There will be an estimated 2.77 billion social media users globally in 2019. For marketers, this becomes a huge platform to validate your brand, generate leads and increase your lead conversion rates. Social media also provides a way of creating more meaningful interactions with consumers, which could further increase retention rates. Looking forward, here are the top five new social media trends worth investing in.
1. Live Video Content
The usefulness of video content grows each year and is expected to take the lead in the market in 2019. However, these are not regular YouTube videos, but live videos on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The authenticity and free-of –editing nature of these videos makes them an extremely popular and trusted mode of communication with social media viewers.
Just like blogs, the content needs to be straight to the point, creative, meaningful and relevant. The quality of the video also needs to be good enough to keep your audience engaged. The fact that these videos are not expected to be Hollywood level film productions does not allow poor, grainy clips.
2. Engage Micro influencers As Opposed To Macro influencers
Microinfluencers are revolutionary when you think about their influence, and there are good reasons why they are among the top new social media trends. Micro influencers are “average people” in a sense, and with less than 10,000 followers on their social platforms. On the other hand, macro influencers are usually famous, celebrity-types.
Despite their large numbers of followers, they lack the personal interaction that micro influencers have.
Advantages of micro-influencers
• They seem more authentic and run a word-of-mouth kind of outfit. They give the same feel as getting product recommendations from trusted friends and family. This authenticity also creates brand awareness and recall.
• They are cheaper than engaging macro influencers making them rank well among new social media trends. Many micro influencers also run blogs. This is great for your SEO optimization. The more people you have discussing your products and linking to your website, the better your search ranking.
Macro influencer’s pull is largely from their organic connections with their audiences. They are mainly experts in their particular fields and are recognized as such within their virtual communities.
The best way to go about it is to identify a micro influencer, send them your product and request an honest review. This can either result in positive reviews that will attract customers, or show you areas of improvement. Either way, you win.
3. Social Listening
With all the information out there about you and your brand, you can’t afford to be shut off from the conversations until a crisis hits. This is the function of social listening. It ensures you have your ears and eyes on the ground looking for any and all mentions of your brand and what is being said about it.
This includes untagged brand mentions, mentions on blogs and news sites, industry keywords and so on.
The benefits of social listening include:
• It’s key to identifying gaps in your services that you can then address.
• It helps you get ahead of negative undercurrents and manage these before they gain momentum and hit the public domain.
• It gives you insights on your positioning vis a vis your competitors.
With the useful data social listening provides, its little wonder why it makes it on the new social media trends list.
In the future, social listening’s role will extend to social selling and lead generation. Technology is not lagging behind as some tools are introducing features that support lead generation activities.
4. Real-time Communication
Among the top new social media trends is real-time communication. This is big and about to get bigger. Consumers do not want to wait; not for your website to load, nor for you to respond to a tweet. Responses are expected to be fast and furious. Using Artificial Intelligence, such as chat boxes allows customers to get a 1st-line resolution or response to a query. On the financial end alone, they are cheaper compared to a fully-operational. 24/7 call center. Other options that will be utilized more are instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, snapchat and kik.
Further, websites must be mobile phone ready. With the increasing use of smartphone use, most of your consumers will be accessing your information via a smartphone. For this reason, ensure your website is seamlessly navigable via smartphone devices.
5. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality epitomizes creativity as far as new social media trends are concerned. AR can be used to give consumers an experience of a product before they buy it. For example, a home improvement business building an app where customers can virtually pick items from their store and see how they look in their living rooms. Or maybe a make-up line that allows customers to see what they would like in certain shades. Hey, even 360ᵒ virtual tours of hotel rooms and real estate. A great feature about augmented reality is that it allows for sharing across social media, further propelling brand visibility and awareness.