2019 is right around the corner, and predictions for what next year will bring for social media are too.
Many of the major social media marketing thought leaders have already started their predictions for the new year. Some are based in existing trends from 2018 and prior, while others are pure speculation.
Regardless of the prediction, social media managers and digital marketers alike need to stay up on them. This will not only help you plan for the year ahead, but they can help spark your own imagination for new content.
But we get it: you're busy and don't have time to scour the 'net for each and every social media rumor.
Thankfully, you don't have to.
Instead, just read this article. Here, we've curated 7 social media predictions. We've focused on rumors and predictions backed by current trends, or predictions made by other social media marketing bloggers.
Ready? Great, let's dive right in!
We'll see privacy-first come to social media
2018 was a year of data leaks and privacy nightmares like the Cambridge Analytica scandal, so don't be surprised if you see privacy finally come first in 2019.
Frankly, the writing's on the wall for this one. Just this year, we saw Google announce the demise of Google+ over a security bug and Facebook pull some of its in-depth ad targeting features post-Cambridge Analytica.
We believe that more social networks will adopt security-first features like end-to-end encryption on messaging. Some networks ripe for a security-first refresh include Instagram messaging and Twitter DMs.
Influencer marketing will continue to grow
Brett Hershman—contributor at Benzinga, TheStreet, Entrepreneur and other major blogs—is confident that influencer marketing will continue growing in 2019—and trust us, we agree with him.
"With traditional TV advertising declining, more companies are opting for different marketing strategies, and influencer marketing has become one of the hottest trends. According to a report from MediaKix, influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing advertising categories in advertising, projected to be a 5 billion–10 billion industry by 2020, with Instagram serving as the leading platform."
Hershman raises a good point. As brands keep ditching TV ads, more and more budget is opened for alternatives. Influencer marketing gives brands the celebrity touch that TV ads once did for much cheaper.
LinkedIn video will keep growing
LinkedIn video launched early this year, and it quickly became a place for influencers to share their thoughts. We've seen everything from business tips to personal vlogs on LinkedIn videos, and some of the earliest adopters have gained huge audiences.
This will continue in 2019. Additionally, we expect LinkedIn video to finally roll out for business pages. This is only logical for the platform, and will give companies on the network a much needed new way to market their products.
Likewise, vertical video will continue to grow
In 2018, we saw the vertical video format make a huge comeback. A format previously hated by consumers, Instagram decided to make a YouTube competitor that's focused on, well, vertical video.
The video platform has taken the backseat on Instagram since launching in the spring, but we don't expect this to last long. Social media video is bound for innovation as no one—not even YouTube—has managed to do it right.
But Instagram won't be the only one embracing vertical video. We fully expect Instagram parent company Facebook to enhance Facebook video in the New Year. Currently, Facebook video is filled with memes and ads, but if enhanced with vertical video, it may be opened to more original content from content creators.
Chatbots will become more normal
We expect chatbots to keep growing in 2019—and they'll likely see become more “normal” in the eyes of consumers.
In other words: the novelty will fade but we will see them become more widespread and usable.
By 2019 we expect chatbots to be the first place someone goes to order a pizza, choose a mobile plan, or even book a hotel room. Chatbots let your users do all of this without the hassle of downloading a native app or loading a webpage.
Data says chatbots will dominate too.
A study from LivePerson shows that only 19% of the 5,000 people surveyed had a negative perception of chatbots. Further, 33% had a positive view and 48% were indifferent so long as their problems were resolved.
Start developing a chatbot for your brand. They’re relatively easy to develop, and may make the difference between closing a quick sale or losing a customer to a service with an easy-to-use chatbot—especially for food delivery and shopping.
The social CEO will make a comeback
In an era of fake news, it’s important for CEOs and other top executives to be social. This boosts your company’s reputation, helps build trust with your users, and even makes your company more appealing to job applicants.
Data from OkToPost shows that only 40% of CEOs are active on social media. Of those users, 70% only used LinkedIn. However, we expect this number to grow as distrust in the mainstream media continues, making people want to hear news right from the source.
A few of the best ways CEOs can go social are by posting to their company blog, writing on Medium, Tweeting from a personal account, or writing blog posts on LinkedIn.
We'll finally be able to shop directly from social media
Social media is the way for companies to market new products and services, so we expect to see social media ecommerce make a splash in 2019.
Currently, ecommerce companies can only link directly to their products on social media posts and in social media ads. However, earlier this year, Instagram announced the ability to buy tickets and make reservations right on the Instagram app.
We expect Instagram (and other social networks) to expand on this functionality in 2019. If tickets and reservations can be made, it's only a matter of time until you'll be able to integrate full-fledged product buying into Instagram posts.
What do you think will happen in 2019?
So there you have it: seven social media predictions every social media manager should know in 2019.
Which of these predictions resonate most with you? Have some predictions of your own?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. Need an awesome social media management tool? Try Social Report free for a month.