Hootsuite report reveals global social media trends

Social media management service Hootsuite’s third annual social media trends report has revealed more and more brands are using paid social as their organic reach declines and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WeChat are opening up new opportunities for marketers.

The Social Trends 2019 report reveals building trust should be a vital part of any brand’s social strategy as consumers’ concern surrounding data breaches increase. While storyifying the buying journey has also emerged as another massive trend.

“In many ways 2018 was a tumultuous year for social media,” says Hootsuite CMO Penny Wilson. “Concerns around privacy have led social media users to more private channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, creating unique opportunities for businesses to develop 1:1 relationships with customers, particularly as those customers increasingly prefer messaging for interactions like support.”

Video, like that posted via Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Stories, have enabled individuals to engage followers in more compelling ‘storyliving’ versus traditional ‘storytelling’. This opens the doors for brands to share more human stories of their own that are important, interesting, and timely to their audiences.

Wilson says the slowdown in organic reach has forced brands to change tactics to ensure their messages reach consumers. While eCommerce is emerging directly in social channels to complete the last mile of the buyer’s journey online.

“Combined, these trends represent tremendous new opportunities for brands to establish deeper, more authentic, and longer-lasting connections with customers in 2019 and beyond,” adds Wilson.

Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Trends for small business

  1. Rebuilding Trust: Customers are increasingly aware of who they are interacting with on social and what data they are sharing. Consequently, brands should be shifting their strategies to develop more relevant content that is both timely for the individual and authentic and genuine to the brand.
  2. Storifying Social: Stories are now growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing, and for brands, this requires a major shift in focus in 2019. Content teams must now adapt as stories offer new formats for sharing, and for purchasing.
  3. Closing the Ads Gap: More competition on paid social is forcing marketers to “up” their game. At the end of the day, brands who respect and engage with their customers as individuals and use relevant content to add value to their audiences will see the real return.
  4. Cracking the Commerce Code: Finding ways to make shopping live, interactive and seamless – especially on mobile devices is key. In 2019 the most successful brands will go the extra mile to show customers how products and services can fit into the context of their lives.
  5. Messaging Eats the World: The top 4 messaging apps now count nearly 5 billion monthly active users, meaning messaging engagement is quickly eclipsing the more traditional social networks. And as we head into 2019, 69 per cent of customers say that directly messaging a company helps them feel more confident about the brand.

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Cec is the managing editor of KBB. She is a multimedia professional with over fifteen years experience as an editor on titles as diverse as SX, CULT, Better Pictures, Total Rock, MTV, fasterlouder, mynikonlife and Fantastic Living. She has spent the past four years working as a news journalist covering all the issues that matter in the political, health and LGBTIQ arena. She is the Head of Content at Pinstripe Media and a recent convert to the world of small business.

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