Social Media Marketing Trends Your Brand Should Embrace in 2019
With every new year comes new social media marketing trends.
Some are good, offering growth for businesses and users alike, and are likely to stick around - at least for the next 12 months or so. Some are not so good - and luckily - fleeting.
While the trends come and go, one thing that’s remained true is that social media cannot be ignored: effectively leveraging social media channels and trends can be incredibly powerful in bolstering a brand’s success.
With that in mind, here are some social media marketing trends we suggest your brand embraces in 2019.
Like many of the social media marketing trends we'll be talking about in this article, this is one that’s been growing for some time. Influencers have been a major trend for quite some time now, with their posts on social media - Instagram, mostly - seen and commented on by their millions of followers. Naturally, brands were quick to harness their reach, with #spons and #ad becoming trending hashtags.
However, as this trend increased, so too did their prices, the mismatch between influencer and the product they were trying to sell, and influencers fraudulently buying followers. Brands were selling their products through influencers with massive audiences at a massive cost but with limited success, because they weren’t assessing whether or not their product was relevant to the influencer’s audience. While a bikini model may have 100,000 followers, you're not likely to do too well selling young women's shoes with them if their audience is predominantly men over the age of 45.
With regards to influencers buying fake followers, brands were paying them money but seeing no results. This was due to many of their followers not being a genuinely engaged follower, or not being human - because the influencer bought them. If you're not sure how to spot fake followers, here's a helpful guide from Scrunch.
The advance of micro-influencers as a social media marketing trend in 2019 has many benefits for brands. The exact numbers that define a micro-influencer is debated, but essentially a micro-influencer is someone with more than 5000 and fewer than about 50,000 followers. They exist within every marketing niche, meaning you’ll be able to find at least one that aligns with your brand, product or audience. They are considered incredibly trustworthy within their field, and as such have great influence - and they're less likely to have bought their followers. And, due to their smaller followings, they’re also cheaper, which means your dollar goes much further.
Live Video Content
We already know video content is a big one this year when it comes to website design, but it's also another one of the many social media marketing trends to try this year
Live video adds another dimension in that it allows viewers to be part of the moment as it happens. There are a number of reasons audiences love this:
• It’s engaging. It’s video, which audiences find far more visually engaging over still images and text. It’s also in real time, so audiences and brands can interact knowing they’ll likely get a response straight away.
• It feels personalised. When brands answer or respond to questions and people by name in the video, the audience feels like the brand is connecting with them on a personal level.
• It feels authentic. Because live videos are often unscripted or of moments as they happen, the audience believes the brand are being transparent in who they are and what they do.
In the wake of the Christchurch incident however, there have been discussions about removing the livestream feature, or implementing some form of approval process before video is published to ensure graphic content is not shared. We may very well see this come into play in the next few weeks. There is a new tool Facebook has launched called Facebook Premiere (we had a little go during the recording of some recent podcasts), that allows you to reap the benefits of live (like building buzz, posting a time for broadcasting on your page) with the benefits of normal video - pre-recording, being able to schedule at a time that suits you, and interacting in real time.
We’re yet to find out if Facebook Premiere will take off in 2019, but with a change in live streaming content likely to be imminent, it’s certainly one to test. And as with all new features Facebook and Instagram launch, they tend to direct engagement towards those who jump on board with the feature ASAP.
Instagram Stories - lots of them
So it’s pretty clear video in general will be one of the most impactful social media marketing trends for brands to get on board with in 2019.
In the same way live video feels more personalised, authentic and engaging, so too do Instagram stories. With Instagram stories you can edit and publish these at a later date, so there’s less pressure to get it right the first time - however, there is still a general expectation that stories will be not too polished, showing a ‘behind the scenes’ or authentic view of the brand.
Ideally, your brand should be posting every day, but realistically, in a team of three - that’s probably not going to be possible.
The best recommendation is to give it a go: use the polls and questions for engagement and feedback, try different things, and try to post as regularly as you can. Find some aspirational competitors and brands, and watch what they do. Use your learnings as you go to guide you.
The best thing you can do, is just do it!
Private Groups and Accounts
How many groups are you a part of on Facebook?
You may have seen or already be a member of groups that offer Ikea furniture hacks, a place to sell and swap second-hand designer dresses, or a forum for discussing ways to embrace an organic lifestyle.
This social media marketing trend has been growing organically, but it’s one that can work really well for your business if you have the time to manage it.
Many online fitness or business training brands will offer access to Facebook groups as part of their packages, and other clients will share their tips and tricks for achieving success. It’s a great way to offer value and build a tribe of like-minded customers, with customers producing most of the content for you. It’s also a great opportunity to gain feedback and improve your business by posting questions and observing conversations among your community.
In 2018 and into the new year, Facebook incorporated some brand new features into Facebook Groups. These features include being able to participate within the group as a business, post live videos and leverage the group as a platform for online course content or just organise your your posts by topic.
Ok, so we imagine this one will take a little while to change, but the rise of authenticity and transparency is one of the social media marketing trends we're keen to see come into play.
Fakery on social media is everywhere - fake followers, fake influencers, fake images. Fyre Festival anyone?
Some influencers last year were caught out posting fake sponsored content in a bid to seem more popular and generate other sponsorships from brands.
At the end of 2018, Instagram started removing fake likes, followers, and comments from accounts that used third-party apps to increase their popularity. They implemented machine learning tools to identify such activities so that it can be prevented from happening.
With social media channels attempting to embrace authenticity, it’s one you as a brand should be embracing in 2019 too.
So what social media marketing trends will you be trying in 2019?
Tried some of these already this year? Let us know your thoughts! If you would like to implement some of these trends, but need some help working out what’s best for you, or just someone to help put them into play, contact the team at Lance Montana. We offer digital strategy, social media management, videography and much more.