5 Data-Backed Social Media Trends You Need to Know for 2019

5 Data-Backed Social Media Trends You Need to Know for 2019

The brands that are successful in delivering personalized experiences to their audiences are the brands that are likely to thrive with their social media strategies in the coming year. Which is exactly why today we’re covering 5 data-backed social media trends you need to know to make 2019 your best year yet with social media marketing. In-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content Brian: Our number 1 trend for 2019, and by the way these 5 trends are in no particular order because we feel that they are all hugely important, is that in-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content. Well, this means an increased focus on the people and personalities behind your brand. AI-driven personalized customer experiences Which, brings us to our next social media trends 2019 and that’s that we’ll start to see AI drive a personalized customer experiences across lots of different channels. Marketers increased social ad budgets 32% in 2018 alone and produced more ads than ever before. Rise of social media TV and vertical videos One of the biggest social media trends since 2018 has been the launch of IGTV by Instagram. Hailley: I think that this fourth trend is one of the most exciting social media trends 2019 and is going to fundamentally shift the way that brands and marketers create content. That end point is your product or service.” In other words, you have to think about the digital experience as a whole. Brian: The best part about thinking of marketing like this is that paid ads, social, content, and email channels don’t have to compete against each other for sales or customers.

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2019 is here and gone are the days where generating audience engagement on social media was primarily a passive process. The always-online audiences of today want to be involved, interact, and co-create.

The brands that are successful in delivering personalized experiences to their audiences are the brands that are likely to thrive with their social media strategies in the coming year.

But in order to be able to capitalize on this and everything else social media has to offer, you have to know what’s coming!

Which is exactly why today we’re covering 5 data-backed social media trends you need to know to make 2019 your best year yet with social media marketing.

Let’s dive in!

5 data-backed social media trends you need to know for 2019

What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of the Buffer Podcast episode #127 for your reading pleasure.

Table of Contents

Kicking off our most popular show of the year: Social Media Trends 2019.

1. In-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content

Brian: Our number 1 trend for 2019, and by the way these 5 trends are in no particular order because we feel that they are all hugely important, is that in-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content.

Stories and rise of ephemeral content across social networks, which I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of in 2019, is capturing the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.

Growth of Stories Format - Social Media Trends 2019

Hailley: One of the key parts of that trend is that we’re predicting that stories will become the primary way to share content on social media, overtaking the News Feed. Only time will tell, but we’ll count on you to let us know if that prediction was right or not next year!

But this is why social media marketers have to continue to pay close attention to the rise of Stories and how it impacts how people consume content. And it’s why we talk about it so much here on the show. We’re witnessing a fundamental shift in media.

Brian: Mobile usage and even shorter attention spans will continue to increase the popularity of short-lived content in 2019, especially with Millennials and Generation Z’ers, who thrive on their relationships with brands being authentic and meaningful.

Which is exactly why it’s crucial that social media marketers establish a solid video strategy for ephemeral content.

More and more brands will embrace this personal, authentic and in-the-moment style content vs. overly produced, pre-packed content.

Hailley: What exactly does that mean for you?

Well, this means an increased focus on the people and personalities behind your brand. Think about how you can use video, Stories and images to connect your audience with the human – maybe even, dare I say, the vulnerable – side of your business.

Social Media Experiments and Social Media Trends 2019

You can accomplish a lot of this by taking your audience behind the scenes and showing the work your business day-to-day.

If you’re a coffee shop, create a story of how you brew the perfect cup.

If you’re a service business, take your followers on a tour of your office or show your team working.

Brian: Overall, the key thing is to experiment.

Imagine at one end of the spectrum there’s the old social media with pre-packaged, very produced content. At the other end you have in-the-moment, super raw content. For brands, there are millions of untapped miles of opportunity in the middle of those two ends to try new things.

2. AI-driven personalized customer experiences

Which, brings us to our next social media trends 2019 and that’s that we’ll start to see AI drive a personalized customer experiences across lots of different channels.

Hailley: From chatbots to ad optimization, platforms like Google and Facebook have been continuing to adopt artificial intelligence to enhance customer interaction.

But it remains a huge opportunity and is underutilized by many brands.

Social Media Trends 2019 - AI Personalization

Where we’re seeing this develop particularly fast is in the form of online customer service.

In 2018, the growth in AI-driven communication has been undeniable, with tools like Intercom and Drift starting to appear on websites everywhere.

Many experts predict that by 2020, more than 80% of all customer service interactions will be powered by AI bots.

Brian: Again, with the younger generations leading the charge.

Millennials are the quickest adaptors of chatbot-based customer experiences. According to Huffington Post, 60% of the millennial population already uses chatbots and 71% of Millennials have implied that they would like to try using one.

In 2019, more and more brands will strengthen their online customer service practices and even move to new platforms that may potentially offer more effective technology for customer service to thrive online, such as WhatsApp and Messenger.

Hailley: Let’s talk about WhatsApp for a second because I think marketers forget that they have over a billion users.

In 2019, we should begin to see the rise of WhatsApp as a primary social customer service channel. The release of the WhatsApp business API in August 2018 will continue to be a total game-changer in the industry.

Rise of WhatsApp - Social Media Trends

With this new API, WhatsApp allows businesses to respond to customers for free within 24 hours. This shift means businesses are now incentivized to reply to their customers faster. It puts the focus firmly on improving customer experience.

Brian: What I love about how WhatsApp is set up is that customers can talk to a business on a channel they are already using for communication (with friends and family) without being spammed with marketing messages. The power with WhatsApp really is in the consumers hands.

But in terms of personalization, given the vast amount of information being uploaded by people each day, it’s become very easy to get insights into all kinds of information about your customers.

This has opened the door for enhanced personalization, and that has increased consumer expectation for the same. So in other words, consumers are coming to expect it.

Hailley: Content, products, emails, ads – all can now be based on the consumer’s purchase…

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