Social predictions for 2019

We recently shared an article outlining some of the biggest digital marketing trends to look out for in 2019. In this post, we examined the wider digital marketing landscape. Now we’re going to shine a light on one particular branch of digital marketing which has experienced seismic shifts in the past 12 months. Social media marketing has changed a lot in the past 12 months and is completely unrecognisable from its earlier days.

The death of organic reach

Marketers cannot fail to notice that organic reach has been slowly declining in recent months. With every algorithm update, it becomes harder and harder to connect with your fans. It’s no longer enough to post an update and expect widespread reach and interaction. Facebook, in particular, has caused a headache for marketers.

If you want to guarantee reach, you’re going to have to pay for it, which doesn’t seem that unfair considering many companies have enjoyed a free marketing channel for quite some time. While organic reach as we know it might be dying a slow death, there are ways to connect with your audience to drive engagement.

The birth of live video

Live video is set to be huge in 2019. Companies are already experimenting with the medium with varying success. Brands caught on to the value of video content for boosting reach in 2018, but we predict that 2019 will be all about live video. Live video builds trust, is authentic and offers an unfiltered look behind the scenes. This is something that is sorely missing in many social media marketing campaigns.

Social CEO

If you’re running a business, you’d better get ready to be front and centre of your social media marketing strategy in 2019. Whether it’s through blogging, podcasts or video, people want to hear from the people running the show. If you’re running a company, you have valuable insight that others want to know, and 2019 will be the year to share it with the world.

Building trust through transparency

Based on a survey of 1000 US adults, 61% believe that admitting to mistakes on social media is essential to building trust and transparency with your audience. The Facebook scandal made people naturally wary of the data that has been collected on them and how this data has been used. In 2019, the best companies will come out on top by rebuilding that trust with their users. Other ways to build trust include responding to reviews, being transparent about your pricing and shining a spotlight on your manufacturing process.

AI-powered customer service

It seems contradictory to build trust through transparency and then also outsource your customer service to a chatbot, but the two can work hand-in-hand. Customers want a faster-than-fast response from their favourite brands on social media, and if a chatbot helps you achieve this, then a chatbot is what you need. AI chatbots can level the playing field and help small companies to operate like big companies. By taking away the admin of responding to every single message, you can free up your time to respond to the more complex issues raised over social media.

AI-powered customers

Just as companies are outsourcing their customer service to AI chatbots, so too are customers outsourcing to AI chatbots. In 2019, your company could start to receive calls from eerily life-like chatbots. Customers can ask their Google Assistant to make phone calls for them. Popular uses include booking tables or making appointments. Now is a good time to make sure your Google My Business page is up-to-date so your customers and their virtual assistants know how to reach you.