IAA | Social Media Trends for 2019
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Adrian Pașita, IAA Young Professionals Member, Romania

Social Media Trends for 2019

What are the social media trends for 2019? Here you can find the answer you need to build a great social media strategy for 2019.

Social media strategy needs to be frequently adapted to the changing trends. The rapid pace that social media platforms evolve requires for marketers to be alert if they want to maintain successful tactics.Based on 2018’s changes and privacy scandals, 2019 is the time for social media networks to regain the trust of their users.

Here are the top 10 social media trends for this year.

1. Social Media is About Trust

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook faced pressure from users and legal institutions to improve security and transparency. In recent months, consumers and media observers have questioned the privacy, accuracy, and ethics of nearly every social network.The result: 60% of people no longer trust social media companies.

Brands will need to look for ways to build consumer trust. This means focusing on ways to authentically connect with audiences, and ways to highlight their humanity. Brands need to connect with their audiences on a meaningful level. No one likes being constantly swamped with ads.  👍

2. Social Media Is About Storifying

Will the news feed be an endangered species one day? According to consulting firm Block Party, Stories—the vertical, ephemeral slide shows pioneered by Snapchat—are now growing 15 timesfaster than feed-based sharing.

This opens the door for brands to share more human stories of their own, which will inspire audiences to try out their product. Storytelling feels real, immediate and personal, but it also demands a mix of more time-intensive videos, images and graphics, and requires brands to be more creative and thoughtful in the intent.

There’s no sign of Stories stopping its rise, so it’s best to start incorporating it into your strategy if it isn’t there already. 😉

Image source: hootsuite.com

3Social Media Quality Over Quantity

In the battle between quality and quantity of social media content, quality wins.

People become social media followers and fans of an organization because they trust that the content provided is relevant to them. So, when people decide to follow you or become a fan of yours on social media, it’s likely that they saw a few posts of yours they liked before they made that decision.

Your social media posts contribute to a reputation over time and if you spend more effort on trying to post often without paying attention to the quality and reliability of what you’re posting, they’ll stop listening by unfollowing you or simply ignoring your posts.🤷‍♂️

4. Social Media Video Is (still) The King

There’s been an explosion of growth in video on social media in recent years. Views of branded video content have increased 99% on YouTube and 258% on Facebook between 2016 and 2017.From the rise of YouTube to the introduction of IGTV, social media platforms were always interested in highlighting video content.

Businesses need to take note: viewers spend hours watching friends’ videos on social media. Brands would be wise to look for ways to incorporate video content as part of their marketing strategy.

Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, video content on social media is what marketers need to focus on. Videos are here to make it significantly easier as they are mobile friendly, easier to consume, and they generally bring about more results relative to other options on social media. 📹

5. Social Media Micro-Influencers

In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend. These people have millions of followers - every post of them is instantly seen by more people than TV ad makers could ever hope for.

As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have even fewer followers than 10 000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they're very engaged - micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche.

Also, employee advocacy will rise up as the next level of influence. Encouraging your employees to talk about your brand will help brand awareness even more. 👷

Image source: socialmedia-authority.com

6. Social Media listening

If you’re only paying attention to notifications, you’re missing a huge group of people that are talking about you, your brand and your product.

Learning what people are saying about your brand or industry is an important tool for determining an effective social media strategy. Focused listening will tell you which social networks your audience is most actively using and the general sentiment about your brands, products, competitors or industry.

Social Media listening is expected to become bigger. The real trend of 2019 is going to be using social media listening for lead generation and social selling. So far, only a tiny number of brands do this, yet that number is gradually rising as marketers discover that they can find people looking for the exact services they offer on social media. 👂

7. Social Media Messaging

Did you know that a brand’s average response time is around 10 hours? But did you know that most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours?

Messaging apps have already passed social media apps in usage and it seems to be a trend that will dominate 2019. People are moving beyond public posts on social media to private messaging, whether it’s simply about reaching their friends or even to stay in touch with their favorite brands.

WhatsApp and Messenger hold a large percentage of the messaging market and they already introduced additional features to go beyond messaging, from Stories and news updates to automated bots for customer service and e-commerce functions.There is a whole new world to try out as a brand and we’re already seeing big brands and publishers tapping into the messaging trend. 💬

Image source: statista.com

8. Social Media Is Timeliness

The almost immediate future of marketing is real-time communication. The social media trends in marketing are the 24/7 customer support, real-time social selling, chatbots, and constant monitoring for a potential social media crisis.

This is because social media never sleeps - customers continue to use your products, talk about them online, and buy new items at any given moment. This has been happening for a while, and finally, technology has caught up - we now have the tools to look for mentions of a brand in real time, tools that schedule content to be posted at any point, chatbots that offer immediate help. 👩‍💻

8. Social Media Is Not All About Ads

Everybody knows how a social media business sustain itself without paid users. Accordingly, marketers are increasing social ad budgets (up 32 percent in 2018 alone) and producing more ads than ever before. One of every four Facebook Pages now use paid media. And Facebook already accounts for 23 percent of total U.S. digital ad spending.

But rising costs and fleeting attention are limiting ROI for advertisers. To counter this, paid social teams are pairing ad money with equal time investment, creativity, and targeting savvy. And they’re paying to boost their best performing organic content.

Spotify and Netflix are leading the way with creative social ads that are at once personalized and entertaining, rather than just bland banner ads squeezed into a news feed. The end goal is to generate user discussion and engagement, rather than simply “broadcast” an ad at an audience. 🤐

10Social Media Loves AI

Bots and automated messaging have already shown up in many brands’ customer service. Social media has made it easier for customers to reach a brand, which means that the expectations about the response time are increasing.Chatbots have started becoming popular through Facebook’s Messenger when brands realized that it’s an easy way to add additional customer support to the mix.

Chatbots are appearing across most ofthe existing apps, from WhatsApp and Slack to Facebook Messenger and beyond. According to an Oracle survey, 80% of businesses want to be using chatbots by 2020. 🤖

Image source: chatbotslife.com


11. Social Media Is Not Only Facebook

Businesses should carefully consider which social media platforms to focus on, as each platform tends to be used by different groups. For example, over 80 percent of Pinterest users are female, and more than 50 percent of users are from the US. So, if a brand is targeting American women, posting on Pinterest could help isolate that group.

Meanwhile, Snapchat users tend to be younger than those who use Facebook. And career-focused professionals spend more of their time on LinkedIn. Brands that use multiple platforms should use these distinguishing characteristics to decide where to post content and on which platforms to focus the majority of their marketing efforts

This article was written by Adrian Pașita, member of IAA Young Professionals Romania.


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