Upcoming Trends In Social Media For 2019
Anticipated trends for social media are often difficult to predict, as is anything several months into the future, but by querying the right people, it is possible to gain some sense of legitimate expectation for the coming year. To gain insights into social media trends for 2019, thousands of business owners both large and small were surveyed, along with industry analysts and data provided by numerous consultants. Here are the five most important trends anticipated for 2019.
Both Facebook and Twitter were confronted with major challenges in 2018, relative to user confidence and trust. Facebook was forced to endure a congressional hearing after having undergone the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and was pressed on all sides to improve its transparency, accuracy, and security. Twitter was confronted with the prospect of having huge numbers of bots prevalent on its platform, with millions of fake accounts having been created.
Almost all the social media have come under fire for their policies regarding ethics, accuracy, and privacy, and regulators are especially interested in steps being taken to remediate this. It has been estimated that 60% of all social media users have at least some level of distrust regarding their platform of preference. For business owners, there has been a major impact as well, since many media and celebrity influencers have also suffered in the wake of this flagging trust.
For a majority of social media users, trust has shrunk back to include only immediate friends and family, in addition to trusted news outlets. Already some businesses have reacted by abandoning their emphasis on maximizing reach, and have instead focused more on creating transparent, high quality engagement with their followers. In most cases, this means connecting with smaller groups of users, and limiting membership to trusted individuals.
Creating more story content
Content in the form of Stories are quickly overtaking feeds as a primary vehicle for sharing information with friends, with nearly 1 billion users across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, already turning to Stories as their primary source of information. Consulting firm Block Party confirms that these vertical, disappearing videos which were first brought to the public by Snapchat, and are called Stories, have been growing at a staggering 15 times faster rate than any kind of feed-based sharing. Social media is gearing up to switch from text-based platforms which were originally intended for desktop usage, over to mobile-only networks that allow users to share experiences in the moment, which is something that Stories excels in.
More paid advertising
It is known that more than 64% of advertising executives have seen a decline in their organic reach over the past year, and this is likely to force them into more paid advertising, in order to increase their reach. Marketing and advertising departments are accordingly forced to increase their social ad budgets by significant amounts, in the neighborhood of 33% for 2018 and probably more than that for 2019.
Approximately 25% of all Facebook pages now use paid media, and Facebook itself accounts for nearly 25% of all American digital ad expenditures. However, simply running plain banner ads which show are shoe-horned into a news feed won’t achieve the desired results. This will force marketing and advertising gurus in 2019 to create more innovative social ads which are entertaining and personalized, so as to trigger greater engagement and discussion among users.
This is having an impact on businesses in more than the expenditures category, because it’s forcing them to also expand their in-house social team departments. There is an urgent need for people with skills in the areas of motion graphics, design, video, and other areas, who can create the kind of innovative social ads which will be required in the future.
Increase of social commerce
The adoption of social commerce in Asia has been breathtaking in its speed, with more than 70% of young people in China buying directly from social media platforms. In North America, there has been nowhere near that kind of overwhelming adoption of social commerce, primarily because necessary technologies have yet to be implemented. However, this is expected to change in 2019 and beyond, as more social media embrace the potential for social commerce.
Instagram now has shoppable posts which allow users to go from product-finding to checkout, without ever having to leave the platform. Facebook is broadening its Marketplace, which is now being used by 800 million people in 70 different countries around the globe. Pinterest allows its customers to find and shop for products very easily without ever leaving the app.
A survey which was conducted on the subject found that the vast majority of nearly 6,000 users drew a strong association between watching a video on social platforms and making a purchase. It is expected that when technology catches up with user intentions and expectations, that social media commerce in this country will quickly catch up to the rates already being seen in Asia.
Even more messaging
If you combine the primary messaging vehicles on social media, e.g. WhatsApp, Messenger, and Skype, it would total more than 5 billion users, which is more users than all the social media have among them. Clearly, what is desired by users is the capability to communicate one-on-one with individuals of their choosing, and the social media platforms are paying attention. This is being understood as a shift away from sharing news on the social media platforms, in the direction of spending more time messaging with friends and family in private spaces.
A survey has found that more than 90% of all consumers would prefer to use messaging as a vehicle for communicating directly with businesses. In a 2018 survey conducted among 8,000 people by Facebook, almost 70% of respondents indicated that communicating directly with a company would give them greater confidence about that company and its business. Other information gleaned from that same survey made it clear that consumers are not looking for more advertising channels, but would greatly prefer to have more messaging apps available for the purpose of having high quality and high value conversations.
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