This is a guest post by Mary Ivanova of Crello. Mary talks about how social media is changing, and what agencies can do to keep up.
Social media are evolving almost as fast as their users’ preferences. Moreover, attention spans are getting shorter and new ways to promote your product grow old. Let’s talk about surviving in the competitive world of social media in 2019, getting your business out there and generating quality leads for your B2B enterprise.
In the first part of this article we will be looking at trends in the world of social media, while the second part will focus on individual platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and more, to see what shifts and updates can be a game changer in the coming months.
Before you dive into all the trends and updates, let us remind you to measure your results by tracking campaign ROI and use attribution tools to estimate the role of each ad and piece of content in your campaign to know when and where to optimize marketing budget!
Consumers are expecting more transparency from brands than politicians or friends, shows Sprout Social research. Social media are a perfect medium for keeping customers in the loop by sharing authentic content – these platforms are geared toward daily and even hourly updates.
Some of the ways your agency can achieve transparency by means of social media include:
- Video updates (video posts, behind the scenes, sneak peeks, unboxings, demonstrations, Stories, live casts from events);
- Sharing user-generated content about your company;
- Social CEOs (the CEO and/or company top management that are active on social media and engaging with users, customers and businesses).
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the easiest way for your potential clients to decide if they want to buy your agency’s services is not by reading through lengthy descriptions. Showcasing your service or product to a prospective client in the form of a video walk-through or a fun animated explainer, or even a simple illustrated landing page that grabs attention within a split second is though.
Image from Crello
Instead of abstractly presenting your services, tell a story of a hypothetical customer – describe their journey and explain to your audience what’s in store for them. Despite what they might say, nobody really likes surprises;)
Switching to ABM (account-based marketing)
Account-based marketing is the new voice-based marketing in B2B. This approach means creating custom content and offers for the audience of one prospective client.
Instead of targeting specific audience, businesses now are trying to target specific prospective clients by creating branded content for them in hopes of attracting a contract. This is the ultimate segmentation.
Leveraging privacy settings: Private accounts, Close Friends lists
Private social media accounts from businesses? Is this a joke?
Actually, users are reporting increased engagement and growth since switching to private accounts. It looks like human curiosity and the need to actually follow an account to have access to brand content does prompt users to subscribe.
Unlike setting your whole business account to private, you can go small with the help of the Close Friends list on Instagram. It will provide a similar exclusivity effect without the downside of giving up hashtag and geotagging reach. Release previews, special offers or other relevant content to users on your Close Friends list to
How Each Social Network is Changing
Now that you are all caught up with the global social media trends for 2019, let’s look at the new opportunities available on each platform individually.
New: Group Stories, pages can join and interact with groups, thread comment pinning for group admins, cross-posting to Instagram, pre-roll and mid-roll video ads, Story Highlights, augmented reality ads
Anticipated: Tools for advertisers to manage where their ads appear, sharing Events in Facebook Stories
Over the past year, Facebook has been investing time and effort in developing its groups, as well as the Story format and vertical video. Leverage the new features to promote your agency services and events – create and run carousel and video ads that attract the most engagement. Create and edit own content or use ready-made video templates for your ads:
Image from Crello
New: Posting to multiple accounts, scannable nametags (print out yours), explore page shopping tab
Anticipated: Promote for Stories, direct links to Stories
Last year, Instagram has hit a billion monthly active users. Instagram Stories has 500 million daily active users. We’ve all heard anecdotal stories about sliding into company DMs beating reaching customer support services. The platform is a great place to connect with businesses and actually get a response. Moreover, Highlights are just perfect to feature a, well, highlight reel of your business at the very top of your profile! Video and graphic editor Crello has hundreds of handy video templates designed specifically for Stories.
New: Premiere format (scheduled stream), lifted users and cost per lifted user data for ads, Dynamic Ads for highly targeted messages, full support for vertical video
Global video traffic is set to take up 82% of all traffic by 2022, according to Cisco forecast. With live video taking 17% of that number. With 1.8 billion monthly users, one of the largest video sharing social platforms YouTube isn’t going anywhere. Prepare to entertain, educate and convert audiences of your brand channel with custom content.
New: Audio-only broadcasts
Anticipated: Edit button, indented replies, green dot profile indicators for currently active users
With its ongoing battle with bots (just last year Twitter banned over 70 million), the microblogging network is a popular place for professionals to connect and receive first-hand news and business information. Twitter boasts 326 monthly active users and is one of the most used social media networks among English-speakers worldwide. Since most businesses have active Twitter profiles, your agency has a great chance of connecting with a potential customer by creating targeted content like a blog post or an infographic and tagging all mentioned brands.
New: Video ads, carousel ad format, shopping shortcut, two-column feed Promoted Video ads, group boards
83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on Pins they saw from brands. Pinterest will be most suitable for product-minded companies that can easily showcase their catalog items on the platform. Service-oriented brands can also leverage Pinterest with targeted Promoted Video.
New: Revamped company Pages, interest-targeting option for advertisers
Anticipated: Lookalike Audiences option for advertisers
LinkedIn is a traditionally business-minded network, which means better company pages and more ad options will help promote your agency among like-minded business people connecting on the platform.
New: Keyword targeting for ads
Quora is an increasingly popular crowd-sourced Q&A service that has 300 million monthly unique visitors – that’s higher than Pinterest. New options for ads on the platform can be a great way to target narrow audiences that might be interested in your agency’s product or service.
New: Autoplay native video ads, cost per click ads
Reddit is not only a popular social media platform – its monthly active users reached 330 million last April, – the platform is less identity and self-presentation minded service, which makes it a great tool to reach unique audiences that might not be as active on other social media. Expanding advertisement options on the platform are a great means to reach them.
Building trust, employing storytelling tactics, account-based marketing, and leveraging privacy settings are the hot new trends your agency needs to consider in 2019. Along with all the new features we’ve just reviewed, these trends should help your agency stay on top of your social media marketing this year.