This is a guest post written by Katie Ko Social. More information about Katie can be found at the end of the article.
Is anyone else in denial of the fact that we’re already over halfway through 2019? Fall is quickly approaching and before we know it, 2020 will be here.
So, what should you focus on for the rest of the year? The short answer: a lot of things.
One of the hardest parts about social media is the pressure to “keep up with the trends.” I hear it from clients on a weekly basis: what should we be doing? How can we stay relevant?
Social media is always changing and it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. But for now, I recommend focusing on the following trends.
Take advantage of Instagram stories
With over 400 million active users, Instagram stories are the perfect way for you to boost engagement, generate leads and drive traffic. If I were you, I’d aim to show up on Instagram stories every single day. I’m talking photos, videos and going live.
One of the best things about Instagram stories is how casual they can be. They don’t always have to be curated or planned out weeks in advance. Users will appreciate a more relatable, behind-the-scenes look into your brand.
Not sure what to post on your story? Here’s a list of more than 30 different ideas.
Now more than ever, brands are taking advantage of artificial intelligence such as chatbots. However, it’s important to note that you should only be utilizing this new feature if you can give it the proper time and attention. Too many brands are using AI but aren’t focusing enough on providing a quality customer experience.
If you’re interested in using a chatbot or some form of artificial intelligence, make sure you’re digging deep into the minds of your consumers. Figure out what kind of experience and customer service they’re looking for. Then, see if AI can help you bridge any gaps and deliver this to them.
The video streaming market is projected to be worth $70 billion by 2021. Yup, $70 billion. If you haven’t already taken advantage of live video, now is the time to start. Though curated content can still produce desired results, these days it’s more about showing up in the present. It’s about being real and authentic.
Struggling to come up with ideas? Here’s a stat to keep in mind: According to Livestream, 87 percent of audiences want behind-the-scenes access and prefer to watch online live-stream video when it offers more behind-the-scenes content than traditional television. Not to mention that 53 percent of viewers are watching entertaining and funny videos. So, think about giving your viewers an inside look into what a typical day looks like for you, with a few bloopers in-between. Live video is the perfect way for you to showcase your personality and connect with your target audience.
Experiment with ads
According to Statista, social media advertising revenue is expected to grow over 26 percent in the next year. If you haven’t started using ads on social media, think about incorporating them into your strategy. No matter your budget, there are ways for you to take advantage of ads and work on expanding your reach.
Not convinced? According to Adobe, 57 percent of millennials and 45 percent of Gen Z, the demographics dominating on social media, agree that the ads they see are becoming more relevant. There are more targeting options now than ever, so do a little research and figure out how you can use ads to boost your business this next year.
We’ve all seen them: posts that include “#ad or #sponsored.” Influencer marketing has taken over the world of social media, and has proven to work wonders for brands big and small. An increase in brand awareness, sales, traffic and more can come from this type of collaboration.
According to BigCommerce, 65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2019. So, if you haven’t already, make it a goal to work with 1-2 influencers or micro-influencers by the end of the year. Take a look at your business goals and spend time looking for someone who will represent your brand in a positive light. This is one trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
These days, people don’t just buy products, they buy stories. They buy something that’s going to help them become a better version of themselves. So when you’re on social media, you need to focus on telling a story and being more authentic.
Why do you do what you do? What makes you stand out from the rest? Get to know your target market and figure out what’s going to resonate with them. Dominate on social media by going
against the grain. Share something new, be vulnerable and open up. People are much more likely to buy from those they trust, and there’s no better way to build trust than by sharing your own story.
Video, video, video
Tired of me hitting you with the stats? Here’s another: According to Renderforest, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. And, they receive 41% more web traffic from search than non-users. If that doesn’t convince you to start prioritizing video, I’m not sure what will!
If you’ve never made a video before, fear not. These days, there are plenty of tools, free and paid, to help you do so. And they’re user-friendly for all of us who aren’t videographers. Personally, I love Videoleap for making videos on my phone and Animoto for making videos on my computer. They’re both easy to use and will take your video content to the next level.
Social media can be intimidating, but by focusing on these trends for the rest of 2019, you’re sure to widen your reach and connect with your target audience. Leave fear behind and don’t be afraid to try new things. By showing up each day, you’ll be able to keep up with the trends and understand what’s going to have an impact on your followers.
Have any questions? You can reach me here. I’d be happy to talk more about your social media goals!