Social media is fast moving and constantly evolving. The trends and ideas that dominated in 2017 and across last year are already making way for new practices and insights. Now that we’re at the start of 2019 there are some key social media predictions that could significantly change the social media landscape this year.

1. Artificial Intelligence and chatbots

Artificial intelligence, especially chatbots, enable brands to communicate in a more engaging way with consumers via social media. Chatbots can help to personalise communication and deliver one to one interaction on a significant scale. For minimal investment, chatbots can deliver better service and higher levels of engagement with consumers, which is why they are likely to become much more popular and prevalent this year.

2. Social media at every level

Building trust with consumers is essential to brand growth but this can be hard to do. Trust in companies has been eroded over recent years and one of the reasons for this is a lack of transparency. As a result, this year we are likely to see businesses expanding social media at every level, right up to management and CEO. Those at higher levels in the business can use social media to deliver insights and expertise and to build trust in a brand by being a visible figurehead for it.

3. Integrating Augmented Reality (AR)

Already we have seen Snapchat launch Snap Originals, which gives users the opportunity to effectively step into the platform’s original television programming thanks to the use of AR. This year we are likely to see social media marketers finding more innovative and inventive ways of using AR to make social media experiences more immersive for consumers. The goal is to create more engagement with brand values and ideas and connect consumers to the brand stories that will make the most impact.

4. Expanding the use of video

Video has been a burgeoning trend in digital marketing and social media for some time. However, it’s live video that is beginning to nudge ahead in terms of consumer preference. For example, 80% of consumers say that they would prefer to watch a live video from a brand than to read a blog. These statistics are difficult to argue with, especially when 82% of consumers express a preference for video over any other type of social post. Key to this trend will be ensuring the quality of a live feed – otherwise user interest rapidly drops.

5. More effective content

In 2019, this means user generated content. It’s this type of content that is providing brands with opportunities where organic social reach continues to drop away. Content created by customers and followers can be much more effective at reaching other consumers and improving engagement. It’s easily found via the use of hashtags and is incredibly effective when it comes to creating community and genuine engagement.

These are just some of the social media trends predicted for 2019. If you’d like to discuss your strategy for the year ahead, contact one of our team.