There no denying that social media trends move at pace – so what’s in store for 2019? Whilst nobody can be sure, our Digital Strategist Jade gives her predictions for the year ahead:

LET’S GET VISUAL

Video is rapidly becoming the content format of choice on social media – and will continue to dominate in 2019, as it has in 2018. Already heavily favoured by algorithms, and increasingly used by the biggest brands worldwide, video is an area that marketers must prioritise. Social media users have a shorter attention span than ever (the average human attention span has shrunk by 30% in the last 15 years) so it’s increasingly important to create “thumb stoppingly good” content that users will engage with. Nine out of ten of the most watched videos on Facebook are under two minutes long, with the majority of video content running for less than 60 seconds. Keep it short but keep it frequent -and don’t forget to add subtitles!

DON’T JUST LIVE IT – LIVE IT

There’s a reason that every social media platform offers a live streaming feature – and the growing success/user fascination with live video means that it’s a must for marketers to focus on in 2019. The delicious combination of the interactivity of live video, paired with intimate, authentic content that has a natural call to action makes for a very powerful platform indeed. Is your brand hosting a cool event? Stream it. Are you running a time sensitive promotion? Stream it. Got cute puppies in your office (we do here at Social Comms, #soznotsoz). Stream it. Stream it all!

INFLUENCE MATTERS

It’s no big industry secret that brands can (and do) have huge success by integrating an influencer strategy into their marketing plans. More and more posts are appearing in newsfeeds and timelines alike, with the ever recognisable #spon or #ad next to it. Whilst the platforms are cracking down on influencers with fake followers (which will help to both create a better consumer experience AND improve brands’ ability to measure impact), this increased transparency shouldn’t deter businesses from collaborating with influencers in their sector. Focus on micro influencers (influencers with much smaller follower bases but a much higher engagement rate) that are more cost effective and drive more meaningful conversations.

AR – IT JUST GOT SERIOUS

Augmented reality has already been making waves in 2018 (did anyone else lose a few months of their life playing Pokémon Go, or was that just me?) and the trend is only going to continue. What was pioneered by Snapchat is being increasingly leveraged by other platforms – Facebook has already partnered with over 700 brands to achieve the companies AR plan, using a new suite of tools developed for Facebook Messenger. Through 2019, marketers should focus on creating content that revolves around AR – because not only will it increase consumer impulse buying (seeing really is believing, as they say) – but it will also increase the overall time spent on social platforms across the board. Imagine a personalised experience where you’re walking down a shopping isle in a supermarket, and AR circles out the best offers, or new products that you might like. Sound cool? This kind of marketing is going to hit an AR app in the near future, and you can bet that integration into social media apps will soon follow.

FROM ZERO TO . . VERO?

Social media in 2019 doesn’t just mean new trends. It means new platforms, too. In the fickle and fast paced world of social networks, there’s always a platform ready and waiting – and Vero might well next be the platform to hit the bigtime. Similar to Instagram, the app allows for the sharing of images and videos – but without the ads or the algorithm. It remains to be seen whether the app will continue to grow in popularity (in 2018, it’s captured all of the hipster Gen Z’s but hasn’t caught the attention of the masses – or if Vero will join the long line of failed attempts to break up the “Top 4”. Who knows – but it’s definitely got potential.

From audience profiling, paid social campaign planning/delivery and social media workshops, to strategy and channel selection, content plans, audits and social listening, our inhouse expert social media team offers a broad variety of social media services which can help accelerate and achieve your business goals.

Contact our Digital Strategist, Jade, for more information: jadem@social-communications.co.uk