Social Media Platforms of Opportunity in 2020

Although major social media channels dominate various segments (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat), the landscape is constantly shifting. New platforms emerge, some grow, some shrink, and others add features which change competitive dynamics. But even as “pay to play” becomes more dominant, there are still platforms of opportunity in 2020. In our final deep dive on 2020 Trends with trend #5, we look at two existing platforms (LinkedIn and Pinterest) for organic reach opportunities and the ability to drive traffic to your own assets. We also look at Tik Tok, a new and quickly growing platform, for possible audience fit.

2020 Trend #5: There are still platforms with opportunity

Each platform has its own audience, features and capabilities. Most businesses could do well grounding their efforts in primarily one or two, and either forget the rest or significantly scale back. As ad costs rise in 2020, pay to play will continue to dominate as organic reach decreases – this is particularly evident on Facebook, but also increasingly Instagram.

Using any new feature launched immediately helps, since that will ensure maximum organic reach while the platform builds interest around it. Stories and IGTV are still good examples. Instagram is the #2 platform in terms of use by marketers, behind Facebook as #1. Instagram Stories hold the most opportunity in 2020 in terms of organic reach, but expect that to change as the feed gets more crowded and Facebook kicks in the same pay to play strategy. Although Facebook has been pushing native video and live video the last couple years, indicating the feature would allow users greater organic reach, it’s curious that video wasn’t mention AT ALL in Mark Zuckerberg’s recent update.

Outside of the above tips for using features on Instagram and Facebook, I think there are three exceptional opportunities in 2020. LinkedIn is now like Facebook in 2011. Tik Tok is like Youtube in 2007 and for some businesses, Pinterest is the new Google. Let me explain.


LinkedIn is about so much more than job search. Content shared there is like Facebook for business. A huge number of people log in daily at work, looking to connect, learn and get insight. The mindset and targeting are amazing. LinkedIn organic reach on personal posts is still a huge opportunity. I’ve seen views of over 4,000 simply because the algorithm keeps content active longer, and posts get pulled to the top of the feed with notifications that others in your circle have commented. That kind of organic reach on Facebook is  unheard of.

Strategies for LinkedIn

  1. Post often. Daily is ideal.
  2. Share curated content – stuff that will interest people in your industry, but be sure to include you take on it as an introduction. That way you’ll benefit by association.
  3. Post your own content – ideally shared from your blog or podcast, that positions you as a thought leader.
  4. Publish articles on LinkedIn publisher. These could be content from your blog repurposed, or created for this purpose. These articles can reach a broader audience than your connections.
  5. Use #hashtags. Identify hashtags to best channel your content for your industry and business, and use them consistently.
  6. Use video. You can video directly on LinkedIn, or upload an edited video. Video on LinkedIn must be at least 3 seconds, and no longer than 10 minutes.
  7. Tag people, ask questions and engage. The key to fanning reach is engagement. And engagement within the first 24hr seems to be key to the organic gate opening up.


Tik Tok

Tik Tok is another one to watch. As early as a month ago, I would have said, “Unless you’re targeting teens, it’s not your audience.” But even that is changing quickly. Consider this:

  • Tik Tok currently has 1 billion monthly active users
  • 30% of users are over 30yrs. That’s 300 million people. While Tik Tok is dominated by teens and millennials, it is quickly aging up
  • The average time spent by users on the app is 52 min/day. Many binge watch much longer than that.
  • 90% of users access it daily.
  • Snap Chat CEO recently said Tik Tok would get bigger than Instagram – indeed it is second only to Facebook currently measured by user numbers

What is Tik Tok? It’s user generated content, looping 15 sec or up to 60 sec videos. The platform honours authenticity, creativity, and fun – which may be at the heart of its appeal in direct contrast to the curated feed of Instagram that makes people feel bad if they don’t measure up. Content falls roughly into these 3 categories:

  • Music in app with a trend or challenge associated
  • Sounds remix from another Tik Tok post, a creative mix
  • Your own content: voice, musings, comedy, music, dance, how to, tips

Here are a couple accounts doing things right in my opinion:

  • @heyberg (Evan Berger) As a voice impersonator, he does a daily take on current affairs with a skit where Obama talks back and forth to Trump. It’s hilarious.
  • @thomasmacmusic (Thomas Mac) A cute young country singer. I didn’t even know I liked country until this deep voiced young man showed up in my feed!
  • @coltyy (Colty Y) Weird stuff that appeals to teens – drinking blue food colouring, waxing his nose hair with a Q-tip.
  • @thebentist This guy is a dentist who dances. Almost makes a root canal fun.
  • @officerarsenault (officer Arsenault) A Toronto police officer. His “ice/ice baby” video is very funny. Picture a cop sliding in slow motion past his patrol car unable to get in, during an ice storm.
  • @pcelliott8 (officer PC Elliott) This female cop does funny voice overs. The coffee & donut is a good one. What I love about both of the police ones is they interject “real content” into the funny stuff once a week to address hard issues like bullying and drug use. Whoever put the cops on Tik Tok is brilliant at community policing.

Over time by using hashtags you can find your tribe. For example, by following #MomsOfTikTok and #Over40Club I’ve found lots of people there because their teen kids introduced them to it. My main reason to be on TikTok is to learn, but I am quickly seeing opportunity for my own businesses – in particular. It’s still very early for this app, but the incredible growth, combined with increased Facebook frustration makes me think there will be incredible potential for the early adopters. Influencers are emerging, brands are taking note, and ads, still in beta form with a very select number of agencies, are accessible at high budget levels only.

Strategies for Tik Tok

  1. Download the app
  2. Follow 50 people. Initially follow randomly what shows in your feed so you get a broad reach of demographics and types of content shared.
  3. Don’t post anything for at least 1 week, while you watch the feed daily. Take note of what works, get used to the culture.
  4. Monitor, follow #hashtags, trends and areas of interest. Follow leaders there. Start to develop your target audience.
  5. Give a heart to the stuff you like, and comment.
  6. DON’T re-use content from other platforms. Be creative. Post when you’re feeling confident that you get how it works.
  7. Play with filming and editing within the app, uploading to it from your videos, adding graphics, editing music – knowing you can save to drafts or delete your creation. Play and make mistakes. Then post.
  8. As you gain followers, private message them and engage a conversation. It’s fun!
  9. Going “mini-viral” on a video (1 million views in a week) might be your goal, but settle for several hundred initially. The more views, the more followers you’ll pick up.
  10. Following, tagging and participating in trends and challenges and using a combo of micro and macro #hashtags seems to work. But for sure Tik Tok is hand selecting some videos to go viral at this stage. It’s still that early in development.

If you want to connect with me on Tik Tok, I’m at @marycharleson. I have a whopping 30 followers, 6 videos, with views ranging from 77 to 623. You have to play if you’re going to learn!



The last platform of huge 2020 opportunity for some is Pinterest. Pinterest is really a visual search engine like Google, where your content (as pins) links directly off the platform to your website. People on Pinterest are searching with intent, not mindlessly scrolling like on other platforms. And Pinterest’s willingness to deliver them directly to your site is unlike all other platforms. That’s a huge difference that many companies overlook and it could be an opportunity as platforms get crowded and expensive this year. If your business is related to any of these TOP PINTEREST visual search categories, you may want to ramp up your effort there in 2020: fashion, home décor, art, food, products, animals, outfits, beauty, vehicles and travel.

If you’ve missed any of the previous deep dives, here’s a catch up:

Trend #1: Influencer Marketing Matures in 2020

Trend #2: AI & Automation Will Have Huge Impact on Marketing in 2020

Trend #3: Voice and Mobile Search Drive SEO in 2020

Trend #4: Being More Human in Our Marketing in 2020

What are your thoughts? Have I missed anything here?



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Mary Charleson

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