Top 7 Social Media Trends To Watch Out For In 2019
2018 is almost over and for every marketer it’s time to start thinking what the upcoming year will bring in terms of content marketing, social media trends, online behavior and graphic design. It’s amazing how fast things can change in 12 months – and 2018 was not an exception. But one thing is clear: 2019 will be just as packed with new social media features, challenges and opportunities.
There have been already some major incidents that affected online marketing and particularly social media marketing, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the introduction of GDPR, to name just two of them.
Nevertheless, there are 3.196 billion social media users worldwide and around 1 million active users join various social platforms every day. Crazy, right?
Then no wonder that 74% of marketers believe social media marketing has been “somewhat
effective” or “very effective” for their business.
Therefore, it's vital for marketers to stay ahead of the game and be aware of the most important social media trends, so they take the most of online platforms.
Here are the top 7 social media marketing trends that I consider to be most important for you to watch out for, in 2019.
Flashy adds and inauthentic sales pitches have lost their powers in the current world of marketing (if they ever had it). Nowadays, people don’t buy something if you just tell them to do so; they want to relate to the products and services they buy and be part of a community of like-minded people. In fact, they want to buy the story which is behind those products and services.
And here the user-generated content (UGC) comes in. Basically, this marketing technique can be defined as unpaid content generated by your own users or community – not celebrities, not TV hosts, not influencers. It’s similar to the concept of word-of-mouth, but taken to the digital level, and social media is the perfect channel for this. Because this is what social networks do: build communities, encouraging people to connect to each other and share their opinions, interests and stories.
According to ComScore, brand engagement grows by 28% when the customers are exposed to branded marketing content mixed with user-generated content.
So, how can you take the full advantage of user-generated content? First, you must identify which social media network is suitable for your business. Based on your data, select the platform that is popular among your customers and fits the best for your campaign.
Then, come up with a concept that urges your audience to engage and offer it some kind of reward. Even if people are willing to share their opinions online, they also need a little encouragement: some discounts, a free service or something else you may think of.
Be creative. For example, ASOS’s #AsSeenOnMe campaign. The concept behind this campaign is to guide and encourage the regular people to post photos while wearing the company’s apparel, turning them into the company’s models. All the images are accompanied by a common hashtag and are compiled in one central place, thanks to the correct hashtag.
In order to be effective, you have to promote your concept to your audience. Anyway, when brainstorming your campaign, be reasonable – your ideas should not require too much effort from your customers and community, especially if the reward is quite modest. The simplest and clearest things are the most effective ones.
Even if it sounds kind of futuristic, Augmented Reality (AR) has been implemented quite a time ago and you’ve probably already used it. AR is leaving a significant impact in the marketing world and it will last for the upcoming years.
In fact, the revenue forecasts from Digi-Capital reports an estimated growth to $108 billion for AR and VR by 2021. Also, the predictions from International Data Corporation are equally optimistic. They estimate that revenues will increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to more than $162 billion in 2020.
The best-known examples are the Snapchat's facial filters. Many of them have sponsors in the corner of the screen, but people can also create their own geofilters.
As marketer or entrepreneur, take advantage of these features, have a bit of fun and use the opportunity to get creative with social media.
Augmented reality is a trend that will continue to become more widespread, while helping brands to personalize interactions with their customers.
Social media influencers are a highly credible version of trendsetters and working with them it’s an effective way to promote your brand without being too salesly. In fact, 70 of Millennials and 30% of customers prefer product endorsements by non-celebrities when it comes to their buying decisions.
Consumers relate more to the influencers and appreciate their opinions more than those of celebrities. This is one of the reasons why 67% of marketers prefer to promote their products and services using the help of influencers. And these numbers are growing in a natural way. If you trust the people you follow, value their opinions, you’re more likely to like the products or services they like or recommend. It’s like having a ready-made target audience.
To work with influencers, start researching the most relevant ones in your niche or industry. After making a list of potential leads, reach out to them and offer a plan of how you two can work together. Sure, you have to provide an incentive, such as an affiliate program, free samples of your products/services or even a commission.
When you contact the influencers, the best option is to look for and establish an authentic relationship just with a few influencers, instead of sending bulk messages to all of them. The effort of searching the best influencers for your business is worth your time. Even if they can be your “literal” friends on social media platforms, working with influencers is in fact a business relationship.
And don’t forget to check your social media stats - analyze your mentions to see what worked and what didn’t to use this information in the future.
Even if at first glance seems poetic, ephemeral content has a much more pragmatic meaning: it simply describes any visual content that is not permanent. Unlike every marketer’s dream of creating permanent, long-lasting content, ephemeral content stays live just a couple of hours.
Even if you might say: “This doesn’t seem a good idea”, the numbers say something else: Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories count almost 900 million daily active users together worldwide.
Indeed, it’s hard to resist the subconscious seduction this strategy operates, by creating a sense of urgency, or, in other words, FOMO (fear of missing out). Ephemeral content can be anything: from short videos, photos, slides, or UGC (user-generated content). The fact that your content disappears in a day, makes people react almost immediately.
Maybe one of the best examples of ephemeral content marketing was the teaser before the release of Adele’s album, “25”, in 2015.
As marketer, this is your chance to create the impulsive content for the present and increase your social media engagement. Before starting to upload stories, you should know that the social media platforms name the ephemeral content in a different way. For example, Snapchat is known for sharing “the behind the scenes” visuals of your business and building a community. As you can place links in your short-term content, Instagram Stories are perfect for a call-to-action focus (visit my website, buy my products, read my blog, etc.). And then there are Facebook stories that come with many interesting and funny features.
If you want to get started on the most popular short-lived content platform but you don’t have any idea, you can check these tips to create Instagram stories like a pro.
Video has been probably been on every social media and content marketing trends list for the last few years and won’t disappear anywhere very soon.
In fact, according to Livestream, 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. And Cisco estimates the video will count 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.
However, the huge number of video-based social media features released this year, transform the live video in a key opportunity for marketers to look for in 2019. In addition, if you want to engage your audience and strengthen the relationship with your followers, by using the interactivity of lived-video is one of the best options.
Messenger Apps and Chatbots
With more than 2.6 billion people using Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger each month, Facebook is the most popular social media platform.
Even if the public sharing is and will always be important, more and more people want also to share privately without leaving the social media platforms. So, as a marketer or a business owner looking for marketing opportunities, you’ll need to approach customers where they already are. That’s why messenger marketing is successful: it allows brands to place their ads in private messages sent directly to the customers.
According to The State of Social 2018 report,, Messenger (80%) is by far the most popular platform for business that have experimented with messaging apps.
Whether you want to use messenger apps to get direct feedback or communicate directly with your customers, or you created a Facebook group for bringing together individuals into significant communities, the need for social interaction is here. According to Hubspot, Messenger is one of the most used ways buyers want to connect with a brand.
And if we talk about messenger apps in 2019, we also have to mention the chatbots integrated into social media. The biggest advantage of using chatbots consists in their ability to automate conversations. More and more brands are using chatbots as a cost-effective alternative to paying real customer support representatives. Clearly, the need for simpler and more meaningful interactions in social media is one of the top 2019 in social media trends.
If you want to take the advantages of using chatbots, a great place to start is by learning more about Facebook Chatbots.
Even though GDPR has begun to be implemented this year, the notion of privacy in the online world seems almost nonexistent nowadays. In fact, what we do, write, share, buy or look for online tend to share more personal information than we can imagine. Therefore, I don't think you'll be surprised by this social media trend of 2019: Social listening.
Basically, this concept is about using a tool to ‘spy’ on all publicly available conversations about your brand across both the internet in general and social platforms in particular.
This idea goes much further than simply monitoring when followers mention you on social media networks. By searching deeper into the Web beyond what you see at first glance, you can find out more information about your business (or really any topic of your choosing) than ever before.
Social listening is a valuable strategy because it helps you address your customer complaints, manage crises, get a full picture of your community - and the list goes on. For starting, you can begin with a social media listening tool, such as Hootsuite, or Sprout Social, for example. From here, you need to set alerts for keywords. This could be your business’s name, your competitor's name, well-known industry terms or something else that is important for your brand. Once you receive a message about the usage of these particular keywords, you can decide what you do with this information. You can think of anything, from starting and engaging conversation with your audience to creating a community or to develop and implement a whole new marketing or business strategy based on these insights.
Social media is and has always been about creating meaningful interactions. Today, more than ever, we talk about marketers (and brands) who have to stay up to date to the latest social media trends, changes and challenges and adapt their strategies to remain relevant for their audience.
From the traditional strategies to connect to people, VR, AR or messenger apps to a totally new way of consuming video on social media, I think 2019 will be full of surprises and challenges.
I’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all of the latest social media, content marketing and graphic design trends in 2019, so remember to subscribe to my blog!