Now, in part two, we’ll explore five of the biggest 2019 social media trends that everyone’s talking about.
Part 2: Predicted 2019 social trends you can take advantage of
To further consider your 2019 social strategy, it’s worth looking outside of your business to see what’s trending. These five predictions for 2019 might inspire you to try something new.
1. Live video will continue to grow
Already worth £30 billion USD in 2016, the live streaming market is expected to more than double in growth by 2021, with projections of more than $70 billion.
People of all ages are watching and creating live video now, though it’s most popular among 18-34-year-olds.
Compared to pre-recorded content, live video can feel more authentic. Authenticity breeds trust and today’s consumers value that highly.
Utilise live streaming platforms such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, YouTube, and Facebook Live.
Live video can work particularly well at events, helping non-attendees feel involved. It’s also good for Q&As, demonstrations, or chats with specialists or influencers.
2. ‘Social CEOs’ will become more common
In their search for brands they can trust, people are looking for transparent businesses with leaders that don’t hide from the spotlight.
Enter the rise of ‘The Social CEO.’ Demand from consumers coupled with today’s social-first landscape means it’s becoming more important for business leaders to embrace social media.
Get comfortable being the face of your brand, particularly on social media, where users crave interactions and personal connections.
Consider using a headshot as your profile picture, and look for ways to personalise and add character to your content and interactions.
Use features like Instagram Stories to talk about what’s going on behind the scenes of your business. Stream live video on Facebook or Instagram, or opt for a pre-recorded video that might work well on YouTube or IGTV.
3. Social listening will be more widely utilised
You’re probably well aware that social media is not just about broadcasting, but about interacting and building two-way relationships. Beyond that, you can also gain a lot from simply listening on social media.
‘Social listening’ means using social media to research and discover. The primary focus of social listening is to capture untagged mentions of your brand. Using either third-party apps or in-platform search facilities, businesses can find useful content or data they would otherwise have missed.
Smaller businesses can use social listening to gather valuable information about their target clients and the market.
Use keyword searches to look for problems relating to your services, conversations between your competitors and their followers, or questions and ideas that people have about your industry.
Real-world data like that can help you develop your offering, find new ways to reach people, increase awareness of your business, and build your reputation and influence.
Before you invest in a tool (most of which offer automatic monitoring of your target keywords, sending alerts instantly or in a digest), make use of in-app search functions to see what you can find.
4. Influencer marketing will only get bigger
Influencer marketing will continue to grow in 2019 with predictions of a global spend between five and ten billion USD in 2020. (It was $2 billion in 2017, so that’s a steep increase).
67% of marketers believe that influencer marketing can help them reach a more targeted audience. And, according to recent research from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), 65% of brands plan to increase their spend on influencer marketing.
That should come as no surprise when you consider the 11x higher ROI that influencer marketing can generate compared to traditional advertising.
While big brands look to online influencers with millions of followers, smaller businesses can reap rewards from partnering with micro influencers in their niche.
The WFA survey found that the main aims of investment in influencer marketing are to boost brand awareness (86%), reach new audiences (74%), and improve brand advocacy (69%).
In simple terms, it’s a good tactic for getting your business in front of core client groups where trust already exists between the influencer and their audience.
5. User-generated content will be more of a focus
User-generated content (UGC) is content that’s created by users (or ‘fans’) as a way of celebrating or discussing a brand.
UGC can include reviews, recommendations, referrals, live event coverage, product images, branded challenges, community hashtags, and more.
Turned off by overly promotional messages and untrusting of businesses they haven’t used before, people are turning to their peers for help with buying decisions.
Brands that encourage user-generated content and work to actively turn their customers into advocates are likely to see benefits.
Make it easy for your clients or customers to leave reviews and make referrals.
Look for creative ways to encourage them to post about your business on social. Ask them to use a branded hashtag, take part in a challenge, or even share photos relating to you and your products, services, or events.
Most of all, remember that it’s about collaboration and community. Make it fun, be prepared to engage, and do your best to make it worth their while.
You don’t need to incorporate all five of these 2019 social trends into your strategy. What is important to recognise is that there’s one common denominator that’s driving their popularity.
That one common theme is trust.
Whatever business you’re in, building trust should be one of the key goals for your 2019 social strategy.
More than ever, it’s what we’re all craving. As consumers, we want to know that we’re giving our money to businesses that do good and deliver as promised.
If you can convince your target clients that that’s what you’re all about, you’ll be well on your way to hitting your goals.
Did you miss part one of this 2019 social strategy guide? Go back now: 5 Tips to Help You Nail Your 2019 Social Strategy
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