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9 Social Media Goals to Help Boost Your Strategy in 2020 – Social Media Today

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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Top media outlets demand US end prosecution of Julian Assange

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US charges against WikiLeaks founder threaten press freedom and set ‘dangerous precedent’, US and European media say.

The United States must end its prosecution of Julian Assange, top global media organizations have urged, saying the US indictment against the WikiLeaks founder threatens free expression and freedom of the press.

In an open letter on Monday, five leading media outlets denounced the US’s prosecution against Assange, who is wanted on 18 counts, including a spying charge.

“This indictment sets a dangerous precedent and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” wrote the editors and publishers of The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El Pais.

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“Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy.”

The letter comes exactly 12 years after the media outlets published revelations gleaned from WikiLeaks’s release of more than 250,000 confidential US military records and diplomatic cables, known as “Cablegate”.

The material was leaked to WikiLeaks by then-US soldier Chelsea Manning and revealed the inner workings of Washington’s diplomacy around the world.

The documents exposed “corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale”, Monday’s letter said.

“Twelve years after the publication of ‘Cablegate’, it is time for the US government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets. Publishing is not a crime,” the media outlets said.

The 2019 US justice department indictment accused Assange of causing “serious damage” to US national security with the leak, as well as putting US government sources in danger of physical harm or detention.

But Assange’s supporters say he is being prosecuted for exposing US wrongdoing, including those committed during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He remains in custody in Britain pending a US extradition request to face trial and could face up to 175 years in prison in the US if found guilty. Assange is appealing against the British government’s approval of his extradition.

Monday’s letter noted that, when Barack Obama was president and Joe Biden his vice president, the US administration held off on indicting Assange, as journalists involved could have also had to face prosecution.

That changed under President Donald Trump, when the US justice department charged Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act, which the media outlets said “has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster”.

The letter is the latest example of pressure on President Biden’s administration to end Assange’s prosecution.

Last year, leading human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, called on Washington to drop the charges.

“The indictment of Mr Assange threatens press freedom because much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely – and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do,” they wrote.

In July, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also said he gave a letter to Biden in defence of Assange, while also renewing a previous offer of asylum to the WikiLeaks founder.

“I left a letter to the president about Assange, explaining that he did not commit any serious crime, did not cause anyone’s death, did not violate any human rights, and that he exercised his freedom, and that arresting him would mean a permanent affront to freedom of expression,” Lopez Obrador said.

Colombia’s left-wing President Gustavo Petro said last week that he met with WikiLeaks spokespeople and planned to ask Biden not to charge a journalist “just for telling the truth”.

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Speaking Notes from media availability police investigation Condor Road, November 28, 2022 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police

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Thank you for joining me here today. My name is Scott Sheppard and I am the Commanding Officer of the RCMP’s “M” Division here in the Yukon.

I am here today to provide an update on Thursday’s critical incident at Air North Cargo in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Given that this is an ongoing investigation with multiple agencies, including the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, please recognize that there will likely be questions that I am not in a position to answer.

On November 24, 2022, at 12:37 p.m. (Yukon time), Yukon RCMP received a 911 call reporting that a male with gun was in the area of the Air North Cargo Office. This building is located approximately 2 km south of the Whitehorse International Airport passenger terminal. There were multiple Air North employees present during this incident.

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Multiple members from Whitehorse Detachment and the Yukon RCMP Police Dog Service responded immediately. The individual was engaged by police and at approximately 12:50 p.m., there was a police-involved shooting. No employees, members of the public, or the RCMP were seriously physically injured.

Police officers immediately provided lifesaving first aid to the suspect on-scene who was then transported to the hospital by EMS. He was pronounced deceased at approximately 13:30 p.m.

At the request of the family, we will not be releasing the name of the deceased individual at this time.

What we can tell you about the deceased male is that he was a resident of Alberta and in the past had worked in the Yukon. The RCMP has been working with police in both Alberta and Saskatchewan to establish timelines and more detailed information about him and his movements leading up to this incident.

The male worked with several employers in the Territory. Part of his employment was with Air North. We are currently investigating his activities in the Yukon. He had limited interaction with the RCMP.

With regards to the immediate events leading up to this tragic incident, I must bear in mind the multiple on-going investigations that are underway. This consideration limits what I can share with you at this time.

Prior to the arrival of the police, the male with the gun, which we have now determined to be a non-prohibited and non-restricted long gun, gained access to the secured Air North compound. The matter of access to this area has been referred to Transport Canada.

The individual, who was known to the employees, threatened them with the gun. An altercation occurred, during which time coworkers were able to call 911 who immediately dispatched police.

Approximately six minutes later police arrived. At approximately 12:50 p.m. a police involved shooting occurred.

Officers immediately began emergency first aid. This was done by two RCMP officers who are specially trained as emergency police medics.

Yukon EMS transported the male to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Through the Yukon Coroner’s office, an autopsy has scheduled for November 30, 2022 in Abbotsford, B.C.

As this incident ended shortly after it began, there is no further risk to the public.

At the time of this incident, Whitehorse International Airport management and security confirmed that their operations had not been impacted and that the airport remained open. As in any event involving a secured airside location, Transport Canada was notified of the event by RCMP.

As to what took place at Air North Cargo, all of our available resources will continue ensuring public safety as we follow up on this investigation. We continue to provide policing services to Whitehorse and throughout the Yukon. Outside of the forensic assistance provided to us from Alberta RCMP, we have taken steps to ensure that we are adequately resourced from within the Division.

As is standard practice for incidents that involve serious injury or death to any person, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been engaged by the Government of Yukon Department of Justice to investigate this police-involved shooting.

ASIRT arrived in Whitehorse Friday morning. Their mandate is to effectively, independently, and objectively investigate incidents involving police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.

Yukon Victim Services were engaged to provide support to those directly affected by this incident, while Yukon RCMP employees are also being supported in their wellness.

Multiple scenes were forensically examined and have now been released.

The Yukon RCMP would like to acknowledge the exemplary cooperation of Air North as we continue our criminal investigation. The impact of this serious incident touches many people in this community-minded company across our small Territory.

This has been challenging year with the number of police-involved critical incidents in the Territory. The resulting impacts on the communities we serve are noticeable. I would like to thank the RCMP officers and employees from the Yukon including our dispatchers for their professionalism and dedication. I remain very proud to get to work with all of you.

I would like to also acknowledge the assistance we’ve received from other RCMP Divisions over the past year. Alberta RCMP’s Forensic support during this latest incident has been appreciated.

The RCMP does not work alone. In addition to Transport Canada, I also extend my thanks to the continued close partnership of our Yukon Government partner agencies, including EMS, the Emergency Measures Office, and the Yukon Coroner’s Service.

We ask that anyone with information about this incident call the Yukon Major Crime Unit at 867-667-5500.

Thank you for your time today.

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France’s Citizen Kane tests EU media freedom ambitions

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PARIS — Brussels wants media concentration to become a European Union issue. French billionaire Vincent Bolloré is testing how serious it is.

The European Commission is set to decide by Wednesday night whether to open an in-depth probe into the takeover of France’s leading publishing group Lagardère by Vivendi, the media conglomerate owned by controversial media tycoon Vincent Bolloré. The deal is facing strong criticism from lawmakers and economists warning that media freedom in France is in danger and urging Brussels to intervene.

Bolloré – who started his businessman career by turning around his family’s paper factory and is now one of France’s richest men – has become a controversial character partly because of his conservative political leanings and a series of takeovers in the media industry. His empire now spans from logistics in Africa to videogames.

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Bolloré’s Vivendi brings together communication agencies, publishing houses, gossip magazines and TV channels which have been criticized for spreading far-right ideas and contributing to the rise of far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour. More recently, Bolloré’s C8 channel has been under fire, including by French regulators, for letting a popular TV host insult a member of parliament who criticized Bolloré during his show.

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The proposed deal would make him the full owner of France’s leading publisher Hachette, and also of printed newspapers Paris Match and Journal du Dimanche as well as radio stations including Europe 1. His bid to take full control of Lagardère – a group in which he already has a majority share – has sparked worries in France from left-wing politicians and also among allies of French President Emmanuel Macron.

All eyes are now on the EU competition officials who have to decide whether to clear the deal or to extend their investigation, which raises the prospect of a potential veto.

“It’s a risk for democracy,” said David Cormand, a French Green member of the European Parliament who, together with some of his French colleagues, urged the Commission to block the deal in a letter first reported by POLITICO.

The group of lawmakers, including an MEP from Macron’s Renew group, argues that an EU clearance would see Brussels reneging on its bid to become the watchdog of media freedom on the Continent. This is the ambition of the European Media Freedom Act proposed in September which still needs to win political agreement. Even if it does enter into force, it won’t give the Commission any new powers to block deals in the name of media pluralism.

“The EMFA does not aim as such to prevent media ownership concentration – the proposal does not set any thresholds for media market concentrations or for national media market measures,” a Commission spokesperson said. The text will set out ways to assess the effects of deals on media pluralism and editorial independence via a procedure “separate to the one done under competition rules.”

Another Commission official stressed that “preserving media plurality is not within the remit of EU competition rules. EU merger reviews solely concerns the competition effects of proposed transactions.” Indirectly, competition enforcement “contributes indirectly to media plurality,” the person said.

‘A media is not a baguette’

But French politicians and some media experts would like the EU’s competition watchdog to also step in and use the Vivendi/Lagardère case as an opportunity to change its approach and do more to protect media pluralism.

“We should probably change our paradigm,” said Céline Calvez, an MP from Macron’s LREM party, noting that merger reviews that focus on a company’s share in a precise market –such as news magazines or book publishing – don’t properly measure groups that stretch across different media industries, such as Vivendi.

For Julia Cagé, a left-leaning media economist, the EU authority’s narrow focus on economic competition “basically amounts to regulating the size of bakeries.”

“A media is not a baguette,” she said, calling for competition regulators to approach the industry differently and take a holistic view of the “attention market.” The Vivendi/Lagardère combination would reach more than one-third of the French population, she said.

Vivendi has so far only pledged to address competition concerns related to its publishing activities. Vivendi owns Editis, France’s second-largest publishing company, while Lagardère owns the country’s biggest publishing group Hachette. Vivendi has already said that it is ready to divest Editis to soothe regulators.

It didn’t bother to offer that divestment last week, a sign that it’s willing to face an extended probe. A longer merger review can allow companies more time to try and challenge regulators’ concerns and shape a more complicated offer to remedy any issues.

A Vivendi spokesperson declined to comment on any offer, stressing that “Vivendi’s strategy is to build a world leader in the media, content and communications sector” and that the acquisition of Lagardère would contribute to “a better distribution of culture” in France and abroad.

Bolloré’s politics worry some politicians more than his market power, said Patrick Eveno, a media historian at Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

A devout Catholic, Bolloré has been accused of infringing on newsrooms’ independence to push for stories in line with his views. Journalists from the weekly news magazine Paris Match, already partially owned by Bolloré, criticized editorial choices including putting a radical cardinal on the magazine’s front page. Journalists from Le Journal du Dimanche – also under Vivendi’s control – openly criticized the appointment of a new editor-in-chief, accused of being too close to Bolloré.

According to Eveno, Bolloré imposed a clear editorial line on media he took over and pushed for “a political vision at the service of the extreme right and its own business interests.”

“It is not a problem of concentration, but of Bolloré’s political toxicity on newsrooms,” Eveno said.

Laura Kayali contributed reporting.

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