Prioritize your social media efforts in 2019 by focusing on these top trends.
Keeping up with social media is a full-time job, and as a small business, you have a lot of other tasks occupying your time. However, social media is becoming even more of an impactful sales and marketing channel for small businesses. According to a recent Social Media Today survey, customers spend anywhere from 20-40% more on companies that engage with them on social media. That number is hard to ignore!
We have compiled a list of the biggest social media trends of 2018 that will continue to be impactful in 2019. This list is intended as a helpful guide to understand the impact of these channels and how to prioritize your sales and marketing initiatives around social media for 2019!
1. Social media isn’t going away any time soon
If you are not already on social media, you may be asking yourself "why should I care?" or "do I need to be on social media?" The answer is...emphatically yes! The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year. In fact, it is continuing to grow. Even with recent negative media attention around social media platforms, Facebook is still the 2nd most searched website in the world.
As small businesses, this is a great place to start advertising. Almost all of your prospects are utilizing social channels, and most likely daily! And, it is free to create your channels.
If you are not on social media yet, you need to be in 2019. Start with one channel and grow your social media base. If you don't know which channel to start first, poll your clients. Send out a survey and ask them which channel they use the most.
2. Personalized Content is King
It drives me crazy when I received a sponsored ad on my Facebook for a product or service that doesn't appeal to me. Sometimes it is for the wrong gender or a retargeting add for a product I already purchased.
To be effective, content needs to be personalized and resonate with the user. It has to appeal to their interests, hobbies, or business challenges. The best way for a small business to execute personalized content is to bridge the gap between your business goals and your customers' needs and desires. Before posting anything on social, try to check the buckets below:
- Is it relevant to my prospect or customer?
- Is it the right messaging for their stage in the journey? (i.e research, shop, buy, use, maintain, recommend)
- Does it address a challenge they are currently facing?
- Is the content engaging and does it include a call to action?
- Is the copy authentic? You want to refrain from sounding too "salesy".
This is especially important on Facebook since they established an algorithm that prioritizes posts based on personalization and relevance to the user, not on money. ( Here is a good article that outlines the new algorithm.) Even if you sponsor your content, it will not necessarily show up on your prospect's page unless Facebook deems it relevant.
I believe that in 2019 more social platforms will follow suite and move towards ensuring content is personalized to the user.
3. Videos, videos, and more....videos!
By 2020, 80% of the total global internet traffic will soon be attributed by videos.
Remember earlier when I said personalized content is king? Well, if content is king, then video is queen.
Video content is stickier on social media. Most people grasp more information if it is visual. That's why videos work! A compelling video that shows your product and service in action is an excellent selling technique. You may be saying to yourself "show me the proof"! Well, here are some jaw dropping statistics of why you should use video:
- 90% of social media users share videos, meaning that you are more likely to get additional eyes on your posts if it is a video.
- 80% prefer watching a live video from a brand than reading a blog post, and 82% prefer live video over any other type of social media post.
- Live videos on Facebook are watched 3x longer and get 10x more comments than those that are recorded.
And I think the most compelling statistic of them all is that 73% of B2B organizations using videos in their marketing campaigns are reporting positive results to their ROI.
Not only are videos engaging prospects and drawing eyes, but they are actually generating revenue. And that is what we all want, right?
Video popularity will continue to grow, but small businesses tend to struggle with getting good video content with limited resources. Here are some strategies to create videos on a limited budget:
- Create a nice PowerPoint and animate it - you don't need sound on social videos
- Use a free video app like Legend to animate simple text and images
- Purchase a DSLR camera and a good microphone - this will make recording easier
- Use apps like iMovie or Filmora Video Editor to edit your videos. You don't need to use high-end software. These apps are free and have most of the features you will need.
- Optimize your YouTube video with keywords
- Use stories on Instagram and Facebook to show promos, new products, announcements, etc.
4. Authenticity builds brand love
Consumers are smarter and more informed than ever. They don't want to be bombarded with messages to buy your product. They are already overwhelmed by promotions. In fact, 57% of social users are annoyed with too many promotions by brands. They want to see something different from you.
A great way to do that is through user generated content. User generated content is content generated by customers that use your service or product. The goal with UGC is that your customers give you content that you can then use for your own marketing needs-website content, social media, emails, etc. 1 - your customers do the work for you, and 2 - it looks more authentic coming directly from them instead of you.
If you would like to learn more about user generated content, click here to read our full breakdown on how small business can activate a UGC campaign.
5. Your customers want to communicate digitally
Everyone says that the millennial generation lacks communication skills because they grew up communicating digitally - over AIM, text, and chatting. Well, this trend may prove them right. Facebook research shows that 54.5% of US social media users prefer messaging channels over email, phone and online chat.
Because of this substantial number, 67 percent of business owners are planning to increase their messaging over the next two years. Assess your business and identify ways you can use messaging platforms to communicate and interact with your customers. Soon, your customers will expect that you already have this functionality in place and a process to respond to them within an hour. So, whether it be Facebook messenger or Instagram direct messaging, determine how you want to incorporate these channels into your marketing and servicing strategies.
6. Everyone is spending more money on social
"A whopping 40% of this year's global ad spend will take place online. And more specifically, ad spend on social media is expected to increase by more than 20%, totaling $58 billion." - Zenith Media
Get the most bang for your buck! Continue to advertise through social in 2019. Social media advertising tends to be less expensive in comparison to other digital and physical forms of advertising. Before you spend all of your advertising dollars, make sure you have done your research to understand your customers. Which channels are they spending most of their time on? Where do they go to get information and shop? What types of content are they engaging with and then buying?
By understanding these important questions, you will be able to create a better targeting and segmentation strategy that will increase ad performance.
Just starting out? Start by boosting your page specifically targeting your prospective customer base. It is a great way to build your brand presence and followers that would purchase your product or service.
2019 will be an exciting year for social media. We expect to see a lot of changes and small business will need to adapt their strategy throughout the year. If you need help with your social media strategy, contact us at email@example.com.