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Since the world became entranced with social media – or indeed reliant upon it as many would say –
it has been customary for industry insiders to look for future trends. Not only is social media a fun
way to keep in touch with people and share information, but it is also an important business tool. In
fact, there are many who will tell you – and perhaps quite rightly – that it is under-utilized in terms
of marketing.

What do we see as the primary social media predictions for the next year? With 2018 having been
quite a turbulent one in many ways – we have seen a number of data security breaches after all,
with the very public Facebook breach being the one that raised eyebrows – 2019 promises to be a
year of changes, but where will these changes be, and how will they manifest?

We took a look at a few of the predicted social media trends for 2019, so you can take a step
forward and be prepared for what is about to happen.

1: Will Facebook Continue to Decline?

As we said, 2018 has been a troubled year in the social media world, and not the least for Facebook,
which for many is the poster-child of social media. In Europe in particular, user numbers have fallen,
the main catalyst being the major security breach that occurred mid-year.
In fact, when analyzed closely, the information gained was not as great as many of us thought, but
the very fact that it was easily done raised a lot of red flags in the industry.
Furthermore, with the ongoing problems of ‘fake news’ – a big problem with all areas of social
media and not just Facebook – plus concerns that many areas of the platform have become more
politicized, things are not looking great. To add insult to injury, recent updates to the way the page
looks met with little satisfaction from users.
It could be that people are becoming bored with the platform and are more in tune with Instagram
and Snapchat, which focus on much less involvement and faster interaction, but look to the USA for
signs of falling numbers here next year, and it might be the beginning of the downfall of the king.

2: Real-Time Interaction

This is an area that is already seeing some serious movement, and it’s one you need to look closely
at if you are searching for social media trends for 2019. By real-time we mean interaction with
customers in marketing and online retail. Think of it this way: you talk to your friends in real time, so
why not those who are doing you a service?
Yet, it goes further than that; chatbots, for example, are for many online businesses the way
forward. The tools are there – it happens in advertising already – for even smaller companies to have
an automated search bot looking for mentions of its products. Two people talking about a particular product
– be it on Twitter, for example, or any other platform – may find a real-time chat box
opening asking them what they are interested in.
It makes sense; why should anyone wait, when they want instant answers anyway? The next year
could see this as the biggest development in online marketing, and without anyone really noticing!

3: Personalization

There is no doubt that the ongoing personalization of social media marketing is controversial, but
then is there any area of social media that is not? The fact is, we put so much information out there
without even thinking about it, so why wouldn’t marketers use it?
It’s happening to a great degree: head to Netflix, for example, and it will give you a category of
‘Because You Watched. You will find Amazon ads on your pages featuring products like those you
recently searched. It can feel a little ‘Big Brother’, but how many times have you clicked on that
recommended film, or bought the product suggested?
This sort of thing is set to expand across the digital arena in no small way, and in all honesty, it is
nothing more than the modern version of direct mail, in which likely buyers were targeted with
physical maildrops.
You may also find this technique in an advanced form known as ‘social listening’; this is searching for
not only mentions of brands and products, but also monitoring reputations. Don’t get this mixed up
with the current raft of rumors that ‘your phone is listening to you’ – it may be, it may not – but
consider it as just a way of personalizing the consumers’ information for their own convenience.
Social listening relies on things like IP addresses and cookies instead of your phone’s mic, so take off
that tin-foil hat and relax knowing that at least the marketers aren’t listening in.

4: Video Content

The inexorable rise of video content is clear to see. Inspired by YouTube, and enabled by the ability
to film content fit for broadcast on cheap, hand-held devices, it is no surprise that the video is set to
be the digital marketeers chosen weapon when targeting social media.

It’s 2019…Let’s face it, people like to watch video, and don’t like to read slabs of words brought
down from a mountaintop. People like to be amused, and that’s something that is far easier to do in
moving picture form. And, with the tools we have now, you can even ‘go live’ and put out a real-time
broadcast inviting your potential clients to engage with you, on the spot. If we are to credit anything
as the fastest rising medium of 2019, it’s live video content, and video marketing as a whole.
The simple facts remain that social media is fluid, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay. People sign on
to talk to someone, and if you can engage them with relevant content while you are both online, you
have a live potential customer right there.

 

The trends in social media are moving away from the fun and frivolous towards the practical and
beneficial – beneficial to both the customer and the provider – and it pays to stay one step ahead.
Keep an eye out for the trends mentioned above, and be aware that these are the probable movers
and shakers in terms of social media for the coming year.

 

This post was submitted by our friends at SociallyIn, a social media marketing agency located in Birmingham, Alabama. They were voted one of the fastest growing companies in Birmingham during 2018 and are also known for hosting the annual Southern Social Summit which is a gathering of creatives and social media marketers. SociallyIn is listed in the top 10 social media marketing firms on Clutch.