Social media platforms have evolved from being just social networks to a powerful business tool leveraged by numerous companies today. The main reason so many businesses leverage social media for marketing and promotional purposes is that it allows them to directly engage with their target audience.
Ever since companies have discovered the potential of social media, these platforms have been one of the most important hubs for various marketing campaigns. This wouldn’t be possible if social media users haven’t shown interest in the efforts that originate from brands. Today, consumers prefer to interact with brands over social media and even shop across social networks as well.
However, social media is influenced by consumer behavior and companies must be up to date with the trends social users are following, in order to remain relevant and ensure their audience’s interest. These trends can change easily and practically overnight so it’s very important not to lose track of these trends. With that in mind, here are a few social media trends to watch out for in 2019.
Reestablishing the trust
As you may already know, trust between brands and consumers is crucial on social media. However, in the past few years, especially last year, the overall trust on social media platforms has been greatly compromised. Problems, such as privacy issues, data theft, fake accounts and others have forced users to lose faith in both networks and brands alike. Nowadays, consumers are trusting companies less and focusing more on personal recommendations from friends and family.
For companies that want positive sentiment from their target audience, a new level of transparency will have to be involved. In other words, companies will have to be less focused on reaching as many consumers as possible and more focused on establishing a community that fosters trust and engagement with consumers they can reach. With that in mind, 86% of consumers on social media state that transparency from companies is more important than ever before. That means that companies will have to rethink their approach if they want to win back the consumers’ trust.
The next step in influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a social media trend that keeps enduring. Large brands oftentimes rely on influencers to help them target specific niche consumers. Today, influencers have become so popular that there are even people posing as fake influencers, in order to capitalize on this trend. However, there’s always a negative side to everything that gains popularity too fast, especially due to the fact that everyone wants to exploit the trend.
That’s why consumers have also lost their trust in the influencers they were following, especially the big ones. What’s more, famous influencers have even grown to be too demanding of brands, in exchange for their endorsement. Today, the trend focuses on so-called nano influencers who have less than 10,000 followers. The main reason is that these influencers are still holding on to honesty and are able to ensure consumer engagement.
Content is still king
Content as both a trend and as a marketing strategy still dominates the online world. However, content constantly improves and changes based on the consumers and their expectations. In 2019, content will have to go through yet another drastic change, in order to stay relevant to consumers on social networks.
The fact of the matter is that consumers are growing weary of highly-produced content and the good-old newsfeed is becoming obsolete. Consumers these days are yearning from more originality and authenticity when it comes to content. Even marketers who engage in freelance digital marketing will have to reconsider their approach when it comes to content marketing. With that in mind, social media users are turning their gaze towards ephemeral content.
A good example of this is the increased interest in story-based content, such as Instagram stories. In addition, stories are showing promise of becoming the main method of sharing content over social media and they’re most likely to replace News Feed. So far this trend is only emerging, but everyone should keep a close eye on this one for sure.
The rise of ads
It’s no secret that social media platforms have been a pay-to-win system for some time now. But, it’s even more so today as this trend is gaining significant momentum. Last year alone, marketers have increased the social media ad budget by 32% and they have created more ads than ever before.
Facebook alone accounted for 23% of digital ad spending in the U.S. in 2018 and they’re about to experience even higher numbers in 2019. However, since everyone is stepping up their ad game, simply posting ads will no longer suffice for businesses. As a matter of fact, social ads will have to be founded on high-quality and highly relevant content that will be truly compelling to the audience. Otherwise, it won’t have the necessary impact and your ad campaign will fall behind your competitors.
Even though it seems like nothing much is changing each year when it comes to social media trends, there are, in fact, shifts in consumer behavior that influence the trends themselves. These changes may happen straight away or they may take an entire year to fully settle down. Either way, keeping an eye on the latest trends will allow you to remain competitive and relevant on social media, which why it’s important not to miss out on any important information.