2019 Social Media Marketing Trends For Your Business
This time of year, most small businesses are scurrying around trying to figure out what social media marketing strategies and initiatives to do the following year. Whether you’re looking to step up your social media game, or launching a new venture, pay attention to what users are doing on social media. And while it’s hard to truly predict where social media will go, there are trends to watch that will help you and your business succeed in 2019. Here is a list of my recommendations.
1. Create More Authenticity With User Generated Content
Whether you know about it or not, some of your customers are already posting about your brand. While creating your brand’s own content is important and vital to social media success, you can rely on some user-generated content from your actual audience members and customers to grow your digital footprint. Begin to learn more about your followers. Look at their profiles and their content. If they are posting about your business, select those pieces of content that align with your messaging and tone. At a time when organic social reach continues to go on the decline, sharing authentic content straight from your audience members can help you connect with your followers and build a stronger relationship with them. It can help grow your following while giving your audience a sense of connection to the brand. Just be sure to always give credit to the content creator!
2. Listen More, Talk Less
I’ve been saying this for years, social media is a communication tool. Communication is a two way street. Social listening (also known as monitoring) is the act of crawling the web and social media platforms to find all mentions of a brand. You can also listen for untagged brand mentions on social media, mentions of industry keywords, and more. Engaging with your audience is Social Media Marketing 101. But there are far too many marketers who forget the importance of listening to those audience members during engagement.
One of your primary goals of social listening should be customer service and reputation management. From dealing with negative social media comments to potential customer leads, Social listening involves analyzing specific conversations, phrases, and other details on your brand’s and even competitors’ social-media pages. Instead of just glancing at posts and making your best guesses, there are social listening tools that allow you to identify patterns and analyze that data. People sharing their frustrations, ideas, and recommendations online are not about to stop anytime soon, social listening usage will continue to grow. It’s important for your brand to always be listening.
3. The Stories Features Aren’t Going Anywhere
What started solely as a Snapchat feature, Stories has grown to other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Whats App, and even as recently as YouTube. While only temporary, Stories have become a popular way for users and brands to consistently update their profiles and keep their followers engaged. Stories are visual and meant to be created and consumed on the fly. What makes the Stories feature so valuable for brands is that you don’t need to invest a ton of money in video production to make the most of it. Brands can share pictures or behind-the-scenes videos that give your audience a glimpse into your business without spending more dollars. Stories feel real, immediate and intensely personal for followers looking to get more insight from brands and people. If you’re looking to really engage with your followers, begin using the Stories feature.
4. The Growth Of Going Live
Live video has actually been around for a little while. YouTube launched Live videos in 2011! It’s popularity skyrocketed when it was introduced on Facebook and Instagram, making it a key opportunity for brands to look out for in 2018 and 2019. The interactivity of live video brands have with consumers makes it a powerful tool to engage with their audience and strengthen the relationship as it happens. Going Live and engaging with your followers is another big factor in authenticity, as it helps build trust and loyalty with your brand. Just like in anything Live, there will certainly be some risks. But if you want to grow your brand online, consider going Live.
5. Be Aware Of Dark Social
Some of you may have finally just understood what Dark Ads mean in the world of social media advertising. I’d like to introduce you to Dark Social. It refers to the social sharing of content that occurs outside of what can be measured by any social media analytics programs. This mostly occurs when a link is sent via a messaging app or email, rather than shared over a social media platform. The downside of growth of messaging apps’ popularity is the rise of dark social. With more people sharing content privately, it’s become increasingly difficult to accurately track social share counts. The ways people are sharing your content is changing. There are things you can do to track links to see how much traffic it receives but be aware of this growing trend heading into 2019.
6. Consider Utilizing Chatbots
Continuing that talk about messaging apps, include chatbots in your 2019 strategy. More and more people are using messaging apps to connect with brands, causing brands to increase their social strategy to more than updates on Facebook and Instagram. Thinking of having to continuously message customers and potential customers can be daunting. Thankfully, chatbots offer a great way to use these platforms’ messaging features to your advantage.
Chatbots are programs built to automatically engage with received messages. They can be programmed to respond the same way each time, to respond differently to messages containing certain keywords and even to use machine learning to adapt their responses to fit the situation. Facebook has made it easy for brands to set them up pretty easily. Chatbots make it easy to quickly interact with your audiences in a way that feels personal, which every consumer looks for. You can customize your brand voice and send personalized content directly to users based on their prompts. Consider testing out chatbots of your own in 2019.
7. Pay To Play Is In Full Swing
I’m sure you’ve all heard social media marketers say “Facebook is becoming pay-to-play platform”. It’s not becoming. It is. The pay-to-play era is in full effect. The worst part of this is for smaller brands and businesses as the price tag of playing in this game is increasing. With the increase use in ad blockers, users have more opportunity to avoid seeing social ads. The reach of an ad is almost becoming irrelevant if the user doesn’t act on it. It’s important to gauge what you deem successful (i.e. clicks vs conversions). It’s also important to recognize the importance of pairing smart ad money with a solid social media strategy.
8. The Rise Of Micro-influencers
What was thought of a trend, Influencer Marketing is one of the biggest growing strategies for brands. Influencer Marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on targeting key industry leaders who may have influence to drive brand message and awareness to a specific market of consumers. It’s not going to replace social or content marketing, because it essentially can’t exist without them. Influencers can make thousands of dollars through paid sponsorships from brands. As influencer marketing grows, big influencers are becoming more expensive for smaller brands. That’s where micro-influencers came in. Micro-influencers may not have the outreach of celebrities, but they may have an even bigger influence in their own followers. Dunkins recently reached out to small, local influencers to promote their updated and rebranded espresso drinks. It may be time to look at your local community of influencers and who can be a part of your brand marketing.
2018 has been a big year for social media as it continues to shift media and how people consume content. With these trends, it’s important for your brand to pay attention. Stay ahead of the curve and start implementing these trends today. Have questions on any of these trends or social media in general? Contact me today.