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2019 is almost here! With less than 2 weeks left until 2018 is a distant memory, it’s time to predict the way social media marketing will change this coming year. Here are our top 5 social media trend predictions: 

1) Facebook & Instagram Stories will become central to social media advertising

The short 15-second picture and video combos have grown in popularity rapidly. Over 400 million users engage and build relationships via stories on Instagram alone. Brands have noticed this shift in usage, and many already use Instagram and Facebook stories to promote their goods and services. According to Brandwatch, 36% of brands use their stories for product promotion, so it was only natural for the platform to take it one step further and allow brands to advertise in this space.  With no signs of a slowdown in the number of users on stories, we think story advertising will be a big hit in 2019, as long as brands create engaging stories that resonates with their users.  

2) LinkedIn will be the dominant B2B content marketing platform 

LinkedIn is already the most popular social network for B2B brands, and B2C brands are starting to realise the benefits of growing a presence on there.  Recent studies have found that 96% of B2B marketers in the UK use LinkedIn as a content marketing channel, with 61% saying they find it highly effective. The type of content and strategy for sharing that content can vary – some brand choose to share passively through their LinkedIn profile, while others promote thought leadership through their C-suite. We expect 2019 to be the year when brands realise the benefits of growing their influence through in-house thought leaders on LinkedIn.  

3) More advertising in Messenger & WhatsApp

Research conducted by Forbes found WhatsApp users spent 85 billion hours on the app between May – June 2018, compared to users only spending 30 billion hours on Facebook during the same period. As the acceptance and use of chatbots grows, Facebook Messenger is set to become the perfect platform for brands to initiate and carry on conversations with prospects and customers. Brands are not yet allowed to advertise on WhatsApp, but Facebook has announced it is looking at ways to monetize WhatsApp by making its messaging platform friendlier for businesses to generate money. From a marketer’s perspective, this represents tremendous opportunities, as they will be able to target both existing and prospective consumers in a more personal way.  

4) More advertising and YouTube Premium subscriptions will drive up YouTube revenues

By increasing the opportunities for advertisers, YouTube is slowly getting better at monetizing their platform. However, the increased number of ads shown, especially of the unskippable variety, might drive more consumers to pay for an ad-free YouTube Premium account.  Consumers who no longer want to be constantly bombarded with ads whilst watching videos will happily pay the subscription fee. Most consumers who already use Spotify and Netflix are unlikely to find the Premium service worth the price, opting instead to remain open to advertising on YouTube. Either way, we predict that users will drive up YouTube revenues through subscriptions or increased ad consumption.  

5) Facebook will become one of the top news portals 

Twitter was once the leading social network to break news stories. Today, President Trump’s favourite network for pontification still is a great way to spread emergency news rapidly, but Facebook had teamed up with Nokia, and several telecommunication firms back in 2016 to create an open-source hardware and software platform for the industry, designed to make it easier and faster to build communications networks. Three years on,
we predict Facebook now has everything in place to host their own news service. Broadly speaking, users already share some form of news on Facebook. Expanding the existing trending topics feature would allow the network to serve more content to users. There is a real danger, though, of the social platform reporting fake news and getting caught up in even more online scandals.

These are our top 5 predictions for social media marketing in 2019. Share your predictions with us by tagging @accuracast on your favourite social network.