Every year, we resolve to do better; to achieve more; to hit higher goals.

And that’s not just for our New Years exercise resolutions.

social media trends - Toy Story GIF

We’re talking about extending the aspirations to our social media marketing strategy.

Setting achievable milestones on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is the key to having your best year yet.

Just consider the impact each major platform can make based on these facts:

Whether you’re measuring success by engagement, brand awareness, or actual sales, social media marketing can help you with any and all of these KPIs.

social media trends - platform use

Image source: http://www.pewinternet.org

But how can you start getting to a new level with your social media strategy?

It all starts with looking at the trends in digital marketing that are expected to define the year.

We’re investigating the latest innovations and themes to watch on social media as you update your advertising strategy for the new year.

We’ll also provide expert tips and tricks to help you leverage each trend.

These are the social media marketing trends of 2019 that you need to know.

Influencers of All Sizes are Reaching Target Audiences on Social Media

Influencers are on the rise across all social media platforms.

Two of the main reasons for the growth of this digital marketing trend are an increase in ad blockers and distrust of traditional branded campaigns.  

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Beyond building trust with and reaching consumers, the additional benefits of influencer marketing are becoming clear.

social media trends - Twitter influencers

Image source: https://blog.twitter.com

For example, 40% of Twitter users say they made a purchase as a result of a tweet from an influencer.

Additionally, the engagement boost from a macro-influencer (50K-100K followers) on Instagram is 300%.

For micro-influencers (5K-50K followers), their average branded engagement rate was almost 6%.

social media trends - customer acquisition

And let’s not forget how influencer marketing impacts ROI.

For every $1 spent, marketers are earning an average return of $7.65 with this social media marketing strategy.

It’s no surprise, then, that 67% of marketers are looking to expand their influencer marketing budget.

How to Leverage the Influencer Trend for Your Social Media Marketing in 2019

With benefits ranging from a bottom line boost to benefitting your SEO, influence marketing is one of the latest trends in social media you can’t ignore.

social media trends - Upfluencer

But what’s the best way to connect with influencers in your field?

That’s what influencer marketing tools like Upfluencer and BuzzSumo are for.

These platforms can connect you with influencers on your target platform and industry vertical.

Some things to consider as you get started:

  • What type of influencers will you work with? Macro, micro, and nano are all popular options for different reasons.
  • What platform will you focus on? Twitter and Instagram are the most popular, so consider where your target audience is more likely to spend their time.
  • How will you measure your ROI from this social media marketing strategy? Options include a designated landing page or using combined metrics (e.g. engagement and web traffic) to calculate an earned media value.
social media trends - influencer example

Image source: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

Make sure the influencers you partner with understand your product and ethos.

They will be the face of your brand to their followers, so you want their support to be genuine and enthusiastic.

Now is the Time to Tell a Story With Your Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Marketing

The rise of mobile-first social media marketing is perhaps best exemplified in the popularity of the Stories format.

social media trends - Stories DAUs

Image source: https://techcrunch.com/

These vertical videos that disappear after a certain duration are gaining traction across Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

On Instagram alone, more than 400 million people use Stories each day.

The more authentic and fleeting nature of this social media trend is what’s attracting users.

Marketers are consequently taking note and exploring Story ads on each platform.

Why Story Ads Matter

Stories are unlikely to be a fleeting trend in digital marketing.

In 2017, their popularity grew 11X when compared with traditional Feed content.

social media trends - Instagram Stories marketing

Image source: https://blog.hootsuite.com/

Also, Facebook has made it clear that they are counting on the Stories platform as the future of social media marketing.

The advantages of Story ads for Instagram marketing, especially, are huge.

Companies can experience major boosts to engagement and conversions with this ad format.

social media trends - Conde Nast IG story example
Condé Nast, for example, earned 40% more conversions and a 77% higher CTR with their Stories campaign.

Integrating Stories Into Your Digital Marketing

Currently, the most popular platform for Story ads is Instagram.

To incorporate this strategy into your Instagram marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The first is creating a Stories ad that is in line with what makes this one of the biggest social media trends.

social media trends - The Guardian example

Image source: https://www.journalism.co.uk/

That means not only following design specs for a Stories ad, but also capturing the raw feel and energy of a Story.

For example, The Guardian discovered that less polished Stories performed better in their Instagram marketing campaign than those that were heavily produced.

Stories also allow brands to showcase their social media marketing content in multiple formats.

Take full advantage of this by incorporating video, text overlay, and interactive elements (e.g. polls).

social media trends - Rothy's example

Image source: https://www.aspireiq.com/blog/

To track your success using Stories in your Instagram or Facebook advertising, consider adding UTMs to Story URLs.

This way, when a user selects the option to “Swipe Up” or follow another CTA, you can track their journey and measure your marketing performance.  

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Just for Product Discovery Anymore

The ways in which people are using social media and why are shifting.

In the past, the emphasis was on sharing interesting content or personal opinions.

social media trends - social media engagement

Image source: https://blog.globalwebindex.com/

Now, however, there is more interest  in researching, finding, and buying products.

So, there’s a new term for 2019 that every digital marketer should know: social commerce.

Beyond increasing brand awareness and engagement, social media marketing is influencing sales.

According to a recent Sumo survey, 58% of participants said social media directly influences their purchasing decisions.

social media trends - retail site visits

Image source: https://www.businessinsider.com/

This research is supported by the statistics surrounding social shopping.

According to a BI Intelligence report, social commerce revenue grew 24% in 2017 to $6.5 billion.

Of the platforms leading this latest trend in social media, Facebook is the clear winner.

In fact, their Marketplace platform is available in 70 countries and 800 million people use it on a monthly basis.

social media trends - facebook ad purchases

Now more than ever, people are completing purchases after clicking an ad on Facebook.

Across platforms, advertisers can leverage this social media trend to their advantage.

How to Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy That Drives Purchases

One of the first steps to getting consumers to buy from your social media accounts is to set up and promote your products in the right way.

social media trends - Instagram shoppable posts

Image source: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/

Setting up a shoppable Instagram account is one of the best ways to do this.

Once you launch this account, you can set up product tags.

Then, you can create shoppable posts that let you tag items for users to just click and purchase.

In general, making the purchasing process as easy as possible for your audience is important for success.

social media trends - Facebook Marketplace

Image source: https://www.adweek.com/

That means including CTAs like “Shop Now” and taking people directly to specific product pages from your social media ads.

Tapping into this social media trend can translate into a real boost to your bottom line.

Consider the content that resonates the most with your audience, target and tailor it accordingly, and get in front of consumers using the latest tools available.

When you follow best social media marketing practices like these, you can take full advantage of the social commerce trend.

social media trends - success GIF

The Social Media Marketing Trends of 2019 Will Define Your Success

As with any year, there are certain strategies and tools that define the trends in digital marketing in 2019.

And just like any year, it is essential that you stay up to date and integrate these social media trends into your strategy.

Doing so will ensure you achieve your best year yet while keeping ahead of the competition.

It also helps set you up for success in the future.

Not all of the latest trends in social media stick around.

social media trends - achieving goals

However, many are an indication of future shifts.

For example, social media marketing predictions for 2017 included items like “the rise of the social influencer” and “expiring social content”.

Clearly, both of these foreshadow the current popularity of influencer marketing and Stories, respectively.

So, if there’s a lesson to be learned it’s this:

When you leverage the social media marketing trends of 2019, you could also very well be setting yourself up for the years to come.