Last year we saw the rise of teen-friendly TikTok, cats took over the world and an egg broke the internet. But what does 2019 have in-store for us this year? With over 2.62 billion social media users in 2018 and a forecasted 2.77 billion users by the end of 2019, imagination truly is the limit. However, based on our expertise, we’ve come up our own predictions for the year ahead.
Audiences are becoming savvier when it comes to social media. They want less bull and more truth. We’re becoming less interested in what social influencers are saying, which is supported by a survey carried out by the BBC in December of last year. The survey showed that 82% of people were left unclear as to whether or not the influencers had been paid to promote a product, leading to distrust in both the influencer and the brand.
New ASA guidelines, however, have just changed, meaning that influencers must now state by law whether or not they have been paid by the brand. This should, therefore, be the starting put of a new era of social trust.
It’s obvious to see a trend of progressive story-telling on social media, especially through Snapchat as well as Instagram and Facebook stories. The stories feel more real to audiences as well as much more intimate. The need for video content is becoming more and more relevant and we can only see this trend continuing to grow, as audiences aspire for warmer relationships with brands.
Quality Over Quantity
Aesthetics and creativity are everything. When a person visits your Instagram, they are solely judging whether to follow you are not based on two things. 1) Is the product appealing to them? 2) Does the Instagram aesthetic appeal to them? This ‘appealness’ now often places hand-in-hand with trust. If someone visited your website and it was poorly built, they may have less trust in your brand and ability to deliver, and this is the same on social media.
And if your feed appears cluttered or without a theme, you are getting it so, so wrong. Curate each piece of content so that it fits and looks beautiful on your page. You only have to look at the Instagram accounts of brands like Flowers For Dreams and Missguided to see why they are doing so well.
Humanising Your Brand
Another trend that goes hand-in-hand with trust. Audiences are fed up of the stereo-typical ways of promoting and selling. They don’t want to be sold at, they want to create a relationship between themselves and the brand. It’s much easier to create a relationship with a human than it is with a ‘50% OFF ALL KETTLES’ promotion.
You can do this by giving your brand a face, through guest Instagram take-overs, brand ambassadors and providing community management.
Knowing Your Platforms
To do really well in 2019, you need to pick the platforms that you use well. Teenagers are mostly over facebook, moving over onto Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, whilst mums, dads and grand-parents are using Facebook more than ever. Pinterest is an up and rising platform, perfect for finding DIY projects and fashion inspiration. So you don’t want to be a property management company advertising on Pinterest, because your market just aren’t there. Utilise social media reports to figure out where your audience truly lies.