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5 Social Media trends to watch in 2019

Evolving and rapidly changing within a blink of an eye, the social media landscape can and will change at any moment. Of all digital channels in the world, the social media platforms are the most aggressive when it comes to adapting and introducing new and innovative features which help and assist their customers to connect and share personalised content with their friends, family, partners, businesses or total strangers over the other side of the world.

There are over 3 billion people active on social media platforms every single day. With this being said a brand or a company needs strategy, imagination, tools and to capitalise on the incredible reach these platforms have. With a target audience in mind, the idea is to improve the image of their brand or company to create the desired outcome and ultimately the success of the business.

After all that is said and done staying ahead of the game and understanding the benefits of the platforms used are, in fact, the name of the game. We at The Brand Bar wanted to give you our suggestions on the latest social media trends to watch closely and what you will need to keep the front of mind for 2019.

1. Video Will Still Dominate

Video works perfectly in the world of Social Media, this is also why it is essential that businesses need a video marketing strategy within the greater social media marketing strategy document. This year in 2019, video and in particular live video will be the beast of Social media as more platforms continue to support and grow their ability to receive live content. With Facebook Live and Instagram Stories becoming a mainstay within people’s lives it gives brands and businesses a way to show an authentic connection to their consumer. The customers can relate in video and form a bond with the brand and their relevance, a trend which will no doubt continue into 2019 and beyond.

There are so many elements that go into social media videos including subtitles, length, details, and sound. Essentially, you’re trying to explain a lot of detailed information in a few seconds. But when you do it well, you see higher engagement and build a better rapport with your audience. At the end of the day it will be worth it and to get ahead in the landscape you need to dedicate time to it.

2. Social Listening

Social listening has been a long standing aspect of social media, to engage and listen to the market is key. By doing this well businesses will build knowledge and generate a following of people who are interested and invested in their Brand or business. The individuals you will listen to will ask questions on the industry, product or service and will allow the business to nurture these potential customers into paying customers. Being active on your platforms and engaging with key people in the industry and answering questions or taking feedback is key. Allow time each day or every other day to comment, post and truly engage with people in the industry. This will give your business and brand respect and trustworthiness in the community you wish to engage.

3. Meaningful Content Experience

Marketing needs to refocus their social media strategy around creating the best engaging content which gives a unique experience to the audience. Brands and companies will produce content predominantly in video content that connects customers and potential customers to their own competitive advantage or primary interest of the company. As changes with the Facebook newsfeed changed in 2018 with changes on emphasis on what your friends and family connect with rather than businesses showing in their newsfeed. This creates the need from a Branding point of view to create the content people engage with and relate to.

4. The Emergence of Social TV

With the launch of IGTV and the new Facebook Watch, the platforms themselves are transforming into a source which enables general and corporate users to broadcast as traditional TV has in the past but via their channel.

With IGTV people can upload a video through the app of up to an hour long. You can also create an IGTV channel through the Instagram app or the web. Brands and businesses can tease their content through their story and link the larger video on IGTV. Facebook Watch will be something to keep an eye on as Facebook bring out their own content and video on demand.

A really interesting social TV phenomenon to keep an eye on is Twitch. Twitch is where gamers can stream their feed of any game they are playing along with a camera pointing at them as they play. Viewers can watch the way the Gamer plays the game and also his or her reaction in a small box within. The numbers are out of this world and with Esports growing in popularity the Twitch platform will only increase in size. Amazon saw the light and purchased Twitch in 2016 for $970 million. Twitch will be an interesting space to watch just as Esports, in general, will be. With 15 million daily viewers as a social TV platform, Twitch is an interesting space for marketers and businesses to keep an eye on.

Moving forward these platforms will provide avenues for brands to promote and advertise their products and services, which could come through any of these or the platforms that will come at us through our devices.

5. Balance of Personalisation and Privacy

Privacy is a key issue under the new world in social land that we live in. We saw the public interest and concern when Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, fronted US Congress over privacy allegations amongst other issues pointed at Facebook. It echoed the sentiment of the public have concerns about the access advertisers have to what the public post on social media. On the back of this sweeping changes were made across platforms to ensure more transparent data collection.

The personalisation of content and the need for it in the competitive market place is essential. But As customers, we want businesses to know what we want and tailor the content we see accordingly, but when companies appear to have too many insights into our personal affairs it sets alarm bells ringing -- and quite frankly freaks us out -- making us less likely to engage with the company again for fear of spilling more proverbial beans on our private information. This is where we must balance between personalisation and generalisation as we attempt to engage with potential customers. The key to marketing remains to hit customers who want to buy or could buy our products and or services. So to tailor make your strategy to your customers on various platforms at certain times of the day is critical.

With changes coming, restrictions and rules continuing to be placed on platforms we must be flexible and remember that social media marketing is built over time if it is to be sustainable. By understanding your customers and making the most of each platform individually gives your business or brand the best opportunity to succeed.

Being ahead of the curve and understanding the changes that each platform makes puts your business or brand in the best position to be ahead of the curve in 2019.

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