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Now that we’re a few months in to 2019 let’s share what we’ll be seeing across social media for the rest of the year. I’ve had a chance to get a feel for what’s already happening this year and where I think it’ll take social media as a whole.

Knowing the trends that are predicted for social media is a huge advantage for anybody looking to create an effective social media strategy. It’s always evolving so it’s important to stay in the know.

I think that heading into the rest of 2019 we’re going to see a lot of changes with new features and options being introduced almost weekly. For me I still believe that remembering your audience, their interests and what they want from you as a brand, is essential. Even when using the new features and content types it’s vital that you always keep your audience in mind.

Show Your Audience You Still Care

As I’ve said before, even when social media is changing before our eyes there’s one thing that cant ever change. The way you make your audience feel. Make sure they know that you still care about them and that your posts are always focused on them. Love them and they’ll love you right back.

Remain true to your brand and carry on engaging with your audience by responding to comments, messages, questions and complaints as well as using user-generated content to show them that it matters to you. When you’re communicating with them use a friendly tone to make them feel like it’s a real person behind the brand. In 2019 it’s crucial that businesses are aware of how to interact with their customers because those that don’t will lose out to businesses that do.

If you impress your audience and make them feel wanted, cared for and valued they’ll start to do some of your marketing for you. They’ll recommend you to a friend, start sharing your posts and will always think of you first if they need the service or product that you provide.

Be a Story Teller & Share Important Moments

I believe, and hope, that this year will show brands being authentic across social media. You can achieve this authenticity through sharing raw content rather than static pieces that your audience predict you’ll share. Think behind the scenes, client projects, company news and Live videos and Stories. This rawness gives you transparency that your audience will love.

When you’re telling these stories think about what matters to your audience, not what matters to you. Are you going to be the one making decisions on your brand based on the content you show? No, but your audience are.

What Matters To Your Audience?

This is a question you’re probably asking at this point. What can seem like reading their mind is actually very simple. Think of the formula as a collaboration –  ‘Search x Social’.

What’s your best web content? Maybe it’s a blog post that gives step-by-step instructions for something your audience finds tricky, maybe a review on a product that they’d be interested in. Create short (I’d recommend around 60 seconds) videos on the same topics. Share them to your social channels and this way you’ll know that these topics are of interest to your audience because they’ve performed well on your site.

Now flip it.

Take your top performing social media posts and create an article from them. This way you’re using the power of social media to create content that will succeed in the search engine rankings.

Brands often forget the whole point of social media – socialisation! We’re seeing more and more Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and I believe that this will only grow. People are craving a more intimate discussion, relevant content and news that matters to them. Being in these groups with like-minded people will undoubtedly lead to more engagement and interaction from audiences.

Video Takeover

I know what you’re thinking. If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times, video is the biggest thing in social right now. For a lot of people, they’ve dabbled with video and tested a few different things. In 2019 you will need a strategy for video if you want to master it.

This year you should look out for:

  • More human videos. Whether it be live videos or something that’s pre-recorded I can see brands tuning into the audience’s desire for more personal content rather than over-produced and edited video. Keeping up with the demand for video content means we will see a lot more smart-phone quality videos. Where before this would weaken your brand, from now it will build trust and authority.
  • More recently Instagram has introduced IGTV (Instagram TV) and I predict we’ll see a lot more of this type of video over the next year.

Top Tips for Video:

  • When you create a video, or before you go live, it’s essential that you know why you’re doing it. Creating goals for your video allows you to create purposeful content.
  • Story-board. Include those involved in the video and people who aren’t participating too. It will a) help prepare for the recording and b) make sure that nothing is missed out.
  • Keep your videos to between 30 and 60 seconds to ensure you can use it across Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • If you’re creating a  create your video in 15-second micro-segments.
  • Viewers statistically disengage after 10-15 seconds of a video. Make sure the first half of your video is engaging and informative.

The Rise of the Chatbot

If you’ve communicated with brands on social media recently you’ve probably done so through Facebook Messenger or encountered a Chatbot at some point. Both of these communication techniques have fantastic open rates right now and I can see that rising over the next year.

Gone are the days of being bombarded with countless emails from brands. 2019 is the year of interactive, instant and immersive chat. I’d suggest taking some time to sit down and build a Facebook Messenger Chatbot and developing a strategy for delivering your content through messenger.

Will 2019 be LinkedIn’s Year?

LinkedIn is often seen as somewhere purely for the highest professionals, somewhere that ads are complicated and pushing content is tricky. I took a look at what they’ve done over the last year and have an inkling that this year could be huge for LinkedIn. They’ve improved and utilized video, there have been LinkedIn influencers and they’ve connected products with search engines. Get ahead of the game and optimise your LinkedIn profile.

Professionals have reported 10x the number of video views on LinkedIn over Facebook. This is even apparent when they gave a larger audience on Facebook. As discussed earlier, Groups on social media are on the up and LinkedIn have tapped into this by relaunching them enabling more community and targeted content.