The latest State of Social Media Report from Hootsuite discusses the key social media trends for brands and businesses in 2019 and makes for some very interesting reading - especially if you’re looking to boost engagement via all things social.
Having a strong armoury of social media tools at your disposal (free and paid for) is crucial for running and evaluating campaigns. Hootsuite is just one of the many tools available for helping clients build engagement, manage campaigns or schedule posts across social platforms.
So, what are the top trends they think we should take note of?
Trust - and the lack of it!
Unsurprisingly, public lack of trust is a key finding from the report – 60 per cent of people no longer trust social media companies. Of course, Facebook and the Cambridge Analytical scandal have to take a lot of the blame, but brands need to address this. To address this lack of trust, the report found that half of all survey respondents agree that the need to personalise content and experiences is a key challenge.
At KISS we’re fully aware of the benefits of working with micro influencers when running campaigns – they have much smaller, but more highly engaged audiences. They’re not the big social media stars but have a more targeted, and dedicated audience, so they can tell your story without appearing to be ‘fake’ about it. They’re more affordable and more importantly because of their niche following they normally generate better ROI.
Using micro influencers and brand ambassadors across social platforms will help generate more public trust and Hootsuite also suggest using tools such as closed groups on Facebook and the firm favourite - often overlooked by many brands - of using your own employees as your best brand advocates.
Storytelling has a bigger role to play
Something we have always advocated here at KISS - storytelling elevates your brand above the product level and drives stronger connections with your target audience. It adds an emotional element that allows your audience to engage and communicate with you on a more personal level. According to the Hootsuite survey almost two thirds of respondents (64%) have either implemented Instagram Stories into their social strategy or plan to do so in the next 12 months. However, the report does identify some further challenges posed by a focus on storytelling with over half of respondents (52%) citing lack of video creation (skills and budget) as a top challenge. Working with an agency like KISS can help here – we’re multi-disciplined and agile which means we can cut through the complexity to create compelling and creative content for our clients.
Social advertising budgets are on the rise
The report has found that marketers are producing more ads on social than ever before with 64 per cent identifying a decline in organic reach and the need to increase paid budgets as big challenges moving forward. Social media teams really need to consider where the spend should go and focus on understanding target audiences and deciding which platforms they need to focus on given that each is used by different groups. The report cites the fact that one of every four Facebook pages now uses paid media and Facebook already accounts for 23 per cent of total U.S. digital ad spending. We’ve worked with many of our clients using paid targeting tools on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to ensure campaigns are targeted, engaged with and deliver maximum ROI.
Messaging apps rule
As customers are demanding better one-to-one social experiences, they are spending more time on messaging apps and less time sharing news on social. Almost half of respondents (46%) have either implemented messaging apps or are planning to do so in the next twelve months. Hootsuite’s take on this is that ‘as people spend more time on messaging apps, it’s critical that companies develop strategies to engage them there, just as they would on email or social media.’
Hootsuite surveyed more than 3,255 business customers on their social media usage, challenges and plans for 2019. More than three quarters (78%) of those surveyed said they had adopted or were planning social media strategies for social advertising, 48 per cent on influencer marketing and 45% on micro influencers. It’s clearly top of the agenda for many brands and organisations and if you would like help in developing your social media marketing strategy why not give us a call?