Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
Top 7 Social Media Trends Every Marketer Should Be Aware of in 2018-2019
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Social media are penetrating deeper in our lives as people spend more and more time online cultivating their social profiles. Just imagine, seven in ten internet users worldwide have active social accounts.

Social media has already transcended their initial role as platforms for online communication where people used to come just to exchange a couple of messages with friends and show off another cool photo. Today, we use social media to search for information, solve our day-to-day problems, raise awareness about things that really matter, and even buy stuff.

These days, social media are such a big deal that they make businesses invest enormous resources just to ensure their presence is noticeable on popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But to get maximum exposure on social networks and, most importantly, achieve high audience engagement, it is vital to catch up with the latest social media trends.

This article will outline seven social media trends that have manifested themselves in 2018 and are apparently going to advance into 2019.

  1. The bond between brands and customers is growing stronger

It’s no secret that brands use social media to get publicity and increase engagement. And it seems that their marketing strategies work exactly the way they are supposed to. Reportedly, 58% of social media users follow at least one brand. Furthermore, according to Sprout Social, one in three buyers mention a brand while sharing personal milestones on social platforms.

Besides, more people are starting to view social media as the convenience allowing them to reach out to brands in order to resolve problems or get answers to questions. Around 59% of the U.S.-based social media users admit that customer service provided through social platforms makes interacting with brands much easier.

Apparently, this social media trend is going to set in as businesses keep increasing their social media influence and humanizing their brands. For companies, this is a clear sign that creating a business website is only a half-way toward establishing the comprehensive online presence. Leveraging social media inevitably comes next.

  1. Influencer marketing is changing

Influencer marketing has proven to be an effective tool allowing brands to reach their target audience and increase sales. However, QuickSprout research suggests that influencer marketing strategies are undergoing substantial changes. While formerly brands used to seek help from big internet celebrities, now they give preference to less popular yet quite influential individuals referred to as micro-influencers.

The shift makes sense as micro-influencers allegedly boast higher credibility and engagement rates (60% increase compared to traditional influencers). And although the number of their followers seems not as huge (varying in the range of 1,000-9,000 subscribers) the level of trust compensates for the difference. In the end, 82% of consumers tend to follow recommendations from micro-influencers. Besides, their services cost only a fraction of the amount celebrity influencers normally charge, although this may change in the foreseeable future as micro-influencers will gradually realize their position.

Meanwhile, micro-influencer marketing is not just another social media trend, it is a powerful and cost-effective solution you can utilize to promote your brand.

  1. User-generated content is still in demand

As reported by TINT, 73% of marketing specialists admit that user-generated content makes marketing more authentic, while 52% agree that it humanizes brands.

Naturally, consumers are more likely to trust other consumers rather than brands. This is why user-generated content is considered to have much higher credibility, and companies do not shy away from leveraging it with the help of social media.

Many social media users eagerly share photos featuring brands and mention them in their posts. All you have to do is find these posts and share them through your company social account. Of course, you have to ask a person’s permission before sharing the content, but the truth is that many people are happy to be featured in a brand’s post. So it’s a win-win!

This social media trend has become so widespread because it is basically free advertising, and brands cannot ignore this fact.

  1. Ephemeral content is on the rise

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, ‘ephemeral’ is a form of digital content (typically photos and short videos) that remains available online for a limited period of time, usually no longer than 24 hours. If you have ever used Snapchat or Instagram Stories, you definitely know what it is.

Ephemeral content has got so popular that brands are now starting to use it for marketing purposes as well. The uniqueness of this content originates from the sense of urgency and authenticity it entails. Ephemeral content is easy to create, and it can be posted quite frequently without the risk of coming off as a spammer. And since it disappears after a while, users often get into the habit of checking their timelines regularly not to miss something interesting.

Thus, ephemeral content helps brands stay in the spotlight pretty much all the time without annoying their audiences while sharing branded stories to increase engagement. If you haven’t used this social media trend to your advantage yet, now is the perfect time to do so.

  1. Live videos keep growing in popularity

Online video streaming which initially started to gain momentum in 2016-2017 has eventually become one of the top social media trends. People love watching live videos because they have a feel of spontaneity and authenticity to them, pretty much like ephemeral content. As a result, 82% of social media users prefer watching a live video from a brand rather than seeing a social post.

Since live videos are more engaging than regular videos, brands take every opportunity to stream for their audiences. Product presentations, reviews, events, behind-the-scenes content, etc. – the diversity of live video content is growing, and we can expect that tendency to keep on in the coming years.

  1. Chatbots are invading

With the growth of social media and the desire of customers to keep in touch with brands on social platforms, the need to reply to audiences timely has become more persistent. The solution has been found in taking advantage of modern digital technologies and automating the procedure. This is why chatbots are rapidly growing in popularity and are predicted to become one of the social media trends for the next few years.

Chatbots are not a new technology by any means. They have been around for many years, but today they are getting much more advanced to deal with a broader range of tasks more efficiently. In fact, some modern chatbots are so good that you’ll have a hard time telling a robot from a real person.

A survey by Business Insider reveals that around 80% of marketers have used or are going to use chatbots by 2020. So if your business relies heavily on being responsive online, consider getting yourself one of those smart artificial employees as soon as possible.

  1. Social listening is real

You won’t like it, but the truth is that your social correspondence is actually being watched, and the tools for that are available for anyone to use. Marketing companies like Sprout Social offer social listening solutions allowing you to know what people are talking about online.

But why would you even care? If you are a brand, you’ll want to know what people say about you on social networks in order to obtain feedback and be able to take effective marketing decisions. What is more, it makes sense to monitor certain keywords and hashtags to identify your target audience and optimize your online advertising strategy.

While social listening is a controversial issue, it helps brands maximize their marketing performance; and this why it is going to be another remarkable social media trend to reckon with in the future.

Conclusion

Social media are evolving and expanding their reach, and new trends appear to spring up more often than before. Some of them just reflect the spirit of times, while other drive changes in lifestyles and business practices.

We’ve reviewed top seven social media trends which can actually have an impact on your business. Keep them in mind while developing your marketing strategy in 2018-2019 and think how you can use them to achieve your goals in the coming years.