Social media predictions for 2019

How is it December already? As the year draws to a close, we got to thinking about how social media will change over the next 12 months. Read on for our predictions…

 

Stories will explode

Expect to see more brands utilising Stories in 2019, both for organic content and advertising. The format was first developed by Snapchat and was quickly adopted by Instagram where it became incredibly popular. Next year, we can expect to see the format become even more widespread as more platforms experiment with it. WhatsApp has already jumped on board (and now sees 450m users using Stories), and it seems LinkedIn and YouTube aren’t far behind. The advantage of Stories over regular posts is that they’re seen as more authentic, interactive and generally see a higher reach than regular posts.

CEOs will become more social

In an era of fake news and demands for more transparency, it’s important for CEOs and other top executives to be active on social media to help build trust with their audience. There are a number of ways that a CEO can have their voice heard through social media channels, from sharing posts on LinkedIn to live-streaming announcements via YouTube or Facebook.

Voice will become an increasing focus

The transformation that ‘voice’ technology brings about will go much further than ‘Alexa’. Next year, voice will help make searching (and typing) easier, especially for consumers who have lower levels of reading literacy. The focus on voice will change how consumers discover products and how they communicate on social.

We’ll be seeing more video

Video has been cited as a huge trend for the last few years and that doesn’t show any signs of stopping. In fact, some sources say that next year 80% of what we consume online will be video. According to a recent study, people currently spend 2.6 hours a day online compared to 2.7 hours a day watching television. 45 minutes of this is spent watching mobile video, so businesses need to ensure their video content is optimised effectively for mobile formats.

…Especially live video

There will be a renewed focus on live-streaming. The authentic and ephemeral nature of live videos makes them especially attractive and meaningful to social media users. In addition, Generation Z are increasingly using social video platforms like Houseparty and TikTok, so making use of these new channels for youth-oriented businesses will be key.

There will be more exciting developments with AR and VR

It’s estimated that the augmented reality and virtual reality markets will surpass almost $300bn by 2023 – you can already see the popularity of these functions with the likes of Snapchat’s filters. Social media marketing managers can and should take advantage of these features (that will continue to become more prevalent on other platforms) to further their reach and personalising interactions with their customers.

Chatbots will become even more mainstream

We expect chatbots to continue growing in popularity next year, becoming the go-to option for ordering a takeaway, choosing a mobile plan or booking a hotel room. 80% of businesses want to be using chatbots by 2020 according to the technology giant Oracle.

 

Written by Harriet Chamberlain, Head of Digital

 

 

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