Content marketing trends continue to shape the social media world, which is constantly changing, bringing with it new concepts and developments each year. In most cases, the changes are not sudden and unexpected but come gradually with a good chance to be foreseen. Among the strongest tendencies, we should keep an eye on engagement and interaction between companies and social media users. Hootsuite conducted a survey of 3,255 business customers in 2018, from large companies to small agencies. Based on this, we will break down the five most important social media marketing trends for 2019, which will fundamentally change your perspective on social media.
- Restoration of trust
2.77 billion. That’s the estimated number of people who will use social media in 2019. (Statista: 2019) With this number comes a very large amount of personal data sometimes which gets into the hands of third parties – and this involves various risks. For example, last year’s “Cambridge Analytica” scandal involved illegally collected personal data from millions of customers which was used for political purposes. In recent months, consumers, regulators, and media observers have questioned the privacy, accuracy and ethics of almost all social networks. According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Report (Edelman: 2019) and the ARD Germany Trend (Tagesschau: 2019), around 60% of Internet users no longer trust social media companies and give as little personal information as possible. Social media confidence experienced a crisis in 2018, and this trust needs to be restored by companies around the world in 2019 to reach out to customers and drive higher sales.
This change represents new challenges and opportunities for brands on social media. In this age of social skepticism, the rules of the game have changed. The trust in friends and acquaintances on social networks has returned. Users are increasingly aware of who they interact with on social media and what data they share. From this point, gaining trust and creating real value is the key to continuous engagement.
Tip: Start a secret group for your company followers on Facebook. For most brands, these secret groups can be an effective way to create a sense of exclusivity among users.
As an example, MEL Magazine has the profile of the potato chip maker Gettin ‘Chippy With It Facebook Group. You can also conduct Facebook Lives and Q&A sessions each month. In order to gain and maintain customer trust, it is important to be transparent, authentic and to proactively solve problems. When sharing technical information and unique insights, make use of the experts who already work in your team, from Product Specialists to the CEO. This allows you to leverage existing peer networks and gain access to existing trust circles. (Hootsuite: 2019)
- Storifying Social
Sharing story content is growing 15 times faster than sharing feed-based content. (Hootsuite Media Germany). In less than a year after the release of the stories feature, Snapchat tripled its user base reaching 100 million active users per month. (Wang Fe: 2019). For this reason, content teams must necessarily consider this format and include them in their social media marketing strategies for 2019. More realistic stories work better than heavily edited footage, which can be extremely cumbersome and hard to view by the viewer. This has been noted by brands such as Giardian19 and Tictail 20. (Hootsuite: 2019). Stories can actually lead to the end of the newsfeed as we know it today. With this kind of dynamic, it’s not surprising that Mark Zuckerberg said “that stories will be a bigger medium than the feed has ever been,” while announcing the financial figures for Facebook’s third quarter. (Wang Fe: 2019)
Tip: Get creative with your story structures. You can create tutorials to give your fans a look behind the scenes of your corporate culture. If you want to improve your stories, consider adding augmented reality features and custom GIFs to your stories. For example, brands like We Sephora and Nike are testing features that allow users to “try on” their products directly on social channels. (Hootsuite Media: 2019). In addition, companies should consider incorporating short insight shots that are rotated vertically into their social media content calendar. (Wang Fe: 2019). It’s a format that will be even more trending in the future due to the enhanced visual experience on mobile screens. The narrative method involves visual elements and non-narrative stylistic tactics and has the goal to increase the emotional attachment to the shared content.
- Social Commerce
Shopping through social media will play a key role in 2019 for brands that will invest a significant amount of time and resources to bring their products to market and launch them online. In China, 70% of Generation Z today buy directly in social media. (Warc: 2019). A variety of new technologies bridge the gap between social media and commerce, especially among younger buyers.
Tip: Build your “social capital” to create a loyal following around your product that is ready and motivated to share the content of your brand. Offer incentives to your fans, such as freebies, as a thank you gesture when they share of content. In order to be successful in the field of social commerce, they should produce product videos as well as follow-up videos. Livestreams with your products’ demos should not be underestimated as well, because this way users will develop an affinity to your product. (Hootsuite: 2019)
- Paid Social Ads are not enough anymore
It is well known to everyone today that we are in the social sphere in the pay-to-play era. As a result, marketers have been increasing their social media advertising budgets (by 32 percent in 2018 alone) and producing more ads than ever before. Social media teams recognize the importance of combining advertising spend with an equal investment in time, creativity and targeted know-hows. And they reinforce the best organic content with paid boosts. (Hootsuite: 2019)
Tip: Use concepts from powerful organic content
Creating high-quality social media ads takes time and money. Therefore, you should first test your ad concepts as organic posts to see how they perform. This strategy will help to increase ROI by investing future resources in already proven ones. Use new advertising formats because they offer the advantage of arousing consumer curiosity and counteracting advertising fatigue.
No matter how adept your advertising team may be, it’s impossible to predict where a user will actually click. Therefore, perform A / B tests (also known as split tests) to increase the financial benefits of the top variations of your ads.
Likewise, you should consider being active not only on one but on various platforms with organic and / or paid content.
- Instant messaging
The five leading messaging apps, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ, and Skype, share nearly five billion active users monthly. This means a clear edge for instant messaging over traditional social networks. Messaging apps have already introduced additional features, such as: automated bots for customer service and social commerce. 69% of customers admit that they have more confidence in a brand when they can reach through a messaging service. (Hootsuite Media: 2019) For this reason, marketers believe that instant messaging will be a dominant trend in 2019.
Tip: Set up bots and in-app wizards to scale customer service activities and improve the social media experience. You can also include messaging applications in social media campaigns, preferably in mobile format. Hooutsuite advises you to always check the latest promotion policies for each network before you start the strategy. (Hootsuite: 2019)
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The Statistics Portal: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/
Edelman: https://www.edelman.com/research/trust-barometer-brands-social-media (Stand: 14.01.2019)
Tagesschau.de: Deutsche sorgen um ihre Daten, https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/deutschlandtrend/index.html
Hootsuite: Social media trends 2019. Hootsuite’s annual report on the latest global trends in social media,
https://de.calameo.com/read/000940308ff9685ce16bf (Stand: 10.01.2019)
Hootsuite Media Germany: Die 5 wichtigsten Social Media Trends 2019,
Hootsuite: Die wichtigsten Social Media Trends für 2019 (und wie sie umgesetzt werden https://blog.hootsuite.com/de/die-wichtigsten-social-media-trends-2019/#Commerce
Wang Fe: 3 Social Media Trends you can’t ignore in 2019,