Businessman forecasting a crystal ball

Social Media Marketing Trends for the Back Half of 2019

Groups will be the New Facebook

Facebook is hoping that its emphasis on Groups will re-engage users. According to data from eMarketer, average time spent and overall engagement on Facebook is expected to continue to decline. This can be attributed to algorithm updates, the inability to capture younger audiences and a move towards private messaging. With the move towards private messaging, Facebook is refocusing their platform on Groups. The new Groups tab will now show a personalized feed of activity across all the groups you’re a member of and recommend similar groups based on your interests. Facebook will be showing more Group content in News Feeds (hinting at a probable algorithm tweak). It is time to start considering the role groups play for your brand, and whether creating one makes sense. Groups could help to build and foster a community that was once happening on brand pages.

Pinterest & Instagram Rival for Shopping

With Pinterest’s recent IPO and Instagram beefing up their shopping features, we will see these platforms go head to head for marketing dollars. According to research by Cowen and Company*, Pinterest is the top social network for finding and shopping for products among US users. Now a public company with stakeholders to answer to, Pinterest has expanded their offerings to support shopping intent. The platform has added new shopping objective, catalog functionality, and shopping ads, making it easier for brands to directly grow online sales. Also, we anticipate Pinterest’s metrics dashboard for organic and paid to get more insightful by the end of the year.

At F8, Facebook outlined the future of shopping via Instagram. Instagram is expanding their shopping functionality via creators/influencers. While still available to a small group, this could be huge for the future of shopping via social. Influencers and creators have been doing this for years, and now the process will be much more seamless for their fans to buy from their posts. Also, Instagram added the ability to discover shoppable posts within the Explore page on Instagram. This puts all product tagged posts in one curated feed based on those you follow and similar interests. You can than search by category if interests to find specific posts and products. These offerings will make Instagram an attractive shopping channel, especially for younger audiences.

IGTV Will Still Struggle

Even though we have seen a few brands find success using IGTV, adoption has been slower than Instagram would like to admit. Instagram has added it to the Explore feed and pushing previews within the feed. IGTV recently received a makeover to align visually to other video platforms (not surprising that it looks very similar to Snapchat). They have also moved to an algorithm style feed without categories for content classification. Time will tell if these updates will increase usage and make IGTV a true competitor to YouTube. If your brand is already creating long form video, go ahead and add it to IGTV. It doesn’t hurt to syndicate it there. If you aren’t creating this type of content, at this point, we don’t think it is worth your time to create content specific for this channel.

Now that we are halfway through 2019, take a look at your social strategy and the trends we touched on above. The channels are starting to position themselves with different objectives (private messaging, shopping, video) so what you have been doing might need a refresh. If your strategy is in need of a refresh, we would love to help!

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*Source: Cowen and Company, “Facebook: US Ad Buyer Survey and Consumer Survey Highlights; Model Update,” Jan 10, 2019

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