Expected Trends in 2019

Social media marketing has become one of the most important marketing channels at this point in time. Its rising popularity is evident, despite the rapidly changing popularity of various platforms and strategies. Because of this, we have decided it is important to dive a bit deeper into how this type of marketing is changing with time. Social media manager and trainer Tereza Litsa has analyzed patterns and strategies from 2018 and subsequently identified 12 social media marketing trends to follow in 2019, which we will take a look at below. 

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Engagement

Engagement now goes beyond suggesting that followers leave a comment, or like or share a post. Instead, platforms such as Facebook are turning to their own algorithms in the push for more engagement by favoring content that prompts consumer involvement. This in turn incentivizes marketers to provide more engaging content for their followers. 

Influencer Marketing

This type of marketing not only includes widely established influencers, which are becoming more and more costly, but now encompasses “the rise of micro-influencers” as well. Micro-influencers often have followers that meet a specific niche, and tapping into those markets can be much more beneficial for small or medium sized brands that cannot afford, say, celebrities with tens of millions of followers.

Social Media for Sales Enablement

According to Mary Meeker’s study of internet trends found here, 55% of consumers who discovered a particular product through social media in 2018 ended up purchasing said product. This shows that social media is now becoming a platform to enable the discovery of new products, and we can expect to see brands capitalize on this in the next year. 

Artificial Intelligence and Customer Service

Expectations about quick response times between brands and their consumers are rising, and artificial intelligence is already starting to help with this. For example, having automated messages for frequent questions can save the company significant amounts of time. This is why brands are likely to continue finding ways for artificial intelligence to improve their customer service. 

Stories

Even though there was a time when 24-hour stories were exclusive to Snapchat, they now appear on several social media platforms, including even LinkedIn. This global trend has over 400 million viewers per day on Instagram alone. In addition, they are fairly simple advertisements to create, they are visually appealing, and they do not require much further editing before being posted. And with so many millions of viewers watching stories on a daily basis, it is smart to assume that at least for 2019, stories are here to stay.

Ending Fake Followers

To increase the legitimacy of social media marketing, platforms such as Instagram are taking steps to eliminate fake followers. This ensures that brands are prompting genuine engagement, which makes brands more inclined to use them for their marketing. 

Messaging

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Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp allow for more personalized content, and current trends show increased usage that is expected to continue to grow in the upcoming year. 

Trust

When it comes to privacy concerns, a lack of trust is what has prompted the increased usage of messaging apps mentioned above. As such, social media platforms are working to lessen these concerns and build more trust by being more conscientious of how they are using data collected from their followers. 

Narrowing Focus

With so many social media channels to choose from, brands can (and should) utilize these differences to go after specific audiences, and tailor their content accordingly. 

Ad Spend

Ad spending has shown an increase in recent years, and this is expected to continue throughout 2019. We can expect to see more brands utilizing this method of marketing, particularly on Instagram, as popularity has increased on this platform specifically.  

Videos, Podcasts, and Live Streaming

Video content has become increasingly popular, as it engages consumers and makes them feel more connected to the brands themselves. Because of this, platforms such as Facebook are altering their algorithms to ensure that video posts pop up on news feeds more frequently than written text or still photographs, which means we can expect to see an increase in video advertising.

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Augmented Reality

As augmented reality gets perfected, brands are using it more and more to engage their customers. Facebook is trying to capitalize on this as much as possible, investing in it heavily and ensuring that the camera can engage in augmented reality through Messenger. 

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