SMM Trends 2019: Top Social Marketing Trends
At the end of 2018, analysts vied with each other to publish articles on the Internet about 5, 10 or 25 main SMM trends for 2019. Then we did not rush, but collected all the main things and, taking into account many years of experience, personal observations and common sense, made a list of really important trends in social marketing.
Trends of the past and problems of the present in social marketing
Like any marketing tool, SMM went through different stages of development. In the mid-2000s, the growing popularity of social networks among Internet users opened up a new channel for companies to attract potential customers, and brands began to actively operate in this environment, often not always knowing what it could give them in the end. Therefore, the success rates of promotion in social networks were reduced to likes, reposts, comments and growing subscribers, often by “black” methods. When companies finally wondered how such SMM helps a business, they realized that the methods used did not work and the vector changed towards generating high-quality targeted traffic. Then there were real transitions and interested subscribers who interact with the brand and even leave applications. However, these are not sales yet. And here new questions arise: is this traffic necessary and what to do with it?
The other side of the modern reality of social networks is the ability of users to openly express their own opinions on each issue. People talk, discuss, scold brands, and not only for the quality of the product or service, but also for advertising and posts on social networks. There are many such examples. For example, an ad for H&M featuring a black boy wearing a sweatshirt that read “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” led many fans to turn their backs on the brand and accused the company of racism. A recent Russian ad for Reebook, which invites women to “get off the needle of male approval,” has garnered incredible hype, especially on social media. But is this kind of popularity good?
Now, in the spirit of this time, to do hype advertising, especially in light of the high competition on social platforms and in the conditions of “tightening the screws” in terms of audience coverage, but it is not always justified. In an attempt to get more engagement, companies take all sorts of measures, sometimes absurd and dishonest.
How, then, can we solve the problem of attracting and “warming up” the audience on social networks and at the same time not collecting a cloud of negativity around the brand? Finding answers to this question formed the basis for defining SMM trends in 2019.
Trend # 1. Development of a long-term strategy for promoting the company in social networks
Solving short-term tasks of attracting traffic to the site and subscribers to the group using targeted advertising has long been successfully used by SMM specialists. But, as mentioned above, these are not orders yet.
Converting traffic from social networks into purchases is significantly inferior to search engines and contextual advertising. And this is understandable why: when a person types a query in the search box, he already knows for sure that he needs it, he is ready to buy and is looking for the most profitable and interesting option.
The peculiarity of SMM traffic is that even the most accurate and professional setting of targeted advertising can only interest the user, but not always fall into his need at a particular moment in time. For example, a gamer will be attracted by a new gaming laptop, but he is not going to buy it yet, because there is no need now.
But that doesn’t mean, in terms of sales, that social media traffic isn’t good quality.
SMM for a relatively small budget allows you to build a trusting dialogue with the target audience. With the help of content and communication, the company increases audience loyalty to its brand, “warms up” potential buyers and gives impetus , so that at the moment when the user has a need for a purchase, he will make it exactly in the company that you already trust. And the brand will receive sales that are impossible in the case of context.
And this is very important! Whoever has ever given contextual advertising knows: the context is “spinning” – there are sales, turned off – there are no sales. No matter how site owners try to improve their landing page, about 80-90% of those who visit it will forget the company without making a purchase, or will be blacklisted due to intrusive retargeting.
This is why it is important to understand the need to develop a long-term strategy for your presence in social networks and establishing interaction with the target audience.
Trend # 2. Quality content, real subscribers and personalized communications
Today, building up a subscriber base is important again. However, this is not so much about a quantitative indicator, but about improving the quality of the audience, that is, those followers who are truly interested in the company’s content and respond to it with likes, reposts, comments, messages, etc. and can become one of the metrics of the strategic chain:
“reach – transition – subscriber – engaged subscriber – purchase – repeat customer”.
The quality of subscribers is especially important in the context of the continuing decline in organic reach, when no more than 5-10% of members see the company’s posts, and irrelevant followers further underestimate this indicator.
The “cleaning” of accounts from bots, prize-winners, inactive readers continued throughout 2018 and continues to this day: the majority should remain those who react to content, then posts will be shown more often.
And moving from one-way internet marketing to asking questions about what users will be more interested in learning and trying will lead to greater subscriber engagement.
In addition, personalized communications with users continue to gain popularity in 2019. Messengers, chat bots, SMM mailings – those channels that at the moment can provide up to 90% coverage.
The fact is that consumers want to interact with a brand or company quickly and in a targeted manner, and social platforms give users this opportunity.
However, do not forget that thoughtless use of tools that do not meet business objectives can lead not only to wasted time and wasted budget, but also the opposite effect: churn of subscribers, customers, negative reputation as a result of annoying advertising and improper work with appeals. Study your audience and its needs and, first of all, focus on the quality of the content .
Trend # 3. Openness, video and live broadcasts
How does a brand gain user trust? Be as open as possible. People are tired of falsehood, of imposed unrealistic and unattainable images of beauty and success. They want to hear real stories, see natural cutscenes, believe what they hear and see, and be inspired to shop. Therefore, 2019 will be a successful year for those companies and brands that are honest in their dialogue with users. But here there is a very fine line between ostentatious frankness, designed by all means to earn the trust of the audience, and real openness. If companies are not ready to disclose more than they want to, then there is a risk of overstepping the line and working against the brand’s reputation.
It is enough for companies not to exaggerate, invent or wish to deceive their fans.
In terms of formats, the most trustworthy among users is visual content: video clips, video stories and online broadcasts . Therefore, according to forecasts in 2019, video will take up about 80% of all content. Moreover, the trend is interactive live broadcasts, when users can not only see the report, but also participate in it, ask questions, express opinions, and like. During a live broadcast, brand representatives are natural, their flaws are visible, which only attracts users. Even technical problems that arise during broadcasts play to the benefit of the company – people see that “nothing human is alien” to the representative of the company, and to some extent begin to penetrate the presenter and the brand as a whole.
If the video format for some reason cannot be used by the brand sufficiently, then you should carefully work to improve the quality of the text content. This trend will always remain relevant!
When writing texts for posts, follow the basic criteria :
- Unique. If your goal is not to post quotes from great people or an excerpt from your favorite book, try to use unique ideas and the author’s text in your posts – no one wants to read repetitive information in the feed.
- Literacy. We are for literacy and beautiful presentation of thoughts. The presence of smiles, informal phrases can play in favor of the company’s image – if you use slang that is close to your target audience – easy communication and naturalness attracts the audience. And spelling mistakes that systematically appear in the texts only repel users.
- Readability and ease of perception. Of course, the information content in the texts is important, but the information should be presented in such a way that subscribers can understand your idea from the first time when they read it fluently – it is difficult to write succinctly and beautifully.
These rules apply to short posts and long reads, the popularity of which is returning, but with a significant caveat – the texts must be really interesting and “catchy”.
Trend # 4. Personal branding will help promotion
The growing popularity of personal branding logically follows from the need to follow the trends described above.
Promotion of the first person or an expert of the company solves several problems at once: it shows the naturalness and openness of the company, increases the level of trust in the brand through personal communications with users, arouses the audience’s interest in the person as an object that embodies the ideas, goals and beliefs of the business.
Trend # 5 Social Media Promotion: Native Targeting and Advertising from Non-Star Bloggers
Improving the functionality of social media advertising accounts and developing the ability to accurately select the target audience allowed targeted advertising to squeeze out such a type of promotion as posting in thematic communities or among bloggers.
But today, with the growth of competition in the advertising auction, “crops” are beginning to gradually return. However, the trend is not towards popular communities and bloggers, but towards narrow-topic sites with an active audience. And this is not surprising. Native advertising from the “stars” has ceased to bring its former efficiency, media people and super popular bloggers have lost the audience’s trust (excess of advertising, promotions of dubious products, etc.), while the number of small sites with pleasant and useful content continues to grow and attract an interested audience.
Overall trend – brand openness and building relationships with users
Every year SMM is moving further from the “fun” of collecting likes and “cake sales” and is moving towards solving more and more business problems of brands.
The growing possibilities of social networks and the needs of the audience are shaping trends, leading to the fact that SMM will soon turn into a full-fledged and most promising tool for Internet marketing.
Meanwhile, the overall trend of 2019 that determines the choice of the best strategy is increasing trust and building strong relationships with users , which can be achieved by demonstrating openness through personal two-way communication using instant messengers and mailings, posting visual video content and conducting live broadcasts, careful selection of advertising platforms and formats.
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