Social Media Trends of 2019

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Social Media Trends of 2019

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Social media is a difficult market for brands to conquer. There are so many different platforms, each one requiring a different strategy. What works for Facebook might not work for Instagram, and vice versa.

Social media is a difficult market for brands to conquer. There are so many different platforms, each one requiring a different strategy. What works for Facebook might not work for Instagram, and vice versa.

Brands want to achieve high engagement rates with their audiences, but are unable to pinpoint what exactly they want to see. Consumers’ tastes are changing so quickly nowadays. Brands are finding it hard to catch up.

How can marketers make full use of social media platforms and, at the same time, appeal to their desired market? One solution would be to study the current social media trends of 2019, understand what works for the brand and their community, and use it to their advantage. Here are the top trends that are dominating 2019.

1. Video, Video, Video

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Nowadays, people have shorter attention spans and more time constraints. It’s difficult for them to take time out of their schedule to read and understand a 5-page blog post about a subject. Instead, people turn to videos because they’re visually stimulating and easier to digest within a short period of time. Videos are also mobile-friendly, making it more convenient for people to watch as they scroll through their social media feeds during breaks. In fact, 80% of Internet traffic this year alone is for video. (1)

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Social media platforms are already taking note of the high engagement rates that videos are achieving with their audiences. Facebook, for example, has recently altered their algorithm so that videos longer than 3 minutes will be organically pushed up on users’ feeds, therefore showing up more frequently.

All these advantages of videos apply equally to advertising products. According to Content Marketing Institute, 79% of consumers choose to watch a video introducing a product instead of reading a text about it. 84% are more convinced to purchase that product after watching the video. (2)

Therefore, if brands want to stand out in this shifting arena, they should create more videos instead of text-based posts and images, which might get lost in the sea of increasingly popular video content.

2. Stories Will Take Over News Feeds

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There is a trend of short, vertical, mobile-produced videos that’s slowly rising in popularity among social media. These videos allowed people to capture in-the-moment experiences that disappear after one day.

Snapchat used to be the main advocate for these types of videos, naming them Stories. The entire platform was dedicated to sharing Stories, so you could watch what friends, influencers, and celebrities alike are doing in real time.

Other social media websites began to realise the effectiveness of Stories, and started to integrate them into their own platforms. Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp have already caught up with the trend, and have greatly improved user satisfaction in their doing so. Users were more engaged in those platforms after the addition of Stories.

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Stories are now growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. (3) It is even predicted that Stories will very soon take over news feeds, becoming the main platform that people watch and share content.

The reason why Stories are so successful, albeit temporary, is due to their creation of real, immediate, and intimate interactions between the user and their followers. Stories create the illusion that the user is communicating to you, as a friend and as a real, down-to-earth person. Influencers and celebrities soon found Stories to work in their favour.

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Dunkin’ Donuts, a major brand, hopped onto the trend and made full use of the readily available Story functions such as GIFs and stickers to promote their ad campaign for this year’s Valentine’s Day. Their stickers amassed millions of views within a few days and smartly engaged with their fans while encouraging campaign participation and the purchasing of their products.

However, marketers shouldn’t just blindly follow this trend. Find out what works for your audience, and make sure you stay relevant by creating creative, interactive Story content.

3. Rebuilding Authenticity and Trust

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Social media platforms took a massive hit in 2018, with scandals occurring that caused everyone to lose faith in the platforms. 60% have stopped trusting social media platforms, and even start to turn back to traditional journalism outlets and news sources to obtain information. (4)

Most well-known of all would be Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which 87 million users’ private information had been compromised and obtained by an analytics firm, who allegedly used the data to spread propaganda during the US’s 2016 presidential campaign. Since then, Facebook has been pressured to improve their security as well as transparency.

Twitter has equally suffered, having to filter out millions and millions of fake accounts that shot up in number due to the unrestrained growth of bots. During US’s 2016 presidential campaign, bots had been tweeting politically divisive messages and spreading disinformation throughout the platform. Twitter is working towards purging the platform of such bots.

Instead of only focusing on maximising their reach and promoting their brand name, brands now channel their efforts into developing transparent and long-term engagement with their customers. They’ve recognised the importance in building intimate, personal relationships with their followers so that they see the people who are behind the brand, not just the brand itself.

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The New York Times, for example, is taking a step in that direction. They’ve started by creating a closed Facebook group so that the members of that group know everyone they’re interacting with, generating transparent engagement. Within this Facebook group, they’re creating a community that shares meaningful, valuable content and sparks discussions and conversations among the members. They’re building trust among members of the community as well as with the brand itself.

4. Influencer Marketing

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Another solution to rebuilding trust and authenticity? This next trend right here.

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Less and less consumers trust the lifeless, highly produced advertisements that brands are churning out. More are turning to peer recommendations, to people close to them for an opinion, before making their final decisions. To consumers, influencers are those peers. They build their credibility by being authentic with their followers, giving them the necessary influence over consumers. Brands turn to influencers as a possible outlet in a world now surrounded by misinformation and distrust.

These days, influencers with millions of followers are even finding it difficult to reach their audience. Their credibility has been reduced to that of a celebrity and they become increasingly guarded with their followers.

However, there are other types of influencers that brands can add to their marketing strategy. Namely, micro-influencers, c-suite influencers, and the brand’s own employees.

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Organic reach is becoming more and more challenging for brands to attain, but micro-influencers can solve that problem. Micro-influencers might have a more niche audience but, without question, have a better quality outreach and much stronger engagement rates compared to other tiers of influencers. Micro-influencers are also more affordable for brands and at the same time achieving better results and encourage more action with consumers.

C-suite influencers, or influencers that are CEOs (chief-executive officers) of their company, have the advantage of professional authority and prestige, naturally having the ability to convince consumers that they have the credibility required. When they take it into their own hands to promote the company, C-suite influencers are able to humanise their organisation and build relationships with both the media and the public.

Companies can also encourage advocacy of their brand from their own employees, who surprisingly have more influence over consumers than they think. To be more specific, employees’ posts are found to generate 8 times more engagement than posts from their employers. (5) They are seen as more reachable and approachable to consumers, compared to their prestigious CEOs.

5. The Year of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn has garnered a reputation for being used by employers and candidates to search and apply for jobs. What people don’t know is that LinkedIn is now turning into an informative business content sharing and developing website.

It is still in its growing phase, meaning that it is a website that has more room to grow and advance. It is currently adding more and more interesting features to its platform that aim at attracting the attention of the younger demographic, who have just freshly entered the workforce. These features include allowing videos to be shared on the site, as well as launching LinkedIn Live––a live-streaming platform that enables employers to conduct Q&A sessions and conferences through LinkedIn.

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Furthermore, regarding the current environment of compromised privacy and a loss of trust in social media networks, LinkedIn doesn’t have to worry about any of that, having maintained a secure network so far. The users and the audience on LinkedIn are considered more professional and therefore appear to be more trustworthy and genuine.

Having a small following doesn’t hinder users on LinkedIn’s platform. It is the content you post and the engagements of the posts that really matter. Sometimes, users will even find more people engaging with their posts than they have followers. This encourages for the growth of LinkedIn influencers, who will find that they have more persuasive abilities and higher engagements rates their audiences, compared to if they were on any other social media platform.

Marketers can study these 5 trends and come up with an effective, practical marketing strategy that would be beneficial to their growth. These social media trends could also help brands work their way around the challenges faced in the current market.


1. Web Marketing Pros. Internet Video To Account for 80% of Global Traffic by 2019 (n.d.)

2. Content Marketing Institute. Video Marketing Strategy: What Marketers Need to Know (2018)

3. Hootsuite. Social Media Trends 2019 (2019)

4. Edelman. Trust Barometer Special Report: Brands and Social Media (2018)

5. Cisco. Employee Advocacy: Marketing Engine of the Future? (2015)

By Ng Li Wei @ PopCon Fest

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