Social media, and the way that marketers use it, is always evolving and changing. With new trends popping up each year, it can be hard to decide which ones are the most important to focus on.
That being said, in my experience as a Social Media Specialist, these have been the three trends that I have found the most important to focus on in 2019 to not only grow a following and engagement, but also to build trust between different brands and audiences.
Video is without a doubt one of the biggest social media trends of the year. This has been an up-and-coming focus on social media for a while now, and we’re now seeing many brands (including our own!) putting much more time and resources into creating video content at the same rate that they are creating other essential content marketing pieces, such as blog posts. In fact, in a consumer report from 2018, video ranked as consumers’ #1 favorite type of content to see from brands on social media.
According to one of Hubspot’s reports from 2018, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or a business that they support. With the introduction of platforms such as IGTV (which, if you’re not already utilizing, you should be!), there are opportunities now more than ever for brands to start focusing on more video content creation.
It’s easy to get intimidated when thinking about creating video. You’re probably already calculating the cost of a high-end camera, lighting, and editing software. But, it doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or even hard for that matter.
While in some cases, creating video with high production value might be essential, much of the time you can easily create video with something as simple as your phone.
Consumers want to buy from brands that they can trust, and brands that they feel they can connect to. What better way to do that then shooting behind-the-scenes footage at your next event, or demonstrating how to use one of your newest products?
Lush is a phenomenal example of a brand that consistently creates video content that showcases how to use various products.
Photo Credit: Lush
Photo Credit: Lush
PRO TIP: Make sure to implement closed captions in all of your Facebook videos. 85% of people on Facebook watch video without sound.
Additionally, publications such as Refiniery29 have turned to video to tell stories that might have traditionally been published as blog posts:
Photo Credit: Refinery29
Photo Credit: Refinery29
PRO TIP: If you don’t have the resources to create videos, try going live on Facebook or Instagram to start out. The Facebook algorithm actually prefers live video over prerecorded, uploaded content!
In 2019, trust between consumers and brands has become more important than ever before.
It’s time to get personal and real with your audience. Gone are the days where templated emails and generic ads succeed. People want to talk to real people, and they want to buy from a brand or business that values what they value. In fact, consumers are claiming more and more that they want a more personal and unique experience.
This transcends into the realm of social media as well.
That means it’s time to actually connect with people on social media, rather than auto-posting without checking in, or using a bot to accumulate followers and likes. It’s important to focus on delivering genuine value through your social media channels. This could simply be replying to comments you receive on a post, putting out a poll to see what sort of content your audience is interested in seeing, or engaging with another brand or individual on their own social media pages.
Constantly pushing your product or services, or not putting thought into if your audience is actually going to like what you’re posting could harm you in more ways than one. Social media is becoming more saturated than ever before, and if you’re not being authentic, consumers are going to go follow and buy from other brands who are putting in the time and work to create a desired experience.
PRO TIP: Make sure that in addition to your own content, you’re publishing content on social media from other brands and businesses that your audience would find valuable. Focus on curating a social media feed that is relevant and authentic to your overall brand and audience values.
One of my favorite things about social media is how you can connect to so many people through the use of storytelling. It’s also a powerful way to differentiate yourself from other brands and businesses online.
Your brand has a story and people behind it, so tell that story and showcase those people through social media. Why did you start your business? How did you get to the place you are now? How can you showcase your product or service through a story rather than through a blatant promotion?
It’s so much more powerful to cleverly tie a pair of yoga pants to a story that has an emotional punch rather than posting a photo of the product on its own.
Photo Credit: Lululemon
Testimonials are another powerful way to tell your brand story through social media and gain trust from your audience at the same time. Make sure to take the time to re-post positive testimonials that help tell your brand story.
Photo Credit: Hubspot Support
What are your favorite trends when it comes to social media?