Trends on Social in 2019

You could have worked in the digital industry since its conception and remain baffled by the way it appears to run. Originally being used simply to enable great content to achieve the recognition it deserved, the social media landscape has become somewhat polluted with algorithms and paid advertising.

So, I guess the question on most people’s lips is – what do I have to do to stay on top of social in 2019?

If I’m being completely honest, I haven’t got much of a clue! After an intensely diversified digital environment in 2018, it’s hard to be sure exactly what 2019 will bring. Anything seems possible with the continuous technological advances. No matter how hard one tries to keep ‘in the loop’ with digital trends, it’s easy to miss out on opportunities. Whether it’s the latest hashtag or the most recent platform to take the social world by storm, you can find yourself stuck in a whirlwind of digital hysteria.

Nevertheless, there are some trends to be aware of which could completely transform the digital landscape as we know it.

1. FACEBOOK’S DECLINE – WHOSE GAIN?

Facebook’s decline has been brewing for a while although it’s still the most used social media platform globally. However, time spent on the platform alongside actual engagement with posts has decreased drastically over the past few years. Will 2019 see Facebook’s prominence on social networks diminished? Will a new social media channel place itself at the centre of the social sphere?

With Facebook’s decline comes the possible emergence of the next Mark Zuckerberg and an innovative social platform breakthrough. New channels are always surfacing, but as has been proven on numerous occasions many won’t stand the test of time.

So, who is most likely to benefit from Facebook’s turmoil? With the increasing interest for video content (and in particular live video), it appears that social video apps such as TikTok could be the next ‘big thing’.

TOP TIP – reserve brand handles on emerging social networks. 

2. BUILDING A BRAND NARRATIVE

Thanks to the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year, it has become increasingly important for brands / businesses to redevelop trust with their clients. In 2019, business branding should have an added personal touch, so delivery of a strong brand narrative is vital. If you naïvely believe that a brand narrative can simply be constructed and outlined within your marketing strategy, you are entirely missing the influence a brand narrative holds. It is not a constructed ideal – instead, it is something that forms naturally and sits at the very heart of your business.

A way to drive customer relations and truly deliver a successful brand narrative is through live video, a mode of digital storytelling which gives a real insight into a business, its people and the beliefs and values upon which it is formed. Creating in-the-moment content bridges the gap between business and client, with social media usage no longer acting in its former passive format.

TOP TIP – create a brand hashtag that aligns itself with your values and generally appeals to a wider community. 

3. FROM MULTICHANNEL TO OMNICHANNEL MARKETING

Many businesses have taken a dynamic approach to their social media channels – International Sports Federations will have their official main page, but also subdivisions where specific disciplines are better represented for specific audiences. Thus, you tend to produce different content (or differently worded content) for a variety of channels.

The move to omnichannel marketing sees a shift to a more integrated and seamless system that displays your multiple channels as one, making it a more correlated experience for your clients / fans.

TOP TIP – integrate your platforms so there is a consistent flow within and between them. 

4. QUALITY AND INNOVATION OVER QUANTITY

We’ve all been there – pushing out content simply to hit a daily quota. In 2019, take time to come up with innovative ideas. Rather than rushing and delivering 20 different pieces of content per day, curate ideas and implement them in a way that drives company success. While generating a vast volume of content can give a business positive vanity metrics, by producing quality pieces you generate actual engagement. You can only blame algorithms to a certain extent: it’s time to take accountability for your content and realise that sometimes less is most definitely more.

TOP TIP – ask WHY you are publishing certain content. 

5. PAID SOCIAL

As much as I sometimes hate to acknowledge it, paid social is a fundamental component of any social media strategy. With its exponential possibilities, it can target audiences based on different factors – demographics, location, life events, keywords, etc.  Paid brings the opportunity of generating new audiences and maintaining the engagement of your current ones.

TOP TIP – use paid social effectively and take note of your audiences’ behaviours and attributes to drive specific content.