With the holiday season almost on our doorstep, 2019 is right around the corner.
Can you believe it?
You are probably already thinking about your business goals and plans for the new year – but have you thought about your social media strategy?
Are you ready to make the biggest impact that you can on social media during the new year?
Although social media trends change quickly, having a strong presence online is more important than ever. People aren’t just interested in brands, they’re interested in the lifestyle that your brand represents, and they’re seeking out brands across all kinds of social media platforms -not just the big ones.
In 2018 businesses thrived online by increasing and improving their video content, utilising influencer marketing and by taking advantage of new features on established platforms, such as Facebook Watch Parties and Instagram Stories.
While these trends might hold steady, a new year always brings a few changes.
So what can we expect for 2019?
- Social’s growth will continue
It may seem like almost everyone you know has a LinkedIn, Facebook or an Instagram account, but there are scores of people joining these social networks and others at any given moment.
For example, in 2017, one million people joined social networks every single day. People, young and old, continue to jump on the social media bandwagon. In some places, like Africa, internet usage is increasing rapidly and steadily.
Instagram, in particular, is slated for impressive growth. Although this photo-sharing app is often associated with a young crowd, the numbers show that there are now more 45-54 year olds on the app.
What does this mean for your business? If you haven’t got on to social yet, it’s time to seriously consider it. Your customers are just waiting to find you!
- Television will be dethroned
For years daily internet usage has been hot on the heels of daily TV usage. A recent study predicts that in 2019, people will spend 2.6 hours a day online and 2.7 hours a day watching TV. However, about 45 minutes of internet time will be spent streaming mobile video.
Based on this projection, companies may spend more on internet ads than on TV ads. Video streaming services in particular might get a bump in ad revenue from this change in consumer behavior.
- Products will be more prominent than ever
You’ve probably come across a fair share of viral product posts–examples might include photos of hoodies that double as baby carriers, small costumes for adorable dogs and other novelty items that play perfectly to an audience searching for instant gratification.
In 2019, social media will continue to have an impact on people’s product buying decisions.
In a study of nearly 200,000 people, GlobalWebIndex found that close to 30 percent of users conducted product research through social media. These figures are even more dramatic in fast-growing markets like the Middle East and Latin America.
In these areas, people turn to their social networks for product research far more often than search engines. In 2019, the opinions of friends, family and anonymous users will play a key role in your customer’s buying decisions.
- Chat-based customer service will boom
Facebook predicts that nearly 80 percent of smartphone users will be using a mobile messaging app by 2020, and people won’t just be chatting with friends and family – they’ll be using these apps to reach out to businesses for customer service needs.
Local businesses have already felt the impact of this trend, and many of them are using apps like Facebook Messenger to connect with their customers. As this communication form becomes more relevant and powerful there will more opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers online.
- Smart speakers will take center stage
By now you’ve probably heard multiple ads encouraging you to access products and services through smart speakers. Studies show that the owners of smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home and Apple’s HomePod are highly satisfied with their conversion to a voice-controlled home – 65 percent of smart speaker owners say they’ll own one from now on.
For your business, this presents opportunities to create smart speaker-friendly audio content that people can easily listen to while they’re around the house.
In 2019 experts expect that ad space will become widely available for purchase on these devices.
- Live video will stay strong
Live video services seemed to immediately take off when they were introduced in 2016.
Three years later, experts expect that this form of communication will continue to draw in millions of people. This format continues to grow more sophisticated with options that allow you to see who is watching your content and how they are reacting to it.
Live video is an excellent way for companies and influencers to connect with their audiences, and it can have significant influence on people’s buying decisions.
A survey showed that nearly 70 percent of live video watchers were felt more likely to buy a ticket to a concert if they had seen a live stream of the band beforehand, and close to 50 percent of people said they would pay to see their favorite athletes or performers in a live stream.
This opens an entirely new potential revenue stream for brands and people that normally connect in-person with their audiences.
- CEOs will get social
Using social media as a CEO is a great way to humanise your business and brand. In a time where inaccurate information can run rampant if it’s left unchecked, it’s important for CEOs and other top executives to be active online and to represent their brands well.
It has taken some time for this trend to take hold – in 2016 only 40 percent of CEOs were active on social media, and the majority of them used LinkedIn, a platform that is tailored toward business interactions.
People want to see the faces behind their favorite brands, and sharing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other platforms is a great method for building trust with your audience.
- Chatbots will grow in popularity
Chatbots, which are computer programs designed to hold human-like conversations, are quickly becoming a powerful tool for online commerce.
These life-like tools can help people navigate websites, gain information about products and services and make key purchasing decisions.
In 2019 experts predict that consumes will use chatbots for everything from ordering food to making travel reservations.
Studies show that a large portion of people have a positive perception of chatbots and don’t mind interacting with them. If you are thinking about developing a chatbot for your business, this is the perfect time!
- Social reach will improve, all thanks to video content
When it comes to online content, video is one of the great equalisers. It can be especially useful for gaining traction in foreign markets where there might be a language barrier or a literacy deficit.
Video is easy to consume, easy to understand and can be cost-effective to produce. As brands embrace shareable video content they have the chance to expand into markets that didn’t seem accessible at first.
- Social eCommerce will lead the way
Instagram recently integrated infrastructure for in-app purchases, and other social platforms may follow suit. The combination of powerful imagery, compelling video and painless online purchasing is helping fuel social commerce. One-to-one communication through videos on social platforms is also becoming an increasingly popular way for brands to reach their customers and to impact buying decisions.
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will reign
Companies are already starting to experiment with uses of VR and AR.
Amazon, for example, is developing a tool that would let consumers “try on” clothing before purchasing it.
Geofilters, a tool that is quickly gaining popularity among the youngest generation of social media users, can be used to draw people in to certain locations for special events.
Experts predict that large social media platforms as well as small ones will make a push to adopt VR and AR technologies in 2019.
The social media landscape is constantly changing. New technology and features spread like wildfire in our closely connected world, and people on social media are seeking out meaningful and stimulating interactions with individuals and brands.
Businesses can prepare for 2019 by staying up to date on the latest social media trends and by embracing some simple staple features, like video and live streaming, if you haven’t already done so.
Your customers are waiting to find you and your brand online – make sure that you are easy to spot!
P.S. Here are 4 ways we can help you accelerate your lead generation results on social media and beyond:
- Grab our free 4-Week LinkedIn Profile Optimisation Course
It’s the road map to positioning your profile in the top 5% of the 550 million LinkedIn users currently active – Click Here
- Join our LinkedIn Group and connect with entrepreneurs who are scaling too
It’s our Facebook community where smart entrepreneurs learn to get more leads and smart ways to scale using LinkedIn — Click Here
- Join our LinkedIn Influencer Program so you can “Show out” instead of just showing up
Every 8 weeks we have a new intake into our 12 – week Influencer program… Click Here for more details
- Work with our team privately
If you’d like to work directly with us to create new marketing opportunities send us a quick message Click here… tell us a little about your business and we’ll organise a time for a deeper chat