The social media landscape is always changing—and, as social media marketers, we are always adapting to new algorithms, changes in user behavior, and more. In 2019, there was one exciting new opportunity that emerged and one challenge we’ll likely be grappling with well into 2020.

We’ll begin with the big challenge of 2019 . . .


Marketers saw engagement drop on both Facebook and Twitter. It started early in 2019 when Twitter started cleaning up bot and spam accounts and altered its algorithm. For the first time, Twitter users could choose between a TopTweet algorithm-based feed or the standard chronological feed. While on the surface, the change seemed inconsequential, it had a real impact on how branded content was being displayed.

On top of the algorithm change, people are changing how they use Twitter. It’s become a newsfeed for many people; as a result, it’s very hard to get users to engage. While there is no magic formula, we’ve tried out a few things to boost engagement and make our content relevant: using a larger variety of hashtags, engaging with other accounts, tweeting short and longer-form content, and using visuals as often as possible.

A similar thing happened on Facebook, and—while hashtags actually depress reach on Facebook—we’ve seen video and live content drive greater engagement. Again, there is no magic formula; brands across the landscape are still working hard to get people to see their content and interact with it. That will continue into 2020.

But that challenge sparks creative solutions, and one of the engagement problem-solvers to emerge this year is . . .

Ephemeral Content

Both Facebook and Instagram have introduced ephemeral content in the form of stories. Posting to stories on both platforms has been the way to get content seen and to boost engagement.

If you’ve been afraid of stories, conquer that fear and move your marketing mojo to ephemeral content. You’ll reap the rewards in greater reach and more interaction.

If you’re worried that your best content will disappear, never fear. Ephemeral content doesn’t mean it’s suddenly gone. You can save your favorites on both platforms and make them available for future followers or fans.

Both the big challenge and the big opportunity of 2019 will continue into 2020—and that means more creativity to come in the new year.

What was your biggest challenge or opportunity on social media this year?