Social media continues to evolve and with each change, it brings new ideas, new trends and a multitude of unspoken rules to digest and follow. The evolution of social media is a wheel that never stops turning, from the way users consume content to the different forms of communication. More than anything, these changes allow marketers and businesses to attract and appeal in a wide variety of ways to their target audiences. In case you are struggling to keep up with the constant changes, in 2019 we have collected a list of five of the most important social media marketing trends to look for.
1. Commitment is going to be more important than ever.
Facebook announced in 2018 that it will focus on platform interactions that are more meaningful. As a result, the latest update of the algorithm started to favour content generating genuine conversations among the many users of social media. This, in turn, forces brands to develop content that is truly engaging. In a world of social media where organic reach is becoming more challenging, focusing on content that appeals to your audience is the only way to get your brand noticed. This means that social media managers have to work doubly hard to create content tailored to their key demographics, as there are no longer any shortcuts to real engagement.
2. Artificial Intelligence will become a crucial component of customer service.
In 2018, chatbots began to appear across various social media platforms in a number of brands ‘ customer service. Customers can easily reach their favourite brands through social media, meaning that customer response time expectations will be at an all-time high in 2019.
The adoption rate of chatbot on Facebook is becoming higher and higher. And more companies are now investing their time and effort in programming the bots and automated messages in a way that feels as authentic as possible.
Automated AI-based messaging is also a great way to provide instant answers to the most common questions for customers. You can set up messaging with this particular feature to keep prospective customers interested and existing customers satisfied. Brands will also be able to save time by not repeatedly answering the same questions.
3. The influencer marketing process will be more integrated by micro – influencers.
Marketing influencer is already a staple in most brands ‘ social media marketing machine.
And indeed, companies that want to expand their reach on the market are constantly looking for the best influencers to tackle their next big campaign. However, as influencer marketing becomes more integral to the marketing process, it becomes more expensive for big-time influencers–, especially for smaller companies.
This is where the stage enters micro-influencers. Using smaller influencers will benefit brands with limited financial resources, as it means they can make an attempt to influence marketing without breaking the bank instantly.
Of course, micro-influencers may not have as many followers or as wide a range on the market as the larger influencers. But in fact, they might have an even greater impact on their own audience. Even an influencer of social media with less than 20,000 followers can help promote brand awareness and have greater influence if the organization can find the right influencer for its target market. For example, a small start-up company that wants to promote its tech brand could get better ROI with a tech influencer of 10,000 to 50,000 followers compared to, say, hiring PewDiePie who has a whopping 83 million followers on YouTube–but is 20,000 times more expensive.
In addition, as micro-influencers continue to gain recognition in the social media marketing world, there is also a growing trend in what is known as nano-influencers, referring to influencers with 10,000 or fewer followers. These smaller influencers may have a tighter hold on their followers, either through their job, their social presence, or their passion for a particular subject. These smaller influencers often have a strong authority because of their audience size because they are seen as “normal people.”
4. Fake followers will die out.
After it was revealed that they had acquired fake followers and bots to gain more credibility, many influencers have been called out over the past few years.
Just a couple of months ago, Instagram released a statement saying they started the process of purging fake followers, likes and comments from accounts that took advantage of third-party applications to increase their popularity. For Instagram, one of the world’s largest social media platforms, this is an enormous step towards preserving their reputation as a trusted and widely populated social network in which individuals and brands can grow their community and expand their reach with real user engagement.
While they still have a long way to go before purging is effective (I’m actually getting ads in my IG stories at the time of writing to buy fake followers…), their efforts are still highly appreciated. Since the crackdown on fake followers has just begun, with more updates due to roll out in 2019, assuming brands will have a more accurate measure of marketing influencers with real followers and engagement is safe.
5. Videos, podcasts and live streaming content will dominate.
Blog posts dominated the digital marketing industry for the longest time. While good quality content remains a critical part of web development, SEO, and email marketing, other ways of delivering content have been shown over the past decade.
Written content in long form will still involve readers. That’s never going to go away. However, text-based content should be optimised and well enough formatted to facilitate reading experience across various devices. The use of videos, podcasts and live streaming has seen great success nowadays. From YouTube’s great rise to Twitch’s arrival to Instagram’s introduction of IGTV, it’s clear that social media platforms have always shown great interest in video content.
Not long ago, Facebook even adjusted its algorithm to ensure that the news feeds show video content more frequently. MORF expects even more brands to begin experimenting with video content across various channels in 2019 – from short and long videos to live streaming.
Short videos are becoming increasingly popular, which can make effective ads. Scroll through posts from Instagram and see several videos sponsored. On the other hand, long videos are more effective in telling engaging and powerful stories. Long-form videos can be a great tool for social media engagement when done effectively. This is a format that can really shine with powerful storytelling. The video stories, however, must be interesting or engaging enough to persuade viewers to watch the whole video.