It’s normal for savvy digital marketers and entrepreneurs to think ahead and tap on emerging trends and patterns before the ‘noise’ comes in.
When it comes to social media optimization techniques, the marketing trends change faster than the seasons, and keeping yourself abreast with all the upcoming trends becomes all the more important to excel in this overcrowded space.
Moreover, by putting in some efforts to recognize and work on some upcoming trends, you’ll be doing your audience a favor by giving them what they want, which will ultimately help your brand generate awareness and build a loyal following of raving fans.
But what are those upcoming trends that will definitely work for enhancing your entire social media presence?
Let’s look into some of the trends which I feel will dominate the social media space in 2019:
1. Consider Evaluating Your Previous Efforts
Before you get into predicting the future, look deeply into the performance data of all your current social media efforts.
Learning what worked for you in the past year and what didn’t can sigle-handedly give you a better idea of what resonates with your audience. Look for those posts that garnered the most engagement for you and try imitating their structure, offering or tone to score some quick wins.
Most of the social media platforms provide detailed analytics (likes, shares, comments, retweets & likes) on every post you do, so getting your hands on analytical data will not be a problem.
2. Social Listening Is the New PR
More than half of the world’s population is on some or the other social media platform out there and have made it their platform of choice to hang out online.
When a consumer shares an amazing or outright depressing experience with your brand, chances are high that they will share it with the world with the help of their social profiles.
So, keeping a track of all your brand mentions over social media and the web becomes all the more important to harmoniously protect the brand image you have built with such dedication.
According to a Brandwatch study, 96% of users talking about a brand online don’t even follow the brand’s own social media pages. So, just checking your notifications, mentions or messages won’t help you track all the conversations revolving around your brand online. You’ll have to proactively scourge the entire web to find them.
And users bail out when they aren’t replied to.
In this socially active world of today, I think actively jumping in ongoing conversations about your brand is something we’ll see a lot in the next year.
And you’ll probably need a tool for that, Google Alerts can only take you so far!
3. The Need for Transparency
Every brand wants to put their best foot forward in front of their audiences and build meaningful relationships.
But meaningful relationships don’t happen when you throw a ton of marketing content at your audience, it happens when you actively engage with them and show them a human side to connect with. Seriously, no-one wants to listen about how great your brand is anymore. Users seek value and it’s your responsibility to give it to them.
Being fully transparent about what you do day-in and day-out for uplifting the lives of your users makes it easier for your audience to trust you and they’ll be more comfortable in doing business with you.
When everyone else is trying to push users through their sales funnels, be transparent and deliver as much value to your users as you can and you’ll automatically stand out.
4. Influencer Marketing Is Still Hot
Making use of powerful influencers to reach new audiences is a social media marketing trend that is still picking up steam.
Influencer marketing, hands-down, is currently the best marketing strategy out there that can easily help you generate quick awareness about your brand and 2019 is going to be no different.
While most of the social media platforms (including Facebook) are experiencing a stark decline in organic reach, tapping on industry influencers is the next best thing to do for brands to survive.
Unlike branded content, which only a minute 10% of users trust, 50% of users trust influencer recommendations and as much as 67% of marketers are already making use of some or the other kind of influencer campaign for uplifting their brand. And the numbers are only predicted to go up.
So, it makes sense to find the right influencers in your industry and build a strategic relationship with them. Apparently, Facebook is working on building a influencer search tool as well. So, you can sense where this trend is going.
5. UGC Can Deliver the Engagement You Are Looking For
User Generated Content (UGC) is the type of content that your audience generates for your brand, both positive or negative.
It includes reviews, photos, videos, blog posts or anything else the user does for your brand.
As it turns out, doubling down on UGC has recently been rewarding brands like never before. People apparently love seeing authentic content from their peers about a brand.
It works as word-of-mouth for social media and the awareness you can generate from UGC campaigns can be phenomenal. The best part, users will provide you with the content, you’ll just have to market it and bring it in front of as many people as you can, resulting in more UGC. And the cycle goes on.
Hootsuite’s #IWorkFromHere campaign is a great example of it where users were asked to share pictures of their workplace. The result 2.2 million extra daily views on their website and 2000 new mobile users.
The effort that went into building this campaign was just a great idea and an irresistible offer to encourage users to create content for them. The algorithms and a little bit of marketing did the rest.
6. Focus on Customer Feedback & Reviews
A part of UGC itself, the kind of reviews users leave for your brand online can skyrocket or tear your brand reputation apart in an instant, solely depending on the type of reviews you get.
And users are increasingly looking at them online to judge a business. According to a BrightLocal study, 93% of users look online for reviews of a business before getting financially involved with them. And Facebook, Yelp and Google Reviews are the biggest players at it.
The kind of reviews you get on these platforms can seriously have a detrimental impact on your business and it will be crucial for your brand’s online success in 2019 as well.
While positive reviews can have a lot of benefits, building trust with your users is what they are best at and you should proactively monitor them to portray the best version of your business online.
7. The Rise of Messenger Platforms
Messenger platforms today boasts a higher number of active users than the most popular social media platforms.
Messenger platforms like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp & WeChat enjoy more than a billion active users each, which is no small feat.
And they also provide a way for brands to reach their target audience more personally and build meaningful relationships. Since, messenger platforms continue to surpass social media platforms, expect marketers to make use of different messenger platforms to woo their current audiences and build new ones in 2019.
It’s personal, boasts a high click rate and rarely get unnoticed, perfect conditions for a marketers to make use of, and you should begin your marketing efforts on some of the most used messenger platforms as well.
8. Chatbots Are the New (But Old) Fad
Talking about messenger platforms, you can make use of AI powered chatbots to do the hard work for you on these platforms.
They can be your best customer service representative that is up & working for your brand 24*7, convert leads into paying customers, help your users on the website when they are stuck (you can use them on your website as well), sell products and provide any information a user is looking for, everything in a jiffy and on your desired social media platform (Facebook, for now… but expect them to come soon on other platforms as well).
The new wave of Chatbots, led by Drift, has turned the marketing scenario upside down this year and is only going to blow up more in the coming years as more brands get acquainted with the concept of ‘conversational marketing’ and its various benefits.
9. Jump on the Video Bandwagon, It’s Still Not Too Late
You might be thinking why video is so low in this list. It is here because many bloggers (including me) have stressed a lot on adding video to social media strategies and it has been on the top of the best upcoming social media trends for a couple of years in a row.
Many marketers have experienced first hand the power of video and the level of engagement it brings and it cannot be stressed enough.
Most of the best social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin are adding the functionality of sharing videos on their platform because video just works, and is proven to increase engagement levels.
Youtube, the biggest video sharing platform, has become the second most visited website (with more that 30 million daily visitors), next to Facebook and for all the right reasons.
So, If you looking to engage users in 2019, going for video is your best bet.
10. Mix up Your Social Media Platforms
As mentioned before, with a declining organic reach of most of the social media platforms out there, it makes sense to try out something other than Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin in 2019 to increase your brand reach.
But keep in mind the fact that almost all social media platforms have their own kind of audiences with different content consumption preferences. So, you’ll have to cater your content according to the social media platform you are targeting, which takes a bit of research and getting used to.
Give other influential social media platforms a try and see how it works for the business industry you are in. Mix it all up and then choose those platforms that worked the best for you.
So, there you go! These 10 above mentioned ways will surely help you win in building a super strong social media presence in 2019. While these tactics only scratch the surface of this giant social media marketing & advertising space, by solely focusing on these ways, you can rest assured that you are focusing all your precious efforts on what will work on social media in the time to come, and not on fluff that gets frowned upon by your audience.
Hope these 10 ways will help you create a result-driven social media marketing strategy that forms long-lasting relationships with your audience, turns them into loyal brand advocates and in-turn bring in more sales for your business.