5 Social Media Trends to Watch Out For in 2019
We’re two months into 2019 - yeah, can you believe it? Have you been staying on top of the social media trends? No? Ok, no worries. That’s why we’re here. This is the digital landscape. It is ever-changing, and we are constantly emphasizing the need to stay on top of these trends. We picked 5 of what we think are the most important trends that all brands need to know.
1. The Growth of Micro Influencers
First of all, what the heck is a micro influencer? In our eyes, micro influencers are influencers who have a following of 10-50K or LESS. In 2019, as influencers continue growing their following, they have become more and more expensive for brands to use. To give you an idea, many of these influencers have packages of services to coincide with the sponsored posts they’ll do for you.
Brands are starting to look to hire a larger number of micro influencers versus a small number of celebrity influencers in order to increase the reach of their audience and keep marketing expenses to a minimum. The benefit of using micro influencers is this: the public tends to view these influencers as someone more approachable and relatable. They typically have more time to engage with their audience and only promote companies that really align with their niche. Additionally, they can be best utilized in a target location/market.
2. The Importance of Personal Branding
As more brands enter the social media market, there has become an increased demand on finding ways to differentiate from competition. Companies can connect with their audience through a number of various ways. The easiest and most affordable barrier of entry, in our opinion, would be Facebook and Instagram stories and live video.
Stories give the viewers a chance to connect and interact with raw and unedited content, which makes these brands more relatable and more personal. An article posted by Block Party, revealed some surprising stats about how “stories are growing 15x faster than feed-based sharing.”
3. The Use of Chatbots
As the user experience is made more intuitive across social media platforms, we are seeing a rise with the use of chatbots. Chatbots provide a simple and effective way to connect with your audience and offer immediate solutions or answers to their questions and problems.
Need to schedule an appointment with your hair salon while at a meeting? No problem! Just go to your hair salon’s Facebook page and a chatbot will take care of that for you. The seamless effort involved in accomplishing these simple tasks will thereby improve the customer experience.
As a matter of fact, Facebook published a case study featuring Sephora who was able to increase their bookings by incorporating chatbots into their Facebook page. This chatbot allowed clients to book appointments in just a few simple steps. Sephora’s bot reduced booking steps by more than 60% and increased in-store bookings by 11%.
4. Rise in Paid Advertising
It’s no secret that social platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram) have made it more challenging to reach customers and consumers organically, causing companies to struggle to gain more exposure on these platforms. Social platforms are constantly changing their algorithms to weed out content that is not engaging or is being manipulated to increase reach (i.e. paid bots, DON’T USE THOSE!).
Companies now find it harder to reach their customers organically. They have opted for paid campaigns in order to maintain the same level of reach they had prior to the algorithm changes. Paid advertising can be tricky, and we recommend exploring more than just Facebook and Instagram to reach your target demographic, especially if your budget for this is small.
5. Brand Transparency
Last year was a pivotal year in the importance of privacy across social media platforms. Facebook battled with countless situations of breach in privacy and the new laws of GDPR tightened the gap on how information is used.
The result of this? Consumers lost a lot of trust in the type of information they find across social media platforms. On top of this, many influencers were caught purchasing followers and manipulating algorithms to gain more engagement, causing an increase in the demand for brand transparency.
How to combat this on the influencer front: work with influencers who are genuine. We typically find it to be a red flag when searching for influencers and come across those whose lifestyle may align with a client’s brand, but they’re sponsored by so many different companies, and their engagement (lack of likes/video views in comparison to their following) doesn’t quite make align.
How to combat this on the brand front: be honest with your followers and share your success stories as it relates to your consumers. Remember that gone are the days of bragging on social media and in marketing about your company’s accomplishments. Consumers care more about how you can help them and cater to their needs.
Don’t worry, y’all. You still have time to jump on these trends. Work the above into your marketing strategy and you’ll be ahead of so many other brands who are just trying to keep up.
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