Renowned social media management platform Hootsuite recently released its global “Social Media Trends 2020″ report, detailing popular trends in the marketing industry and providing valuable insight into how to identify, analyze and act on them. This report is based on the platform’s annual survey of 3,110 marketers, as well as interviews with industry analysts and related research. After attending Hootsuite’s informative webinar about the report, we’re breaking down the “top trends” for marketing and PR professionals to keep top of mind when building out social strategies this year.

Public and private engagement

One key element successful brands have had in common lately is a balance between public and private engagement. Based on Hootsuite’s latest findings, the future will likely be private but successful brands are currently incorporating both forms of engagement. For example, starting with a strong public campaign has proved vital to building awareness and loyalty for Citadel, a leading hedge fund.

Hootsuite explained how Citadel integrated both public and private engagement into their “Data Open” campaign, which aimed to recruit some of the brightest college minds into STEM careers. The firm invited students to an invite-only Facebook group, while also incorporating private engagement by utilizing Messenger chatbot to send them complex math problems to solve. Hootsuite reported that the company enjoyed a 74% increase in entry-level position applications and generated over 5,500 new conversations after launching the campaign.

Considerate messaging and engagement proved to be most successful in campaigns such as these, as it’s important to not clog consumers’ inboxes with nonsense and run the risk of annoying them. Instead, offer value within the private channel. Solving problems and providing support are two sensible ways to capitalize on this trend in 2020.

Emphasizing values and environmental awareness

In the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s essential to keep up with the latest developments. For instance, consumers are increasingly associating themselves with companies that focus on making positive contributions to society. Accordingly, brands such as Aerie and Nike have seen great success with marketing that focuses on important values in today’s world. One impressive example is the “#AerieREAL” campaign, which emphasizes body positivity and boosted company sales by 20% in its first year, proving that authenticity is a true staple of success.

Although it wasn’t specifically mentioned in the Hootsuite webinar, another notable example of moral marketing success can be found with Gregory FCA client Ceres, which has built a business on “transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.” Ceres focuses on solving some of the most challenging issues of our time: climate change, water scarcity and pollution.

Initiatives such as these are gaining significant momentum as organizations increasingly emphasize building an equitable world. The Hootsuite webinar stressed how prioritizing progressive actions in corporate strategy has proven benefits for brand recognition. Organizational leaders would do well to “lead from the top” and make sure they embody a company’s values, morals and purpose. This will help foster a strong internal culture and build trust with both employees and customers.

Evolving approach

There’s one constant in the marketing and PR industry: It’s always evolving. Since social media interaction has become a daily ritual for most audiences, companies need to learn the delicate balance between utilizing paid and organic posts to increase brand awareness. Gregory FCA client Kestra Financial has succeeded in finding that balance by letting our team lead the charge on organic social suggestions while their advertising firm focuses on paid aspects of the campaign.

Through this divide-and-conquer strategy, we’ve been able to help create a plan that covers all bases for Kestra Financial’s social media accounts. Finding that harmony can be as simple as the repetition of key messages, or as complicated as a full-funnel social advertisement strategy. Either way, it’s important to give a campaign time to perform and generate significant brand recognition among consumers.