s one where your audience can be reached and engaged with by the millions.

What TikTok can do for businesses

Brand Awareness & Engagement

There are currently 850 million monthly users on TikTok (and this is growing), with ages ranging from 10 to 50+. If businesses can produce entertaining and informative short form video content, there is a huge opportunity to reach their target audience on TikTok. If you’re thinking you need to have a cool and quirky product or service to be successful on this channel, then think again., a call centre software company, uploaded their first TikTok video in 2020 and managed to generate 844 views, 55 clicks, and 2 new customers. The lifetime value of those customers is estimated at $500, while the cost of the video was $0 – some ROI!

TikTok can empower your business to significantly increase your brand awareness, engagement, and ROI of your social strategy. It’s important to remember that if you’re to be successful, you need to produce content that’s suitable for the platform and will engage its audience. Don’t be scared to try something new, you never know the results it can bring! Click here to read more about how to produce great content. 

It’s worth highlighting at this point that in true Facebook style, Instagram has recently launched their own version of TikTok called Reels. We believe this will offer business all of the same opportunities as TikTok, but with the advantage of Instagram already being a global player in businesses social strategies and the ability to integrate content across Instagram in terms of the already existing feed and Stories.


Instagram Guides

This year Instagram launched a new format for sharing longer form, curated, scrollable content, a feature which has not been synonymous with the platform since its launch. Rather than images and videos, Guides are more closely related to blogs and can incorporate photos, videos, and galleries to support the subject matter being discussed.

How Guides can work for businesses

More engaging and informative content

We see Guides being a feature that will significantly support businesses in reaching their audiences with more engaging and informative content that supports their existing Instagram strategy. Guides will have a huge impact for those businesses in which their audience is predominantly found on Instagram, as this feature provides a new way to communicate and engage them. The possible uses of Guides are endless, and below we have provided a few examples of how:

  • A bakery business may publish a Guide on how their bespoke cupcakes can replace the traditional birthday cake, showcasing their designs and directing customers to where they can purchase. This Guide would help drive sales.
  • A sustainable, eco-focused skincare brand may publish Guides relating to their environmental work, sustainable packaging and ingredients, and long-term commitment. All of this would build brand affiliation with their target audience.
  • A well-known Swedish furniture store may publish it’s all important assembly instructions, creating a central location for customer to find them, should they lose the paper versions. This boosts the customer service provided and can generate a positive feeling towards the brand.


Instagram Stories

If you haven’t heard of Instagram stories, it’s likely you’ve been living under a rock. This channel (another that can be noted down as a borrowed resource from Snapchat) has proven to be one of the most influential social assets in 2020. Stories are even becoming a more valued asset to Instagram than its feed – generating more views and engagement. The popularity of stories has not been lost on Instagram, with the social media giant testing new formats to its app that give stories more prominence.

How Stories can help grow your businesses social presence

Discover a larger audience

Instagram Stories open the door to a larger, newer audience. According to Instagram, 2/3 of Stories views are from people who don’t follow your business page. This means you’re able to reach people via Stories that you would most likely not have reached via the feed. It’s also been noted that these viewers are there specifically to learn more about businesses and their products and services. So it only makes sense that you should have a presence and enable these people to find out about your business!

Greater engagement with existing audience

Of course, it’s not all about new customers. We have to value our existing audience as well. Stories provide a new way to engage with your current audience and add value to their experience with your business. Stories empower you to produce different content than on other social platforms, and content that can be more personal, acting as a doorway into your business’ day to day activity.


Finally, Stories can be leveraged to contribute to conversions. With the ability to link directly to products, services, events, and more, you can use Stories to share engaging content around your offering and guide users to purchase. The key here is to combine engaging content, with a compelling message, and clear call-to-action. According to, conversion rates on Stories that offer a ‘swipe up’ link generate conversion rates of between 15-20%!


While the 4 updates we’ve outlined above far from cover all of 2020’s social developments, it’s clear to see how social media platforms continue to introduce new features and functionality to support businesses. Platforms which were once very user focused are forever becoming more economically minded. The benefits go both ways because they are helping businesses reach their target customers in new ways, and simplifying processes for customers, making it easier for them to achieve their objectives – whether it be to make a purchase or discover brand related content. 

Want to take advantage of new social features?

Contact us and we can discuss your social media strategy.  

Jack Kennedy
Jack Kennedy
Jack is the founder of Invanity marketing and has worked in digital marketing since the age of 17. Having been involved in both the client-side and the agency side of the process he is building Invanity with a vision of creating a marketing agency that truly delivers on the results it has promised.