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9 Social Media Goals to Help Boost Your Strategy in 2020

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In business, goals are extremely important – they serve as a roadmap for your strategy, and at the same time enable you to evaluate your successes and missteps.

However, the goals you set for your social media efforts shouldn’t come out of nowhere. Data insights should always be the cornerstone of all your goal setting. That’s why for this list of social media goals for 2020, I’ve based each recommendation on data insights. Taking key trends and shifts as reference points, I’ve identified goals that will actually be relevant to the directions that the social media platforms are taking this year.

Below is a list of ten social media goals that you should consider aiming for in 2020, along with examples of brands that are already excelling on each point.

1. Stop ignoring your audience

Social media is always changing, and social media marketers need to stay on top of these changes. However, the core business principles stay the same.

One of the main principles of note is making sure that your business is customer-oriented. This principle should be embedded in every step of your business strategy, from research to customer support.

So how does the age-old principle of focusing on a customer apply to 2020 social media trends? Well, one thing to do in 2020 is to stop ignoring your customers on social. You might feel confused, or even offended right now that I even assumed that you’re neglecting your customers. But tell me, how much do you utilize social media to engage with and learn more about your target audience?

It’s highly likely that you respond to comments and posts that tag your accounts, but in 2020, it’s also worth considering social listening as another means to pay attention, and respond to your customers.

The simplest way to use social listening is to find and respond to untagged mentions, those instances where people are talking about your company without directly reaching out to you. However, simplicity is not what we’re aiming for when we have a tool as powerful as social listening at our disposal. With it, you can analyze large amounts of social data for product insights, discover potential customers, and understand your target audience.

Forget about the surveys and feedback forms – social listening gives you access to unfiltered opinions, shared online organically.

There are so many ways to make your business more customer-oriented by analyzing social listening data, and acting upon such. Here’s a perfect example of using social listening to raise brand awareness and engage with your target audience in a natural way without spamming them.

Inspiration: @HiltonSuggests

Hilton Suggests is a one-of-a-kind program launched by Hilton Hotels which connects local experts with people who are looking for travel recommendations through social listening. Hilton finds people who are looking for travel recommendations on Twitter and responds to them via a dedicated account. The people who give recommendations are the local employees of Hilton who know the best spots in the city in question. That makes the recommendations genuine and personal. 

The initiative is a great combination of understanding your audience’s needs and taking the action to address them. Not every person asking for travel recommendations is staying in a Hilton hotel,  but next time they’re choosing a place to stay, they might just remember the one that was so helpful during their last trip.

2. Try selling on social

Social media platforms are working to provide us with more and more ways to sell our products directly in-stream.

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Features like Instagram Checkout now enable users to buy from a brand they like, without ever leaving the app, while Pinterest is also incorporating more and more commercial features. These efforts fall in line with customer trends – in a study of 178,421 global internet users aged 16-64, GlobalWebIndex found that 28 percent of users turned to social networks during their online product research.

In 2020, it’s worth bringing your sales efforts to social media. But you don’t necessarily have to use Instagram Checkout or the like, you can actually sell on social without any special features by pitching your products to the users that might be potentially interested in them.

But how do you find such users?

By joining relevant communities on social media: subreddits, Facebook groups, Twitter chats and such. People are constantly asking for recommendations, and you can tap into these conversations (just don’t be spammy). Social listening can also help here – tuning in will enable ou to find social posts which indicate buying intent (asking for recommendations or complaining about competitors). You can then engage with these users in real time. 

Inspirations: peripherii

Peripherii is a smart earring brand which is very active on Twitter. They follow hashtags around wearables and AirPods, and promote their brand within relevant communities.

This approach can be risky, and you don’t want to be perceived as spamming feeds. But it is worth considering your opportunities to tap into buying intent.

3. Broadcast yourself

Video isn’t a new trend – it’s been featured as a key social media marketing focus of note for a couple of years now. However, live video is something that still offers significant potential for marketers – and more brands are now picking up on the option. 

Streaming enables you to react immediately to what’s going on, connect with your audience in a relatable way, and show them that there’s a real person behind the brand. It lets you communicate with your audience directly.

Almost every social media platform understands the power of live streaming, with even LinkedIn introducing live streaming in 2019

You can go live to hype up a product launch, engage with your audience, cover a real-life event, or present a social media competition. 

Inspiration: Experian

Not to seem mean, but credit reporting companies are usually not the brands that you want to follow on social media. There are just not many exciting things about finance – however, Experian proves that theory wrong.

Experian uses live-streaming to connect to its customers. Every Wednesday, Experian hosts a Twitter chat where they discuss personal finance topics, and they amplify the discussion by going live on Periscope and YouTube to respond to users through video. 

4. Collaborate with micro-influencers

Influencer marketing can be a powerful strategy, but some brands still envision it being solely related to big-name, expensive, star endorsements. Make no mistake, audience numbers are important, but don’t overlook the potential of smaller creators, who tend to have more authentic relationships with their audiences, and thus, are better at establishing trust.

And in marketing, more trust means higher conversion rates.

That’s why 2020 will be the year of micro-influencers. Take a look at those creators who have less than 100 000 followers, find someone who aligns with your brand image and values, and reach out to them for potential collaboration.

Inspiration: Samsung

Last March, Samsung collaborated with several creative micro-influencers (up to 25 000 followers) on Instagram to promote the Galaxy Note 10. They worked with several influencers of different backgrounds and interests – for example, one of the collaborators was Urška Ahac, a Slovenian-born sports blogger with a little over 10K subscribers.

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In this way, Samsung was able to tap into different audiences, and showcase the phone’s features in more creative, engaging ways. 

5. Have fun with AR

If you still think that AR is only good for putting cat ears on a teenage girl’s selfie, think again. More and more brands are now using AR filters on social media to promote themselves – and some are seeing big success. 

The three main platforms of emphasis for AR right now are Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat – the three platforms that are also extremely popular with Millennials and Gen Z. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in his listing of goals for the upcoming decade, specifically highlighted the use of AR and VR technologies, which is a sure indicator that Facebook will look to shift further in that direction as well.

Instagram even encourages users to create their own filters through free access to Spark AR Studio, so there’s no excuse not to try it. 

Inspiration: Kylie Cosmetics

Even the biggest Instagram celebrities are looking to leverage AR to maximize their performance. Kylie Jenner’s ‘Kylie Cosmetics’ recently created an AR filter which enables viewers to virtually try on its products.

The filter allows you to select different shades from the collection – which, incidentally, is also a feature that’s now available to selected brands on Pinterest, and YouTube as well.

6. Befriend the algorithms

Mastering social media algorithms is a good goal for any year, but if you haven’t done it yet, now is high time to embark on this mission.

Yes, report after report tells us that organic reach is falling, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up. Instead, yuo should look to understand what types of content each platform favors, and use that within your approach to maximize organic reach.

Creativity here is the key: we all know that many social media networks boost video content – but that doesn’t mean that you should produce cookie-cutter videos with no original ideas behind them. And again, the fact that engagement is the key to organic reach is well-known, but you can’t just ask people to like and comment on your posts. You need to come up with engaging content, in line with algorithm shifts, in order to optimize your results.

Inspiration: innocent drinks

This is the brand that knows how to align with content trends, while still keeping it aligned with their core business case. Their content is engaging, without being manipulative, sensational, or cringy.

Innocent Drinks generates engagement by being funny, a little bit absurd, and extremely relatable – though it worth underlining that they do this while also keeping it ‘on brand’. never drifting too far from their business niche.

7. Go somewhere new

There are always new social platforms popping up, and while few of them is ever worthy of being tagged as ‘the next big thing’ in the space, some do have staying power, and can provide reach to engaged, active audiences.

TikTok is one to consider on this front. TikTok isn’t really new, but there are still marketers who have doubts about it, though it may be worth experimenting with as part of your approach. A key benefit here is that TikTok’s algorithm is tailored to content discovery, which makes it easier to get eyeballs on your posts even if you’re just starting out.

Another app that’s seen a lot of early hype is Byte, built by the creator of Vine. Byte launched last week, and has already has rocketed to the top of U.S. App Store.

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Inspiration: The Washington Post

A serious newspaper is probably not the brand that you’d expect to see TikTok content from, but The Washington Post joined the platform in 2020, and has quickly became a viral sensation.

What’s even more admirable is that WaPo manage to deliver news content through their short videos, while still making them highly entertaining. 

8. Become private

Yes, the word ‘social’ is right in the name – but one of the biggest social media trends for 2020 will be privacy.

More recent issues with political polarization, data exposure, and even high profile sackings over previously posted controversial opinions have lead to more people closing in their social media walls, and turning to more intimate, private conversations online. People are still using social platforms and apps at similar rates, but their discussions are increasingly being moved out of the public eye – which is an important trend for marketers to note. 

Brands can look to cater to this trend by starting a Facebook Group, for example, or creating a ‘Close Friends’ list for top fans on Instagram. Through options like this, brands can share exclusive content with their most loyal followers, which can encourage others to interact with your accounts in the hope of getting an invite. 

Inspiration: Lumen5

Lumen5 is a video editing app which boasts a very loyal user base. The company started a Facebook group to share tips on how to use software and edit videos in 2016, and it now has more followers than the official brand Page. 

Users can connect with each other and help others out, as well as ask the team behind the tool about the features and plans for the future. 

9. Start messaging

The popularity of messaging is another indicator of the shift to privacy. Nowadays, a lot of social media interactions are happening in DMs – people are talking with their friends, but also with brands. And given this, it’s worth paying attention to the opportunity.

In 2020, it’s worth considering how your business can better engage with your followers through messaging. Respond to Stories, answer questions, connect through Twitter DMs. Messenger bots can also be a great way to connect to your customers – but beware of automating your conversations too much. Even though it’s 2020, people still prefer to talk with humans.

Inspiration: Whole Foods

Whole Foods is famous for selling fresh organic food, and generally promoting healthy eating. Their chatbot is extremely on-brand – it’s a Messenger bot that recommends recipes tailored specifically to your taste (and using Whole Foods products, of course). You can select your preferences and get a delicious recipe in return, whever you need. 

In conclusion

These are some of the key trends that are likely to gain traction in 2020, assigned into goals which you can apply to your strategic approach. And while there’s a lot to take on, you’ll notice that many of the points here are inter-connected.

Start using social listening and you’ll be able to discover micro-influencers; Create a private community and you’ll begin getting more direct messages; Create an AR filter and gain traction on newer apps, etc. 

But perhaps, your primary social media goal for 2020 should be to figure out which of the major social media trends will benefit your business, and tweak your social media strategy accordingly.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers

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Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers


With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

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Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

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That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.





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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.



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