The social media landscape is changing, and the future is looking less than rosy. Organic social reach has started to decline. Trust in key social media platforms is at an all-time low. And pay to play is pretty much a necessity for brands to break through.

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While there are red flags and no shortage of think-pieces touting the decline of organic social media, if you’re creative enough, opportunity still exists. To succeed in the evolving channel, you will need to capitalize on the status quo, and take advantage of new trends and emerging technology.

To help you plan your 2020 social media strategy, we’ve put together the top 12 trends that we think will play a huge role in social media this year. These will be spread out over a series of posts—so check back for more soon. Let’s dive in.

1. Trending up: Marketing to the moment

Marketing to the moment—rather than to a persona—means that we work to deliver messages that connect and resonate with consumers at the moment of greatest impact. In 2020, we anticipate that social media will focus less on general broadcast and more on the micro moments that matter to people.

Taking a sophisticated approach to meeting your consumer in their moment can happen both proactively—for example, starting practices with content, social listening, and proactive engagement in conversations—and reactively, such as aligning to a pop culture moment, reacting to people’s feedback in a timely manner, and advancing that feedback to be proactive in the future.

In a crowded, noisy world, it’s less about being ever-present and more about giving people memorable experiences when they want them.

2. Trending down: Politics dominate discussion

It’s no secret that the 2020 elections will continue to dominate everyday discussion on social media. Social platforms have a huge role to play here but given recent controversies around the dissemination of disinformation via social media, it seems that the individual platforms will be handling political content in differing ways this year.

Facebook and Twitter have already announced very different approaches to the political ad space. As of the writing of this guide, Facebook has decided to let the consumer of the information evaluate and determine fake news for themselves, while Twitter has opted to ban political ads altogether. Which platform will have the bigger impact on the political discourse between users remains to be seen.

The takeaway for brands; authenticity it key. Brands should engage media partners and influencers that are authentic and aligned with their brand values, especially around political topics. That’s not to say all brands should stay away from politics altogether, but it will be critical to have a strategy and a strong community response plan in place to deal with people’s comments.

3. Trending down: Anti-trust

Consumers and marketers have every right to be worried about their data, privacy, and reporting when it comes to social media platforms. Facebook alone has settled a number of lawsuits recently, including one for inflating its video metrics by up to 900%, leading to misspent advertising, realized marketing strategies, and more pain for brands.

Over the last few years, executives at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have appeared before Congress to defend themselves against what seems like inevitable regulation. So, it goes without saying that the platforms have a long way to go to earn back even the slightest consumer trust. Unfortunately, this leaves brands to determine a way forward without third-party data impacting social targeting.

What should be worrisome for Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and co. is consumer abandonment of their platforms in favor of other alternatives. While the American people can be forgiving, and are increasingly focused on convenience, they will not give platforms license to recklessly abuse their data or privacy forever.

21% of people deleted/removed social media because they felt overwhelmed by it. Source: Exposure Ninja

Download the full report

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These top three trends are just the tip of the iceberg what we’re predicting will be hot or not in 2020. Be on the lookout for the rest of our series and check out our full trends report by downloading a free copy today and get started on your 2020 social strategy.

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