Page 6 - Winter 2019
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      Winter 2018/19
 Will Reign Supreme in 2019
Hootsuite and other social media management platforms release their data-driven predictions for what’s in store.
By Stephanie Walden
a s we all know, staying ahead of the curve is
crucial in the maddeningly malleable social media sphere.
To help marketers master this degree of predictive omniscience each year, industry specialists outline the top trends that will define the coming 12 months. Hootsuite, for example, releases an annual social media forecast with predictions based on its own survey of more than 3,000 marketing professionals.
In 2018, Hootsuite was spot-on with several projections, including the rise of social TV and metrics- tracking tools that monitor the customer journey. In 2019, trends to watch include the “storification” of content as well as increased attention to venues such as private Facebook groups, microinfluencer accounts, and messaging platforms.
In the wake of high-profile scandals such as Cambridge Analytica,
consumer trust in social platforms has waned. Today, 60 percent of people report they no longer trust social media companies.
“In many ways, 2018 was
a tumultuous year for brands, marketers, and customer experience leaders,” says
Penny Wilson, Hootsuite’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Concerns around fake news and data privacy led individuals to question their trust in politicians, media outlets, social networks, and businesses alike.”
As a result of this damaged trust, consumers are turning to private outlets instead of public forums for sharing content and engaging with brands. Closed Facebook groups and private messaging platforms such
as WhatsApp are becoming increasingly popular for interacting with customer service teams— including both human employees and chatbots.
While consumer data remains a useful tool in any digital marketer’s arsenal—particularly when it comes to serving personalized ads—how that
data is presented will be an important part of rebuilding brand trust. In 2019, companies should double down on authenticity and take care to avoid campaigns that feel invasive.
Online-marketing expert Marcus Sheridan predicts that 80 percent of what we consume online will be video content by the end of 2019. This number seems high, but it may be reasonable considering the rise in short-form, video-centric features such as Facebook Stories and Instagram Stories, which saw major growth in 2018.
These platforms are innately suited for marketing, explains Hootsuite. The ephemeral nature of Stories creates a sense of urgency and intrigue among audiences. This type of content also feels more intimate—like viewers are being
let behind the curtain of a brand’s shiny, public-facing façade.
Hootsuite suggests marketers rely on a “balanced diet of different content styles” when it comes to Stories, including both real-time,
low-fi videos and more polished, traditional ads.
In China, shoppable social is already the norm: 70 percent of China’s Gen Zers already buy directly from social.
This year, the rest of the world may catch up to the trend via tools such as Instagram’s shoppable posts and Pinterest’s Buyable Pins as well as platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, which now boasts more than 800 million active users. According to Hootsuite, 28 percent of respondents either have implemented social commerce or plan to do so in the next year. n

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