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3 ways to ace social media marketing in 2020

by Catherine Chiang  |  December 13, 2019

3 min. read
A person holding up a mobile phone in a city.

As consumer tastes evolve, our job as marketers is to stay a step ahead. For 2020, we’re seeing big potential in visual social media marketing: using images and video to connect with consumers via social media channels.

Don’t take our word for it; see what the data says! Consumer content preferences for social images and video are growing, and will continue to grow among younger generations, according to the 2017 Hubspot Content Trends Survey. The tea leaves spell it out clearly: the future of marketing is in social media, and future content has to be visual.

2017 Hubspot Content Trends SurveyHere are three ways to keep your social media game on point in 2020.

1. Make it personal

Consumers don’t follow brands’ social media accounts for a regurgitation of the same marketing materials they see in emails and ads. Users go on social media for entertainment and a more authentic connection with their favorite brands; they don’t want to feel sold to.

Social media gives businesses a unique opportunity to share a more personal side of the brand, such as ‘behind-the-scenes’ content and sneak peeks. Create original imagery and video to share on social, and prioritize authentic and engaging content over overly polished imagery or stock photos – don’t be afraid to go live or share fun iPhone candids from the office.

Who’s doing it right: We love how Everlane does ‘Transparency Tuesday’s’ on their Instagram stories: their social media manager goes around their San Francisco HQ and asks real team members to answer questions about the brand submitted by followers. It doesn’t get much more personal than that!

2. Share user-generated content

Why not use social media for what it’s best at – connecting and cultivating community? Cultivate your own community of brand advocates and fans by sharing user-generated content, with the users’ consent, of course. User-generated content also gets more engagement, and consumers tend to trust other consumers more than brands.

Don’t have a ton of user-generated content yet? Try encouraging customers to create and share content via giveaways and challenges, or working with influencers to broaden your reach and create lifestyle imagery.

We know that putting this tip into practice is easier said than done, especially for B2B companies (believe us, we know the struggle), but it just requires a little creativity! We’ve found success with user-generated content through our awesome employees, who love to post photos and videos from our team events, and our incredible customers who love to show off their Canto socks and other swag.

Who’s doing it right: Apple created the hashtag #ShotoniPhone on Instagram to encourage customers to show off their best iPhone shots. Thanks to this campaign, consumers associate iPhones with great camera quality!

3. Harness the growing power of video

On social media, posts containing videos generate 12 times more shares than text and images combined, and 75.6 percent of marketers say video has had a direct impact on their business (source). We think we’ve said enough; time to get recording!

Create effective videos for social by following these simple best practices: Make it short (30 seconds or less is best), and give it text or subtitles, because many users scrolling on mobile may not have sound on.

Who’s doing it right: Ellevest does a weekly video on their LinkedIn page, where their CEO answers common questions that women have about investing. It’s short, to-the-point, and informative – plus, it puts a friendly and knowledgeable face behind the brand to build consumer trust.