The New Year is right around the corner. With it will come brand new advice from every social guru you follow. While you want to keep up with upcoming trends, you don’t have to throw your entire social strategy up to this point out the window. Make sure you go into 2019 with the following ideas in mind:
Video to Text Ratio
Video will continue to be a huge part of social in 2019. Right now, a combination of video and text is a great strategy. Tipping the scale a little more toward video in the first quarter is suggested. Video should be a priority, with text coming in at a close second.
Live video will become more important than ever, so you’ll want to create a strategy that incorporates regular live feeds on both Facebook and Instagram. Even though live video comes with its own set of technical issues, followers are more likely to accept errors because the real-time aspect makes brands more relatable.
Video aside, make sure the content you are creating is valuable. This means taking more time to focus on long-form content that provides a valuable punch as opposed to short nuggets of information. Many publishers are focusing on content at least 1,000 words long; most only publish content at 1,500 words or more. Experiment with long and short form blogs to see what works for your audience.
Data Security and Trust
This year saw an endless number of scandals due to security and data breaches. Earlier in 2018, the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that Facebook allowed unauthorized third-party access to the personal data of more than 85 million users. Just this month, they announced a second breach that accidentally exposed private user photos.
While you can’t do much to control the security of major social networks, you can make sure your own message is crystal clear. Communicate with your fans without always clamoring to collect data on forms. Social networks are asking business owners to be more transparent than ever in social marketing. With Facebook, anyone who visits a page can now see ads run by the page whether they are targeted or not.
Artificial Intelligence is Here
Are you using messenger bots to communicate with your customers? If not, you are likely falling behind. While the technology is still new, these tools can increase your response times and customer service turnarounds – when properly implemented. This method of communication is particularly appealing to millennials, who find it easy and engaging compared to the frustration of waiting.
Hootsuite recently predicted that more than “85 percent of all customer service interactions will be powered by AI bots” by 2020. Facebook and WhatsApp are now paving the way for integrating these technologies.
Personal versus Business Branding
To clarify, personal branding doesn’t mean you have to open your personal profiles to the public. It means that consumers are becoming more curious about the faces behind the brands they know and love. The public wants to know your company’s CEO is real and involved, not just a talking head.
What does this have to do with your marketing efforts? You need to become more visible about who you are and what you’re all about. Create separate brand pages for your business owner or public leaders, and cross-promote them along with your brand’s main social platforms.
Hiding behind your logo is a thing of the past. Real people and honest human interactions on social media, within guest blogs, and through public appearances (online and in person) are what build trust.
Brands are already deeply involved with UGC, but we should see exponential growth in this area throughout 2019. You should let your customers share photos and experiences, and then share them yourself to your own channels (with permission and credit). Most consumers perceive this type of content as authentic. It’s also a terrific boost to organic engagement in a marketing world that focuses on paid strategy.
The stories function on Instagram and Facebook continues to gain traction. Both show remarkable results compared to Snapchat because they allow brands to share quick snippets of information in a format that piques the interest of curious followers. The quick turnaround time from publication to disappearance creates a sense of urgency. Stories are cheap (sometimes even free) to create and allow you to generate regular content without overwhelming your main feed with too many posts.
Like it or not, Facebook and other social media platforms are pay-to-play in reach and exposure. We looked at a Facebook page with 100,000 “likes” the other day; some of their posts had as few as nine reactions. NINE!
According to HubSpot, brands saw around 16 percent organic reach in 2012. By 2018, that number fell to six percent. Brands seeking success on Facebook will need to set aside at least a small budget for paid promotions.
Users are still sharing content, but they’re sending content via private messages and text instead of sharing to their public timelines. This makes it harder to track how much engagement your content really achieves. This doesn’t mean you can’t continue to create and share great content, but it does mean you must pay attention to platform changes, so you can adapt to (and create more of) the things your audience reacts to most.
If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s change. 2018 has been a year of change; a whirlwind of sorts. 2019 isn’t likely to be much different, but you can put yourself in a better position to deal with it. Spend some time each day reviewing social media and marketing updates. Staying on top of changes as they play out makes it easier for you to adapt your strategies as the year progresses.