The world of social media marketing exists in a state of perpetual evolution.
Technologies and trends are constantly colliding, creating conditions that can look vastly different from one day to the next.
And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about social media marketing, it’s that keeping up with all these changes is a must!
As exhausting as it is, if you’re not following this stuff, you’re going to get left in the digital dust.
But staying up to date on everything is practically a full-time job, and some trends will have more of an impact than others.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, here are the five social media marketing trends you need to follow in 2019.
Social networks have been plagued by several scandals in recent years, which are further eroding the already dismal level of trust people have in these platforms.
A survey from Edelman found that globally, only 44 per cent of people have trust in social media, and that number is ten points lower in Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
Fake Twitter accounts, privacy issues like the Cambridge Analytica scandal and YouTube ads being paired with videos promoting terrorism have all sent social media companies scrambling to run damage control.
For instance, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has made it easier for users to download data that’s been collected on them.
And a Pew Research Center survey found that while only 9 per cent of Facebook users downloaded that personal data, 47 per cent of those who did have deleted the Facebook app from their phone.
So, in 2019, every social media company is going to be doing whatever it can to regain some of the trust that’s been lost over the last few years.
And you can also expect to see brands using their presence to push social media companies to deal with these issues.
Already, several brands have distanced themselves from Facebook, as you’ll see below.
Mozilla claims that it’s “pressing pause” on its Facebook advertising until Facebook deals with its privacy issues.
Cooper Hefner stated that Facebook’s policies contradict Playboy’s values and that the brand “must leave the platform.”
Consumers are becoming increasingly connected, and as a result, they’re being bombarded with more marketing than ever before.
But for businesses, this is a double-edged sword.
Sure, the number of social media users keeps increasing along with the user data that’s being collected on them, which makes it easier for companies to reach consumers and target specific audiences.
At the same time, people who are constantly exposed to marketing tend to be much savvier and more jaded, making it harder for marketers to create effective content that doesn’t annoy people or insult their intelligence.
Consumers have made it clear that they’re sick of sales pitches and would prefer not to be patronized.
Therefore, creating content that’s perceived as authentic is becoming more and more important.
A survey from Stackla found that 86 per cent of consumers value authenticity in brands, 57 per cent of consumers think less than half of brands create authentic content, and 20 per cent of consumers have unfollowed a company on social media because their content wasn’t authentic enough.
The survey also found that 60 per cent of consumers think user generated content is the most authentic.
This type of content is typically viewed as more authentic because it allows companies to show people the benefits of their products through their customers’ content, rather than tell people what these products can do for them.
Encouraging these kinds of genuine, meaningful interactions also gives companies the opportunity to create powerful emotional connections with consumers.
Below, you’ll see some recent examples of user generated content campaigns.
The GoPro Awards is a contest GoPro’s been running that encourages customers to submit their best clips, photos and edits for a chance to win cash.
Starbucks’ White Cup Contest asked customers to decorate Starbucks cups and submit their artwork for a chance to have it immortalized on limited-edition cups that are sold in stores.
So, over the next year, expect to see this trend continue, with more companies asking consumers to submit their content and making other efforts to be perceived as more authentic.
Which leads me to my next point.
If brands want to regain trust and maintain an image of authenticity, it’s not enough that they just create content that will be perceived as genuine.
They have to actually show that they’re sincere, which takes a hell of a lot more than just content.
When it comes to social media, brands can’t just treat it as a tool for advertising and publishing.
They also need to use it to connect with consumers on a deeper level, which means being responsive and interacting with them as much as possible.
A Sprout Social survey asked 1,000 consumers which traits they want to see brands demonstrating on social media.
The top three answers were honesty, friendliness and helpfulness – all qualities demonstrated by brands that are more trustworthy, authentic and responsive.
The survey also asked consumers what actions brands take on social media that prompt them to make a purchase, and the number one answer was “being responsive”.
So, after all that trust was lost in 2018, this year you can expect to see brands engaging their audiences every chance they get.
In 2019, you’re going to see more brands replying to every review, quickly responding to people’s complaints and questions, and jumping into the comments section to participate in every conversation.
Below, you’ll see some examples of companies that are highly responsive on social media.
Giant Tiger is very good about responding to every single review and frequently jumps into the comments section to answer people’s questions and reply to their remarks.
Wendy’s also interacts with consumers on social media as much as possible, replying to almost every review, posing questions to its audience and contributing to conversations.
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Most of you are probably familiar with social media stories, but just in case you aren’t, let me explain.
Social media stories are the ephemeral, vertical video format that was first seen on Snapchat and has now become so popular that many other platforms have introduced them, including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube.
Mark Zuckerberg himself has predicted that stories will eventually overtake news feed posting as the most common way for people to share things on social media.
According to a report from Block Party, on the major social media platforms, stories have seen a growth rate that’s 15 times higher than feeds.
And 64 per cent of respondents to Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Trends Survey said they’re already using Instagram Stories for their social media strategy or plan to do so within the next year.
But why have they become so popular?
Well, stories offer several unique options compared to other posts, including the ability to add things like countdowns, questions and polls, as well as numerous filters and other effects, creating a much more dynamic and interactive experience.
In addition, stories offer a less contrived, more casual vibe, which encourages interaction because they tend to feel less scripted and much more authentic.
They also allow you to engage your audience through multiple touchpoints, which helps to boost people’s awareness of your brand.
So, it looks like the popularity of stories will continue to explode throughout 2019, and you can expect to see more and more brands implementing them into their social media strategies.
Below are some examples of businesses that are making the most of social media stories.
T By Daniel co-founder, Daniel Lewis, has some truly amazing stories, such as his series of tea-focused stories that are funny, informative, and truly show the passion he has for his products.
The New York Times has mastered the art of engaging its audience with stories. The publication uses them to present news in a visual format, enticing viewers to consume more of their content.
I’ve been harping on this point for years now, but that’s because video continues to surge in popularity across all platforms, and I can guarantee you it’s not going to slow down in 2019.
Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2022, the vast majority (82 per cent) of Internet traffic will come from video.
But how has video managed to dominate so much of our digital lives?
Aside from the fact that people just prefer watching stuff over reading, much of its popularity can be attributed to all the benefits businesses stand to gain from video.
When it comes to social media, video can help you increase engagement, gain more followers, improve brand awareness, boost trust in your brand, and all these benefits can be attributed to the fact that video content is more likely to be shared than anything else.
A survey from Wyzowl asked consumers what type of content they’d be most likely to share, and the number one answer was video.
In addition, 87 per cent of respondents said they want to see brands publish more videos in 2019.
The survey also asked marketing professionals what they think about video and the results weren’t too surprising.
87 per cent of respondents said they use video as a marketing tool, up from 63 per cent in 2017 and 81 per cent in 2018.
The results of the survey also show that the perceived effectiveness and use of video marketing has increased on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
So, over the next year you can expect to see an increasing number of brands incorporating video into their social media marketing.
I’ve included some examples below from brands that are focusing on video for their social media strategies.
I’m sure most of you have seen this video, and many of you have strong opinions on it. But whatever you think of it, Gillette’s latest ad has caused quite a stir and is plastered all over its social media presence.
Nintendo is no stranger to video or social media, and it’s creative content like this video promoting the new Kirby game that stands out among the hoards of video on social media.
Which social media marketing trends do you expect to see in 2019? Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
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