The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series

 

Social Media Trends for 2019
PART 2 of 3
By STC Staff Writer and Research Analyst

Social media will continue to grow

The biggest winner should be Instagram, due to it rapidly becoming increasingly popular with those in the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket. Their younger family members will be using it to post photos and video, so if they want to join in, they need an account.

Social eCommerce will also be on the rise

More than 50% of Pinterest users buy items they see on the site. Instagram now allows stores, and this trend is bound to continue. STC utilizes and offers Shopify as the e-commerce platform of choice for its low-price, user-friendly east setup, and interface, and offered on a month-to-month subscription (No contract required). Click Here for details

Live video will continue to boom

The CEO of Facebook has predicted that the majority of content on Facebook will be video by 2020. Their system is easy to use and taps into the popularity of video rather than reading a blog post, for example. The secret will be to write keyword-rich titles and descriptions to make your videos more discoverable.

YouTube’s live video feature is becoming increasingly popular as well, but pre-recorded video is also valuable. Around 90% of online shoppers report that watching videos about products helps them make their buying decision.

YouTube is also becoming a hot social site, with engagement and comments similar to Facebook. Plus, it is a search engine and owned by Google, so your videos have two chances to make it to the top of Google’s search engine results.

If you’re a blogger, turn into a vlogger at least part of the time. Videos boost response rates and accelerate the buying process. They are perfect for information marketing and product demonstrations.

Social proof is the name of the game now

Studies have shown that only around 7% of internet users trust marketing material issued by a brand, as compared with around 72% who trust the recommendations of someone in their social circle (even when they have never met the person in their life). This trend is what has allowed bots to create fake “people” to influence decisions about politics, purchasing and more.

Facebook and Twitter are doing what they can to weed out the scammers and cybercriminals, but the fact is that a review from a “friend” can influence shopping decisions more strongly than any marketing message most brands can put out.

Therefore, the secret here might be to make ads look less like ads, such as by creating stories on Instagram and Snapchat, and carousels on Facebook.

Native Ads

In addition to stories, there are “native ads” – that is, ads which look like content. Sponsored pages and posts on Facebook would be a good example of a native ad. They don’t appear on the side in little boxes anymore, but right in a person’s news feed. They are useful and informative, rather than “buy now” ads.

Instead of being intrusive and distracting, they can convey a story in a more natural way, with storytelling being another hugely popular marketing trend that is not going away any time soon.

Using native ads offer the chance to tell your brand story in a way that will help you a stronger emotional connection with your target audience. The emotional connection can then lead to engagement, click-throughs, and conversions.

Due to the very detailed audience selection opportunities, there is much more likelihood of tapping into exactly the niche you are working in, rather than the more scattered Google ads. This means the ads will match user needs better and could lead to more conversions for less money compared with Google Ads (formerly AdWords).

Chatbots as marketing tools

Chatbot tools have surged in popularity over the past year and this trend is likely to continue. While they are not perfect, they are getting better, as marketers become better about predicting what user will type in and therefore what keywords will trigger the (hopefully) correct response.

The main goal is to ensure that the user experience with a chatbot is so good that they won’t know it is a bot, or won’t feel frustrated about getting a bot instead of a human.

Determining the various scenarios your chatbot should address, the different paths and responses users may take, and setting up for them, will all require time and effort.

But the results can be well worth it. It can lead to happier customers and significant savings. Estimates show that by 2022, chatbots could save companies who use them more than $8 billion per year.

Facebook Messenger is now highly programmable, so if you have a significant number of customers using this method to contact you, it’s time to start programming it.

Facebook ads will grow

Facebook ads offer a range of formats for different purposes. The way Ads Manager is set up is so simple, even a beginner can use it if they follow along. The goal-oriented organization at the start when setting up the ads also helps advertisers avoid making any mistakes when it comes to choosing the right format.

Having a goal means it’s easier to track the success of the ad and progress towards achieving the goal, which in turn will mean time and money saved.

Don’t overlook Instagram

Instagram is now part of the Facebook ad network. Set your ads to run on both, but do pay attention to the highly visual aspect of Instagram when creating them.

LinkedIn sponsored updates

These will never be as popular as Facebook ads, but they can be useful for certain companies, particularly those who sell to businesses rather than consumers.

Snapchat advertising will grow

Snapchat has 200 million daily users, watching 10 billion videos per day. If you want to tap into this market of 18- to 34-year-old users, running ads on Snapchat will be your best bet. They are young, on mobile, and spend more than $200 billion a year on food, fashion, music, and technology.

While it is true that social proof has pushed down ads as a means of conveying a believable message, ads that are helpful (not hype) can still influence buyer behavior.

Advertising trends

In addition to the new ad formats in Facebook and opportunities Snapchat now offers, Amazon is coming up and set to take on Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Why? Because the ads are in a location where people are already in “shopping mode”.

Studies have shown that in 2018 they have already taken up to 3% of the market once dominated by Google and Facebook, for a total of nearly $3 billion in ad revenue. Google will be the biggest loser because Ads is not as precisely targeted and the system is clunky and hard to use for beginner advertisers.

It is also more expensive than Facebook and the quality score system much more arbitrary than the Facebook relevance score assigned to their ads.

If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

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