As behaviors and expectations of users and social platforms themselves continue to evolve, adapting and staying up-to-date on the newest trends continues to be the key to a successful social media marketing strategy.
New features, consumer behaviors, and challenges will significantly impact social media marketing efforts in the months ahead. Here are five trends to watch closely in 2019.
Privacy and transparency
In the midst of breaches and scandals, users find themselves questioning the transparency and validity of businesses on social media. Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer found that 60% of global users no longer trust social media platforms. With fake news, privacy issues, and the weaponization of social media—it’s no surprise fewer users are putting their trust in these sites.
Despite the wariness of users, more than two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are present on social media and approximately three-quarters of those users visit a social platform daily. In the upcoming year, users are looking for brands to be more transparent and trustworthy. Earning trust, providing value, and being more human will be crucial to your brand’s engagement.
Stories—a vertical, temporary slideshow of in-the-moment photo and video—are exploding on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. This new format is growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing with nearly a billion users turning to stories to share photo and video. In fact, Facebook predicts that stories will overtake news feeds within the next year.
As users become accustomed to these less polished, authentic moments they’ll begin to expect the same from businesses. High-quality posts will remain important, but incorporating stories into your social media marketing strategy will give your audience real, intimate interactions with your brand. Utilize stories by showing day-to-day interactions, behind the scenes looks, and in-the-moment, raw, human experiences.
It’s clear that social media has evolved from a purely organic platform to one that requires brands to pay-to-play. As more brands incorporate larger budgets into their marketing strategies, we’ll see an increase in competition and costs associated with advertising on social.
Since competition continues to increase, it’s important to invest in creativity and effective targeting. Making your brand stand out has never been more critical, so using the right content in the right formats at the right time will be key throughout the coming year.
New technologies like shoppable posts on Instagram, Facebook Marketplace, and video plugins are rapidly gaining traction and bridging the gap between social media and commerce. More users are taking advantage of these features and completing purchases without having to leave the platform.
In the next year, brands can expect to ditch the hard selling and focus on extending things like personality and messaging through shoppable posts and videos. Gone are the days of using only eye-catching imagery and product descriptions—users are now beginning to look for an interactive and seamless shopping experience on social with things like live stream product demos and video testimonials.
A shift to messaging
A social shift from public to private spaces will have an impact on consumer expectations throughout the upcoming year. People are now spending more time on messaging apps and less time sharing things publicly on social. A survey conducted by Twilio found that 9 out of 10 respondents would like to use messaging apps to communicate with businesses. Facebook also surveyed 8,000 people and found that 69% of respondents feel that messaging with a company helps them feel more confident about the brand. This shift stems from the desire for more personable, 1:1 experiences.
To meet your audience where they are in a manner in which they’d like to engage, it’s important to make use of things like Facebook Messenger, plugins available on your website, and even chatbots.
When it comes to social media marketing, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and start using new features. If you’re in the process of improving your social media strategy or you’re just getting started, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.