With 2018 behind us, it’s time to realize that engaging audiences in social media can no longer be a passive process because they no longer are passive themselves. The social media trends for 2019 point toward audiences now wanting to be a part of the process, have true and immediate interactions with their favorite brands, and level the playing field for creators, businesses and regular users across all platforms.
The following changes are perhaps the most important when it comes to the ever-changing scene of social media, and your business should stay on top of them if it wants to thrive in this more saturated and competitive tide. Let’s see what they are.
Time for Millennials to Step Aside
It seems that the millennial generation has been at the center of every “major upset” and marketing conversation for the past decade, and as such are the major demographic that companies are constantly targeting. However, 2019 marks the year where the oldest members of Generation Z are coming of age and entering the workforce.
Those part of Gen Z were born and raised well into the digital technology dominance of the early-to-late 2000s, and thus grew up handling laptops, tablets, social media and immediate access to information. To succeed with them, however, your brand should follow Gen Z to where they are; Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram are the most likely places to find success with these potential customers, but you have to adapt your content first.
Go for Live Content Over Highly-Produced Content
Given that social media timelines are becoming too hotly contested and filtered to post effective and successful content, the tides are shifting towards stories in every platform that will allow them. Not only that, but live, in-the-moment content is positioning itself as an audience favorite, engaging them much faster than highly-produce content can.
This, combined with a generally shorter attention span and a continued rise of mobile usage, has increased the popularity of so-called “ephemeral” video content. Easy to produce, consume and forget, while delivering better results all around than overproduced, longer videos. This doesn’t mean that video is out, just that the way to produce and consume it in 2019 will not be the same as previous years, and your plan should take this into account always.
Your Brand Can’t Ignore Ads Anymore
Since Facebook monetized a way to get your brand’s post reach a larger audience than with a simple post, a tug-of-war between saturation and simplification of content started and it doesn’t look like it will stop in 2019. On the contrary, more brands are now producing paid ads than ever before, and this only means that competition to have your message seen is more inflated than ever.
In other words, money alone is no longer enough to stay relevant as a brand in social media, so you’ll have to balance your advertising budget with a healthy dose of creativity that will make people actually pay attention to you once your message reaches their timeline, so focus on creating great content instead of rushing it out.
Adapt to the Advantages of Chatbots
One very important thing to realize about chatbots is that their amazing potential is not based simply on what human functions it can replace, but on how much it can expand and improve on those functions. Take, for example, the Whole Foods chatbot that can offer you an immediate selection of recipes hosted on the company’s website after only sending it an emoji, such as grapes or a bowl of noodles (you simply have to add the word “vegan” to your message to get recipes of that variety).
This is just a minor sample of what you can accomplish with chatbots, and this will only expand as the technology improves. If you want to start slow, you can adopt a hybrid solution for your business, with a chatbot offering the messaging customer with a pre-selected menu of options or a FAQ while an employee gets on the case.
As you can see, social media trends for business are constantly changing, and these changes are connected in the way that they’ll make content faster, a little more flashy, and a little less personal. While there’s still much you can learn about these trends, it almost seems like a reactionary change in contrast to the way social media marketing was handled in years prior, so 2019 should come as a good challenge (or at least a palate cleanser) for any brands out there still willing to profit and leave their mark on internet audiences.