This past year saw a flurry of activity on social media and online – from everyone updating their site privacy policies to Mark Zuckerberg being questioned by Congress. Here are a few trends we’re thinking will really make the cut this year – or at least be the conversation starters over the next few months.
1. “I’m sorry Dave…I CAN do that!”
AI has come quite a way in the last few years (this dog robot that opens doors and Sophia the robot that enjoys singing karaoke, just to name a couple) – and while advanced technology is exciting, it’s also a bit scary. Combine that with marketing and now you’ve got something that can tell you how much you spent on restaurants in Facebook Messenger, access and interpret specific data so you know exactly what ads you should be seeing, and more.
Prediction: Data will lead the way. We’ll see more brands looking at the numbers and adjusting strategies to meet what is really happening in the marketplace.
2. “Don’t You Know Who I Am?!” – An influencer, probably.
Do you have a smartphone? You, too, can be an influencer! This has been a buzzword for a couple years now, with more light being shed on the influencer industry as a whole in the last few months. Interestingly enough, it is still less expensive than advertising with a commercial on TV or even paying for social ads (sometimes), and while the FTC is cracking down on rules and regulations for disclosures and whatnot, it now seems less “wild west” and more “wannabe Hollywood.”
Prediction: We do feel this bubble will burst by 2020, but then again, it could keep getting more and more ridiculous – such as paying almost $90K for an influencer to leave a negative review for your competitor.
3. Gen Z – So Hot Right Now!
Just when you thought you understood how to work with Millennials …Gen Z has entered the game (of workforce life, that is)! This is known as the most tech-savvy generation, which can only mean some interesting technological advances in the future. Just as pre-teens brought the rise of Justin Bieber, One Direction, and other teen bands that are no longer a thing, this age group is making and breaking social channels and trends (remember when Snapchat was brought down by a tweet from a Kardashian?).
Prediction: This year, prepare to see a shift in social channel popularity and messaging, as well as how different channels and tools are used by different age groups. We’ll likely see first-generation social channels leaning towards an older demographics (think Facebook and Twitter), with a rise in new channels for younger groups.
4. Video Killed the (Instagram “Foodie Photo”) Star
Facebook has been pushing their Watch feature – hard – and has informed us time and time again that video is going to be more of a focus this year. From exclusive shows to showcasing brand advertisements on their “partners” channels, video is going to be telling the story this year. This is probably the trend we’re most excited for, because it opens up a slew of fun and creative ways to get brand messaging across.
Prediction: Video will continue to be the social darling of digital outreach, and we’ll see new trends breaking loose by mid-2019.
So far, there aren’t any new major players in the social sphere, but in 2019, we predict a shift in strategies to focus on creativity when marketing and branding across all channels. Get ready to see an increase in personal interaction, micro-conversations and tech-savvy consumers. We are looking forward to keeping up the conversation with you in 2019. Keep in touch, and let us know what you think!