Social media is all about what’s new and what’s now, and because new features and additions are released so frequently, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes. At DMA, that means we consistently research current social media trends and analyze which are on the rise (and which will fade away). Here’s what we believe will—and will not—be worth your brand’s investment in 2019:
Here's what's hot for social media in 2019:
Instagram Stories and Highlights
There are 400 million users watching Instagram stories on a daily basis. Four. Hundred. Million. Because of Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm, the static posts you share to the feed may not always be seen by even your most engaged followers. However, when a shopper opens Instagram, the very first thing they will see is a menu of all stories currently available for them to watch. As we have discussed on the Core previously, Instagram stories are a powerful means for helping you communicate timely, important, and engaging messages with your followers. And, thanks to the highlights feature, your stories now can live forever on your profile to help new visitors and followers discover what your brand has to offer.
Basically, it’s clear to us that Instagram stories are here to stay, so start planning your next feature now.
At this point it might sound like a broken record, but video content is STILL critical for your brand to remain relevant on social media heading into next year. In fact, it is projected that 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. With a stat like that, if your brand hasn’t dipped a toe into the video content pool, there has never been a more important time to do so.
Now when we say “video,” your first thought might be costly, movie-quality content, but that is not necessarily the case. Instagram stories, as mentioned above, are a great way to create video content while keeping the tone more raw and “on-the-fly.” Live video, which can easily be recorded on each social platform, is another great option to get your feet wet in the world of social video content.
If you are sharing content that your fans and advocates have created, let us be the first to say that you are doing something right. User-generated content is incredibly effective in encouraging trial, building brand loyalty, and spreading brand awareness. According to Nielsen, 92% of people still trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other kind of advertising. So if shoppers are taking photos of your product, using it in their recipes, and/or sharing their feedback with you, leverage that and use it to influence others.
Here's what's NOT on-trend for social media in 2019:
Today’s shopper is spoiled rotten by the countless options for consuming media. Because of this, they are looking for short-form videos and other content that can be quickly consumed. Instagram TV allows users to share videos that are longer than 60 seconds. Though video content does perform well on the platform, it may not be the best method for brands to communicate with their shoppers. For one thing, video must be shot in vertical format—and must be exciting enough to keep people interested beyond 60 seconds. This platform may be a better fit for influencers, who have an established and engaged community that is eager to listen to their messaging. Consider partnering with (relevant) influencers to create IGTV segments on your behalf!
Snapchat for Brands
Once Snapchat hit the social media world, brands instantly felt the need to jump on the platform in an effort to connect with younger generations…without necessarily thinking through a long-term strategy. Snapchat was created for personal use, and ultimately, that is still what it is most used for, rendering brands’ Snapchat presence virtually unnecessary. This is where the hot aspect of Instagram stories comes in: it allows brands this same features but on Instagram, where it feels more natural for a brand to be present.
While a dedicated branded Snapchat account isn’t on our “hot” list, we do believe there is a place for branded geofilters alternative when relevant. Consider setting one up for an event at which your brand is present, or for a popular holiday when you want to join the related conversation. Check out our 2019 Social Media Calendar for some great ideas!
Not to be outdone by Instagram stories, Facebook made the same feature available platform, likely with the assumption of similar popularity and traction. Since its launch, however, Facebook stories have seen a slow take-off, likely due in large part to Facebook’s main users not being as engaged in this type of video content. Since Instagram is designed to focus primarily on visual and real-time content, stories make sense. Facebook’s attempt failed in comparison because this platform is centered around visual content, and posts often are added a longer period of time after an event.
Thinking ahead to 2019, we’re already excited to experiment with new engagement channels and we look forward to the improvements to come! Working on next year’s social media strategy? Download our free 2019 Social Media Calendar, complete with marketing tips, relevant events, and food and drink holidays you can capitalize on all year long.