Trends in social media marketing are constantly evolving, and it pays to keep yourself updated with the latest ideas in the market so that your strategies do not become out-dated! We give you a heads up on the hot and happening trends in 2019.
Influencer marketing, or using social media influencers to promote your products, is on the rise and the market is now looking at micro influencers more than the ones in the big league. Micro influencers who have a following of say 40k have a smaller reach than celebrities, but are often more intimately connected with their audience, and can get good results with a smaller budget.
Nano influencers who have up to 10k followers are also entering the fray and may get things moving because of their engaging social presence or their interest in a specific industry/topic. They don’t require a big budget but are often driven by passion for the brand.
Facebook has an updated algorithm that focuses on meaningful, genuine interactions. Content that includes two-way conversations is favoured, and this has led to Page Managers opting to create more engaging content that is interesting and appeals to the readers. Likes and comments are not enough anymore, and engagement bait techniques would result in losing your existing reach. It’s time to start creating an improved engagement strategy to continue connecting with your followers.
There is a growing trend for brands to launch products on social media. Customers like to find out more about new products before making a purchase, and a Report of Internet Trends in 2018 suggests that 55% of respondents who discovered a product through social media proceeded to purchase later on. Not just awareness of brands, but consideration and sales enablement is also happening through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Customer service has taken on a new dimension with bots and automated messaging showing up in the customer service of many online brands. The adoption rate of these chatbots has increased due to the enhanced intelligence and programming of the latest bot experiences. Bots are being programmed in such a way that they mimic authentic responses of human responders.
AI is also used to provide automating messaging to customers who want an answer to a common question, and saves the time and efforts of call centre personnel who would otherwise have to repeat answers to commonly asked questions.
Stories were popularised by Snapchat with the format being copied by Instagram and Facebook , and more recently LinkedIn and YouTube to become a global trend. Visual content in a short and crisp format that disappears after 24 hours can be very effective. Social media marketers have already realised that ads in the Stories format can be very effective, and it pays to get on this bandwagon as soon as possible.
Instagram accounts were known to artificially increase their number of followers to boost their popularity. Fake followers can be bought for a fee, and Instagram has now announced that inauthentic likes, follows, and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to increase their popularity will be removed. Machine learning tools can identify such activities and prevent it from happening anymore. You will now have to build up genuine engagement and connect with your customers yourself, to build up your brand! Grow your community organically with crisp and interesting content.
WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, WeChat and other similar apps have grown beyond being just messaging services to enter the e-com market. They now feature Stories and news updates, and even have automated bots for customer service and e-commerce functions. This is a trend that will continue to generate interest and you could leverage the ways in which people use messaging apps to create a buzz around your product. Messaging apps offer an ideal platform to achieve this, as they offer personalized experiences that are not possible through traditional marketing channels.
Trust and security need to be enhanced
People have lost trust in social networks like Facebook because of recent data breaches, and this has made other messaging apps even more popular. Concerns about privacy are on the rise, and all social media platforms have realised that building trust is crucial. It is very important to be mindful of data that you collect. Make sure that your brand is transparent, whether it’s about admitting to any errors or updating your audiences on a recent change. Without trust, building your customer base becomes impossible.
It makes sense to focus on the best-performing channels for your business, and you can choose the niche audience that works well for you. Limit yourself to two channels that bring the best ROI rather than spreading yourself thin and diluting the results. This way, you will not lose your focus and can give your attention to whatever is worth your spend. Set the right goals and review them periodically to make sure you are working toward genuine results.
While we can now create ads in multiple channels, consider that the media channel may be getting saturated with similar ads and move to the better option if required. To quote an example, when Facebook started to get saturated with ads, Instagram started gaining in popularity as an alternative to promote your brand. When a channel grows in popularity, you will also have to spend more to get your message across to the audience. Be aware that in 2019 you may need to shell out more for paid marketing campaigns on social media.
Blog posts are likely to become more interactive, and while reading experiences are still important, content that has embedded videos and podcasts will see more success. From the time YouTube popularized video content, social media platforms have attached growing importance to this form of consumer engagement. In 2019, it is expected that more brands will experiment with different types of video among different channels as the content stands out from the rest. This could take the form of short videos with captions, vertical videos on Snapchat and Instagram stories, and long videos with powerful storytelling. Live streaming is also available across many platforms. Podcasts are also very successful.
Augmented reality can be used to facilitate customer experiences, and make the brand message engaging, fun and possibly more actionable. Social media integrated with AR; for example the chance to try out a dress before buying it, can lead to greater customer interest and sales. Facebook is increasing their investment in AR which would indicate that there is a lot of potential in this channel. AR ads and AR camera effects are available in Messenger already, leading to enhanced customer experiences.
Above all, your social media marketing strategy should understand your audience, look for new ways to build trust and genuine customer engagement, and focus on what works well for your business.
If you are unsure where to begin, allow the team at MWT Technologies to help you with the right tools and techniques!