The social media landscape has always been ever-changing. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other social media platforms consistently introduce innovative features or affordances to users and brands. These features add various elements to the platforms that created them, whether they’re new interfaces, multiple consumption habits, or different types of communication. These social media tools also help users connect with their favorite brands online through various means.

 

When it comes to online branding, social media features enable marketers to use a wide range of social media marketing tools and strategies for attracting their target audiences. This is why marketers should be aware and stay ahead of the game and remain immersed in both current and upcoming social marketing trends. These aspects will allow marketers to arm themselves with the necessary technology and skills that they can use for social platforms.

 

From creating videos to fostering data transparency, here are the social media marketing trends that you can use for your next online campaign this year:

 

Video Content

Marketers will have to focus on video content for their social media campaigns this 2019, as it is a vital component of social media marketing. Video content is still dominating social media and is continuing with its growing popularity this year. Online marketing expert Marcus Sheridan has predicted that by this year, videos will make up 80% of user-consumed content.

 

There are two types of video content that are currently growing in popularity across social media platforms:

 

Live Video

Live videos online have been around for a while, particularly on YouTube. This form of visual content has become a significant opportunity for marketers to watch out for in 2019 due to its growing popularity across Facebook and Instagram. Moreover, live videos capitalize on people’s love and fascination for new visual experiences, making live videos grow in popularity as of late.

 

Live video presents marketers with the following advantages:

  • It’s more engaging and interactive.
  • They add new aspects to personalized content.
  • It’s one of the most authentic means that marketers can use to interact with their audience.
  • It also helps establish people’s trust in brands.
  • A single click on a live video can help brands reach out to a broad audience base.

 

Social TV or Vertical Videos

In June last year, Instagram launched IGTV, its long-form video content feature, and has since then become a major development in this photo-sharing social media platform. Through this TV feature, users can create and share longer videos in a format that’s far more distinct from videos published on other social media platforms. Every IGTV video can run for up to an hour, as Instagram has emphasized during the feature’s launch, making it more similar to the traditional TV program platform.

 

So, what does this mean for companies in 2019? For one, more brands will be encouraged to act as broadcasters on social TV due to the upsurge of vertical video. This growing trend also signifies that the future forms of mobile video content will continue to have variety and novelty.

 

Ephemeral Content

Another notable development in social media that became more popular in 2018 is the story feature and the popularity of ephemeral content. The story feature has garnered millions of daily views across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social platforms that utilize it. Thus, stories might outshine the News Feed layout and eventually become the main sharing feature on social networking sites.

 

To take advantage of the feature for their social media campaigns, it’s essential for marketers to remain focused on its upsurge and the growing demand for “in-the-moment” content for immediate consumption as a critical means of circulating information. On the other hand, creating a solid strategy for creating ephemeral content is another key task for marketers since mobile usage and shorter attention spans will keep on boosting short-lived content’s popularity this year. A robust marketing strategy for this type of content lets users engage with numerous brands. It can also help create the fear of missing out (FOMO) among the audience.

 

A person holding a smartphone with the Instagram app on the screen

User-generated Content

Today, a lot of companies have begun to embrace user-generated social media content for product and service promotions. Brand promotions can have a personalized touch when marketers integrate user-generated content (UGC) about the real-life product applications into their campaigns.

 

For companies to leverage UGC, they can create contests with themes such as “share your click” or “your favorite memory with our product” as well as utilize hashtags for these specific types of promotions. Brands can even reward the best entries for these contests or mention customers for sharing their stories. These methods can help create brand awareness and attract target audiences, resulting in better customer experience with very little investment on the consumer’s part.

 

AI-driven Customer Service

Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other online platforms have started improving their interactions with multiple social media accounts by quickly embracing artificial intelligence (AI) for a wide variety of tools, ranging from chatbots to social media ad optimization. 2018 saw an unquestionable growth in AI-driven interaction, and this will continue over time. It has also been forecasted that AI bots will power over 85% of all customer service interaction by 2020.

 

Furthermore, customer interaction has become easier with the popularity of Facebook Messenger, Kik, WhatsApp, WhatsApp for Business, and other messenger apps. It is also worth noting that more and more marketers are making chatbots as their favorite tool for initiating one-on-one, personalized conversations with consumers.

 

Messenger apps and chatbots offer the following advantages to social media marketers:

  • More personalized communication
  • An easy-to-use interface, faster usage, and overall convenience
  • Platforms that provide immediate customer service, thus enhancing the customer experience
  • Programmable chatbots to service and answer basic customer questions.

 

A smartphone showing different social media app icons

Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented Reality (AR) integrates virtual data with the real-life environment of users in real-time and is slowly making progress in penetrating the social media realm as multiple industries have utilized this technology for various applications. Multiple social platforms are currently offering AR through facial filters, geo-filters, and the like, making it much more vital for marketers to come up with creative ways to capitalize on current and future AR features.

 

Brands, retailers, and e-commerce companies have been using AR glasses, headsets, and applications as early as now to provide customers with a more in-depth look at their products. AR also allows marketers to interact with customers in real-time. This technology will present consumers with a more immersive, interactive, and personalized experience as it becomes a staple on social media.

 

Data Transparency & Personalized Marketing

Building customer trust is essential for brands. However, in 2018, one major issue regarding social media data privacy, security, and surveillance arose in policy debates. The Cambridge Analytica data breach broke the trust of most of the masses in social media, and people started to question how Facebook and other companies were using their data. As a result, creating transparent and open communication with their audiences has now become the main focus of other social networking platforms and brands.

 

Personalized customer experience has also been considered as another key aspect along with online data collection through behavioral tracking in social media marketing for this year. Marketers will then have to find reasonable and fair solutions to balance personalization and privacy. They will also have to eventually provide extra consumer control over shopping experiences and, more importantly, look for more authentic and dialogical means of customer interaction.

 

Social media is always evolving, churning out new features and technologies that brands can leverage to attract new customers. That’s why you should always be one step ahead of the competition when it comes to social media trends. For help in devising an effective social media marketing strategy that will help you reach your business goals, consider reaching out to Growth Rocket’s experienced social media marketers today.

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