04 Jan Social Media Marketing Trends for 2019
It’s the beginning of the year, and you know what that means! Time for experts to gaze forward through the next 12 months and proclaim trends – social media trends for 2019, specifically. We poured over articles and blog posts to discern the most frequently mentioned patterns in top social media trends for the new year, and gathered them up to present here.
So, if you’re a business owner, marketing vice president or other decision-maker, start reading! The stars are aligning in ways you may not have expected.
While not the first on any other list, the emergence of messaging apps is mentioned consistently enough to earn it our lead position. As noted by Tereza Litsa writing for The Startup and Search Engine Watch, “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.”
In order to be successful in achieving this type of engagement with their target audience, Litsa says that brands must first understand how people use messaging apps. For additional insight, she asked Debbi Dougherty, head of B2B Marketing and Communications at Rakuten Viber, for some examples. Dougherty replied:
“Moving into 2019, media will continue to seek ways to find its place with younger generations. Tapping into these audiences will be impossible without the presence of a centralized location where users can conveniently interact with content. Messaging apps offer the most ideal platform to achieve this, providing ease-of-use and personalized experiences that aren’t possible through traditional channels. For newspapers, in particular, their ability to transition onto social platforms like messaging apps is critical to the future of their readership. It not only helps them extend their reach globally, but gives them access to an entirely new demographic of users.
“The truth is, the amount of time people spend on messaging apps has grown exponentially and is much higher compared to any other platform, including social media. Brands need to recognize this and adjust accordingly.”
For its part, Hootsuite billed the trend as “Messaging eats the world.” As reported by Emily Copp, “Across the board, users are spending more time on messaging and less time sharing news on social. This shift from public to private spaces is changing consumer expectations. What’s clear, however, is that consumers don’t want more advertising channels. Smart brands are using messaging apps for more high-value conversations.” How so?
Copp’s recommendations include the following, which her article explains in detail:
- Enable Facebook Messenger for your Facebook Business Page.
- Add plugins to your website that drive customers to messaging apps.
- Use DMs and/or messaging apps to streamline customer service queries on social.
Obviously, if you didn’t think about messaging in 2018, you need to do so in 2019 – as well as act quickly, should you decide your business can benefit.
A subject we always return to, video is becoming not only more prevalent throughout the social media landscape, but permuting in many different types and formats. This is the year in which 80 percent of all internet traffic is expected to consist of video content.
But what types of video will your target audience be viewing? If you know your audience members well enough, you can provide one or more of the following discussed by the experts.
From Brian Peters of Buffer, expect short, in-the-moment videos to be favored over highly produced content. Why? Most people view videos on their smartphone, on-the-go, rather than sitting in front of a desktop computer. Also, consumers prefer in-the-moment videos for their authenticity. This works to your advantage if your budget doesn’t permit a professionally produced video. However, you still need to follow fundamental video storytelling techniques to produce something your target audience wants to watch. Our April 6, 2018 blog post, “Measuring the ROI of Video Marketing,” covers some basics techniques.
“Imagine at one end of the spectrum there’s the old social media with pre-packaged, very produced content,” writes Peters. “At the other end you have in-the-moment, super raw content. For brands, there are millions of untapped miles of opportunity in the middle of those two ends to try new things.”
Then, there is the rise of vertical video. Social media veterans may remember the day when videos that displayed vertically on a smartphone were to be prevented at all cost. Now, it’s desirable. That’s because today’s vertical videos fill the entire screen, rather than a sliver in the middle, making for a greatly improved viewing experience on today’s more sophisticated smartphones. According Peters, vertical video and social media TV – such as Instagram’s IGTV – are interrelated, and changing the game. He cites data collected by Statista, which reveals that more than 50 percent of digital videos are now viewed on mobile in vertical format.
Speaking of Instagram, Instagram Stories – launched in 2016 to compete against Snapchat – are likewise responsible for much of this momentum, which is expected to grow. As reported by Entrepreneur, 200 million Instagram users use Instagram Stories each month. Writing for Business 2 Community, content specialist Kris Spisak notes: “Stories aren’t just for Snapchat anymore. Savvy marketers need to be on top of this one.”
Also quickly emerging is live broadcasting, which opens valuable opportunities for brands to directly communicate with their audience members one-on-one, in real time. Morissa Schwartz – best-selling author, digital entrepreneur, founder of GenZ Publishing and friend of our humble blog – makes this observation about live broadcasting: “… it is the trend that will drive the most organic views to your profile. That is why you should keep this trend in mind when you think about your new social media strategy.”
This segues smoothly into our next trend …
Social media ads
By now, business owners and other powers-that-be should know that social media isn’t really “free advertising.” Even when boosted by live broadcasting, organic traffic alone can’t be expected to do all of the heavy lifting in driving conversions and sales. However, producing the quality content that leads to maximizing organic traffic is an important part of this equation.
Back to Peters, who notes that marketers increased social ad budgets 32 percent in 2018 alone and produced more ads than ever before.
“In fact, one of every four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising as part of their strategy. And Facebook accounts for 23% of total U.S. digital ad spending. All of those numbers are sure to increase in 2019. What happens when we see this trend emerge is that it gets more competitive and more expensive to advertise. To counter this, social teams should make sure they pair their ad money with equal time investment and creativity …”
In other words, traditional intrusive banner ads just won’t fly anymore. High-quality content is essential to creating effective ads.
Social Media Today devotes a good deal of space to the increasing role of the micro-influencer. As opposed to high-profile celebrity influencers whose followers may number into the millions and charge brands accordingly for their promotional services, micro-influencers can actually be more effective in building brand awareness and driving sales.
According to Aleh Barysevich – Founder and CEO of SEO PowerSuite and the Awario app:
“As opposed to major influencers, micro-influencers exist in every marketing niche. They have followings of fewer 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.
“These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. The marketing potential is very high and marketers are about to recognize this in 2019.”
Our October 5, 2018 blog post, “Move over Kim Kardashian – Here Comes the Micro-Influencer,” featured an exclusive interview with successful micro-influencer Morissa Schwartz, whose verified Twitter account numbers 13.6K followers – which places her in the industry-recognized sweet spot of between 10,000 to 30,000 followers. Describing her primary marketing niche as “nerd culture,” Schwartz describes the value that a partnership with a micro-influencer can bring to a brand’s table.
“Influencer marketing is hugely beneficial to brands, because you trust the people you follow,” Schwartz says. “If you see an infomercial, it’s easy to dismiss because you have no connection to the person selling it. But if someone you follow says they like GEICO, you think that maybe you would, too.”
As you can see, the social media marketing scene is becoming more complex. Having the right strategy that incorporates emerging trends can give your brand a significant competitive advantage for 2019.
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