Social media changes fast!
It can be tough to keep up with all the updates and new things going on in social media. It’s easy to fall behind and even miss out on a great opportunity for growth.
Because of this, we’ve assembled a guide to keep you informed on all the latest social trends that have popped up this year. We present to you, the 2019 Konstruct Social Media Roundup!
1) Live video is still alive and well.
Live video started making waves a couple of years ago. If you recall the blog post I wrote about live video, I outlined just how valuable it can be to a brand’s social strategy. Whether you’re live streaming an event, an interview, or just having fun interacting with your audience in real-time, live streaming video can be a great way to engage people and have fun doing it.
So what are the benefits to live streaming video as a part of your social strategy, as opposed to just posting something that you’ve already recorded? Let’s take a look at the facts:
- People spend up to three times longer watching live video over regular video.
- Live video gives you the ability to interact with those watching your stream in real-time.
- Viewers are ten times more likely to comment on a live video.
- Users view your content on your time, not on theirs.
- Live video is created in one shot. Other than a little bit of prep work, it actually takes less time to produce.
- Live videos generate detailed analytics. You can see the point in time that your audience was the most engaged and if they dropped off and left at a certain point in time as well.
Best of all, it’s free! Live streaming on most social platforms is 100% free and can make a huge impact on getting your message out. How often do you get a ton of ROI for little to no investment? Why wouldn’t you give it a shot?
But, how do we go about broadcasting our live content to reach our audience? In our professional opinion, the medium you use should be the one that you have the largest reach on, or the one most related to the content that you’re looking to stream. Social networks have streaming apps and capabilities, but other screen sharing streaming apps exist too.
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Periscope (Twitter) mostly dominate the social streaming world. But Twitch and other streaming platforms exist for niches like video game streaming and other kinds of content. The platform that has the greatest reach, benefits and fits your niche is the one you should be using. They’re all able to create the same kind of engagement for their intended purpose.
We saw brands, influencers, and many others using live video as a tactic to engage their audiences and promote their offerings in 2019. We have a feeling that this is a strong trend that will continue into 2020 as we see platforms like TikTok and others adding live streaming video to their list of features!
2) Chatbots are sweeping the nation.
Chatbots have been around almost as long as instant messaging itself. Most Millenials will remember the archaic chatbots that were around in the days of AOL and MSN Messenger. They would make a hilarious attempt at answering your questions and elicit a completely off-topic response.
The good news is, the dark ages of chatbots are over! Chatbots have reached a point where they can be useful and actually serve your customers in a timely and reliable manner. More and more brands are integrating chatbots into their social messaging apps to serve customers and direct them to needed information.
In the first year of the new facebook messenger platform, the number of chatbots grew from 33,000 to over 100,000. Fast forward to the present day, it is estimated that there are over 300,000 chatbots in use! That’s a pretty impressive jump in the number of chatbot integrations. For that many companies to jump on board, you know that there has to be some serious value in using a chatbot to help your customers on social media. Chatbots showed no signs of slowing down in 2019 and we can see brands continuing to use them and generating more leads in 2020.
3) Influencer Marketing is Evolving.
I wrote an article about the rise of the micro-influencer and the amount of value they can deliver. In the article, I discussed how word of mouth and advice from a trusted source is going to resonate more with someone than a source that they don’t know nearly as well. Just because someone isn’t famous or doesn’t have a million followers on Instagram doesn’t mean they don’t have a social influence.
Not everyone has a sky-high marketing budget. Paying a professional athlete to name drop your company in an interview often just isn’t in the cards for most small to medium-sized businesses. But, that’s where micro-influencers come in! So what if they don’t have a million followers? More often than not, 1,000 – 90,000 followers are more than enough to get the word out.
They’re still a trusted resource in their own, smaller social circle and have the ability to create real advocacy for your brand. A lot of the time, they have a better connection to the niche market that will actually buy your product than that famous athlete would have anyways. Stop thinking about the follower count, and look at the impact someone has on the community itself.
Instagram Influencer Marketing
Social media networks saw this trend emerging in 2019 and adapted their platforms to accommodate micro-influencers. Instagram added the option to turn your account into an “Instagram Creator” profile. Although the Instagram creator profiles share a lot of similarities with business accounts, they have a few unique features.
One of these is the “Branded Content” feature. If an influencer’s content is being created for a business partner for an exchange of value (ie: money, goods, services), a “Sponsored” message will appear on the post and the partner (business) that is sponsoring the post will receive detailed analytics on how the post performs. This is for the sake of transparency and in order to give influencers the tool they need to monetize their presence on the app seeing as Instagram has removed the like count from the platform and brands wouldn’t have an idea of how a sponsored post was performing otherwise. We’re excited to see what happens in the future with these changes to what was once a fundamental measure of post-performance.
TikTok Influencer Marketing
Another emerging trend in influencer marketing is the use of TikTok influencers. We’ve written a blog about TikTok influencers and how the creators on the app are winning over the attention of Millennials and Gen Z’s. For those of you aren’t familiar with TikTok, think of it as the new Vine. The app uses short-form vertical video content and gives users the option to add different kinds of music and video effects to their creations. Given that the app is still in its infancy, TikTok influencers with massive followings are collaborating with brands for cheaper rates than more established Instagram influencers.
4) You’ve got to pay to play.
Facebook announced earlier this year that they are moving towards more of a paid platform for businesses. This left marketers and business owners feeling shocked and angered, but they’re doing their best to justify this decision.
The Decline in Facebook Organic Reach
It sounds ridiculous, but when you take a look at the numbers, it almost makes sense. When the average person logs into Facebook, they have over 1000 pieces of content fighting to get their attention. Because of this, the average post can only reach 6.4% of a page’s audience organically.
That’s a pretty sad figure for organic reach. The truth of the matter is, who actually has time to read or view 1000 pieces of content every time they log into Facebook? Not a lot of us have that much spare time!
There needs to be something to differentiate each piece of content and rank the content for how much priority it should have over other content. There’s a complex algorithm that controls this that we won’t get into today, but it does favour paid content over organic content.
More Paid Ads on Facebook
More and more businesses, marketers and advertisers are moving towards using paid Facebook ads to create more engagement for their content and have it reach more of their potential audience. It’s been said that 93% of social advertisers are now using Facebook ads to ensure that their content is being seen. Facebook along with some of our other favourite social networks have become pay to play if you want to grow your social presence. Paid social advertising needs to be a part of your social strategy this year in order to be successful.
5) Listen to your customers on social media.
Social listening tools continued to play a critical part in social media campaigns for 2019. An often overlooked part of social media is how valuable the interactions you have with your customers really are. Trying to scan through chat logs, comments, messages and other points of contact can be like digging for a needle in a haystack.
But, fear not! Technology is awesome and we now have Social Listening Tools to help out with all of that. Message mining used to be a hassle, now it’s quick and easy to mine for gold. Being able to categorize what your customers are saying and pick up on key themes will help improve your social media strategy a ton.
Social listening tools enable us to scan customer feedback for:
- What kind of content is resonating with our audience
- What kind of content they don’t like
- How to be responsive to our customers’ needs
Think of it as your social media reality check. Social listening tools could be what you need to find the missing link in your social strategy and start pushing more people through your sales funnel.
6) It’s time to start using more user generated content.
User-generated content is a great way to bring a new liveliness to your social feeds. You can put all the time and money you want into content creation. The question is whether or not you’ll get a good return on that investment. A great strategy we’ve seen to get users using your hashtags and interacting more with your brand is by leveraging a user-generated content (UGC) strategy.
We’ve all seen brands asking for users to use their hashtag to have a chance at being featured. This is a great strategy in so many ways. It’s just great branding! Getting people using your hashtag increases it’s visibility and in turn, increases yours as well. Take BMW’s Instagram strategy for example. They use the hashtag #BMWRepost to track UGC and populate a feed with their vehicles. The hashtag has over 1,000,000 posts now. Can you imagine the potential reach a hashtag with over 1,000,000 posts would have? People willingly share quality content for a chance to be featured on a page with a big following like BMW’s. If you’re looking to create some real engagement and bring a new life to your social feed, it’s time to add some UGC to your overall social marketing strategy.
That’s a Wrap!
Well, there you have it. These are the biggest trends in social media that we’ve noticed this year. We’ve only briefly touched on all of these topics. If there’s something you’d like clarification on, we’d be happy to meet with you and go over how things work and how we can implement a social strategy for your business. For all of your digital marketing and social growth needs, Konstruct is here to help!