Our team is multitalented and some of these talents involve successfully managing social media. In doing so, we’ve picked up some trends and some lessons on social media for business and for personal use.
Our Lethabo-Thabo Royds shares some trends she’s seen, used, and experienced in 2018 and what trends we will see more of in 2019. Some of these, she says, are not new trends but she has seen an increase in their usage and effectiveness in 2018 and she’s sure this will be stepped up in 2019.
In 2018 we saw the use of video continue to increase in popularity. The use of strong visuals has dominated popular social media content for years, and the rise in video popularity is an extension of this. We have also seen sites like Facebook optimise the use of video but for their own platform i.e. a video you upload directly to Facebook will do better than including a link to a YouTube video in your Facebook post. For 2019, make sure your video content is available on the platform itself as an upload instead of a link if you want to maximise reach.
The popularity of video includes short, disappearing videos like the ones many of us tap through on Instagram stories and SnapChat (and even Facebook). Videos also give fans and followers real insight into the brand…it feels more personal and many of us like that.
Remember, your videos in 2019 do not need to be long and perfectly edited. Depending on your brand and organisational culture, you may be able to upload quick edited or unedited videos. Regardless of organisational culture and brand language, the video should be a few minutes long (think 2 minutes maximum) and effective. If it’s a quick video (like one in an Insta story) it should be less than a minute long – Instagram already dictates how long you can record and it’s far less than one minute.
Brands got clever about engaging with social media influencers a few years ago. In 2018 we have seen brands continue to refine their influencer marketing strategies to focus on quality instead of quantity. We can see brands engaging with macro influencers, who many of us will already know because they are super popular, as well as micro influencers who are known within a niche. The idea is that a micro influencer may not speak to the same numbers of people as macro influencers, but the likelihood of reaching the right people and getting sales is higher.
For 2019, don’t just work with influencers who have a large following; consider the folks with smaller, engaged numbers (i.e. a captive audience) and ensure that you work with them in a way that will be beneficial for both businesses. (Influencers are running a business, too)
I also think that with it coming to light that a number of influencers and celebrities have bought their following, people don’t always buy products based on these macro influencers and this is where a micro influencer can help. The macro influencer can get you the exposure, brand awareness, and sales; the micro influencer can get you the awareness and sales in a niche market and often these sales can be higher in number.
Social media platforms have been monetising the use of their platforms more and more over time. Previously, you would see good growth and engagement organically and you could step it up with advertising. Now, organic growth is lower than it was in the past and paid growth shows a great increase.
For 2019, I think we will see more people using ads and using them in a clever way. You don’t need to be concerned about having a big advertising budget to advertise; you can get good reach and engagement with the right targeting and ad planning.
Other things to be aware of for 2019 that are worth mentioning here :
- Younger audiences do not use Facebook as much as you may think
- Most people are browsing social media on their mobile devices so your website and social content should be mobile-friendly (this is nothing new but I still come across sites that are not mobile-friendly)
- People will tell you what they like and what they don’t
- Trolls still exist. Recognise them and handle them appropriately
Dos and Don’ts of social media
Here’s what a few members of our team had to say about social media dos and don’ts; they also share their tips for creating the right social media presence.
- Be authentic, real, and personal.
- Respect other people’s opinions, beliefs, and values.
- Don’t belittle or abuse people.
- Don’t make people feel inadequate because of race, sex, lifestyle, or background.
- Don’t fuc up.
- Be yourself – which includes fucups.
- Life = business = life. Share it all!
- Diversify your content. It shouldn’t only be product-focused; it should speak to your culture, people, and opinions on happenings around you.
- Embrace video and voice formats.
- Read, think, and comment – make a habit of it.
- Find a routine that works for you and a time where you can explore the digital world and your interests.
- Balance digital and real-life conversations.
- Post on the wrong account! Be sure to always check on the handle or profile you are busy on to avoid posting or commenting as the wrong business or brand.
- Think before posting and avoid controversial or sensitive topics.
- Be true to yourself; the digital world is a reflection of who you are as a person.
- You don’t have to have every social media platform/product that opens and shuts… it depends on the audience and what you want to use it for.
- Be conscious of the platform that you are on when sharing content.
- Don’t be a sheep and engage in heated discussions where you can’t express your views fully.
- Share your story; don’t be afraid to get social. You may also find a great idea when you are browsing through Instagram…
- Just like people are different, social media also has different users on it. You don’t have to follow everyone; unfollow them or block them if they creep you out.
- You don’t have to share everything that you do in your daily life… no one really wants to know your every move… well, maybe a stalker might.
- Remember that social media has the word “social” in the title so be social. Engage with folks and content instead of just pushing your content.
- You don’t need to be on every social media platform: know your platform and make sure your content is right for that platform. Think about your message and which platforms will help you portray that the best way. Also, use the platforms your target market uses.
- Be consistent and real: your digital presence and personality should represent who you are IRL.
- Diversify your content: post about different things at different times and on different platforms.
- Users are increasingly seeking personalisation, especially when it comes to experiences and travel brands. So, make sure your social content shows that you can cater to a range of people and their specific, personalised needs.
Read some of our other content on social media: