14 Social Media Marketing Trends Set To Dominate 2019: What You Need To Know To Stay Ahead Of The Curve.
Updated May 2019
To succeed on social media, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends.
It really doesn’t seem like a whole year ago that I sat down to write about the top social media marketing predictions for 2018!
Many of the trends we saw coming down the line 12 months ago are well established — although that’s not to say everyone has adopted them as an everyday practice!
Others have been growing steadily, but haven’t reached peak hype just yet.
So where should we focus our attention in 2019?
I’ve identified 14 major trends that should claim our focus in the new year.
Read on to learn about the biggest trends we can expect to see over the coming 12 months.
1. Stories Continue to Grow In Popularity
Nowhere is the concept of stories more evident than on Instagram where over 400 million people use Stories daily. Introduced as a sort of successor to Snapchat’s “self-destruct” style of content, as we head into 2019, stories are no longer seen as a novelty. At this point, they’re a staple of Instagram itself.
Recommended Reading: The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Instagram Stories
Similar to Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories — user-generated slideshows and video collections — are short (around 20-seconds) pieces of content created on your smartphone and available for up to 24 hours.
“We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps. That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day.” Mark Zuckerberg
2. Video Content Is Here To Stay
Every year, video content continues to grow, and in 2019 video is expected to once again dominate the market.
Last year I quoted Hubspot in saying that video marketing is long past the status of an “up-and-coming” tactic” — and this statement is truer than ever.
If a picture says a thousand words, a video tells a million.
Research from Wyzowl indicates that 79% percent of consumers surveyed would rather watch a video to learn about a new product then read about it.
Also, “64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.”
Video marketing can help you tell your story in a more entertaining, educational and inspiring way so if it’s not already part of your strategy, get on board with video this coming year.
3. Live Streaming Video Captured Attention
As I said last January, marketing is now less about pre-produced, scripted videos, and more about delivering an authentic experience that people can connect with.
Your audience wants to feel like they are right there where the action is happening and live video lets them feel part of the story you are telling.
While Gen-Xers (like me) feel comfortable with reading content, millennials seek a more authentic and immediate connection.
Live video is a great way to connect with your audience by giving them behind-the-scenes views of your company and team, as well as tips and tricks about your products.
This is a very powerful thing for social media marketers, we can now engage and converse with our community at any moment as long as we have a mobile phone and a decent internet connection — Sujan Patel
4. Mobile Video Usage Climbing Exponentially
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends survey is one of the industry’s most anticipated reports every year, sharing valuable insights and statistics about the technology industry.
The latest reported that video usage is climbing exponentially.
New platforms such as Twitch, a site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, are emerging as a strong focus in the video content market.
With over 100+ million unique users every month, Amazon-owned Twitch is set to be a huge growth platform in the coming year — and not just for gamers. The channel IRL (In Real Life) has people live streaming everyday things from painting to playing music.
Content on the site can be viewed either live or via video on demand.
Recommended Reading: Twitch: Everything You Need to Know
5. Mobile Responsive Websites Are A Must
I can hardly believe I am still singing this same tune! But just in case, the message hasn’t been 100% absorbed, let me say it again.
Without a mobile responsive site, not only are you losing out significantly in the organic search rankings, but Google has made it very clear that it will penalize sites that are not mobile responsive.
Google says 61 percent of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing with 40 percent visiting a competitor’s site instead.
If you haven’t implemented a mobile-first strategy yet, make it an urgent priority in the coming year.
6. Messenger Apps Will Continue To Evolve
Did you know that more users use social messaging than actually the social media itself — especially younger millennials?
There are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn).
As the use of social media messaging platforms grows, the potential for improving customer experience will also expand exponentially.
In August 2018, WhatsApp rolled out its WhatsApp Business API giving larger companies the opportunity to contact their customers directly over the app.
The combination of messaging platforms with chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI)will make it possible for companies to engage in more relevant, personalized and helpful customer conversations at scale.
Despite this incredible growth, Buffer’s State of Social 2018 survey found that just 20 percent of businesses have invested in marketing through messenger platforms, meaning there are huge opportunities to be had in the messaging space in 2019.
Recommended Reading: How to Get Started With Messenger Bots
7. 2019 Will Be The Year Of The Voice Strategy
The way people search for information online is changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet (yet another compelling reason to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile). And yet, few marketers have built strategies around voice technology, even with such accelerated adoption.
Just as marketers have optimized content for web 2.0 and mobile, they will have to start optimizing content for voice search as well.
In essence, voice searches are largely about answering questions, not about focusing on individual keywords. To quote NewsCred, “If you’re a marketer, “What’s the Alexa strategy?” will be a question you’ll be expected to answer.”
Recommended Reading: How Do You Optimize for Voice Search?
8. Hyperlocal Marketing Will Increase
Hyperlocal marketing is the process of targeting prospective customers in a highly specific, geographically restricted area, often with the intention of targeting people conducting “near me” searches on their mobile device.
The trend for hyperlocal is closely aligned with Voice Search. In 2018 the Voice Search for Local Business Study revealed that 46% of voice search users use voice search to find local businesses daily.
Recommended Reading: Voice search and local SEO: How to get started?
9. Micro-Influencers Hold Sway
In a world where consumers increasingly trust their peers and online influencers — and increasingly distrust traditional advertisements — influencer marketing will be an important strategy for brands to adopt in 2018 and beyond — Mandy McEwen
Over the past few years, social media influencers have become a major trend. However, macro-influencers with their millions of followers command a high price and are out of the reach of many businesses. Which is why we are seeing the rise of micro-influencers (those who have smaller followers) instead.
In choosing a micro-influencer — someone with fewer followers, but a more engaged community — you’ll not only be increasing your chances of achieving stronger engagement, but you’ll also be saving money. Your budget could stretch to multiple influencers, in different vertices, with different niche audiences, making the connections so much more relevant. Social Media Today
On YouTube, micro-influencers yield more clout than macro influencers: 70 percent of millennials relate more to YouTube stars than traditional celebrities, and 60 percent of YouTube subscribers would follow their favorite YouTuber’s product recommendations over recommendations from TV stars.
Recommended Reading: The Smallest Viable Audience: How Micro-Influencers are Changing Marketing
10. Pinterest Growth For ECommerce
In a rapidly moving social media landscape, Pinterest may be the tortoise to the hare of the rest of the field. While the visual discovery app may not be as big or as cool, or be growing as quickly as others, Pinterest is definitely evolving, and expanding over time. Andrew Hutchinson
Pinterest now serves more than 10 billion recommendations every day. That’s a lot of opportunity to reach your target audience.
Recommended Reading: Pinterest Releases Seasonal Insights Guide for 2019
Shop The Look
Certainly, if you have an e-Commerce store you’ll want to take a fresh look at Pinterest in 2019. Back in September, Pinterest expanded access to its buyable ‘Shop the Look’ Pins, giving all businesses the capacity to utilize the engaging eCommerce option.
Shopping on social platforms is a natural progression as when people are browsing through social media channels they typically prefer to stay in an environment they are comfortable with. The social platforms need to generate more revenue and this will be a massive opportunity for them. Ian Cleary
This year Instagram also included the option for businesses to add product stickers to their Instagram Stories.
Users viewing a story will be able to get product details and other information, and will also have the ability to click through to a mobile site to make a purchase.
11. We’re Now Marketing to Generation Z
In 2019, businesses will start focusing on Generation Z. Now aged 22 or younger, Gen-Zers are expected to account for about 40 percent of all consumers by 2020.
To date, marketers have treated Generation Z and Millennials the same, but this will need to change in 2019. Research already points to some fundamental differences.
According to AdWeek, Gen-Zers fragment and focus their social media time — they share certain types of content on particular social channels. “All of this is done in quick touches, or micro-interactions, that might last only a few seconds. They’re also frequent, with some Gen-Zers checking their social media accounts as often as 100 times per day.”
Recommended Reading: Engaging Generation Z: Marketing to a New Brand of Consumer
12. Facebook In Decline?
At the start of 2018, there were a lot of changes afoot on Facebook with a new focus on private messaging and stories, video, and communities and groups across the platform.
But we weren’t quite prepared for how Facebook ended the year.
By the end of 2018, we’d wised up to what Facebook was doing — and continues to do — with respect to (not) protecting our data.
As we enter a new marketing year, Facebook is by far the most mistrusted tech company.
#DeleteFacebook became a thing
Recent data shows that Facebook’s seemingly unstoppable growth has stalled, at least in the North American and European markets.
The question on 2019’s lips must be what will become of Facebook? Will users desert the platform in growing numbers? And if not, why not!
Facebook is still the market leader
I’ve never been a Facebook fan but with over 1.86 billion monthly active users, it’s still the market leader in terms of reach and scope.
According to Buffer’s State of Social 2018 survey, 96 percent of businesses are actively using Facebook and 94 percent of marketers have used Facebook Ads, making it the most popular platform for paid ads.
Recommended Reading: The 2019 Ultimate Guide to Facebook Engagement
13. Instagram On The Rise
Even if Facebook is in decline, Instagram, also owned by Facebook, shows no sign of decreasing in popularity.
Instagram’s user base has risen to above a billion per month.
When it comes to consistent engagement, Instagram is the number one social channel out there. A study done by Yopto found the engagement rate on Instagram to be 45% greater than on Facebook and 40% greater than Twitter.
Quintly analyzed 44,432 Instagram profiles, and over 8.9 million cumulative posts, between January 1 and September 30, 2018, to see what’s generating the most engagement. They found that weekends are high engagement times and (not surprisingly) video generates up to 21.15% more interactions than static posts.
In 2018 Instagram released its IGTV channel to give marketers the opportunity to expand into longer video content of up to an hour that doesn’t disappear. Expect to see more brands using this feature in 2019.
14. Snapchat Still Influential
Snapchat, while it may not be growing at the rate it once was, remains highly influential for teens as we go into 2019.
If you want to reach teens, Snapchat and Instagram are where you should be looking, and younger users also tend to drive adoption trends in social, which suggests both are worth keeping in touch with. You may have been less inclined to invest too much into Snapchat going on recent market sentiment, but it still has strong allure with young users. Social Media Today
Recommended Reading: Snapchat Releases Trend Predictions for 2019
Social media is continually evolving. Every year, everything from algorithm updates to emerging trends shapes and informs the myriad ways we interact online.
As you plan your social media marketing for the coming year, consider how you can implement some or all of these trends in your online strategy. But remember — it doesn’t make sense to jump on the latest marketing trend without first having a strategy in place!
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