As the social media landscape is changing at a fast pace, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends every year to ensure that your strategy is still successful. It’s the right time now to start planning your social media marketing strategy for 2019

Here are six key trends to keep an eye on for 2019.

1. Engagement Is More Important In 2019
Facebook has announced early in 2018 the focus on meaningful interactions as part of their updated algorithm.
This meant that their algorithm started favouring content that sparks a genuine conversation, which inspired many Page Managers to create more engaging content.
As organic reach becomes harder, the only way to survive is to aim for content that is:
• Interesting
• Appealing
• Engaging
Algorithms are becoming smarter so there’s no short route to genuine engagement. It’s not enough anymore to encourage people to like, comment, share on your post. Social platforms are trying to cut down on engagement bait techniques so you may risk losing your existing reach in the longer term with such techniques.

2. Social Media To Increase Sales
Social media is already helping customers in the phase of product discovery. Brands are able to promote their products through social channels and customers are finding out about them before making a purchase.
Social media is not anymore just about awareness and engagement, but it’s heading even more towards consideration and sales enablement in the business funnel.
According to Mary Meeker’s report of Internet Trends in 2018, 55% of respondents who discovered a product through social media proceeded to a purchase later on. Facebook seems to be the first channel that people discover new products, with Instagram and Pinterest.

3. Closing Ads Gap In 2019 (More competition on paid social forces marketers to up their game)
By now, everyone knows we’re in the pay-to-play era on social.
Accordingly, marketers are increasing social ad budgets (up 32 percent in 2018 alone) and producing more ads than ever before. One of every four Facebook Pages now use paid media. And Facebook already accounts for 23 percent of total U.S. digital ad spending.
But rising costs and fleeting attention are limiting ROI for advertisers.
To counter this, paid social teams are pairing ad money with equal time investment, creativity, and targeting savvy. And they’re paying to boost their best performing organic content.

4. Cracking E-commerce Code.
In Asia, social commerce adoption has been swift, with 70 percent of China’s Gen Zers now buying direct from social. But social commerce hasn’t kept pace in North America despite the long-hyped promise of buy buttons.
But new and evolving technologies are changing that—especially for young buyers.
Instagram’s shoppable posts now allow users to go from discovery to checkout without ever leaving the app. And the platform has even added a Shopping tab to its Explore page.

Facebook’s Marketplace is now used in 70 countries by more than 800 million people. And on Pinterest, 55 percent of customers using the site to find and shop for products.
Video, in particular, is proving a critical bridge for social commerce. In a study of 5,500 consumers by video marketing company BrightCove, 74 percent of viewers drew a connection between watching a social video and making a purchase.
And beyond the familiar YouTube, new formats—from in-stream buying plugins for Instagram to livestream shopping on WeChat—have emerged for integrating social video deeper into the buyer’s journey.
So how do you start incorporating social commerce into your marketing strategy? It’s important to remember that what distinguishes social commerce from other channels is the social aspect. Finding ways to make shopping live, interactive, and seamless—even on mobile devices—is key.

5. Chatboats Will Eats The world In 2019
The top messaging apps—WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ, and Skype—combine for nearly 5 billion monthly active users. That’s more users than the traditional social networks have worldwide.
Across the board, users are spending more time on messaging and less time sharing news on social. This shift from public to private spaces is changing consumer expectations.
Nine out of 10 consumers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses, according to a survey of 6,000 people globally. In the U.S., messaging is the most preferred customer service channel. In a 2018 survey of 8,000 people conducted by Facebook, 69 percent of respondents said that directly messaging with a company helps them feel more confident about the brand.
What’s clear, however, is that consumers don’t want more advertising channels. Smart brands are using messaging apps for more high-value conversations.

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As the social media landscape is changing at a fast pace, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends every year to ensure that your strategy is still successful. It’s the right time now to start planning your social media marketing strategy for 2019