As part of its ‘Consumer Trends for 2020’ report, Brandwatch has compared recent social media conversation with thousands of survey responses from around the world to find out which technologies consumers think will make the biggest impact next year.
In a study of social media mentions during August 2019, the transformative technology that crept up the most was 5G, followed by artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. Brandwatch has noted “a lot of positive mentions on social media” about 5G, summarising that it is a technology that feels within reach as 2020 approaches.
Interestingly, though, responses to surveys differ to conversation on social media. When monitoring 8,000 responses from around the world, more people chose renewable energy as the technology likely to be the biggest game-changer of 2020, with 5G in second place.
Brandwatch notes that analysing social media gives an insight into not only what people are thinking, but why. The report states that while 5G is largely seen as an innovation and an opportunity, renewable energy conversations are more driven by fear about climate change and responses to pledges from politicians.
Elsewhere in the study, respondents were asked which factors are most likely to influence their decisions of whether to buy from a brand. Online reviews had the third largest influence with 17%, while advertising (not specified whether online or offline) was chosen by 13%. Online influencer posts were not widely favoured, only 5% saying non-sponsored posts made them more likely to buy, and even fewer (4%) for sponsored ones.
With experience of family and friends the biggest influencing factor at 33%, these results show that companies who are receptive to online feedback, and who make it easy for people to share their positive experiences, stand to gain. Meanwhile, for businesses involved in the tech sector, it remains important to closely monitor the tone of online discussion as a gauge to what technologies are getting people excited as a new decade approaches.