As we’re well and truly into 2019 now (wow, we can’t believe it either), we’re looking ahead to how the social media landscape is changing and which trends will play a major role in brand marketing efforts in 2019.

With the biggest Facebook algorithm change – since forever – taking place at the beginning of last year, thanks to; Mark Zuckerberg’s infamous hearings and Instagram TV, there’s no doubt that 2018 was a game-changing year for social media. Social Media Managers across the globe will attest to that.

In no particular order, we’ll take you through 2019’s hottest social media trend predictions – and how you can optimally utilise them in your own marketing strategy.

Live Video

“80% of people would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video to social posts.”

This is a great year for brands to experiment with live video streaming on their social media platforms. Live videos are preferable to written or static visual content as a live video gives a sense of excitement and ‘real time’ engagement.

Videos can be fun and really showcase a brand’s creativity. Why not experiment and see what works well for you?

Here are our top tips when posting live videos to social media:

  • Use videos across platforms; on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn News Feeds.
  • Create 30-60 second videos that you can re-use.
  • Create 15-second micro-segment videos for Facebook and Instagram stories and save them to highlights for longevity.
  • Repurpose your content where and when you can.
  • Viewers will begin to drop off after the 10-15 mark, so make the first 10 seconds the most interesting/exciting/impactful/compelling part of the video.

Messenger Apps and Chatbots

Messenger marketing is the new and improved email marketing. With an open rate of 60%-80%, it’s time for brands to start making use of this.

If your brand is looking for one of the best ways to reach and build audience engagement, messenger apps are a great way to achieve this.

Facebook messenger and platforms such as WhatsApp and WeChat as well as bots have the ability to strategically deliver content directly to audiences, as well as act as a ‘virtual assistant’, providing value to the customer.

Our best advice for brands in 2019 is to:

  • Build a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
  • Grow your Facebook Messenger contacts.
  • Start strategically delivering content via Messenger.

Influencer Marketing

If we thought influencer marketing was big last year, this year will take the cake in terms of perceived value brands can get from influencer marketing.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “Influencer marketing has continued to grow as an industry over the last few years. It was a $1.7 billion industry in 2016, increasing to $3 billion in 2017. Growth continued to $4.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to continue its upward trajectory this year to potentially become a $6.5 billion industry.”

The dark side of this is that the market has become so bloated that it led to a rise in fake influencers, fake accounts and fraudulent activities, such as individuals lying about their reach and paying bot farms for likes and followers. The coin termed for this is ‘influencer fraud’.

 In order to combat this, employee advocacy is on the rise and has been coined the new form of ‘influencer marketing’.

Here are our top tips to get the most out of influencer marketing in 2019:

  • Do your research and due diligence on intended influencers to make sure they are legitimate and are the best fit for your brand or product.
  • Understand and set goals for your influencer marketing strategy e.g. what do you want out of your influencer: brand awareness, engagement, etc.
  • Clearly define the expectations for both parties, brands and influencers.
  • Invest in a legal, contractual agreement with the influencer.

Generation Z

Move over millennials, you’ve got competition. Anyone born after 1995 is considered part of Generation Z. The youngest Gen Zs are now 24 years old.

This generational segment was born and raised around technology, rendering traditional marketing efforts a tad useless. They live online and brands wanting to reach them will have to:

  • Direct their marketing efforts to these online platforms
  • Build a solid relationship with their audiences
  • Create a ‘cult’ brand, product or service and loyalty
  • Anticipate their audience’s needs
  • Heavily rely on data
  • Make use of influencer marketing says, “Apple is an example of a brand that has managed to do this. They have mastered the ability to create a “need” for what’s coming next. The Apple Watch, for example, is very popular with Gen Z, and has not once been truly marketed as a timepiece. It is obvious that you can check time on your phone, so Apple had to find a way to appeal to trendy and tech savvy individuals by creating a convenient smart watch.”

2019 is The Year to Experiment

So far, 2019 seems to be taking no prisoners, with huge changes, updates and meltdowns having already taken place. We won’t mention March’s infamous #FacebookDown disaster or the loss of thousands of Instagram followers due to the algorithm change – instead, we’ll focus our efforts on achieving the best results for our brands and experimenting with 2019’s hottest social media trends.

Which of these trends will you be trying out? Share your thoughts with us or simply join our Facebook community now.

Does your brand need an amazing social media strategy? If so, contact us today for a quote.

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