News and insights • Posted on 01 April 2020

Here's what we thought of the first ever Digital City Fest

With the first ever Digital City Fest landing in Manchester, we sent account manager Grace to network and knowledge share with some of the most innovative and inspiring marketing, ecommerce and tech companies of the North. Here, she lets us in on the social media marketing trends to watch in 2020 and shares some shocking stats around productivity in the workplace.

Social media trends to watch in 2020

Employee advocacy

We all want to make sure that we are keeping on top of the latest social media trends, but what is just as important as ensuring that our businesses are keeping top of them, is that employers are adapting the same belief too. Employee advocacy is becoming increasingly important. Employers are now looking to their employees for brand advocacy. Building strong internal cultures is paramount in allowing employees to amplify their company’s purpose. It is clear that enabling and nurturing employee advocacy needs to become a business priority in 2020.


According to Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2020 report, TikTok was the most installed app of Q1 in 2019 and 69% of its users were based in China. As we discussed in our 2020 digital marketing predictions, if your brand is targeting younger audiences like generation z or millennials, this app is well worth the investment. However, at the Digital City Fest, Hootsuite expressed how important it is to use channels relevant only to our target audiences and ensure our content is seen by the audience that will drive our brand’s messages. We should not just jump on the latest platform because we have to, for example at The Bigger Boat, we understand that TikTok is not a channel we need to be active on. However, we have seen great success with clients such as Little Tikes using the channel to reach their audience.

Productivity in the workplace

With an increasing amount of communication platforms exhausted every day between work colleagues, it is easy to get distracted from the task at hand – we’ve all naturally accepted a daily working pattern of endless interruptions. Dan McNicholas, co-founder of 4and20million, explained how employees are now expected to be constantly available and to still deliver exceptional work among the growing distractions. He inspired the audience to try just 20 uninterrupted minutes of work and discussed the struggles many of us face to stay focussed, as well as explained why “great work cannot be completed in fragments.” Fragmentation is incredibly often inevitable and can lead to over two hours a day where we are attempting to pick up our train of thought as we have been distracted. Everyone wants to work better, faster and smarter but, according to 4and20million’s research, we are distracted an average of 288 times a day by emails and conversations in the office or working environment.

So the question is: do we need all the communication channels we use or are we over using channels for the sake of it? Speakers at the Digital City Festival gave us food for thought. The key takeaway? Prioritise productive communication and take the time out to pause where possible and it’ll almost certainly result in a more focussed and efficient team.

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Written by Kara Clifford

Design perfectionist Kara adds creative flair to all our projects. Her skills lie in print, branding and moving image.

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