Well folks, 2019 is here and the New Year is in full force.
So with that, social media marketers and thought leaders from around the web are speculating on the next big thing in social media.
Some of this year's predictions are more drastic than others; some call for more AR in social networks, while others predict that video will continue to shape social media as we know it.
Here at Social Report, we believe that staying up-to-date with these predictions is super important, even if some of them are a little outlandish.
After all, staying up to date with trends can help you prepare for the future so you'll never be blindsided by new trends.
To help you stay updated, we've compiled 5 predictions from some of the world's top social media thought leaders in this article. We've also included our take on the predictions for good measure.
Use these to outline your 2019 marketing strategy and plan for the bright future ahead. Let's dive in and check them out!
Influencer marketing will crave authenticity — Sharyn Smith, CEO at Social Soup
Image via General Assembly
Sharyn Smith—CEO of Australian influencer marketing collective Social Soup—believes that influencer marketing will start to crave authenticity.
Smith told Ad News that "fake influence" will be phased out using AI and influencer scoring.
Further, Smith also predicts the rise of "nano influencers." These are "influencers who are the most trusted and influential to their connected friends and family." These influencers have a smaller reach but a more trusted influence to the people closest to them.
With most influencer marketing campaigns being aimed at Millennials and Gen-Zers, it makes sense for influencer marketing to become more authentic. After all, authenticity is one of the things Millennials crave most when being marketed to.
AR will keep growing on Snapchat — Ben Cunningham, Engineer at Facebook
Snap will continue to really care about AR instead of social/network features— Ben Cunningham (@codeblue87) December 14, 2018
Facebook engineer Ben Cunningham suggests that Snapchat will continue to add more AR features.
While this prediction wasn't heavily elaborated on, it's safe to say that Cunningham is suggesting more filters and AR games will come to the platform in 2019 and beyond.
Cunningham also notes that these additions are likely to come in place of features that customers actually care about—something unsurprising when you look at Snapchat's slowing growth in 2019.
There's no doubt that Snapchat had a rocky 2018.
The social network lost 5 million users from its 191 million user peak, continuing to fall further behind its main competitor: Instagram.
There's no doubt that a major force behind this downfall is the network's failure to add new features beyond AR quirks.
So if 2019 is anything like 2018, we forsee Snapchat continuing to focus on AR despite its slow growth—hopefully they prove us wrong, though.
Vertical video will continue its growth — Carmen Collins, Senior Social Media & Talent Brand Manager at CISCO
Vertical video is one of the biggest trends of the past few years. Social media users have gone from hating the format to loving it, in large part because of the rise of social media stories on Snapchat and Instagram.
Carmen Collins—Senior Social Media & Talent Brand Manager at CISCO—recently told Social Shake-Up that she expects the vertical video format to continue its crusade to be social media's premier video format.
A large part of this is because everyone is using social media on their smartphones. In fact, Collins went as far as to say that " the only people using social media on their desktop WORK IN SOCIAL MEDIA!"
We completely agree with Collins on vertical video.
There's no doubt that vertical video is dominating the mobile space. It's the main video format on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, and is even being slowly adopted by YouTube and other social networks.
And let's be real: with over 80% of all social media actions happening on mobile, the death of horizontal video is imminent on social.
New to vertical video? Check out the free Social Report vertical video masterclass!
Tech advancements will make their way to social media — Anna Gonzalez, Head of Social Media at Nasdaq
Anna Gonzalez—Head of Social Media at Nasdaq—predicts social media will finally catch up to some of the major technological advancements we've seen elsewhere, like AI, quantum computing, and neuro-networks.
Gonzalez told Forbes that social networks (and the companies on them) will need to tread lightly on how they present these advancements to their audiences.
Additionally, she notes that companies will need "visual language" to evolve in order to educate their audience on these advancements.
This burden will largely fall on the shoulders of marketers and designers that are making this content, meaning that we will need to evolve alongside the technology.
Social media is evolving alongside technology, and us marketers need to evolve alongside it.
So in the new year, us marketers need to brush up on our tech skills. Make an effort to learn about AI and other rising trends so that you can convey these technologies to your audience—especially if you work for a tech company.
The U.S. will pass its own GDPR — Chad Pollitt, VP Marketing at inPowered
GDPR is a European privacy law that—in short—added protections to social media users in Europe. The bill requires social networks (and other web services) to let users export their data, notify their users of data breaches, and even forces social networks to undergo data impact assessments.
Pollitt suggests that the U.S. will roll out its own privacy law because of the rising number of social media data breaches. In fact, he notes that two Congressional committees are drafting language for the bill now.
We fully expect the U.S. to roll out its own version of GDPR this year.
The bill will likely provide some sort of privacy framework for social networks and other web services—and punish networks that break them.
We expect the law will likely be in-line with the European law, requiring impact assessments and the right to export data from social networks.
So with that, we don't expect the bill to change the social media landscape too much.
After all, all networks that operate in the European Union already follow GDPR, and will likely be compliant with a similar U.S. privacy bill.
And there you have it: 5 social media marketing predictions for 2019 and beyond. Now it's your turn—what social media marketing predictions do you have for the new year? Let us know by dropping a comment below.
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