What are the trends for brands and social media in 2019?

January 2 2019

by Kati Hess

Social media never stops evolving.

If you’re like us, you’re always looking forward to what’s next. So, what can you expect trend-wise for social media in 2019? Things never stay the same for long in the digital space. Here are a few things CreativeOne is looking at as we plan our social media strategy for the new year.

The big theme this year is trust. According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Report, a whopping 60 percent (!) of people said they “no longer trust social media companies.” Yikes. So, trust is the name of the game, this year. The stakes are high, but if you look at it as an opportunity, there’s nowhere to go but up.

What you say (and how you say it) matters.

Content is key. Trust was a huge issue on social media in 2018 — just see the entire Facebook data-privacy scandal — and people are looking for authenticity. You have to humanize your business; you have to be transparent and put a face to your organization. That doesn’t mean, necessarily, a literal face. It’s a metaphor.

One way to create compelling, human content is to get more people involved. From the senior leadership level to the admins, everyone can contribute. Have an internal editorial process to help keep things smooth. Try to showcase everyone’s unique voice, and, if you can, keep those voices aligned with your core mission. “Meet the Team” or “Employee Spotlight” features are a great way to do this.

Remember: Content needs to be authentic and transparent, and needs to add value. We live in an age of multimedia with omnichannel distribution. That means you should incorporate videos, photos, words, and other kinds of content, such as third-party content or links to articles; don’t lock yourself in to one kind of post. Keep things fresh. Make sure the message fits the platform.

Speaking of, you might want to address “Micro-Moments” in your clients’ lives. But that’s another post entirely. Also, vertical video will be huge in 2019, because it will be easier for people to access on their mobile devices.

Pay to play.

Free lunch is over. This is a new era of social media.

Everyone is fighting for engagement and attention. That means you need to be very intentional with your paid advertisements. And it means you have to be timely and relevant with your content. You also have to make sure you’re targeting the right demographics.

You need to understand your audience. Who is your ideal customer? What’s their age, sex, location? What’s their income level (if you’re using third-party data)? These things matter.

Once you know who you’re targeting, you need to decide on a specific, measurable goal for your social media pay-to-play campaign. You have to set a budget and a schedule. Only once you’ve done these things can you choose your message and your platform.

Even when you’ve done the work, there’s a lot of noise out there. One out of every four Facebook pages uses promoted posts. So, get on board or get left behind, we always say.

Link up with LinkedIn.

For our industry, LinkedIn makes a lot of sense. Facebook works, too, but LinkedIn has a lot to offer, considering its demographic and professional, business-focused brand. You can get results there.

LinkedIn skyrocketed to 500 million members in 2018. They had over 100,000 articles published on the platform each week. Forty-four percent of the members, too, make more than $75,000/year.

All told, LinkedIn is one of the best social media spots to become a thought-leader. So, don’t be afraid to log on and showcase the professional and personal side of your business.

Have a method behind your messaging.

One-on-one messaging is huge. Enable Facebook messenger so you can have direct and immediate contact with clients and prospects. People want — and have to have — immediate engagement in 2019. They want responses; they want information. Make sure there’s a person in your office dedicated to checking and responding to Facebook messages. Engaging with people in this way will help you build trust with your clients and prospects.

Is Facebook dead? Nope. Long live Facebook.

Although a big reason behind the public’s distrust of social media appears to be Facebook’s mishandling of users’ data, the social media platform is still the elder statesman of the space, and it’s the most popular social media platform for American over the age of 65. In fact, that demographic (65+) makes up 41 percent of Facebook’s users.

This is still a great space to be in the wealth management and retirement income planning industries. But keep in mind you can’t grow your social media footprint until you engage with the users you already have. You look at some of our ideas on this blog (even the ones we wrote about above) to get started. Also, get comfortable with Facebook groups. They’re a great way to cross-post and share your knowledge without coming across as too sales-y.

Want to talk social media for 2019? Give us a call at 800.992.2642.

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