Consumers turn to social media for personal interactions and that includes brands. Marketers will need to earn and maintain trust, while remaining agile to new sharing formats on social, according to Hootsuite’s annual trends report.
Hootsuite shared its annual global social media trends report on Friday, outlining five takeaways for the coming year. The report is the culmination of 3,255 Hootsuite business customers, interviews and industry analysis, along with additional research.
Brands will need to rebuild consumer trust as they become acutely aware of how data is used—or misused—among social media giants worldwide. Consumers are trusting brands less and less, turning instead to friends and family for authentic interactions.
The report notes efforts being made by Adidas and The New York Times, who are creating communities around their brands and using internal experts and employee advocates.
“Consumers want to be treated like individuals, not demographics,” says Hootsuite. “They’re demanding more value in exchange for their time and information. The pendulum has swung back to social’s roots: real, personal, and authentic.”
Adopting new ways of communication on social media will also be key to engagement this year. Stories are being used everywhere from YouTube to LinkedIn, allowing brands to get creative and have fun with it. Capturing in-the-moment experiences allows users—and brands—to connect with followers with a level of intimacy not found in text alone.
Sixty-four percent of respondents have either implemented Instagram Stories into their social media strategy or plan to do so in the next 12 months. Just over half cite lack of video creation skills and/or budget as a top challenge for doing so, however.
The pendulum has swung back to social’s roots: real, personal, and authentic.
The rising popularity of social media advertising has resulted in a surge in prices. According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 report, Facebook click-through-rate (CTR) costs have jumped 61 percent. Cutting through the noise of social media advertising is a challenge, but can be achieved through personalization, entertainment and creativity.
Meanwhile, social ecommerce will continue to grow in 2019, Hootsuite predicts. Just over a quarter of respondents said they have either implemented social commerce or plan to do so in the next 12 months and 17 percent said the same about shoppable galleries.
The final social media trend for the coming year is how brands will interact directly with consumers online. Messaging apps, providing better customer service through social accounts and in-app assistants are some of the ways marketers are connecting intimate connections with consumers.
When asked what their biggest challenges are for the future of social media, respondents named “the decline of organic reach” above all others. Half said that personalization is one of the biggest challenges for the coming year, and 47 percent were concerned about integrating social media across the enterprise to improve CX.