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A look at 2019 Social Media trends

Social Media trends are announced at the beginning of every year, it’s a time where people have a look into the future and try to see what Facebook/Twitter and the likes are going to favour over the coming year. Social Media trends predictions are especially helpful to agencies who have to work on Marketing Plans for the coming year.

Social Media trends are always a great way to make sure your content strategies and social media practices are in line with industry best practices. It allows social media managers to be prepared for elements of managing a social media account that can’t always be planned for.

We had a look at some of the articles that were released at the beginning of the year and reviewed them to see if these predicted trends were indeed “hot shit” in 2019 as predicted.

Social Media Trend 1: The Rise of authentic social media influencers

Influencers (love them or hate them) are an integral part of just about any social media campaign. At the beginning of 2019 people were throwing around the term “Micro-Influencer” and many people in the industry were rolling their eyes at yet another wanky term for people who make money out of their social media followings. This social media trend has been hot in 2019, especially in South Africa. We saw just how effective micro-influencer campaigns can be with the launch of Zara’s new online shop in South Africa. The Zara campaign was a huge success, in our opinion. People who were picked were not your “regular influencers” and this new approach generated much interest from the usual people who were upset about not being picked. The smaller micro-influencer accounts who had been picked really generated content on their social media platforms about being picked and for the most part over delivered on what the contract with Zara required. The coverage was massive. Rise Micro-Influencers, rise!

Social Media Trend 2: Trust and Transparency

Building the trust of your audience is always something that is imperative to all the social media properties we manage for our clients, and this social media trend has become particularly important especially with influencers in 2019. This came into the spotlight when a popular influencer landed in some hot water with the Advertising Regulatory Body for not disclosing products she was given to trial from a large car brand. Rather than have any issues we recommend that when you partner with brands (and this is just as important for brands to note as it is for influencers) that you mention if it is #Gifted, a #TradeExchange or if you are a #BrandAmbassador. If you are unsure of what you should disclose on your social media partnerships simply use #Ad, #Sponsored or #Advertisement. Building relationships with consumers based on trust and transparency is a social media trend that we see sticking around.

Social Media Trend 3: Ethereal Content

Stories of any kind have been a social media trend for 2018 and 2019 and the trend keeps on getting bigger and bigger. Instagram stories provide real-time insight into people and brand’s everyday lives, which as humans we are somehow always interested in. We blame Big Brother. This is definitely an opportunity that not enough brands are making use of, probably due to the perceived high costs of having someone manage it. But if you can get it right (and it’s not hard to do), it’s a great way to grow an authentic and engaged audience. For brands that do this really well locally check out Cheakyco a who has grown from 2000 odd Instagram followers (when they first came onto our radar) to over 6000 in just a few months.

Social Media Trend 4: Video Content

There are so few agencies who do video content for social media well and at an affordable rate. This is where we are going to give ourselves a little punt, because we have really invested in our videography equipment in 2019. We are creating really great snackable video content pieces for our clients to use on Social Media. It has been predicted that videos will be behind about 80% of consumer traffic by 2020, a trend that we have noticed with the videos we produce. We hope more brands start making video content an integral part of their content mix.  There are not enough local companies that have an IGTV video content strategy, for example, as part of their social media content plan.IGTV is the only place apart from your Instagram bio that allows for a clickable link to direct people to your website – why are more brands not taking FULL advantage? Especially when not every account has 10k followers and the coveted ‘Swipe Up’ function.

We can’t wait to see what everyone 2020 predictions are – ours are:

  • Innovative use of video on platforms – not just your regular video post on Facebook or Instagram
  • Authentic engagement – talking to your community in a real way. No more generic responses. Let’s take it back to basics.
  • Chatbots – We haven’t fully used chatbots and we can’t wait to build a cool one with some form of gamification in it. *daydreams in code*

What are your predictions? We would love to know.

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