In the world of PR and communications, things change frequently – especially when it comes to social media.
Social Media Examiner, one of the authorities in all things social media marketing, collates an annual industry report on the trends for the coming year. While we always recommend that our clients choose social channels based on their target audiences, this annual report can serve as useful guide on overall market trends.
Data and insights from the report are collected by surveying the wider community of professional marketers on the tools, techniques and platforms they use and expect to continue using. It also analyses past announcements from the giants of social like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and how their commentary – or lack thereof – for certain features might impact the future of social media marketing.
So, what does social media look like for marketers in the next twelve months? Here are some (paraphrased) key trends to keep in mind:
Trend 1: Facebook is in decline.
o 1. There has been a lot of talk and hype around native video on Facebook. In the most recent update to the social giant’s philosophy, any video posted on the platform is now encouraged to be 3+ minutes long instead of the 1 minute that were industry standards before.
o 2. Facebook live is now considered a waste of time among marketers. Low engagement rates and the recent horrific events linked to Facebook live streaming are causing an increasingly bad reputation and putting marketers off using this particular tool.
o 3. Facebook has made some updates to their Ad Manager, offering an automatic ad builder. While we always recommend a tailored approach and don’t think this new update is the be-all-end-all, it could prove a good tool for rookie marketers.
o 4. The team at Facebook are also continuing their push for ‘original’ content. Speculation is that they might not react friendly to content that has been posted somewhere else and is being re-purposed i.e. a video that is posted on YouTube might not be shown in the feed as much if it is also uploaded to Facebook. The true implications of this narrative will remain to be seen, however.
Trend 2: Instagram is on the rise.
o 1. Instagram stories have great engagement and can be used to communicate with your audience in a more ‘natural’ and seemingly less curated way. A great way to use this function more effectively is to cross-post Instagram stories to Facebook.
o 2. Somewhat surprising when looking at Facebook live, Instagram live is currently one of the more effective tools in a marketer’s shed at the moment. Not a lot of people are using the Instagram function yet, so it might be a good time to utilise some live video to save to the highlights reel for quality and unique content.
Trend 3: LinkedIn is growing too.
o 1. While generally a more expensive platform to market on, LinkedIn’s market share is growing. This makes now a good time to diversify and dedicate some budget into this social channel.
Trend 4: YouTube remains the place for video.
o 1. YouTube has managed to hold steadfast as the number one channel for engaging an audience with video. People spend about 30 minutes actively looking at videos each session – with an average attention span of 10 seconds for all other video content across the likes of Facebook and Instagram, this is a very impressive statistic. YouTube is seen as a great place to connect with an audience that is ready to watch longer-form video, which can open up the stage for a range of high-quality content.
Trend 5: Don't use Twitter.
o 1. Now we know that journalists like to use Twitter. But, the once-buzzing platform has fallen dramatically in popularity with marketers over recent years. This year’s Social Media Examiner Report shows that only 4% of marketers use Twitter in 2019. It is not an effective tool to market. Add to this the fact that the social network is known to be a place for controversial and generally polarising views, and it just doesn’t make sense to use this channel unless you are prepared to spend significant time monitoring and managing the chatter.
The overarching message from this year’s report, however, is to diversify. Don’t just use one platform, but be active on multiple. In short, make sure your overall strategy involves a good mix of channels.
You can get a free copy of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report here.
Get in touch with our team if you would like to discuss how you can make the most of your social media – we are experienced in all things strategy, execution and measurement to help you get the most of your social efforts.