Social Media Trends to Watch and Capitalize On in 2019
With January just around the corner, I always find that the last week of December is a great time to evaluate and fine tune my social media strategy. The phone isn't ringing as often and my email inbox is a lot quieter, allowing me the time to dive into a fresh approach. Essentially the goal is to gain a broader awareness and increase engagement with our customers, so what trends should we include? Following a trend doesn’t necessarily mean that you will gain success, before jumping on any bandwagon make sure you carefully evaluate them before including them in your marketing strategy to ensure that it’s consistent and practical for your brand and business. Below we will explore five trends that are making waves for 2019.
1. Live Video
Did you know that video accounts for 85% of the total internet traffic in 2019? I was stunned to learn that the stat was so high, but it's not surprising expected since our society has become very visual. Two areas that video is strong in is live streaming and social eCommerce.
Live streaming - The live streaming market is expected to more than double in growth by 2021, with projections of more than $70 billion. So start utilizing streaming platforms such as like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook Live.
Social eCommerce – The best way to learn about a product or offering is to watch a video about it. Social eCommerce will be made more accessible than ever, as video techniques hit the various social media platform harder. From sponsored posts on Instagram, shop sections on Facebook and buyable pins on Pinterest will convert viewer into buyers on the spot!
Video is most popular between 18-34-year-olds, nevertheless people of all ages are watching and creating live video now. Live video can feel more authentic compared to pre-recorded content. Authenticity breeds trust and today’s consumers’ value that highly.
2. Personalized Marketing
The pressure is on, customers have come to expect the personalized service with special offers and discounts that are tailored to their wants and needs. With all this technology and data available it’s more important than ever for marketers to utilize the information available to help create customized marketing campaigns which target individuals' interests at different points in the buyer's journey. Targeting each unique visitor, you need to be sure they see the information that’s most relevant to them. This will help build better customer relationships which will keep them coming back.
3. Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers have become a significant trend who make millions and have millions of followers. Influences posts, vlogs, tweets are instantly seen by more people than marketers could ever hope for. With that being said Instagram stars, Twitter influencers, YouTube sensations are here to stay and will continue to grow.
According to recent research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) "67% of marketers believe that influencer marketing can help them reach a more targeted audience, they also mentioned that 65% of brands plan to increase their spend on influencer marketing. The WFA survey found that the main aims of investment in influencer marketing are to boost brand awareness (86%), reach new audiences (74%), and improve brand advocacy (69%)."
Because the number of social media influencers has grown over time, prices for their services have also skyrocketed. Businesses are looking for other alternatives, hence a new trend micro-influencer marketing.
Micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche and generally have less than 10,000 followers. What's makes them great influences is that most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say and not just following for the masses. They're engaged and micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche. Advertisers do not massively target these smaller names, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. This marketing potential is starting to gain traction and will become more recognized in 2019.
4. Social Listening
To be a successful marketer, you need to engage with your audience, and an essential component of this is 'listening' to your audience. Social listening uses social media to research and discover conversations, phrases, and other details on your brand's and even competitors' across various social platforms. The primary goals of social listening are generally customer service and reputation management but there is a shift to include social selling and lead generation. People won't stop sharing frustrations, ideas, and recommendations online, hence social listening usage will continue to grow, and expand to include new possibilities.
5. User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is content that is created by users; this is a goldmine to marketers since – you don’t have to spend hours creating social media content yourself, but instead, use content that your actual audience members have created. This type of content performs exceptionally well on social media. Smart brands are starting to use UCG content across all their marketing channels and the engagement becomes more authentic.
Begin by looking for the best content from your followers, and consider showcasing that content across your channels. This will help grow your base and give your audience a sense of connection. Sharing authentic content straight from your audience members themselves can help you connect with your followers and build a stronger relationship with them.
Brands today have started to use a different approach by mixing influencer content across email, product-display pages, and advertising campaign, using this tactic helps maintain an authentic and consistent brand appearance across all channels, so the audience is receiving a familiar but tailored experience for the channel they are using.
To help build your user content, look for fun and creative ways to encourage them to post about your business on social. Ask them to use a branded hashtag, take part in a challenge, or even share photos relating to you and your products, services, or events. Remember it’s about collaboration and community.
Another trend to take note is Social CEO!
We are starting to see company leaders and top executives get more active on social media. This trend is called Social CEO. Whether they are tweeting from a personal account, writing a knowledge-piece on LinkedIn, or providing podcast. This interaction will play a pivotal role in how brands are seen online. Helping to boost their brand's reputation, personality and transparency online, you will notice CEOs taking to social more than ever in 2019 to share their insights, opinions, and knowledge with their online community.
You don’t need to go crazy and try and incorporate all these social media trends into your 2019 strategy. But you do need to remember that the most crucial element in your social media is TRUST. All these trends include a trust element that is a foundation to building successful customer relationships. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, but building trust should be one of the critical goals for your 2019 social strategy.