Well, we’re officially settling into a rhythm for 2019. And while a lot of things stay the same from year to year (i.e. our office dog sleeping 23 hours a day), social media keeps changing at the blink of an eye. So what trends can you expect in the upcoming year? There a lot of ways that socials are changing and trending, so we decided we’d focus on four that we feel are applicable and helpful to our nonprofit and ministry audiences. Let’s dive in.
- Popularity of “Stories”
You guys, the “story” feature on social media platforms is where it’s at, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is it the most popular place for Millennials to post about their morning coffee routine, it’s also where brands are now expected to play and engage like never before.
So why are stories growing at a speed 15 times faster than the standard feed-based content? It’s because people are attracted to authenticity. And while your feed can reflect this on occasion, the casual and brief nature of a story allows brands to engage users in a way that isn’t quite as curated and mechanical. It allows brands to connect with question/answer polls, show its followers behind the scenes, introduce them to their fun team, and so much more.
All that to say, if you’re a brand of any kind and you’re not diving into “stories” like the other 400 million users each day, you’re missing out on a unique and desired way to engage in 2019.
- Importance of Boosted Posts for Brands
As social media platforms continue to narrow their algorithms, it is becoming increasingly difficult for posts to be seen on a large scale. In fact, as of last year, only about 6% of a brand’s posts were actually seen by its followers. SIX PERCENT. Why come up with creative and engaging content if hardly anyone is seeing it?
Welcome “boosted posts” to the scene (now more than ever). This is now one of the most effective ways to combat the algorithm and make sure your posts are being seen. And where this was once simply a bonus option for brands, we're almost left with no choice now but to invest in sponsored posts and ads (if we want to make the resources we put into actually creating the content worthwhile). Understandably, this can feel a tad defeating to the ol’ budget, but do not fear. Boosted and sponsored ads are actually quite affordable and often quickly pay for themselves.
- Higher Ad Consumption
On a similar note as the above, while brands are having to engage in ads more than ever, trends are also reporting that consumers are engaging these ads more than ever as well. Facebook alone saw an increase of 61% on click through rates for ads last year!
As you may remember, in the early stages of social media ads, people were very hesitant and upset upon their arrival. The ominous world of advertising was creeping into a space where they were not invited or wanted. But after some getting used to, the social world has adapted and people are now embracing the ads. But why would this shift happen all of a sudden? Advertisers got smart and started finding unique and creative ways to enter into the space with their ad without it feeling intrusive and salesy.
They figured out the magic formula to getting the right content in the right platform with the right format at the right time to the right audience. Right? ;)
So what does this mean for you? Identify your tribe of people you want to reach, establish what type of message they need to hear, and find a creative way to engage them in their social space with your ad.
- Emergence of Micro-influencers
A micro-influencer is someone who would be considered an “everyday person” who doesn’t have the 500,000 Instagram followers that other semi-famous “influencers” tend to flaunt. They’re people who are networked a bit and have interests, but don’t make a living off of showing products they never actually use in real life. And they tend to have a focus or a niche of some kind (i.e. mommy bloggers, men who love grilling, people passionate about a certain cause).
Because these people are often in each other’s circles of influence, followers are proving to trust these micro-influencers more than brands ever anticipated.
And the other great thing about micro-influencers? They work for brands with micro-budgets (and in some cases may voluntarily use their platforms for nonprofits). They’re much more affordable, relatable, and trusted. So step aside former “Dancing-with-the-Stars-contestant-turned-ad-junkie”…we’ve got new influencers in town.
Alright, did you get all that? You’re all caught up on the trends we're expecting to see for the year. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open for new trends and added features throughout the year to make sure you’re equipped to take full advantage of all that the wonderful world of social media has to offer.
If you’re ever in need of social media strategy, give us a call. We love working with our clients to establish their own unique presence and plan to increase engagement and grow their impact.