WHAT ARE THE TOP SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR IN 2019?
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. are always coming up with innovative features or affordances that add different dimensions to the platforms. How do we keep track of the social media marketing trends? How do we adapt? How to make sure to stay atop of the ever-flowing changes but at the same time never waste too much energy on them either?
At antipod we help you to stay ahead with the technology and skills required to make the most of online platforms. Here is what experts are predicting as the top social media trends to watch out for, in 2019:
// Messaging will grow even more: the amount of time people spend on messaging apps is much higher to social media //
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. They are using sharing in private or through groups with people they trust. Gone are the days of sharing everything happening to your life on Facebook – now, people are more aware of the implications of privacy and who gets to see their posts. The novelty feeling of sharing everything on a public platform has gone now – it’s not as exciting now.
WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, WeChat hold a large percentage of the messaging market and they already introduced additional features to go beyond messaging, from stories and news updates to automated bots for customer service and e-commerce functions.
HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS USE THIS? As for social media platforms, messaging apps are beginning to implement ads in their layouts. Of course, you’ll find the classic “call to action” option, that pops when you browse through your conversation feed, but other more refined options are emerging… The purpose of messaging apps is interaction, and the platforms are offering more and more interactive options to marketers. Ad bots are on the rise and it is now possible to directly “talk” to your customers on messaging apps. This AI technology has still some improvements to make but an eye should be kept on it as it will undoubtedly blow in the near future.
// Ephemeral rather than pre-packaged content: social marketers should consider story feature and ‘in the moment’ consumption as a primary way of information dissemination //
This is a key development that has gained a lot of popularity in 2018, with Instagram and Facebook stories hijacking Snapchat stories, and Instagram stories reaching around 400 million daily users.
According to Entrepreneur, 200 million Instagram users use Instagram Stories each month. With millions of daily views across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc., the stories format is likely to become the primary social sharing feature, overtaking the News Feed layout.
Mobile usage and shorter attention spans will continue to increase the popularity of short-lived content in 2019, especially with millennials and Generation Z-ers, who thrive on their relationships with brands being authentic and meaningful. Hence, it’s vital that social media marketers should establish a solid video strategy for ephemeral content, which not only allows the user to engage with the brand but also helps establish FOMO (fear of missing out) amongst the audience.
// Rise of social TV and vertical videos //
The biggest development in this area has been the launch of IGTV by Instagram – a TV feature used to broadcast long-form video content in a format different to other videos on social media platforms – on June 20th. The rise of social TV and vertical videos will encourage more brands to become broadcasters, meaning variety and novelty of different video content for mobile usage.
Illustration: goiko grill
At the launch, Instagram highlighted that “unlike on Instagram feeds, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long”, establishing IGTV as a platform that is similar to traditional TV, with different channels, exclusively for Instagram users. Features such as these will continue to boost Instagram’s popularity amongst users in 2019, opening new avenues of social media marketing.
> For another perspective on Instagram’s trends in 2019 have a look at our last Trendzine: “DAY 5 – WILL WE STOP LIVING AN INSTAGRAM LIFE IN 2019?”
//Augmented Reality to become more mainstream to help brands to market their product//
Social media and AR are making a good combination the last few years and it’s only a matter of time until we see an even more applied use to further channels.
Facebook is greatly investing in AR in an attempt to dominate the field, which means that they understand the potential that this investment may bring. They have already announced the introduction of AR ads to make social commerce more appealing. Moreover, AR Camera effects are also available in Messenger to ensure that messaging and customer experience will keep improving. The goal is to keep the users to the platform, while brands can capitalize the trend by seeing an improved customer satisfaction.
“One of the biggest trends in social media that started in the past couple of years (especially thanks to Snapchat) and will most likely continue to grow a lot in 2019, is the use of augmented reality in social media. It’s a great opportunity for those who invest in this kind of technology to stand out from their audience and create fun, engaging experiences for their target audience: fun little branded games, branded filters for Facebook, interactive content, and maybe even AR-based social media ads.” Lilach Bullock – Lead Conversion and Content Marketing Expert, Founder at Lilach Bullock Limited
Snapchat is combining augmented reality with e-commerce with a new ‘Shoppable AR’ feature. Illustration: netimperative.com
// From text-first to visual-first, very first, including live video //
According to online marketing expert Marcus Sheridan, 80% of what we consume online will be video content, by 2019. Even YouTube continues to go as a platform, giving more and more YouTubers a chance to create original video content for their audiences. By making their presence felt across these video platforms, marketers can really benefit from the fruitful results of having and engaging an audience.
“Brands need to move from a text-first approach to a visual-first mentality when communicating, and similar to how every business became a media company with the advent of social media, they now must transform themselves into a visual magazine if not a television station in order to continue to be heard by the audience that matters to them.”
Neal Schaffer – Renowned author, CEO & Principal Social Media Strategy Consultant at Maximize Your Social
// Changing organic reach //
Finally, organic reach on social media platforms is also changing. Earlier this year, Facebook announced major changes to its algorithm
, to ensure users see more content from friends and family and less from brands and pages. As a result, brands that had effective methods of organic reach set in place didn’t face extreme declines in views and engagement due to this algorithm change and brands that didn’t make use of organic reach found themselves at a greater loss.
This highlights a key area for growth and focus in 2019, perhaps one that marketers take for granted on social media, to increase their organic reach across social media platforms. All the different trends mentioned above effectively identify key ways to create more engaging consumer relationships on social media, which in turn, would help your brand increase its organic presence online, through evoking genuine interest and consumer needs.
Are you ready for upgrading your social media strategy in 2019? antipod is there to support you!
Top illustrations: « Mobile Lovers », tag discovered in Bristol (UK) and claimed by Banksy; Illustration: Ai Motion Splash Screen by Lalit
Sources: Smartinsights.com ; Neal Schaffer ; searchenginewatch.com