Social media is ever-changing especially in 2019. New trends, ideas, rules, and platforms appear each year, requiring marketers to tweak their strategy constantly. Truth be told, the worst thing is to ignore the whisperings of change. It’s essential to be prepared and have a plan for when changes formally launch. Here are a few expected social media trends of 2019 – how will your brand utilize them?
What Social Media Trends Are Social Media Strategists Using Now?
In 2018, Instagram Stories underwent a major update. By adding creative social media trends and features such as GIFs, music, text and color options, location tags and more, Stories quickly became one of the best ways to add a personal touch to brand Instagram accounts. Additional features such as polls allow you to immediately gain knowledge about your customers’ needs and wants.
This is the type of quick information brands have dreamed of for years! Shopping features in Stories have only electrified the necessity for a strong Instagram story strategy. Considering over 90 million accounts tap to reveal tags on shopping posts in their Instagram feed per month – long gone are the days where Instagram is just for sharing selfies.
It’s highly expected that in 2019, in-the-moment content will be favored by consumers over highly produced content. This is a major shift in social media and will require social media marketers to change how they are presenting content. Highly-packaged videos won’t do much for people craving personal and authentic content. Nor will professional photo shoots that are heavily edited at a stunning location.
If you aren’t sure how to start adding a personal touch to your account, just be yourself! If you’re the owner of a fitness studio, share video clips of that morning’s workout. If you own a pizza shop, show how you make your store’s signature slice. Experiment with what your audience responds to best and continue to share that type of content.
If you’re way behind on the new Facebook Chatbot trend, don’t worry, you’re in good company. In Relay’s recent study, they determined that just 0.5% of 1000 B2B companies on Crunchbase have a chatbot.
The technology is new to most social media marketers who don’t have a coding background, and most companies are still learning how to adapt it. It’s a hugely underutilized tool by many brands that is expected to completely change how brands communicate with customers once better established. In fact, experts predict that by 2020, more than 80% of all customer service interactions will be powered by Artificial Intelligence bots.
Why are chatbots so useful?
Because people are impatient. We live in a world that is used to “now”. We want to buy tickets NOW. We want to reserve a seat NOW. We want to know the answer NOW. We want to order a lipstick NOW. Chatbots allow your customers to ask questions, order food, book a ticket, change their seat and cancel their trip NOW – and without a single customer service representative to help them.
It’s up to you to decide how chatbots can be utilized for your company – but we assure you there is absolutely a way that it will help escalate how you communicate with your customers online. Learn more about chatbots in our blog posts here and here.
3) Social Media TV
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Social media’s success lies in its change. Even when algorithm changes and platform updates annoy users and social media marketers – it’s still serving a purpose. It is ever changing to prevent people from being bored. While there aren’t any whisperings of a launch of a major social media platform, the rise of social media TV is being anticipated.
Instagram was the first brand to jump on this feature with IGTV. This shift in content essentially changes how marketers will create and present content. It makes sense that more video will be utilized. Two-thirds of all internet traffic in 2017 was streaming video, according to Go-Globe. Additionally, by 2020, 92% of Internet traffic is expected to be courtesy of video content.
We encourage you to start figuring out how you can utilize IGTV for your brand. But what exactly is, IGTV you ask? Allow us to present a brief lesson…
IGTV is essentially Instagram’s version of YouTube, except the videos are shot vertically instead of horizontally. It is accessed directly through Instagram or by downloading its standalone app. Unlike Instagram stories, anyone can add a clickable link to their IGTV video – not just accounts with over 10,000 followers. This allows for an excellent CTA to be added to each video to drive website traffic or even increase sales. Finally, IGTV also supports longer videos (60 minutes!), a great development considering videos on Instagram stories can only be 15 seconds long and video posts can only be 60 seconds long.
Whether you produce a recipe how-to, a yoga demonstration or even take viewers along with you as you shop, it’s definitely worth a try to utilize IGTV and see how your audience responds.
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4) Social Listening
It’s quite startling how many brands don’t utilize social listening daily. What is social listening? you can read a bit more about in depth here. If you aren’t familiar with social listening or monitoring, it is essentially searching the Internet and social media websites for all mentions of a brand (untagged and tagged brand mentions, mentions of keywords, product mentions, names of well-known employees, etc). This is extremely important to do. People are constantly talking about your brand online whether you are involved in the conversation or not.
Not only does social listening allow you to address complaints, questions and chatter about your brand, but it also opens up countless opportunities for you to connect with highly-engaged users. With algorithm changes favoring impressions and meaningful interactions, it’s extremely important to take advantage of this engagement.
Platforms like Sprout Social make it extremely easy to utilize social listening. Check out how it can help your brand here.
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It’s no secret that social media influencers have become a major trend. Instagram and YouTube stars are becoming household names – and making more money than you could ever expect. However, brands and businesses can no longer afford to pay these influencers their demanded price to advertise their product. In fact, Instagram accounts with 500k + followers demand up to $3,000 per photo.
Because of these sky-high prices, marketers have had to look for other alternatives. This is where micro-influencers come in! Micro-influencers typically have fewer than 10,000 followers, are niche accounts, but they have very engaged followers who are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Not only do micro-influencers typically charge much less for advertisements, but they are also most-likely willing to do promotion for free products.
Don’t be surprised to see your favorite smaller Instagram accounts pushing products this year!
2019 is shaping up to be a challenging year for social media marketers. However, these challenges bring new tools and options to enhance how you communicate with consumers. Which of these upcoming trends are you most excited to utilize?