Top 10 SMM (Social Media Marketing) trends for 2019
As social media platforms have evolved into full-blown communication channels, more brands are relying on these platforms to reach their target audiences.
Consumer attention is scattered across various social platforms, not to mention apps and other online diversions. Brands that hope to capture consumer’s attention and dollars need to keep in touch with how their audiences utilize these platforms.
Here are the top 10 social media trends to keep an eye in 2019:
1. Rebuilding trust in social media platforms:
Users are growing increasingly leery of the information they find on social media. And marketers may be contributing to the situation when they fail to properly label paid advertising posts or they bombard a platform with targeted ads that overwhelm the users. All of this can leave users feeling distrustful of both the brand and the platform.
Younger generations have little tolerance for marketing that comes off as disingenuous. Brands will need to look for ways to build consumer trust. That means focusing on ways to authentically connect with audiences, and ways to highlight their humanity. Brands need to connect with their audiences on a meaningful level. No one likes being constantly swamped with ads. Even worse is when you’re being marketed to and don’t even realize it.
2. Social media is about storytelling:
Social media allows us to share our life experiences with friends and families through our posts, and we get to see a snapshot of everyone else’s lives through our news feeds.
Social media is adapting, embracing new ways to allow people to tell their stories and share their narrative with the world. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are embracing this trend, and it’s changing the way we consume social media content. This opens the door for brands to share more human stories of their own, which will inspire audiences to try out their product.
3. Build a brand narrative:
A business needs to build a strategic narrative behind its brand. Narratives capture moments and experiences shared between a user and a product; they’re the conversations that are occurring, and they’re often about trying to create a broader, more positive change.
These narratives can be distributed through social media and digital media, and they reflect what a brand’s community is saying about them. Brand narratives need to be compelling and lead audiences to action.
4. Quality and creativity over quantity:
Marketers often have a knee-jerk reaction to trends by flooding platforms with uninspired content in hopes of riding the trend wave. Would-be customers react by tuning out and quickly dismissing subpar messaging. The threshold for gaining customer attention and trust has grown exponentially. Marketers who hope to gain consumer consideration must be willing to go the extra mile in creating engaging content.
The bottom line is, to have an impact; brands must be purposeful and creative. Less content, if it’s created thoughtfully and is well-positioned, will have a greater impact than an abundance of content that is uninspired, heavy-handed or seen as shallow or dull.
5. Put a human face to your brand:
Putting a real, human face to a brand is key in building trust and loyalty. Personal branding gives a business a human element that will naturally connect customers and make the brand seem more relatable.
One popular trend in humanizing a business is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader. This can be done through guest blogging, podcasts, and webinars. Giving the public an up-close view of the company’s leader can strengthen its brand reputation.
6. Influencers continue to grow their communities:
Influencers are social media figures who have gathered a defined community around themselves. Their large followings give them influence over others. They can be incredibly effective as salespeople because we inherently trust the people we follow on social media.
Influencer marketing gives a human voice to brands. Influencer marketing is less direct than traditional forms of advertising, but it can effectively create authentic ways of connecting with customers.
7. Selfie videos and branding:
The “selfie videos” are drawing high user interest on social media. Like the selfie photo, the selfie video allows users to capture a moment in time, but the video format allows users to communicate in a deeper and more personal way than a photo ever could. Selfie videos tend to be short and feel more immediate than a written post with a photo.
Brands would be wise to look for ways to incorporate first-person “selfie video” content as part of their marketing strategy. The selfie video can help a brand seem more relatable and trustworthy.
8. Segment your social audiences:
Segmentation is the process of organizing your audience into manageable groups (or segments) so you can tailor your messaging and communications to the preferences of each group. Social media is most effective when you segment your audiences so you can be relevant to the right groups of people at the right time.
So the more you know about your audience, the better you can adjust your messaging and narratives to fit each segment.
9. Hyper-targeted personalization:
Customers have come to expect brands to tailor special offers and discounts to their wants and needs. To keep up with expectations, businesses need to step up their game when it comes to targeted advertising. Nearly every social media platform offers some level of audience filtering when you opt to pay for advertising. These options range from simple geographic targeting to advanced filters that refine audiences into highly specific segments.
Ever wonder why you’re seeing an ad on your social media site for something you were shopping for earlier? That’s hyper-targeted personalization at work.
10. Know your platforms:
Businesses should carefully consider which social media platforms to focus on, as each platform tends to be used by different groups. For example, over 80 percent of Pinterest users are female, and more than 50 percent of users are from the US. So, if a brand is targeting American women, posting on Pinterest could help isolate that group.
Meanwhile, Snapchat users tend to be younger than those who use Facebook. And career-focused professionals spend more of their time on LinkedIn. Brands that use multiple platforms should use these distinguishing characteristics to decide where to post content and on which platforms to focus the majority of their marketing efforts.