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Hackernoon logoSocial Media Trends for 2020 by@janstepnov

Social Media Trends for 2020

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@janstepnovJan Stepnov

Digital Marketing & Consulting

Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and daily routines. Some are addicted to it so much that the first thing they do after waking up is to check their social media feeds.

Given the importance of social media in consumers’ lives, marketers and businesses flock to social platforms in the hope of connecting with their target audience. However, it can be extremely difficult for you to stand out unless you base your strategy on the latest real-world data and social media trends. Here’s what you need to know for the 2020 year ahead.

Brands strike a balance between public and private engagement

The rise of private behaviors like messaging has not diminished the importance of public social media feeds, which remain a critical space for brand discovery and customer acquisition. The key is creating a seamless experience across both worlds, while balancing automation and human connection to build deeper customer relationships at scale.
  • Create a seamless journey between public and private

Use public feeds to guide customers to your private channels. Try using a Facebook or Instagram ad to send users into a private conversation with your business. This is easy to do with the Click-to-Messenger feature.

  • Automate the easy stuff

Use a blend of automation and human connection to build deep relationships on private channels. Bots are best for addressing the most common customer queries, the ones that come up time and time again, but real people still need to be available to handle the more nuanced customer inquiries.

  • Respect the function and nuances of private channels

Don’t invade private channels with impersonal brand content. Offer real value that builds brand loyalty over time, rather than trying to make a quick sale.

Employers take center stage in a divided world

As our world becomes increasingly divided, employees are looking to their organizations to make things right. Progressive organizations will take advantage of this new role, building strong internal cultures, amplifying their company purpose with employee and customer advocacy, and putting to work the inextricable link between employee and customer experience.
  • Do it before you talk about it

People are wary of brands using societal issues as a marketing ploy, and social media is a particularly unforgiving forum for “woke washing.” What your organization says has to match what it does. True purpose is more than just a marketing campaign; it’s a long-term belief that needs to underpin the very existence of the company.

  • Lead from the top

71% of employees believe it’s critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times. They expect CEOs to speak up on industry issues, political events, national crises, and employee-driven issues.

  • Have a strong brand protection plan in place

Taking a stance on social media may anger some customers as much as it drives loyalty and praise from others. Have a game plan in place to deal with controversy.

TikTok shakes up the status quo

TikTok continued its meteoric rise in 2019, but only time will tell if the hype will last. Staying power aside, TikTok’s popularity brings valuable insight into the future of social culture, content, and collaboration. Social marketers should keep an eye on TikTok, while using these insights to adapt their strategies on established networks for the next generation on social.
  • Keep an eye on TikTok

If Gen Z isn’t your target audience, or if funny and playful isn’t the right tone for your brand, you’re better off investing your time and resources elsewhere in 2020. For now, adapt some of the fun and innovative energy of TikTok into your posts on established social platforms.

  • Use new video formats to build community

There’s no better place for brands to experiment with fun, authentic video content than on Instagram Stories. LinkedIn is also rolling out a live video feature that will offer brands a way to deliver authentic video content to a more relevant audience.

  • Experiment on other growing niche platforms

Think about diversifying your audience beyond the major social platforms. Pinterest now has 322 million global monthly active users. And advertisers can now reach more than 650 million users on LinkedIn. Smaller niche platforms can deliver outsized web traffic and engagement for brands.

Social marketing and performance marketing collide

Marketers are facing increasing pressure to expand the scope of their skill sets. Established champions of brand awareness and community building must also become fluent in performance marketing. The challenge will be finding balance, building out holistic skill sets that can drive both short-term conversions and long-term strategies to build brand equity, customer happiness, and differentiation.
  • Use a full-funnel approach to social advertising

The top mistake social marketers make with paid social is running only performance-driven ads. Paid social is also effective for building brand awareness and moving customers along the path to purchasing.

  • Unite search and social ad campaigns

Brand awareness efforts on social are a waste if you’re sending your audience straight to the competition on Google. A strategic approach across both channels makes your digital ad campaigns more effective.

  • Give your brand campaigns time to perform 

Focusing too much on short-term metrics reduces the effectiveness of longer-running campaigns. Remember: Brand building happens over the long term.

The social proof gap closes

ROI and measurement continue to be persistent challenges. However, there are three best practices that high-performing organizations are following to advance their understanding of social attribution and gather the data CMOs need to elevate the strategic priority of social in their go-to-market strategies: They unite social data with other data for a holistic view, they focus on omnichannel integration, and they borrow established attribution models from other channels.
  • Standardize UTM codes 

Every social post should contain a unique UTM tracking parameter. This allows you to analyze what content is achieving business objectives. Consistency is especially important if you are syncing social data with web analytics and CRM data.

  • Invest in both skills and tools 

Access to data and tools doesn’t solve the challenge of knowing what to measure and how to analyze it.

  • Don’t get lost in attribution 

No attribution model is perfect. Other metrics might work better for your organization. For example, Customer Lifetime Value can be an effective way to measure the value of social media based on the Cost of Acquiring a Customer.

If you have any questions or want to consult on marketing — feel free to get in touch with me and my team at Zorka.Mobi, where we offer a full range of marketing services – from strategy development to its execution with tools like Influencer Marketing, User Acquisition and Affiliate Network.


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