1. A fresh start.
In addition to the general “fresh start” that we all like to take this time of year, 2019 will be a fresh start for social media platforms as we know them. Facebook will remain king, but it won’t have the same impact as it did in the past. Going into 2018, Facebook had a very positive outlook, until the emergence of Cambridge Analytica. From then on, the remainder of 2018 was battle after battle for Facebook and their various practices which had remained unchecked for many years. Due to their misstep, other social platforms will now have the chance to shine and break through Facebook’s blanket that has cast a shadow amongst other industry players the last few years.
2. Trust and transparency are key.
Seemingly endless scandals from various companies in 2018 have made trust and transparency among the highest concerns voiced by consumers. People want to know where and with whom their data is shared. This has caused many companies to admit their wrongdoings; some of which consumers would have otherwise been unaware of. Unfortunately, this newfound honesty has only caused further distrust in what we share with companies. However…this is a step in the right direction and a trend we expect to continue well into 2019 and beyond.
3. AR (Augmented Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will become more mainstream.
This is a fantastic and relatively untapped area for most small businesses, but with a slightly steep learning curve. If you’re still a bit foggy on what these items actually are, I’ll help clarify it for you. You know Apple’s Animoji or Face ID for their latest iPhones and iPads? These two features combine the powers of AR and AI to create something pleasant yet simple for the average consumer. Take IKEA, for example, they created an app called IKEA Place which allows consumers to virtually place IKEA products in their own spaces to get a better idea of how that item will look before having to go out and purchase it. This technology will be a giant step forward from the “virtual tours” of real estate as we know them today. We can only wait to see how AR and AI will continue to expand these industries.
4. Video content is the new TV.
Saying this again feels like beating a dead horse, but I truly believe social media content will continue to shift further into the realm of video; it’s inevitable. From its start in 2005 with YouTube, video content has performed extremely well, and in the years following its conception, social media platforms have all found their own ways to heavily adapt and integrate video content. Alongside our video-laden timelines, Facebook has their own TV network: Facebook Watch, where they create their own original TV shows. Snapchat is nearly an entirely video-based platform, which also creates original TV programming. One of Twitter’s slogans is “Video thrives on Twitter: See why it’s the perfect place to leave a lasting impression.” Instagram released IGTV earlier this year, a vertical video application and YouTube now fully supports vertical video. LinkedIn introduced video advertising in July to help build on their addition of video support back in August 2017. So now, more than ever, hopping—or staying—on the video content bandwagon is a safe bet moving into 2019. Just like “video killed the radio star,” video could soon kill the TV star and it is not too late for you to be one of the new video stars
5. Conversations will drive growth and business.
It’s no secret that businesses are on social media to grow and need growth in order to stay active on social media. While there are many ways to stay active and consistent, many miss the mark for this one key feature: conversations. Social media is a two-way street; you can’t expect to grow if you aren’t talking to the people who are trying to talk to you. Others react to action, so listen to your business and keep the conversations going in 2019.