As you’re probably aware the landscape of social media is always changing. I just watched the chick flick ‘He’s just not that into you’ and could barely comprehend the main characters struggle with using ‘My Space’ to message potential dates.
Not only do new platforms become introduced each year, but major changes and additions are made to the current platforms that we rely on heavily to market to our customers and build community.
This is my list of the top 5 things we are going to see change on social in 2019:
Engagement will continue to drop
A trend has developed that is showing a steady increase in social media users, but a sharp drop off in engagement. Why? Why are people spending more time on social media than ever, but engaging less? Instead of explaining the reasons for this, because there are many (more platforms to choose from, more content saturation, more DM’s being sent that public likes), I’d rather provide a different way of thinking. First, we should stop putting likes, followers, and engagement on a pedestal. At the end of the day, if you create timely, professional, engaging content, you are going to stand out in the crowd. Second, we need to consider the plethora of platforms and how user attention is more spread out than ever – just a good reason to be creating consistent content for every platform. Third, it is of the utmost importance that we treat every comment, mention, and direct message like we would a sales lead. If someone is actually taking the time to comment and engage with our brand, it’s imperative that we engage with them on a personal level, thus increasing the chances they become a fan, purchaser, and referral. Lastly, we can’t discount the increase in direct messages being sent on social. Have you ever seen a hilarious ‘Drunk People Doing Things’ video clip and sent it to your friend group via dm? This is engagement that we do not always pay attention to, but now Instagram does allow us to view how many Dm’s are sent and photo saves we receive – thus giving us insight into the people who loved the post enough to save it in their library or send it to a friend!
The Year Of LinkedIn for B2B
For some people, LinkedIn is the boring place that their uncle posts, or where the only notification they receive is to wish Joe from accounting a Happy Birthday… But LinkedIn is so much more than that. It’s a platform that is starving for great content, and it’s a great place to showcase studies, provide actionable education, and become a ‘thought leader’ for lack of a better word. Avoid things like motivational memes and cheesy stories and start to focus on what you know that you think others might want to know as well. It’s not like one more motivational poster about how ‘you can do it!’ is really going to provide any long term value to anybody.
Instead focus on things like tactics you have used in your profession, case studies of how your product/service has worked, tips and tricks for other business people to be better at their job. Focusing on asking questions is another great way to generate interest and engagement on LinkedIn. At the end of the day, the reason LinekdIn is so great for B2B and even B2C people is you can find specific people in unique companies and market directly to them through your content. We have gotten some of our biggest clients from putting out value on LinkedIn and having them see it on their feed – whereas this never would’ve been possible on other platforms.
Do you have people in mind that you want to work with? Search a company and add some of the employees that work in the department you want to connect with. Then start posting information they might find valuable. Simple, right?
LinkedIn is like getting a boardroom pitch meeting with a prospect, just balance out the Rah Rah stuff if you can help it and show the fine people out there how the hell you’re going to make them some money.
Instagram Stories Will Become More Valuable
Instagram stories are the perfect way to share real, timely information with your followers. It’s the perfect balancing act between a nicely curated feed and the raw chaos of actual life in a business. As engagement on feed posts drops, we are seeing Instagram stories becoming even more valuable. In fact, the Instagram algorithm even takes into account the ‘health’ of your profile by recording how much Instagram stories are being used. The best part about stories is they are super easy to create – they don’t require editing (usually) and you can just pick up your phone and show your followers what it’s like behind the scenes. Focus on introducing your employees, showing some of the processes behind your business, and talking to your audience directly and asking questions. By letting your followers see more of your business, you create a better relationship with them as they get a look into the personality behind your business.
Content Is Still King: Video
I’ve just talked a lot about how engagement is dropping, and platforms are becoming saturated. Instead of crying in the corner, and declaring a state of marketing emergency, how about we just keep creating great content? Saturation just means that there is more garbage content floating around on social feeds. Facebook looks like 9gag and Instagram is a lot of people falling off things (which I admit is hilarious). With all this saturation though, there comes an opportunity to stand out. Engaging, timely content is still going to win out in this noisy social world, so create some content, and then create some more. Focus on being timely, funny, and real with your audience, and do that as often as possible. Content is still the king, regardless of digital change!
Bold Prediction: IG TV Stops Sucking
Anyone here ever use IGTV? Me neither. It’s not the concept itself is a bad one, it’s simply that the user experience of IGTV isn’t that great. It’s difficult to search, easy to get lost, and hard to gain viewership. Currently, we see 1-2% follower engagement on IGTV vs. 5-10% on the feed, and chances are the time it took to produce a 7 minute IGTV video is much longer than it took to create a short feed or story video. This means to ROI of creating IGTV videos isn’t great, and they have no chance of hitting any sort of true ‘hot page’, going viral, and helping you gain followers. Okay, so enough bashing, now I’m about to tell you to start posting on IGTV as much as possible. Wait what?
Facebook isn’t going to abandon IGTV, as it’s a way to directly compete with Youtube. Because of this, we know that Facebook is going to invest into IGTV to make the UI better, videos more discoverable, ad placements being utilized, and the overall interface more engaging. Start posting on IGTV now so that when it starts to improve, you aren’t jumping on a bandwagon with thousands of others. Try sitting down in front of your iPhone and telling a 2-3 minute story about your company, or produce some IGTV only cinematic videos that you can direct your current audience too. This might not even be that bold of a prediction, so keep your eyes peeled and thank us later.
There you have it. Our top 5 trends for 2019. Remember that with great power comes great responsibility, so don’t take these lightly – go create some damn content!