2018 is coming to a close and marketers are already trying to get ready for the 2019 social media marketing.
We are firm believers of the proverb Early bird gets the worm, so this article presents the 5 Top Social Media Trends for 2019 Report by Hootsuite.
Hootsuite: 5 Top Social Media Trends for 2019
Following the survey of 3255 Hootsuite business customers, the social media management platform has identified the following Social Media Trends that will influence brands in 2019.
- Rebuilding trust;
- Storifying social;
- Closing the ads gap;
- Cracking the commerce code;
- Messaging eats the world.
These are the top 5 social media trends for 2019.
Let’s break them down and discover what steps marketers can take to support their brands on social media.
1. Rebuilding Trust
Brands get human as the circle of trust on social media tightens.
According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer, 60% of global consumers no longer trust social media platforms. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, trust in Facebook dropped by 66%.
The impact of social media trust crisis has been seen in the following users’ behaviours:
Tighter Circles of Trust
People are increasingly conscious of who they are interacting with on social media and retreating to smaller circles of influence.
The Need to Rethink Influence
Due to increased scepticism, brands need to shift their mindset from seeking reach to partnering with the people, publications and the communities with real authority. Also brands are urged to create communities with smaller more valuable audience group by sharing insightful content and getting the people to talk to one another.
The Evolution of Engagement
Smart brands are focusing less on reach and more on creating transparent quality engagement. Hootsuite even found that the meaning of engagement itself has shift from clicks to behaviours that have a clearer impact on brand value and long term ROI.
Here are Hootsuite’s recommendations for brands looking to rebuild trust:
- Create a branded hashtag aligned with community values;
- Create Facebook groups to allow your customers’ have conversations in a safe environment;
- Partner with micro-influencers who have influence in niche communities, allowing them to connect with customers at a local level;
- Run monthly Facebook Live Q&A.
Learn more about Facebook groups: Why You Should Create a Facebook Group for Your Business
2. Storifying Social
Stories are growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing.
According to Techcrunch, Facebook Stories are set to overtake newsfeeds within the next year.
Social media is pivoting from text-based platforms originally designed for desktops to truly mobile-only networks that allow people to capture in-the-moment experiences.
The impact of Stories:
The rise of Lo-Fi
Hootsuite found that less polished more realistic stories actually perform better than heavily edited videos built with CTAs. It’s because they feel more intimate and spontaneous, more user-like.
1-1 Format vs Scale
Scaling the 1-1 format is still a challenge.
Uncharted ROI measurement
We will see new tools in the form of APIs that will help ROI measurement of Stories.
Here are Hootsuite’s recommendations:
- Create Story-specific content;
- Use the Stories Highlight feature;
- Add UTMs to your links to track success;
- Experiment with AR and custom GIFs in Stories.
3. Closing the Ads Gap
More competition on paid social forces marketers to up their game.
Hootsuite found a 32% increase in ads spend and marketers are producing more ads than ever before.
The challenge is more ads create rising costs and competition: 61% increase in Facebook CTR, 112% increase in Facebook CPM. Also Millennials and GenV-ers regularly skim over ads or use ad blocking tools.
You may be paying your way into someone’s feed but there is no guarantee that he or she is going to pay attention.
The impact of the ad gap:
Investing in creativity to rise above the noise
Only the most engaging ads will covert.
Personalization (without data or privacy backlash)
Create personalized ads but without feeling too intrusive or creepy when it comes to use of data (Spotify being a case in point).
Learn more: 3 Growth Hacks Spotify uses in Brand Strategy
Mastering new social advertising formats
Marketers can now use ads in Stories. It’s challenging to advertise in such a highly personal context, marketers need to find ways to create ads that don’t annoy users.
- Understand and target the right audience;
- Invest in high quality content;
- Repurpose concepts from top-performing organic content;
- Embrace new ad formats;
4. Cracking the Commerce Code
Improved social shopping technologies (finally) fuel sales.
Social shopping technologies are bridging the gap between social media and e-commerce especially among young buyers comfortable with online shopping.
A latest statistics found that 70% of China’s Gen Z’ers now buy directly from social.
Here are the most known shoppable technologies:
Instagram’s shoppable posts now allow users to make purchases without ever leaving the app.
Facebook Marketplace is used in 70 countries by more than 800 million people.
Pinterest buyable pins are used by 55% of customers to find and shop for products.
This year on February, Snapchat launched its merchandise store to drive brand loyalty and to explore potential for an in-app commerce platform for other brands (source: TechCrunch.com).
Here are 3 directions brands need to focus upon:
- Instagram shoppable posts;
- The new role of mobile video in shopping;
- The promise of live streaming.
Hootsuite’s recommendations to boost your sales:
- Set up shoppable Instagram posts;
- Share your products in action;
- Livestream your product demos;
- Experiment with AR to showcase your product in real-life scenarios.
5. Messaging Eats the World
Customers demand better 1-1 social experiences.
Top messaging apps now eclipse traditional social media users worldwide.
People are spending more time on messaging and less time sharing news on social.
Top messaging apps collectively count nearly 5 billion monthly active users.
The shift from public from private spaces will have a profound impact on consumer expectations:
- 90% of customers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses;
- 69% of respondents in USA said that directly messaging a brand helps them feel more confident about the brand.
The impact of messaging:
Consumers retreat to private spaces
Consumers don’t want more ads; smart brands will use messaging for high value conversations.
The need for unified inboxes
Because messaging volume increases, unified inboxes are a cross-channel platform attaching, routing and responding to all messaging inquiries.
The rise of AI and bots
AI and bots will take on the most repetitive activities so human workers can focus on complex high value exchanges.
Hootsuite’s recommendations for brands to leverage the power of messaging:
- Enable Facebook Messenger;
- Use messaging apps to streamline customer service queries;
- Set up bots for FAQ;
- Run campaigns that incorporate messaging apps.
Learn more: How to Use Chatbots to Increase Sales