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This week we’re talking about social media trends for 2019, what the important new strategies will be, and where it’s most effective to focus your attention. And trust us, there are customers on social media! Out of the 2.23 billion on Facebook, 1.9 billion on YouTube, and 1 billion on Instagram, there’s a sizable portion of buyer who use these sites to make professional purchasing decisions. So let’s talk about the five new trends aimed at reaching them.

1. Storifying Social

Over the past few years, major social media sites have introduced “Story” modes that allow for a more fluid look at interconnected posts that tell the story of events, life, and subjects that are a little too complex for a single post. Facebook and Instagram, for example, have Story sections that are partly separate from the main news feed, but also provide notifications to users about new Story additions.

Now that people are used to them, these Story modes are becoming very popular. Currently, they are growing about 15 times faster than traditional feed-based sharing, accordingly to the latest research from Block Party. That provides a couple potential new goals. The first is getting into the Story mode and trying it out yourself – it’s especially well-fitted to business events and big projects! The second option is to invest more in Story ads, since the growing number of Story views makes this area an excited place for ad strategies in 2019.

2. Video, Video, Video

Video continues to be an ongoing trend throughout social media. Far from fading in popularity, video is expected to account for 85% of search traffic in the United States in 2019. People like video! And they don’t just use it to catch up on comedy or news: Video has become a very popular method of researching products before making a purchase. There’s nothing like a good video to showcase how a product works and how it can help a buyer better than a long page of text can show. The key is to divide video in different sections to focus on. “Explainer” videos should only be 30 seconds to a minute or so. Interviews and tours can be considerably longer, but they often need to be in separate channels like Instagram’s IGTV. Live video can help build brand presence, but needs to be a high quality production at the same time.

3. Social Experiences with Brands: The Rise of Messaging

Brands are always looking for ways to initiate a better experience for leads: In 2018 and 2019, we are seeing more and more brands focus on messaging apps to help here. The buyers love it: Around 9 out 10 average consumers around the world like to use messaging to communicate with businesses. They are an excellent way to initiate high value conversations where buyers can ask very specific questions and get speedy answers with the annoyance of a phone call. Messaging is a great focus for better lead management this year!

4. Social Data Trust Concerns

Social data trust concerns is a fancy way of saying that there are many buyers who worry about their privacy when using social media and interacting with brands. They don’t want their identity stolen, and they can become especially upset when it seems like a company knows too much about them or their buying habits. Fortunately, this issue isn’t as big of a problem in the B2B world, but trust concerns are still worth your attention. It’s time to consider how you use personalization and how you collect customer data: Make sure it’s friendly, above board, and doesn’t come across as creepy.

5. Micro-Influencers and User Generated Content

Micro and nano influencers are influencers with the smallest audiences…and they can go a lot more good than you might think. Remember, a significant portion of your audience are already micro-influencers just because of the presence of social media. Do you have any efforts to encourage these members of your audience to create their own content? For example, you encourage buyers to take pictures of themselves with your products and share them on social media, which can make for a great marketing campaign. If you haven’t tried to make use of your micro-influencers before, now is a great time to start.

Obviously, social trends allow for a lot of possibilities! What do you think – what social trends do you see as worth pursuing in 2019 and beyond? Which of these trends will last? Let us know on social media @21handshake, and if you liked this episode please rate use 5 stars and share with a friend!