New social media trends seemingly pop up every week, and some of them will define the way marketing happens online this year, and for years to come –  2019 is a new frontier for the industry, and we could not be more excited to discover what’s next.

In order to help you prepare for what this year has in store, we’ve decided to spend the first month of the year talking about what we see as upcoming movements in social media marketing. We hope you enjoy!

Keeping it Real

It may be surprising to learn that something like keeping it real ever went out of style in the first place. When we think of organic social content, being authentic sounds like it’s almost implied. However, 2018 (and even 2017) tells a different story.

With the popularization of phrases like “fake news” and multiple scandals relating to breaches in trust between Facebook and its users, the common social media user is more cynical towards targeted marketing than ever before. Soley creating engagement with good old-fashioned online advertising is not going to cut it in 2019.

A more “human” approach

As the pendulum swings in an opposite direction, brands that want to stay on the cutting edge of content creation are turning to authenticity as a strategy. With prospective followers and customers at such distrust with brands, recapturing the interest and loyalty of the internet is happening by way of connection that feels, and sometimes even is, more one-on-one.

And this isn’t just a prediction (RPS is a lot of things, but psychic is not one of them). In 2017, Chick-fil-a discontinued its beloved chicken-salad from the menu. However, as a parting gift to fans, they publicized the recipe for free, giving fans the chance to relive their favorite fast food option from home

On Twitter, successful brands have found the perfect forum for taking a more authentic approach, puting personality first. Wendy’s success in this sphere has become the stuff of legend:

 

When it comes to your social game this year, taking the lead from examples like this will be crucial. The initial goals of generating sales from an online brand is simply not going to fly with the aware Facebooker. Giving people something relatable and human is where it’s at in 2019, and, as people who love digital marketing, we’re cool with that.

Authenticity and your brand:

Put your Calls-to-Action on hold.

People know when they’re being sold something. They can see a pitch from a mile away. It makes a lot of social media users uncomfortable and even agitated. Throwing a call to action on top of everything in your feed isn’t helping that awkward feeling. Instead, try a different conversation, one that isn’t all about selling. Adidas has found success in creating content geared towards keeping a positive attitude, creativity, and even social-conscious messaging.

Engage with comments

Your followers will talk about you, and they’ll do it in the comment feed. Don’t make the mistake of being “holier than thou” when it comes to having some back and forth down in the comments section. Answering questions, joining the conversation, and having a little fun shows everyone your company isn’t just a logo with a bottom line. Your brand has as much of a voice as you let it.

Leave clickbait in 2018

Merriam-Webster defines clickbait as “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.” We define it as an ironically bad strategy for getting engagement online.

We’re not just talking about articles with headlines like “She hired Rock Paper Simple! You’ll never believe what happened next!” Any content posted solely for the purpose of getting engagement runs the risk of disappearing into a cluster of trapdoor links. What your brand says should transcend your statistical goals.

Be honest.

Was there a mistake? Own it. Did you fail to meet expectations? Engage with feedback. Need help planning your next move? Publish a survey. The theme here is to give your followers a sense their thoughts, suggestions, and points of view add value to the evolution of your brand. This requires much more work than a passive advertising approach, but in the long run, when your followers remember who you are alongside what you do, it’s an investment that will pay off.  

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