The year 2018 was all about new trends and updates in social media features and tools. In the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced modifications in its algorithm, affecting your home page rankings on the platform.IGTV, introduced in the mid part of 2018, brought about a new trend in the way people could watch videos. Brands conducted live streams to generate engagement amongst their audiences. Instagram introduced social shopping in March 2018.
Like every year, 2018 had its own share of social media trends and changes. If you wanted to be on top of your social media game, you needed to inculcate these trends into your strategy. It is as important as it is to watch out for trends affecting social media performance using social media reporting tools. As a result, social media predictions will shape your strategy online.
Of course,it is important that these trends should align with your brand. The idea is to leverage the new features and tools to optimal levels. For instance, if you plan to launch a new product, you can probably conduct a live streaming of the product launch. This will ensure more publicity as well as better engagement. Moreover, people are spending more time on smartphones than other media.
The earlier you can catch on these trends, the better you can plan and strategize. Trends have a tendency to become a norm and therefore, you need to constantly keep a watch on what the top trends in the industry are.
As the year 2018 draws to a close, the social media industry is undergoing a lot of changes. As in any other industry, the trends will alter the dynamics of social media. There is no dearth of competition on social media, since it is an affordable, easy to use platform. In this context, it is very important for you to be updated and well versed with social media trends.
Social media trends take audience behaviour also into account. On-platform shopping was introduced in the first quarter of 2018. It provided a streamlined, never seen before type of shopping experience to users. It has now become a fad that might go on to become a huge trend for online retail businesses in particular. Because social media trends are derived out of your audience’s behaviour, you need to take these into account as you plan and strategize ahead.
As 2018 is drawing to a close, many social media trends from this year and many new ones will find their way into 2019. For you, it is very important to keep an eye on all the trends that will influence the dynamics across social media. These trends should, in fact, direct your social media strategy for best results.
So what can we expect in the year 2019? What will the social media trends 2019 be?
The year 2019 is expected to see a continuity of some of the trends from 2018 and the entry of some new trends. At the same time, it is recommended to keep room for unexpected updates and introduction of new features. It is important for you to follow a flexible approach. It is suggested to always be prepared to alter your social strategy according to unexpected trends and updates.
The top social media trends 2019 you need to watch out for are
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram stories will continue to be one of the top 2019 social media trends. The short form content option that this feature on Instagram offers, works for you in many ways. The short form content is perfect for providing short glimpses into your brand. The audience is always inquisitive about brands. Combine this curiosity with the fact that the first thing your audience views on their Instagram feed is the stories. Leverage the stories feature to share everything about your brand.
Launched a new product? Holding an important event? Added a new blog on your website?
You can use Instagram stories to draw your audience to your website, to a new product or even a blog. You can also use it to interact with your audience. If you have more than 10k followers on Instagram, you can add the link button to your stories as well. You can use this feature as a CTA leading to your website, product or a landing page.
Instagram stories has always worked for creating awareness about your brand in unique ways. Showing the human side of your brand will never go out of fashion.
Stories are not a new feature on Instagram but new features are constantly being added on the platform. Gifs, filters, different modes (slow motion, time lapse, video, type), question stickers, pools and more add-on features make it a great content format.
2. Trust and Transparency
In the wake of GDPR, trust, transparency and authenticity have become central to social media activity. In 2019, one trend that will influence all social media activity is building the trust of your audience. The Cambridge Analytica scandal brought attention to the lack of transparency regarding the collection of consumer data. GDPR brought in new rules with more transparency to consumers.
This has left an impact on paid reach across social media platforms. Social listening for consumer data collection underwent changes. Breach of consumer privacy, that is, use or collection of consumer data without consent could spell trouble. Brands will continue to be expected to take explicit consent for collection of consumer data. As such, building relationships with consumers based on trust and transparency will direct social media trends 2019.
Being authentic will be equally important in 2019. One of the best ways to add authenticity to your content is to add User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is one very effective way to generate engagement. Take the example of AirBnB using User Generated Content. AirBnB posts User Generated Content only. Capturing original experiences by customers, AirBnB markets its brand very effectively and smartly.
3. Authentic Social Media Influencers
Call them micro influencers or trend setters, partnering with social media influencers continues to be one of the best social media practices to follow. In 2019, bringing authentic social media influencers on board will be a major trend to watch out for. Influencers have an impact on their audience’s lifestyle and purchasing decisions. You can enter into a business partnership with a niche influencer with their area of specialization that aligns with your brand. With influencers, you can target not just your own audience but their audience as well.
In 2018, social account takeovers by influencers was quite a thing. Unboxing videos and product reviews will continue to be top content types on social media. A word of recommendation by an influencer gradually becomes a form of word of mouth marketing of your brand. If UGC will be one of the top content types in 2019, product reviews by influencers will continue to be a part of social content.
The best part about working with social media influencers is its cost effectiveness. Unlike celebrities, partnerships with influencers is not very costly. However, influencers provide access to huge target audiences. You have the option of providing incentives to influencers in the form of complementary product samples or in the form of commission or through an affiliate program. This is one of the digital trends that will continue to direct social media strategies in 2019.
4. Videos Will Continue to Be The Most Popular Content Type
It has been predicted that videos will be behind about 80% of consumer traffic by 2020. Video continues to be one of the most engrossing content types. In 2019, innovations in video marketing are going to take over the social media industry. 2018 also saw its share of evolutions in video marketing. In June 2018, Instagram introduced its new feature, IGTV. Actually, a stand-alone video application owned by Instagram, IGTV is the only long duration vertical video platform. IGTV has been created to provide the most a smooth, convenient viewing experience to smartphone users. While full screen vertical videos can be viewed on Instagram stories as well, but the video length tends to remain up to 15 seconds. With IGTV, you can create videos of duration up to 10 minutes. Those with verified accounts and larger accounts can add IGTV videos up to 60 minutes long.
1 minute Instagram videos on the feed also form an integral part of social media strategies. Meanwhile, live videos will continue to be used to generate engagement online. Live Q&As, coverage of important events, demos & how-to’s and interviews with industry/subject matter experts. Social media predictions for 2019 based on audience behaviour, include more live video streams. Live video streams help generate interactions in real time and help build relationships with your audience.
In 2019, you will see more video marketing, particularly in the form of live streams. Vertical videos, thanks to IGTV will become a norm in 2019.
5. Quora Will Be More Important Than Ever
Quora is not a mere Q&A platform. Besides helping people find answers to different topics, Quora can be a good space for creating brand awareness. In 2019, Quora will be an important platform to market your brand. Although you cannot a create company/business profile on quora, you can use it to represent your brand.
On Quora, you can create your own profile with a headline and profile content. Use this space to share details about your company and your role at your company. Add links to your website or blog or landing pages in this space, to lead people to your website.
Quora is the perfect platform to display your expertise in a given field. Follow topics relevant to your business or industry. Participate actively in discussions relating to your brand as well as industry. You can also create personalised boards on your profile where you can add discussions as well as content from other sites.
Answer questions related to your brand or even those related to your industry. Use this as an opportunity to add links to your website or blog, wherever possible. Also, add the follow button using the Quora resources page to get new followers. On Quora, you can build an entire information sharing community.
Quora for marketing about your brand will be one of the latests trends in social media in 2019.
6. Build Your Own Chatbots
The social inbox has become an important part of the customer service management across platforms. Whether it is for general product queries or shipment status inquiries, customers prefer to approach brands directly through social inbox.
In order to maintain customer retention and build a strong relationship with customers, you need to have a strong customer management system. It is important that all queries, questions and complaints that your potential customers and regular customers make, be answered timely. Using automated chat technology for answering such questions will become a norm in 2019. You can add your brand’s voice and personalize it to create the best possible customer service to consumers online.
In 2019, brands may consider building their own chatbots. These chatbots will be responsible for carrying out all interactions with customers in a smooth, streamlined manner.
7. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality refers to an interactive experience created with artificially generated, perceptual information. The pokemon game that took the world by storm was an example of the use of AR in mobile games. Augmented Reality is already a part of social media in the form of filters and lenses on Instagram stories and Snapchat. In the coming year, Augmented Reality will be used to take the consumer experience to the next level.
AR in 2019, will bring offer an entirely new experiences to customers. Augmented Reality will provide customers with a try and buy experience through its virtual showroom. It is also being speculated that AR will be provide experiences akin to watching live events right from one’s home.
The year 2019 will be all about inculcating some new trends that will alter the dynamics of social media. At the same time, some other trends such as live videos and Instagram stories will continue to be top social media practices in 2019.
Here is a snapshot of top 7 social media trends 2019:
- Instagram stories will continue to be one of the top content types for generating engagement with audiences
- Brands will ensure authenticity through user generated content, and trust and transparency through explicit consent from audience
- Partnerships with authentic social media influencers will become an important social media trend for 2019
- Videos, including live streams and vertical format videos, will form an integral part of 2019 social media trends
- Quora will be more important than ever, for marketing your brand
- Chatbots with a personalized brand voice for customer interactions will become a norm
- Augmented Reality will offer a virtual shopping and event experience