All marketers know social media is rapidly gaining traction for expanding a brands reach, connecting with audiences, and developing brand stories. Like the rest of the digital world, social media is forever changing, so there are trends that come and go quicker than you can blink (about 300 milliseconds).
Just use the past two years for reference; Snapchat users were drawn to Instagram as they introduced the ‘stories’ feature, and Twitter has seen an increase in active users all down to one man, Donald Trump. The USA president has utilised the ‘micro-blog’ features of the platform to share his thoughts and communicate policy positions with the public.
With more and more brands turning to social media to expand their reach to consumers, the competition is getting fierce and keeping consumers’ attention is getting harder by the post.
So as a marketer, how should you be adjusting your social media tactics in 2019?
As we get closer to the new year, marketers should expect to see an overall increase in the time spent on social media, and brand are likely to commit a much larger portion of their marketing efforts towards social platforms.
You must stay ahead of the curve (and your industry competition), but don’t waste valuable time and money on a trend that isn’t likely to stick around for long like the fidget-spinner craze of 2017.
We have taken a a close look at current trends in the world of social media and will hopefully give you enough time to get ready before implementing them in the new year.
2019 Social Media Trends
Conduct Policies Will Get Stricter –
The past few years has seen a few controversial issues on social media (think presidential election and Russia). Similar to Twitter’s conduct issues, the other social platforms are seriously re-thinking their approach on governing all users, president or not.
Facebook for example, shut down a heap of ads they thought were connected to hacking (Russia, we’re looking at you, again), ad they have invested in new forms of content monitoring including both AI and human staff.
YouTube are moving towards a ‘premium’ platform and seem to have become stricter in the video content being uploaded onto the platform (damn conspiracy theorists). Account holders posting content not conforming with YouTube’s policies will be automatically removed or de-monetised as result.
You should brush up on the social platform policies as they are likely to be updated going into the new year…
Influencers and The Micro-Bloggers –
Previous tactics used by brands has been to ‘use’ celebrities to endorse products and promote their brand, but that usually comes at a very high price.
Over the past year or so, brands have looked towards social influencers and bloggers to endorse their brand, giving them more bang for their buck by using ‘social celebrities’ in a particular industry niche.
These social influencers can have a substantial reach for your brand, usually having followings in the region of thousands or million of followers.
We’ve all heard the term ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and social media is no different; the 21st century version is ‘keeping up with the Kardashians’, from makeup choices, to what brands consumers wear.
Brands are quickly shifting towards paying influencers for promotion because they can deliver up to ten times the ROI compared to traditional digital ad methods. Consumers depend on influencers to approve their purchase decisions.
This is not a flying trend though; some influencers can make a six-figure per year income, all from promoting brands through their personal social profiles.
The majority of marketers believe influencer marketing is successful. So if your business is struggling to connect with their social audiences through traditional methods, you should seriously research your industry influencers for promotion; the payoff could be incredible!
Live Streaming at the Forefront –
Although live streaming has been around on social media for some time now, the techniques brands and other users are using it is changing completely as we progress into 2019.
We have seen a constant increase in live streaming usage and its not expected to drop anytime soon. It’s not really the popularity that’s driving it, but more from the technology capabilities we have is improving the live streaming usage.
Every year we see new additions to the phone company collections, all with better video and camera features more suited for users to live stream.
2019 will be no different; brands will incorporate live streaming into their regular content posting strategies and calendars and the majority of social networks will have some form of live streaming available for users and brands to instantly connect with their audiences.
Hanging Out Online Is the New Norm –
Online hangouts may be the perfect medium between the millenials (Generation Z) and the live streaming features of social media platforms. In a similar way Instagram stories has taken 2018 by storm, group video chats will lead the way on social platforms going into 2019.
Brands can engage and interact with their audience more than ever before on a much more personal level. Instead of simply liking or commenting on a live stream video, users literally become part of the conversation.
Facebook is reportedly looking into ways to create a similar type of feature for their platform and there’s already an app called Houseparty which is leading the online hangout trend going into 2019.
You should expect to see other platforms releasing similar features throughout the following year, but some will most definitely be better than others.
Twitter Will Struggle –
Twitter is already struggling to keep up with the other social media giants; the struggle has been clear for the past few years.
Remember the shiny bike you got on your birthday as a kid? You used it for a few weeks or months, maybe a year; then it gets left in the shed to rust. Well that’s the equivalent of Twitters rise and fall in the world of social media.
In 2017 it was the slowest growing social platform, even with president Trumps constant tweeting. Due to the changing code of conduct, many users are leaving Twitter behind, but will Twitter allow this to happen?
I doubt it.
2019 will be the make or break year for Twitter and you can expect them to be hitting the drawing board hard over the next few months to attempt a comeback and switch things up to attract the generation Z who seem to have played with it for a while before leaving it to rust in the shed…
They have already increased the 140 character limit up to 280 characters, and experts are predicting they will launch their subscription mode for marketers soon enough; but will there be anyone left to advertise to?
Of course there will be! To all marketers and brands thinking of abandoning Twitter, hold tight, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of them yet.
At this time it seems to be more damage control measures than finding proactive solutions, be we do expect social platforms to implement stricter preventative and long-lasting measures when it comes to content monitoring and policies. As a marketer, you must know and understand these guidelines to avoid getting penalised in any way.
Key Takeaways –
- The 5 trends mentioned above (and many more are likely to come) will impact users and brands significantly in 2019.
- 2019 is fast approaching, and with these trends in mind, it’s time to reconsider your social media marketing approach to maximise your social ROI.
- Hit the ground running by implementing your plans now so you stay ahead of the curve.
So did we miss anything? Leave us a comment below!