Fallston Group

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Four Social Media Trends to Watch & Adopt in 2019

By Patrick Seidl

Each year, Hootsuite releases an annual report on the global trends in social media. Their latest edition incorporates feedback from 3,255 of its customers (from large enterprises to small agencies), interviews with industry analysts and exhaustive research that helps businesses and organizations frame their social media activity and alignment toward achieving key business goals. Here are four of the key social media trends Hootsuite identifies for brands to watch and adopt in 2019:

  1. Rebuilding Trust – Social crises in 2018 have diminished the public’s trust; 60% of people no longer trust social media companies and front-runners like Facebook have witnessed a shocking 66% drop in consumers’ trust. According to the report, trust on social media has reverted back to immediate friends, family members and acquaintances on social media. The takeaway? It’s important to leverage your brand’s PEOPLE to help establish trust in your brand. If you’re not humanizing your business by promoting your staff and leaders, now is the time to start. Pro tip: Consider hosting a Facebook Live event where you can position your brand’s experts in front of your followers to answer questions and talk about future endeavors.  
  2. Storifying Social – Stories across all social platforms (Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram) are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. According to Hootsuite, brands can no longer rely on page updates to connect with your followers; it’s imperative to incorporate stories into your social media strategy. Relatively new to the story market is Facebook; currently only 9% of brands surveyed post stories to the platform. Pro tip: If you’re not utilizing Facebook stories, now is the time to start – the company continues to push the feature and adopting early can get you ahead of the curve in terms of reach/engagement. Pro tip #2: less polished, organic and “in the moment” stories perform better than produced ones.
  3. Closing the Ads Gap – It’s no secret that platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly more “pay to play” – meaning if you want to connect with your audience, you need to incorporate paid ads and boosts into your social media strategy. This is evidenced in the death of organic reach, especially across Facebook. Did you know the average organic reach on Facebook today is roughly 6.4% in terms of page reach vs. page likes? But, what about smaller brands that don’t have the budget to put dollars behind each and every post? Pro tip: Hootsuite recommends taking organic content that breaks the 6.4% barrier and begin boosting those posts first. It’s important to test, test, test!
  4. Messaging Eats the World – Hootsuite’s study found that users are spending more time on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger and less time sharing personal updates on social media. This is important to consider because the study also found 9/10 consumers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses. In fact, messaging on social media is the single most preferred channel for customer service. So long, emails and phone calls! Pro tip: if you’re not replying to your brand’s messages on social media, now is the time to start and the key is to be PROMPT. Nothing’s worse than receiving an answer to your question a week after it was initially asked, am I right?

If you need help with your social media marketing and adaptation of best-practices to build your brand and move your business needle, give us a call at Fallston Group today at 410.420.2001. You may also drop us a line HERE. We look forward to hearing from you!

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