Year by year, tech gurus never fail to innovate social media platforms that we have today. From the rise of image-centric platforms a.k.a. Instagram, to live videos on Facebook and even augmented reality to provide a more personal experience. These trends are what people deemed as cool or interesting. It’s what makes people stop and listen to what your brand is offering.
Today, there are approximately 2.5 billion social media users and 39% of it are accessed on mobile. Everybody is basically online right now, whether they’re logging in on their computers or more likely in 2019, checking their phones for updates. Because of the vast amounts of time spent on these platforms, social activities have emerged from sharing things in their daily lives to actually becoming more purpose-driven, influences a user’s way of thinking.
It’s become incredibly important for brands to keep up and be where their audiences are. Industries have started shifting from exclusively using traditional media to combining them with digital strategies. Plenty of creative tactics to attract consumers have been executed in social media over the last year and we’ve all been paying attention.
Get your pens out because these are the social media trends we know you’ll see more of this year:
1. Changing ways of consuming content
Video content is more than a thing. Content may be king, but videos are taking the internet by storm! Video marketing brings in 41% of organic traffic, which in itself makes it worth consideration. According to Vidyard, you have 8 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention, after that you’ll start to lose them. Solution?
Snack-sized video content is becoming popular because it’s short and easy to digest. Either post a 15-60 second video or use Instagram Stories and highlights feature to store your videos for more than 24 hours, you could also manually curate your stories by sorting them into categories!
Types of content that you can create with snack-sized videos:
- Create stories featuring your new products, showcasing its specs, and ways that it could be used.
- Create highlights for product reviews and showcase success stories from people who love your product.
- Publish a behind-the-scenes video at an event, show how your product is made, or promote your company’s work culture.
- Host live videos during events or in the format of “breaking news.” The added interactivity and engagement potential of live media makes it all the more compelling to consume.
- Ambassador-takeover–if you’re trying to reach a specific target market or niche, this is your chance to increase brand awareness. Give your brand ambassador a day to take over your account with a day-in-the-life style video featuring your product or service.
- Showcase the user’s experience with your product through real stories and real people. You could also produce inspirational videos. This gives the audience a feeling of authenticity and helps build trust with your brand.
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- The longer the users watch your video, the higher the chance that it will show on another user’s feed. So start creating video content that keeps your audience hooked!
- Don’t forget to add hashtags, geo-tag locations, mentions usernames, and use polls or other stickers that are appropriate for your content/audience.
Augmented Reality (AR)
It’s difficult to stand out from the digital noise if you’re just going with the flow. So, spice up your strategy with AR content! People aren’t quite accustomed to this kind of content yet, so using AR will certainly make them stop, look, and listen. Moreover, the phrase “seeing is believing” applies heavily to AR since it gives them a more compelling preview of how it is in real life.
IKEA Place, an app developed to give users a preview on how IKEA furniture will look at your space
Timberland’s virtual fitting room. Image courtesy of Lemon&Orange
With AR, marketers can provide a more personalized and experiential interaction with brands. This kind of content in social media still has a long way to go, but being one of the first movers in this trend will give your brand distinction and facilitate strong recall.
2. Artificial intelligence
The use of AI is continuously evolving and an increasing amount of applications are emerging that can help us in our daily lives. From having a voice assistant to identifying a sound or an image, and even analyzing data sets, this is one of the most fascinating social trends Some examples of these are:
- Optimization of AI in Messenger Marketing
One of the popular uses of AI is helping brands to with community management. This is especially evident in direct messaging systems or chatbots. While they can significantly improve the scalability of one-to-one engagements, no chatbot is perfect. So, make sure to regularly evaluate it and listen to your customers’ feedback regarding the AI’s performance.
- AI in Online Customer Service
Delivering a great experience to your customers is one way to make them loyal to your brand. A Zendesk study discovered that 42% of B2C consumers are more likely to be returning customers, and 52% of them will drop the brand after having a bad experience with them.
With the help of AI, brands can provide a more personalized experience to consumers through messaging applications. They can also provide a response at any time of the day, satisfying the urgency of your customer’s concern.
A lot of brands have already started using chatbots in taking care of customer concerns, but they also discovered problem areas that AI cannot address. This leads to consumers getting more aggravated with brands–better have an agent on standby for these kinds of concerns. This 2019, users are expecting a more optimized experience with AI.
- AI in Delivering Content
21.3% or about 1/5 of the emails that you send to your mailing list are being opened every day. But with messenger marketing, there’s a 98% click-through-rate! With messenger apps, people get a notification that triggers them to check your message and increases your chance for exposure and engagement.
Smaller businesses are starting to reach out to and utilize micro-influencers, which typically have fewer than 30,000 followers. These micro-influencers help brands to reach their specific niche or preferred audience, and guess what? 82% of your audience are more likely to trust the recommendation of a micro-influencer than a celebrity!
They are also 6.7 times more cost-efficient than using macro-influencers or big personalities to promote your brand. The reason why people listen to micro-influencers is that their content feels more authentic and relatable, giving the influencers an opportunity to develop a deeper level of trust with their audiences.
Remember: A larger follower size doesn’t convert to high engagement rates!
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They may have smaller numbers of followers than macro-influencers but focusing on a more specific audience gives you the opportunity to harness the deeper connection that micro-influencers have. The right mix of complementary micro-influencers could skyrocket your conversion rates!
4. Rebuilding trust
No matter what tactic you’re using this year, it all comes down to building trust. People are becoming more aware of how marketing works as well as the self-serving nature of advertising. Address this by staying true to your audience and standing by what your brand believes in.
Always note that word-of-mouth will always be the strongest kind of unpaid advertising and you can have it by providing excellent product or service. But how can you create initial buzz about your brand?
- Build a hashtag campaign for your brand and encourage users to share their personal experience (user-generated content) with the hashtag.
— sarah peck (@whathepeck) June 27, 2014
- Create a word-of-mouth buzz through stories, contests, or supporting a cause that stands by your values as a company.
— megzany (@megzany) December 19, 2018
- Create a discussion. This could be about an upcoming event, the latest news, or moment-marketing.
Think Outside the Box
Always remember your goals and objectives for each campaign. From there, start formulating possible types of content that support those goals. Consider the trends, relevance, and timeliness of your post in creating thumb-stopping social media content.
There’s no specific formula for creating an engaging post. So don’t just go with the flow, start experimenting and see what type of content works best for you this 2019!