2018 was without a doubt one of the wildest years so far for social media. Facebook was reeling from a series of data breaches that led to a Senate hearing.
They were not the only ones, of course. Even Google underwent significant scrutiny for some weird SERP results.
Everyone is on eggshells right now and creating stricter policies on moderating the use of their data by third-party entities using their APIs.
Of course, social media platforms are not the only ones adding to the headlines. The Kardashians are still going strong. In fact, a tweet from Kylie Jenner drove away millions of people from Snapchat after its redesign.
Jake Paul recorded a suicide victim and published it on YouTube and offended everyone collectively. In the words of comedian Bill Burr, “The trick is to get everyone to hate you.”
But social media networks are always evolving and from what we saw in 2018, we can make an educated guess as to what will work on social in 2019.
Here are 11 social media trends that will dominate 2019:
Curating Content to Become a Thought Leader
Curating content is one of the fastest, simplest ways to build an audience. The only real effort involved is finding things to share and sharing them.
There is no shortage of content on the internet. But you need to share content that is relevant to your service.
How do you find relevant content to curate?
There are a couple of ways to find great content that is relevant to your niche. Here is a list of 17 great places to find content that you can share on social media:
- Twitter Lists
85% of marketers use curated content because it establishes thought leadership. If you have a great mix of content on your social media feed from different sources, the original creators will most likely engage with you a lot.
Social Monitoring is Mainstream Now
After the recent turmoil with Facebook’s data usage and the Quora incident, social media sites are now frantically imposing tighter security and privacy options.
But ironically, people are actually choosing not to use the privacy settings. So, now social monitoring, which is a really big part of social listening has become quite mainstream.
Some of the best tools for social monitoring in 2019 are:
- Reddit Keyword Monitor Pro
Of course, many of these tools were not created expressly for social listening. Social monitoring goes way beyond just monitoring brand mentions. You can monitor consumer patterns, interests, demographics, and so much more.
Perhaps it is time for your brand to start monitoring too. It is 2019, after all.
Direct Social Sales Are Rising
While it is still a perfectly good strategy to keep pushing with social media marketing and social media advertising, social selling is the next big thing. Social selling is the art of selling online directly via social media to targeted people.
This is not a new version of cold calling. Social selling is all about connecting with people online to make a sale. Social users will unfollow brands if they’re overly promotional (46%), irrelevant (41%), quiet (18%) or unresponsive (15%).
Direct sales is still a minor challenge for sites like Instagram, but apparently, Insta is coming up with its own ecommerce app so that you have something better than a link in the bio!
Facebook already allows you to set up a store or connect an existing e-commerce website to your brand page for direct sales. The same goes for Twitter and LinkedIn.
The only thing that is left is for brands to accept that Social Selling will be their next big source of revenue and stat adopting the practices.
Integrating Social Media With Your Customer Service
Loads of companies have a Twitter handle for customer support. But 2019 demands more than the option to tweet when something goes wrong.
More sophisticated and more deeply ingrained social media integrations in customer service mean more accountability for brands.
The age of social selling has made it so that the brands take the back seat in every customer interaction. Be it an email or a social media message, you need to improve transparency for your users to trust you.
One of the best ways to approach multi-channel customer support and service is to use a single, unified dashboard. Groove is a great fit for executing such ideas in a scalable way.
Beware of Influencers
Yes, you read that correctly. While influencer marketing is definitely one of the easiest ways to market your product, the term ‘influencer’ is somewhat loosely defined.
The flip side of influencer marketing is that you never know how well it is going to pay off. You have to pay a hefty sum up front. After paying them, there is a high chance that you get very poor conversions.
75% of school children aim to be YouTube stars when they grow up. Of course, they could have killer content themselves. But in most cases, the content that they make for you simply isn’t good enough.
The bottom line is that having a ton of followers does not make anyone an influencer. The ability to persuade a large number of people defines an influencer. With recent incidents, most social media platforms are also trying to redefine what makes an influencer.
So, in 2019, be very careful before investing serious money in influencer marketing. HYPR Brands is a nice tool to filter accounts with real reach. You could also use Klear to find influencers that are worth hiring.
Till date, the most fruitful influencer contacts and deals are the ones that are mutually beneficial.
Expect New Social Channels
People always flock to new social channels for the allure of something new and shiny. But in most cases, the buzz fades away very quickly.
WPFriends is a new social media platform that allows WordPress users to connect and advertise. It is meant as the anti-Facebook for people looking to connect with the WordPress community – no noise, just relevant results.
While the premise is intriguing and quite impressive, how successful it becomes remains to be seen. We wish them all the very best and any new social media that may arise.
However, newer is not the same as better. For one thing, if you are highly vested in social media marketing and your prospects are on the new platform, it can be a problem.
Any new platform needs time to evolve as a place to advertise or market. Until that time, it can be a turmoil. Our advice? Be prepared for some turbulence and create content that is so great that you can still retain users.
Asian Uprising and New Trends
For many years now, Western culture has predominantly dictated worldwide trends. However, in recent times, Asian cultures are starting to create new global trends.
Take, for instance, the cosmetics industry – South Korea is a world leader in the manufacture and export of cosmetics now.
Korea, Japan, China, and India are starting to create international trends in several industries. Following these trends will become a definite must in 2019.
This is why:
Cultural trends explode and then evolve. Once these trends start to mix with Western trends, you will be left far behind on the marketing map.
Best jump in and capitalize right now.
Live Video is the New King
Content is, no doubt, still the king. But what kind of content is the king of kings? If 2018 is any indication, Live Video is the new and undisputed champion of the world of content.
Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – all these platforms have shown a marked rise in live video. In 2019, this new format of the content is expected to double in terms of both users and marketers.
OBS Studio is a free, open source software for creating live videos for YouTube. If you are just starting out, this is a good place as any.
A number of social media gurus have been pushing for more and more live videos. From reaction channels to unboxing videos – people are now starting to stream everything live.
From a platform to post travel vlogs, live videos have turned into a completely interactive experience that can open up a whole host of possibilities.
How did you find your favorite influencer online?
Did you stumble on to their blog? Did you find them on Facebook? Did you find them because of one viral tweet? Perhaps you saw their video on YouTube.
Most influencers, especially the ones in any marketing niche dedicate their time and effort to at most three social media sites. You may even find many of them recommending their audience to do the exact same thing.
In 2019, that will all change drastically. Influencers will be starting to increase their presence across multiple platforms. If possible, they will target ALL the platforms out there.
Simple answer – more money, more engagements, bigger audience.
Imminent Rise of Mega-Influencers
In 2018, ex-President of the USA, Barrack Obama formed a content partnership with Netflix.
Of course, Netflix is already a global giant in the world of content and with a mega-influencer like Barrack Obama pitching in, we can only expect great things.
High-profile commercial activity from global leaders is generally considered to be an unusual move, but hey – why not, right?
It is only a matter of time before everyone starts to gain influencer status. That is another reason why the number of followers on a social media account will mean little in 2019.
Moving forward, we will probably see a lot more of mega-influencers. Even Donald Trump made some very surprising appearances in the WWE. But this was some time back.
Stay tuned for more such shocking partnerships in 2019.
Audible is the New Social
Radio channels are not quite as popular as they used to be. But the number of audiophiles has increased if anything.
With 26% of Americans (73 million) listening to podcasts at least every month – up from 24% in 2017, there is little doubt that audio content is thriving.
Social media sites like Tik Tok have started to capitalize on shareable music clips as a social marketing tool. YouTube and Snapchat are also creating vast libraries of music for users to include in video clips.
Envato actually has a marketplace for soundtracks as well. While Envato is not a social media site, loads of social media marketers buy from the marketplace for reuse.
Spotify and Apple Music are already integrated quite deeply with several social media platforms. How Facebook and YouTube will proceed remains to be seen.
2019 may be the perfect time for you to start investing in music for your social media strategies.
Did I miss Chatbots? No Way!
How can I miss chatbots writing about social media trends for 2019?
MobileMonkey is a popular platform to build chatbots for facebook messenger.
It lets you connect with customers via the communication channel used by over 1.3 billion users. Which means most of your customers are ready for your bot, Yaayy!!
Chatbots can be useful in many aspects of the customer experience. Like providing customer service, presenting product recommendations and engaging customers through targeted marketing campaigns and lot more.
Chatbots are easy to use and most of the customers prefer chatbots rather than communicating with a customer care representative.
Social Media is almost like a living entity in itself. It changes very quickly and is often very unpredictable. One of the fundamental reasons why more and more people are investing in social selling instead of social marketing or social advertising is flexibility.
If you are going to set up social media channels for multiple accounts, it only makes sense to sell on them, right?
2019 has opened up a vast new world of previously uncharted territory. The brave sailors will navigate and dominate the social media. Those who are unwilling to adapt to new situations will inevitably perish.
The only real question is – what are you going to do? Tell us in the comments below.
Also, let us know if we missed a mega-trend that is on the rise this year. What trend will you try to leverage? Do tell us about it. Feel free to check out our YouTube channel for regular tips and tricks to crush your social media game in 2019.
As always, if you loved this blog, make sure to share it with more people and stay tuned for more gems like this one!