2018 saw lots of changes to all social media platforms, including the change in the algorithm for Instagram and Facebook and the introduction of IGTV. These changes will likely impact how we effectively manage our social media strategies next year. As we head ever closer to 2019, we make some predictions for what trends we can expect to see in social media.
Dark social may not be a term that lots of users of social media are familiar with, however it certainly isn’t a new trend. Dark social refers to when people share content through private channels such as instant messaging apps (for example: WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger) and emails. Messenger app usage is constantly increasing with EMarketer estimating that nearly 2.19 billion consumers will be using messaging apps by the end of 2019. This is a huge number of users that you have the opportunity to reach through Dark Social.
Another benefit to using dark social is that there is no algorithm to contend with it, unlike on platforms such as Facebook, which have recently starting putting more focus on showing users content from their friends and family rather than brands.
Augmented Reality (AR) Ads
Using AR within your social media strategy offers your audience a unique and personalised user experience
Since Snapchat began to explore AR integration back in 2015 with the use of filters, many social media developers are now coming up with new ways to use AR. Facebook has partnered with over 700 brands in order achieve their AR plan. Building on their existing advertising features, Facebook is aiming to develop an enhanced advertising platform, driven by AR technology. This was revealed at their developer conference, where we found out that brands will soon be available to allow brands to show off products within the messenger app and newsfeed using AR.
Vertical content is becoming increasingly important within social media, especially considering MarketingLand revealed that 70% of all social media time is spent on a mobile device. We expect to see a lot more brands focussing their efforts into sharing vertical content in 2019.
In June this year, Instagram announced their new video platform, IGTV, which is designed for vertical, long-form content. IGTV allows brands and content creators to better address an audience that primarily uses mobile devices. With content that fills up the whole screen in it’s natural vertical position, it instantly much more immersive. As well as this, long-form content is proven to increase both social media engagement and web traffic.
The popularity of Instagram Stories have grown significantly over the past year, with lots of exciting features being added to them, including music stickers, poll and question stickers and gif stickers. All these new additions can help make your social media much more exciting and interactive for your audience.
Over 400 million Instagram account now use stories on a daily basis, making it a perfect opportunity for use business to utilise it within your social media strategy. We expect to see an increased in brands using Instagram Stories and Instagram Story Ads in 2019.
Instagram Story Advertising allows your ad to display to users as they are swiping through the stories of the users that they follow. It offers you the same advanced targeting options that you would be able to use within a Facebook Ad. These adverts should feature high quality design and be designed for a vertical mobile screen. However, since your ad will be appearing in between non-business Instagram stories, it is important that you make your content fit in with this as naturally as possible.
Gamification in Live Video
Earlier this year Facebook released some exciting gamification features for live video, allowing users to do things such as sharing polls during a live video. This is a feature we can expect to see by other social media platforms in the new year. This is a high engaging technique that can help in keeping your users attention.
Social Media Marketing is ever-changing and developing and it is important that you keep on top of the latest trends in order to ensure your strategy is working effectively. Contact us if you require assistance with social media management!