How to Implement 2019’s Biggest Social Media Trends

22-02-2019

Since its inception, social media has kept growing and evolving. With more and more brands relying on it to reach their target audience and to increase sales, there’s simply no stopping it. Inevitably, due to this, we are witnessing a drastic change in consumer behaviour.  So it’s time to ask yourself: Does my marketing strategy reflect these changes?

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest social media trends for 2019, along with our suggestions of how to put them into practice!

 

It’s all about trust

There’s no denying that 2018 was not the best year for trust in social media. Most of you will remember the Cambridge Analytica scandal or the criticism that Twitter faced over the millions of fake accounts that further decreased trust in social media. That’s why 2019 should be the year in which brands do their best to win back their customers’ trust in social media.

 

Trust in Social Media

Source: Business Insider

 

How?

Put a human face to your brand

Why hide behind a logo when you can give your brand a human feel? The best way to achieve that would be by empowering your team on social media. When you humanise your brand, customers will feel that your brand is more relatable, making it more natural for them to connect. Guest blogging and podcasts are great for introducing important figures of your brand to the public.

Collaborate with micro-influencers

While we’ve been hearing of the importance of influencer marketing for a couple of years now, 2019 will put its spotlight specifically on micro-influencers. They may have fewer followers than celebrity influencers, but their followers perceive them as more trustworthy and tend to be highly engaged with their content. That is why micro-influencers might be just the perfect addition to your campaigns. They’ll help you reach the right people within your niche audiences.

Start a Facebook Group

Facebook Groups have been around for some time now. If you haven’t tried them yet, it’s time to treat your superfans to exclusivity by creating Facebook groups to address their interests. Use this space to share insightful content with your most passionate customers whilst giving them the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals. Avoid sharing aggressive sales pitches here and make sure you are completely transparent about the motives of this group.

 

Actively participating

If you’re using social media as a broadcasting medium where you simply promote to your advantage, then you’re doing it wrong. In 2019, businesses need to put the “social” back in “social media”. They need to understand that the main focus of social media should be on building relationships and engaging with the most loyal customers.

What’s more, keep in mind that the more communication advances, the more customers will expect instant yet informative answers from you. In 2019, businesses should strive to be as responsive and efficient as possible. Show them they are valued, and they won’t think twice about helping your brand grow!

How?

AI-driven chatbots

Step up your customer service game by introducing your very own chatbot. Whether you opt to set it up on Facebook Messenger or elsewhere, this will certainly exceed your customers’ expectations when it comes to response time and efficiency. Think of chatbots as improved versions of email marketing. They have incredibly high open rates and take out the unnecessary formalities from B2C communication.

2019 is expected to see a drastic rise in businesses making use of chatbots. A few years back Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be completely managed by AI. It looks like the prediction was on-point and we can consider 2019 as a year of chatbots.

 

Gartner prediction

 

One of the possible solutions could be EBO – By combining the power of AI with the flexibility of language and the scalability of the cloud, this chatbot can help your brand get closer to your customers by driving exceptional conversations.

 

Personalising like never before

Just as customers will expect quicker responses in 2019, they’ll also be expecting a personalised service, regardless of how big or small your brand is. Tailoring special offers or discounts to your customers’ needs and wants has been around for a while. So in 2019 businesses must take personalisation up a notch if they want to stand out.

 

Personalised marketing

Source: Neil Patel

 

How?

Know your platforms

Those who excel in personalisation are those with a strong understanding of where their target audience resides in the digital world. Why post on Instagram when your target audience is 50+? And why ignore LinkedIn when you’re targeting career-oriented professionals? Most importantly, don’t play a guessing game – look at your data and make well-informed data-driven decisions.

Segment your audience

In 2019, we’re way beyond the phase of assuming one’s target audience can all be lumped together into one group without any segmentation whatsoever. This year, businesses which organise their customers into groups and then deliver bespoke messages to each segment will undoubtedly reap the most success.

Hyper- personalisation

On top of that, technology has also made possible personalisation at the individual level. Have you ever seen an ad on social media for a product you were browsing earlier? That’s no coincidence. Rather that is the power of hyper-personalisation which is often achieved through retargeting and remarketing ads. By consenting to cookies on a website, users give marketers permission to collect relevant data (about their online habits, interests etc.). This would then be useful in creating the most personalised form of advertising.

 

Let me tell you a story…

Storytelling in marketing

Everybody loves a good story, especially if it’s coming from a brand you love. Storytelling has always been around but this year you cannot afford to put it aside if you want to get the most out of social media’s potential. After all, isn’t storytelling the reason why social media is so popular? People are keen on sharing what comes their way with family and friends and they’re also intrigued to find out what others are up to.

How?

Promote authenticity

Share authentic, behind-the-scenes stories that convey your core business values. This is what your customers want to hear about and not those dull formal updates that carry no emotion. Raw stories help a brand come alive and resonate well with customers, allowing you to forge long-term, meaningful relationships with them.

Tell stories through videos

It’s true, excellent writing skills are what lies at the root of storytelling. But what better way to catch your audience’s attention than through visuals? More specifically -videos. In 2019, having a video strategy is crucial for brands and certain types of videos will take the forefront.

Although live videos on both Facebook and Instagram took off back in 2016, their era is not over yet. They are still (and will continue) to be effective as they open up a world of interactivity like no other.

A more recent trend is the rise of vertical videos, which came about due to the fact that the most natural way of filming videos on a smartphone is, in fact, in portrait mode.

If a major part of your target audience resides on Instagram, this one’s for you. In line with this trend, Instagram has come up with IGTV, a vertical video application allowing smartphone users to upload footage up to 10 minutes in length or up to 60 minutes for big accounts. Think of it as the new, completely free form of broadcasting, promoting a sense of immediacy and intimacy!

While highly produced videos will still continue to receive high engagement, it is clear that smartphone-quality videos will turn out to be a big hit throughout 2019.

There you have it – the do’s and how’s for social media in 2019. If you need a helping hand for setting up or implementing your social media strategy, get in touch with our digital marketing team to set your winning plan in motion.