5 social media trends to watch in 2019

The only constant is social media marketing is change. Here are the trends PR and marketing pros should monitor going into the new year.

The one trend you can always count on resurfacing year after year is that businesses must—to some degree—adjust their social media approach to gain broader awareness and increase engagement with customers.

Mark Zuckerberg once said, “Figuring out what the next big trend is tells us what we should focus on.” While that might be true for Facebook, realize it isn’t always so for every business.

The thing about trends is that following them doesn’t guarantee success. Pay attention to social media trends, but before you jump on the bandwagon, carefully evaluate if incorporating them in your marketing strategy will be consistent with your brand and practical for your business.

Here are five trends to watch for the coming year:

1. The growing importance of personal branding to business branding.

Especially for small businesses, putting a real, human face to a business name helps build loyalty. A brand that’s more relatable and has the human element naturally garners more trust—and trust is essential for building relationships.

 

One way to humanize a brand is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader. This tactic has become a staple for many organizations, as demonstrated through guest blogging, podcast and webinar appearances, and other publicity opportunities. By allowing people to get to know the character and expertise of company leaders, a business can strengthen its brand reputation.

Businesses that embrace this in 2019 will have a distinct advantage over companies that hide behind their logo.

2. Long-form content’s role in SEO.

SEO experts say long-form content will be able to give you an edge. Although Google doesn’t penalize blog posts if they fail to reach a certain word count threshold, it stands to reason that a high-quality article with 1,600 words will likely outrank a high-quality article with 500 words.

For this reason, more publishers are requiring guest authors to submit articles with a minimum of 1,000 words.

More company blogs will embrace long-form content and incorporate it into their content strategies. Therefore, businesses that have found they aren’t getting SEO traction with short posts may want to “go long” and add longer articles rich with information and insight that will attract readers and give Google a reason to rank them more favorably

3. The acceleration of personalized marketing.

With more companies digging into their data and using it to create customized marketing campaigns that target individuals’ interests at different points in the buyer’s journey, the pressure is on.

Customers have come to expect brands to tailor special offers and discounts to their wants and needs. To accommodate that expectation, more businesses will need to consider targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media channels. It is likely that social platforms will continue to refine their targeting offerings as the demand for individualized content grows.

4. Video’s prominence as the preferred form of content.

In a survey by Wyzowl, “The State of Video Marketing 2018,” 97 percent of marketers said video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service and 76 percent said it has helped increase sales.

Additionally, live streaming video will continue its emergence as a powerful way to engage people on social media. In fact, according to statistics compiled by Go-Globe, 82 percent of internet traffic is expected to be live video by 2020.

Video’s prominence is tied closely to our first trend, personal branding’s influence on the business brand. Video allows for a company to put a human face on an organization. It enables prospects and customers to get to know who leads and works in a business. Video gives businesses an opportunity to show not only what they do but also who they are.

Also, keep in mind that social media algorithms might give video posts better organic reach than other types of posts.

5. “Pay to play” remains the path to more exposure.

In 2012, brands could expect, on average, approximately 16 percent of their fans would see their updates according to Hubspot. Today, that reach has plummeted.

With the diminishing organic reach of business content, most companies will need to invest in sponsored posts, boosted posts and social media ads if they want to stay visible. Fortunately, social media advertising doesn’t have to break the bank; a small amount of money can go a long way and this trend should continue well into 2019.

 

Rachel Strella is the founder ofStrella Social Media, www.strellasocialmedia.com, a social media management company serving dozens of clients nationally.

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COMMENT

13 Responses to “5 social media trends to watch in 2019”

    CAROL LAITINEN says:

    I do NOT agree that video is the preferred form of content. Any time I receive video marketing I immediately click out unless there is a “read transcript” button provided. I don’t have time for videos, too time-consuming.

    Tom Springer says:

    Thanks, Rachel, for the good news that longer-form content has begun to receive a warmer reception! For too long, the shorter-is-better Web mantra has overlooked the truth that readers will indeed keep reading if the article or blog post draws them in. So, if you’re shooting for the 1,000 or 1,500-word range, that’s even more reason to make your writing sing. It needs an inviting lead, a tight summary bridge paragraph, a few interesting twists in the body copy to keep readers engaged and, ideally, and I-didn’t-see-that-coming ending that will make readers hungry for the next post. Yet here’s the rub. While many executives are great talkers and natural story tellers, they often lose their communicator instincts when they sit down to write. Everything that was lively in person comes out stilted and jargon-laden on the page. It’s here that working with a good editor or ghost writer to craft a well-honed story in their voice can be a huge help. And P.S. — I’ve found that 12-16 hours isn’t unreasonable for writing a 1,500-word blog post or story that requires researching, interviews and ample rewriting to make it shine.

    Amelia says:

    I completely agree with ,” you must pay attention to social media trends, but before you jump on the bandwagon, carefully evaluate if incorporating them in your marketing strategy will be consistent with your brand and practical for your business.” I also think you really need to understand your audience and tailor the way you go about your business strategy to their needs.

    Kyra Helming says:

    Thank you Rachel for your information. I have found it all to be very helpful. I think I will use the personalized marketing the most because it can be very helpful for future. If you have something that interests the viewer, they will want to continue with that post, and this personalized marketing trend will help show that. Again, thanks for the great information!

    Jocelyn Quiles says:

    I like that you pointed out that not all social media trends work for everybody. Social media is definitely starting to play a more prominent role in business operations, but it’s important to understand how to use it effectively. I also appreciate that you mentioned that longer posts tend to be more successful when it comes to SEO. Very helpful!

    McLean S says:

    Now that we are well into 2019, I think these trends are interesting to look at. The one that surprised me the most was about blog content length. I always understood that blog content needed to be short, concise and to the point. I never thought about blogs being written in long form with a minimum of 1,000 words, simply because for the longest time, this was the abnormal thing to do. I was unaware that SEO could be improved with longer blogs, and I did not realize that Google could rank higher content blogs above shorter ones. I will definitely look at this trend more as the year goes on. Thanks for the insight!

    Katie Golab says:

    The fact that social media has become an extension of paid media through sponsorships, boosted posts, and social media advertisements has fundamentally altered the way consumers interact with online content. They have become more critical of opinions and hesitant to trust the validity of social media content. This, in turn, affects earned media by creating a harsher environment for all social media content.

      Ted Kitterman says:

      So true, Katie. When social media companies started asking for content to be boosted, that was a fundamental change for online content.

    Rob Dean says:

    Nice post. The social media landscape is continually evolving and I think this post prove to be helpful for peoples to keep up with the new trends and ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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