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2020 Predictions in Marketing & Social Media

Every day we have opportunities to work with inspiring forward-thinkers. So, as we celebrate a new decade, we’re having fun adding our insights to the field of 2020 predictions for public relations, marketing and design.

Prediction 1: More Noise, Disinformation and Fake News Will Erode Trust.

Small businesses, nonprofits, and school leaders who focus on authentic relationships, value-added service and trust-building strategies will win in the long-run.

Last year, the Edelman Trust Barometer found profound changes in trust. “People have shifted their trust to the relationships within their control.” We see this sentiment growing even stronger in this era of volatility, uncertainty and change.

Public relations has always been about relationship building and storytelling. So focus on the relationships that matter most to your enterprise and communicate directly. The channels you own and control (website, blog, email newsletters) provide the foundation for an effective integrated communications program. When done right, your owned channels offer value to your key audiences and increase your credibility – enhancing your long-term reputation.

Can you cut through the noise?

Optimizing your website and blog content is also imperative — if you want your clients to find you   in a crowded field. Creating valuable content, contributing to expertise in your area and using strategic key phrases builds brand authority.

“In 2020, self-curated, high-end digital content will be a must-have again to share across social media platforms,” according to Michael Lewellen at the University of Portland in PRNews Online’s predictions for 2020 article.

But be careful. Content needs to provide value— quality over quantity.

“The top challenge for marketing in 2020 is resisting the continued calls for ego-based promotion and getting the entire business on board with storytelling,” Michael Brenner, CEO at Marketing Insider Group. We agree.

“People are increasingly distrustful of paid advertising and promotions,” CEL Founder Cindy Leines reminds us. “Strategies that focus on partnerships with communities, experts, peers and influencers build trust and credibility. We enjoy helping clients bring impactful stories to life. It’s about building a community around your brand. When you authentically understand your customer and do great work, it’s easy to find great stories to share.”

Once you have earned trust, protect it. Ensure you are conducting your business with ethics and integrity, and protect customer data and privacy.

Prediction 2: Social Media Shifts are Inevitable.

News flash: 2020 is an election year, and Facebook may be the lone hold-out allowing political ads on social media. (Not surprising. There’s a lot of revenue in political advertising — just ask local tv stations.) “I do not doubt that Facebook looked at their 2016 ad revenue and knew it couldn’t be replaced,” shared our VP Janet Swiecichowski, APR, Fellow PRSA. “The platforms know it’s labor-intensive and controversial to be the arbiter and fact-checker in a post-truth era. There is a cost to this ethical decision.”

So, why does this matter to you?

The election year will impact your social media performance. So take a thoughtful approach to your strategy and editorial calendar. 

Need to discuss your messaging or social media strategy?
Let’s talk!

 If Facebook has been your primary social media channel, how will the negativity of political attack ads impact your audience’s emotional state? Your posts may appear immediately before or after a political ad designed to insight an emotional response. Do you want to play in that space? If so, what is your message in support of what goal? Think about your audience, what are your 2020 predictions on this channel?

Are you building a following on other social media channels? Ok, Instagram may be the next best thing (if you have the visuals to support your strategy). But keep in mind, Facebook owns Instagram, and Business Manager encourages advertisers to run ads on both channels. So, you can expect lies, attack ads and fake news on Instagram too.

Do you have a LinkedIn strategy?

Investments in LinkedIn are bolstering its credibility among working professionals. Beyond its role as the world’s largest talent network, LinkedIn is a news agency — employing 65 journalists on its news team — and it is a platform for trade news experts across most industries. Odds are your target audience is on LinkedIn. Are you? Do you have a strategic approach?

And for our school clients, you are missing opportunities if you don’t have a LinkedIn social strategy—especially since that is where you find business partners and alumni. Superintendent Joey Page is someone who understands the potential of this channel and someone to emulate on LinkedIn.  

Twitter’s decision to forgo political advertising dollars will likely not help or hurt its reputation. Although the decision was based on taking an ethical stance, Twitter is still the primary channel for many politicians, political junkies and journalists, so we expect the mud-slinging to continue.

Prediction 3: We Need to Lead with Positivity.

There is no doubt we live in an unprecedented era. At CEL, we believe in building strong relationships that stand the test of time and will weather the unpredictable decade ahead. Because we are passionately committed to the betterment of business, families and community, we choose to lead with optimism.

In reading so many 2020 predictions, we most appreciated Jon Gordon’s Tips for 2020, so we leave you with…

 

Published on: January 10, 2020

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