Social media trends to watch in 2019

Social media trends to watch in 2019

December 2018

As we head towards a new year, it’s time to gaze into our crystal ball and see what’s hot, what’s not, and what should be on every social media manager’s Christmas wish list.


Get real: AR means business

Augmented reality features will no longer just be for fun. Instagram users really welcome that connection with the celebrities they follow and, increasingly, expect it from brands as well. Many businesses are developing their own Instagram AR filters to engage customers and encourage users to follow them.


Video will be the Instagram star

Video ads are nothing new of course, but they’re going to be a massive social media trend in the next few years. By 2021, videos will account for 81 percent of all internet traffic, and we predict that video ads and live video by brands on Instagram will be huge as we go into 2019.


Stories: the next chapter

2018 was the year of Instagram Stories, especially after the addition of Instagram Highlights. In 2019, it will become even more ubiquitous. According to Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox, Stories will outpace feeds as the main way people share things some time in 2019. We predict that brands will really embrace these formats and the new ones that will come along in the year ahead.


Your new best friends

Organic social media reach is on its way down to zero across all platforms. This means that if you want your brand to appear in the feeds of your fans and target audience in 2019 you will have to get onboard with paid, engage with some influencers and nurture a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership with them.


Micro-influencers for maximum impact

So influencers are where it’s at, but brands will be particularly looking to team up with smaller influencers. These ‘micro-influencers’ have highly engaged social media audiences and consumers tend to trust them more than big celebrities, so there’s potential for better results.


More tools for your box

As more brands team up with influencers, expect more tools, such as TapInfluence and Upfluence, become available for finding and managing influencers and tracking their performance. We’ll also see more investment in new influencer content mediums such as Stories and live streaming and new platforms like TikTok [see more on TikTok below].


Tighter transparency rules

It’s already written into law in the US that paid partnerships must be made clear and this will spread to other markets in the future.


The hot new app for paid partnerships

In September 2018, fashion brand Guess partnered with TikTok, the short-form mobile video platform, on a viral campaign. Called the #InMyDenim challenge, it was the first promoted hashtag challenge on TikTok in the US. Expect to see more of TikTok marketing in 2019.


Chatbots will take over the world

The popularity of chatbots will continue to grow, with 80% of businesses planning to deploy some type of chatbot by 2020. They’re also going to become more clever, as artificial intelligence technology advances. For e-commerce, they’ll become more popular with brands as a way of cutting operational costs and providing better customer service.


The year of social commerce

Already the norm in Asia, direct shopping via social media will become more widespread across the globe in 2019. There’s a raft of new technologies making it easier, Instagram’s shoppable posts, for example, where users can discover a product and buy it without leaving the app. Brands will be finding more ways to introduce seamless shopping into their social media strategies.


Big steps for Big Data

Big Data as a tool of discovery will continue to evolve and mature, and artificial intelligence platforms will have a significant impact over the next decade. As AI platforms become used more widely to process Big Data, we’ll see an improvement in business intelligence-gathering and efficiency.


Meet the Data Curator

In 2019, you’ll see a new job title cropping up on business cards: the Data Curator. The Data Curator (DC) will manage an organization’s metadata and take charge of data protection, governance and quality. You’ll often see them standing in board rooms, presenting all that data in the form of charts, infographics and slideshows.

A year is a long time in social media and the trends came thick and fast during 2018. A theme that is emerging out of it is that consumers will be demanding ever more personalised, authentic social experiences. People will look less towards celebrity influencers and more towards micro-influencers, who they see as more ‘authentic’ and trustworthy, and they’ll be wanting higher-quality, more transparent social engagement. Marketers, as ever, will be kept on their toes. Happy New Year!