Nov 13 2019 Social Media Trends to Watch
2019 Social Media Trends to Watch
A few months ago, we shared relevant 2018 social media trends for the back half of the year. Now, as the year wraps up, it’s a good time for social media marketers to re-evaluate their social media strategy with fresh eyes. As user behavior and the platforms themselves continue to evolve, it’s imperative to adapt to the social media landscape. With that in mind, here are the 2019 social media trends to watch.
User-Generated Content Becomes More Critical
Now more than ever, consumers are heavily influenced by what they see on social media. These perceptions steer users’ decision-making process when deciding who to follow and, ultimately, which brands to trust on social media.
A recent study from Stackla reported that 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support on social media. Along this same thread, consumers are 3X more likely to say that user-generated content (UGC) is authentic compared to brand-produced content, and 30% of users have unfollowed a brand based on inauthentic content from that brand. These numbers demonstrate the increased importance of UGC and the key role it will play in brands’ content strategy moving forward.
If your brand does not currently leverage UGC, you may be wondering where to start. Good news: UGC is right at your fingertips – the same study found that consumers are sharing positive experiences that social media marketers can tap into for their own campaigns. According to Stackla, consumers post on social media at least 2X a month about the following:
With so much content at their disposal, the brands that refine their UGC sourcing and sharing process to provide users with relevant, relatable content will benefit from those efforts.
Stories Use and Engagement Will Continue to Grow
In recent months, we’ve seen user engagement drop on social media posts due to a combination of factors like news feed algorithm changes and privacy concerns. Additionally, we’ve noticed platforms test and add features that encourage engagement by way of private messaging as an alternative to post engagements. These trends point to a shift in behavior where users are sharing and engaging with more content away from the traditional feed.
So, where are users engaging instead? The answer: Stories. As more platforms have adopted their own version of Stories, users have followed. Over the last year especially, the ephemeral content stream that feels more intimate than the public feed has exploded, as shown by the chart below from Buffer and Delmondo’s recent analysis of Instagram Stories.
With users migrating to Stories, it’s essential for brands to carve out a section in their social media strategies dedicated to creating content for this medium. If you need some inspiration on where to start, read up on Instagram Stories’ many interactive tools and creative ways to leverage them.
Immersive Technologies Are Developing to Appeal to More Users
Augmented Reality (AR) technology is advancing as more users adopt this way of content consumption. While Virtual Reality (VR) poses higher barriers of entry for users (cost of additional gear, compatibility, etc.), AR is adaptable to hardware and software that consumers already own and use. Whether applying their favorite face filter on Snapchat or wandering around a park to catch a Pokémon, more and more users have become familiar with AR and its functionality. And of course, with more users comes more opportunity for brands to leverage the technology to appeal to those users. In fact, a recent report from eMarketer predicts that AR ad revenues will top $2B by 2022, with US total AR users expected to surpass 67 million by 2020.
The social media giants are taking note of AR’s potential and subsequently developing more advanced integration of AR into their platforms. Most notably, Facebook is testing AR ads on its platform that allow users to do things like try on makeup or a pair of sunglasses without ever having to visit a store. For retail brands, this could be an effective way to reach new customers by bringing their product to life on social media.
While the fast-paced, ever-changing nature of social media is sure to bring about more changes, these are the 2019 social media trends we believe marketers need to watch as they look ahead to next year.
If you are in the process of refreshing your social media strategy, we can help. Whether you need a quick-turn action plan or a complete strategy overhaul, we can support your social team in a variety of ways.