Ever-changing, fast advancing, and rapidly growing – these words perhaps best describe the social media landscape we’re all witnessing nowadays.
Of all digital channels, there is, social media platforms are arguably the most aggressive ones when it comes to introducing new features aimed to help their users to connect, communicate, and share content with their friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers online.
With over 3.3 billion active users worldwide, social media generates many interactions on a daily basis. With the right strategy, tools, and a dash of creativity, companies, and marketers can take advantage of this phenomenon to reach and engage with their target customers, improve their brand image, and ultimately lead their business to success.
All that being said, staying ahead of the game is always the rule when it comes to social media marketing. So without further ado, here are the latest social media marketing trends that you need to prepare to make the most of these online platforms in 2019.
1. Live Video Content Will Still Dominate
Videos and social media fits perfectly with each other, that is why no social media marketing strategy is not complete without some type of video marketing strategy. In 2019, video will still dominate in social media as more devices and platforms support video format – and particular, live video.
Since its launch, Facebook Live has seen massive success; there have been more than 3.5 billion Facebook Live broadcasts since it first rolled out in 2016. As popular and engaging as they are, the authentic and short-lived nature of live videos enables brands to increase the perceived trustworthiness and relevance of their brand, a trend which we can all expect to continue in 2019.
2. A Separate Strategy for Ephemeral Content
As ironic as it may sound, but ephemeral content such as live videos and Stories is here to stay.
Unlike traditional videos that have to undergo several pre-production, production, and post-production processes before they can be distributed on social media sites, live videos and stories are created and uploaded in real-time, which explains its authentic feel to viewers.
That said, live videos still require some planning for them to be executed at the right time and with the right concept. That is why we can expect that brands that plan to utilize this format in 2019 will prioritize having a solid strategy specifically created for this type of social content.
3. Continued Rise of Messaging Apps and Chatbots
According to eMarketer, more than a quarter of the world’s population will use mobile messaging apps by 2019 – a trend that more and more marketers are starting to take advantage of for the past years.
Having a presence on messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, and Kik isn’t only imperative to deliver better customer service these days, but also because the majority of content sharing nowadays takes place on these platforms. For marketers, taking advantage of this phenomenon is crucial if they want to improve their customer engagement further and deliver their content on a more personalized level.
Chatbots are also expected to continue in popularity as more brands seek a more efficient way of facilitating real-time, personalized conversations with their customers.
4. Social Listening for Lead Generation and Social Selling
While social listening has been an important aspect of social media marketing, its utilization will further become apparent in the areas of lead generation and social listening.
Some brands have already started using social listening tools to find potential prospects across different social media sites. Through these tools, businesses and marketers alike can find people asking questions about their industry, allowing them to nurture these leads into prospects, and lastly, customers.
5. The Need For More Meaningful Content Experience
In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that they would make significant changes to the Newsfeed feature of Facebook, saying that the algorithm update would prioritize what the user’s friends and family share and comment on, while de-emphasizing content from publishers and brands.
What this means for marketers is that they should refocus their social media strategy around creating contents that are engaging and provides a meaningful experience to their audience. In 2019, we can expect more brands and companies to produce content – especially in video format – that connect with their viewer’s emotion and primary interests.
6. The Rise of Social TV
In June 2018, we saw Instagram rolled out the latest feature in their platform, the IGTV. Many experts believe this will enable the general and corporate users of their app to broadcast video content the same way that the traditional TV does – but online.
According to TechCrunch, people will be able to upload vertical videos of up to 1 hour through Instagram’s app or the web. However, the app doesn’t make it immediately obvious how to do so, so its quite apparent that this new feature is intended for celebrities, influencers, and established brands. However, there’s a separate app for those who want to create their channel – the IGTV app.
With that being said, this new feature is indeed Instagram’s answer to the fast-growing trend of people spending more time using their mobile devices to consumer video content from their favorite brands and influencers.
In the future, this new platform may also provide a new avenue for brands to advertise their products and services, which could come through on both Facebook Business Manager and Instagram Business Accounts.
7. Focus on Striking Balance Between Personalization and Privacy
According to Breach Level Index, social media incidents accounted for over 56% of the 4.5 billion data records compromised worldwide in the first half of 2018.
In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg faced strong scrutiny from the U.S. Congress over allegations that Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to influence US Elections. In the same year, Twitter also advised their users to change their passwords after a bug exposed them in plain text. EU’s GDPR also came into effect last year, drastically revolutionizing the process of data protection online.
These incidents and regulatory changes are indeed the reasons for the changing behavior of users when using their favorite social media apps. In fact, about 80% of consumers are concerned about the access advertisers to have to what they post on social media, according to Pew Research.
To combat these issues, social networking sites have made sweeping changes that ensure more transparent data collection. As a result, in 2019, it will become more critical for brands that advertise on social media to become more transparent about how they use their audience data. If they want to gather behavioral data through these channels, they must obtain explicit opt-in consent from their audience.
With all these trends, it’s best to keep in mind that social media marketing success doesn’t happen overnight.
Because of its ever-changing nature, it will take an incredible amount of hard work, thorough understanding of your audience, and proper utilization of the platforms you use to fully leverage social media marketing in making your business competitive.
Keeping up with these shifts and changes, therefore, is a good start to keep your business ahead of the curve in 2019 and for years to come.
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