5 Social Media Trends that Will Take Over in 2019
Even small, regional businesses are seeing that social media matters. One million active users sign up on social media each day. With around 3.3 billion active social media users globally, it’s commercial folly to ignore that potential audience.
Even as it expands, social media continues to evolve and social media marketing is changing with it. So, 2019 looming large ahead of us, let’s explore some strengthening social media trends you need to pay attention to in the New Year.
Social Media Listening
Social listening is the best market intelligence tool going right now. Social media listening simply involves listening to conversations and comments about your brand (or set of keywords) across social media and the Internet. It has tactically useful features such as sentiment analysis, influencer search and advanced analytics.
Why Do We Care?
Social listening is being embraced by brands. A Brandwatch study, found 96 per cent of people discussing brands online don’t follow those brands on social media. So, you could be missing 90 per cent of the conversations about your brand. If you are after usable insights into your brand health, go beyond your branded social media platforms and tap into unbranded conversations. Social listening is also handy for lead generation, product design and customer service. In the hospitality industry, a lot of discussion can be found on Facebook pages and TripAdvisor that you might not be aware is happening. So, if you haven’t discovered social listening, 2019 is a great date to start. Add a monthly recurring task into your calendar to check these channels online for mentions of your business, or for people asking for recommendations in your area.
Influencer marketing has been top of mind for marketers for a while now. A U.S. Collective Bias survey, 30 percent of consumers indicated they would purchase a product recommended by a non-celebrity influencer. Consumers relate more to these real-world influencers who have a relationship with their followers.
Keyword: Social Media Influencer
A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.
Why Do We Care?
The 2016 report found brands are generating $6.50 for each dollar they spend on influencer marketing. A whopping 67 percent of U.S. marketers are promoting Influencer content. Expect these numbers grow in 2019. Brands consistently cite influencer marketing as one of their most cost-effective marketing tactics.
It may seem slightly awkward at first, but it can’t hurt to reach out to those who have influence in your niche. If you’re a vegan speciality cafe, reach out to those who organise vegan events in your area, and offer them lunch and coffee in return for an honest review. If you’re a hotel in an area famous for its hiking, reach out to a YouTuber who vlogs hiking trails around the country and offer them a free bed for the night. Treat influencers in your niche the same way you do review writers.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
With the exponential growth of social media usage, online word of mouth has returned as a highly successful marketing approach. UGC comprises free content contributed by your readers. UGC includes images, personal experiences, videos, posts and testimonials.
Why Do We Care?
Audiences are searching for authentic connections with their brands. They are yearning to participate in a community of like-minded people. Happily, social media facilitates the creation of online communities, with UGC acting as a social lubricant for engaging community members.
In practicality, this could take the form of a photo contest that involves your business, or holding a poll to decide on a new menu item. Regardless of how you do it, you create a direct channel of communication with visible consequences, which creates a sense of customers being listened to. It also involves customers being advocates of your business in their own social media channels.
Messenger marketing is a new evolutionary stage in email and text marketing. However, messenger marketing is subtly different. Research indicates messaging apps enjoy opening rates, reading rates and click-through rates of up to 10X that recorded by conventional email and SMS.
Why Do We Care?
All messages are voluntary and incoming. Prior to sending you a message, a brand needs your permission. This tactic filters out uninterested people while retaining valuable prospects. Your messenger apps force your message to be short and to the point, great for customers used to speedily consuming content. Finally, using messenger marketing, you’re initiating a conversation, not sending a one-way notification. Customers can reply and establish a connection. Relationships continue to be a brand’s most valuable asset and building relationships are easier using messenger marketing.
Even with a small amount of automation and branching conversations - for example, a potential customer could see a menu of frequently-asked questions such as:
- What are your opening hours?
- Can I see a menu?
- Is your venue BYO?
and still be offered the option of leaving a custom question or message, which would be followed up by the people monitoring your online communications.
Ephemeral content exists for a short period of time before disappearing. Instagram and Snapchat stories demonstrate the power ephemeral content can have through their combined 450 million daily users. And now, Facebook Stories is steadily growing as a platform.
Why Do We Care?
A short-term shelf life triggers a sense of urgency and fear of missing out in your audience. As your content disappears each day, your readers feel they are missing out if they skip your snap or story. Moreover, readers have an option to respond immediately, making them feel respected and heard by your brand. By getting involved in the moment, it makes the brand - reader connection feel truly authentic and real.
This form of delivery can be used to promote short-term promotions, for example “free donut with every coffee this morning!”, or “free upgrade to a deluxe room next weekend, just mention Facebook Stories when you call”. The ephemeral nature of these channels can make a customer feel like they are part of a small group of people who will have seen the promotion, and can encourage them to quickly take advantage of something that is not being offered to everyone.
It’s also a great way to fill the day between planned posts with a more casual conversation-starter that doesn’t need to be ultra high-production. Just asking customers what they’re up to this weekend and re-sharing a few screenshots of their answers is great, easy interaction.
So, those are the five looming trends poised to shape social media marketing in 2019. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunities they could bring for your brand.