How will social media change in 2019?
In 2019, it's more important than ever that you get your business on social media. Not only does it add another avenue that potential customers can find your website through, but it allows you to converse and engage with your customer base.
We offer a fantastic social media service at the Smart Domain, helping get the messages our customers want out there to more and more people online. With this, we ensure that we're always focusing on up-and-coming strategies to improve the service that we deliver, including social media. Below are some of the elements we will be looking at in 2019.
Messaging apps will grow
Though websites such as Facebook and Twitter are extremely important to your social media as a whole, many people are moving to messaging apps. These include WhatsApp as the biggest contender, with Facebook Messenger and WeChat coming second and third respectively.
More and more young people use messaging apps and this means that there is a real, untapped potential in them. The amount of time people are spending on messaging apps has grown exponentially and is much higher than any other platform, including social media. Finding a way to utilise and adjust off site SEO, now, is key.
The main ways that companies can use messaging apps to help their business' online presence are:
Companies that utilise certain messaging apps will be able to create bots that, when users type in certain commands, will tell the user something specific. About a specific offer, a link to a page on their website or some other response that will guide the user to where they need to go.
For some businesses, building groups of people is a definitive way to engage your customers. When people feel that they are part of a group, that they can talk to one another as well as the business, they will engage more. Dependent on what kind of business you run, you could use social media influences to create more chatter about your business - but, speaking directly to customers makes your business feel more personal and real.
Simply put, messaging apps are perfect for direct and instant responses to customer questions or complaints. For Facebook messenger, you can set up an instant response that informs the user that they may not get a response straight away, or gives them a number or email to use if their query cannot wait. This is a fantastic way to immediately engage with audiences, but you need someone on hand to answer messages ASAP.
You need to know what you're using every part of your social media for. If you're noticing that your Facebook and Twitter are giving you the best ROI, then solely focus on them; more channels may not always mean more traffic. Narrowing your focus means that you need to choose the best channels for your business. If you have a very visual business, then Facebook and Instagram may be your best bet, but if you run a very professional business, then Linkedin and Twitter may work better for you.
This should be a part of your strategy moving forward. Usually, having either a Facebook or Twitter in the mix is a good idea. However, if neither of them are doing well, you may also need to look at what you're doing on both of them. If you're not getting followers, look at the content you're producing. Is it high quality? If not, why not?
Remember, having many channels may just be distracting to your potential audience. Use Google Analytics to analyse where your traffic is coming from and focus on that.
With Facebook's recent issues with privacy, building trust over social media with your audience is extremely important. In a world of GDPR, you need to make sure your audience understands that their data is protected and this includes on social media, as well.
Reiterating that your audience's social data and privacy is your top priority will sooth a lot of troubled minds in regard to transparency. Making sure that you keep your audience on your side is paramount and ensuring that you keep your audiences' concerns in mind when posting is extremely important.
This doesn't need to be the only thing you talk about, but in regards to answering questions about privacy, you need to make sure you understand what a big topic it is. Bring it up in a couple of posts every so often, drive home how dedicated you are, as a company, to keeping your customers safe. If you have any specifics from your GDPR policy, then tell your audience.
Videos and live streaming
While high quality blog posts are still an important way to get content across to potential customers, social media is moving more and more in the direction of videos and live streaming. This is something that you will be able to do on Facebook, and in return Facebook has adjusted their algorithm to ensure that video posts will show up more frequently on feeds.
With the instant feedback from people commenting, it allows companies to immediately respond to the questions, comments and concerns from their audience. Users are more and more visual, with Instagram and Snapchat becoming popular, so ensuring that your social media output is visual as well is extremely important. Videos can be either a quick burst of information for your audience, or a longer way to tell a story; whether it's an advert for your company, or a way to deliver key information, you can make it as fun or serious as you deem necessary. But, always make sure it's engaging.
Another way of getting your business to your target audience in 2019 is through podcasts. Though this may be niche for certain brands, it's a fantastic way of injecting yourself into a market that is ever growing. Podcasts are more popular than ever and are a great way to advertise yourself to people who may not find you any other way. Not only can you create your own podcast, but if you find influencers who will advertise for you, sponsor them or pay them a fee to get your business' name in their podcast. It can be a great way to get yourself out there to a brand new audience.
So, how can I keep up to date with social media trends in 2019?
Making sure you stay on top of recent trends is key when it comes to gaining followers and engagement in the next year (and beyond). However, what's in this article isn't the be all and end all of how you should run your social media channels. Though following these guidelines is a good start, make sure to experiment with what you think is right; if it doesn't work, then adapt. See what your customers respond to the most and use that to your advantage.
With a social media plan for the next couple of months, you will be able to make notes of what works and what doesn't. Moving on from there, you'll be able to utilise your analysis to better the channels you are using to fully engage with your audience.
At the Smart Domain Group, we offer a high quality social media service that takes into account the newest trends to help gain you followers and a ROI.