The year 2018 was the year of data breaches for some big and established companies.
And among the biggest companies to have experienced this include airline company Cathay Pacific, T-Mobile, Google+, Cambridge Analytica, Quora, Marriott Starwood Hotels, and the most talked about one – Facebook.
While hackers and incidence of hacking may have been on the rise since the Internet was established, still, it’s not a reason to quit accessing it.
Companies like Facebook are doing their best to up their security system to prevent another incident.
But still, this isn’t a big reason why you should fear the internet and using social media too.
In fact, the recent Global Digital Report for 2019 shows an annual growth of nine percent or 288 million increase in the number of new social media users worldwide.
From 1.8 billion in 2014, social media users have greatly increased to 3.4 billion in 2019.
Facebook still remains to have the most number of active users from all the other social networking sites. It has 2.271 billion active users as of January 25, 2019.
It’s followed by Youtube with 1.9 billion; WhatsApp with 1.5 billion; FB Messenger with 1.3 billion; Wechat with 1.083 billion; and Instagram with 1 billion.
In terms of advertising audiences, the report also showed Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter having the most number.
Facebook has 2.121 billion total of advertising audiences. This same number is the total number also of active users on the site every month.
Instagram has registered a total of 895 million advertising audiences. Similar to Facebook, this number is also the total active users on the app every month.
And finally, Twitter registering a total of 251 million advertising audiences. Still this number is the same number of total active users that they currently have every month.
This only means one thing; social media and the number of its users will still increase even with issues such as data breach hounding it.
Although there has been recorded decrease to the number of people currently using the social platform Facebook because of its data breach last year, still it remains on top of its game.
So, with all these data presented to you, you may ask, “Why is social media important to me?”
The answer is simple. It is important to you because you cannot deny the massive potential it has especially if you are a local business owner.
Take a look at the current social media users in the Philippines.
According to the same report, there is now a 71 percent penetration of social media to the country’s overall population of 107.3 million.
This means there are currently 76 million active users here.
And if you are a local business in the Philippines who wanted to reach a bigger audience, then you should not ignore the big impact social media can give to you, your marketing efforts and your company.
Here are the reasons why social media marketing is important for local businesses like yours to use this 2019.
- You need to connect with your customers more.
There’s no reason for businesses to be out of reach to their customers nowadays. Most of your customers are on social media so you need to be there too. People who are in social media appreciate responsive pages. So, there’s no reason for you to disconnect with your customers.
- More people are on social media.
They are there and you are not? How can you market your products if you are not where most of your customers are?
This, you should think over many times. It’s already 2019. Are you going to miss out an opportunity to gain more customers?
- People would rather chat than call & text.
In case you haven’t noticed, people love to chat.
You can check the Global Digital 2019 report. Two of the most popular messenger apps in the world are WhatsApp and Facebook.
Plus, you can now do video calls. So, the experience of talking to a person real time and seeing him or her is closer to reality.
- Latest industry news and updates.
Do you know the latest trends in your industry? What about the latest news and updates that you need to know especially in marketing?
In case you haven’t checked, marketers always include social media as one of the top marketing tools they employ for their brands.
- Social media greatly influences buying behaviors of consumers.
A study from the University of Buffalo School of Management indicated that those customers who engaged with the social media of a business are five percent more frequently visiting the business.
The more technology savvy the customer is, the more he or she is spends more money on the business.
If you are not that convinced, you can try and check your previous sales report before you’ve had your social media account. Now, compare it with your current sales report and you be the judge.
You may ask now, what other things do you need to know when it comes to social media marketing?
Well, don’t wait much longer because here is the list of the top social media marketing trends for this year that you should not ignore.
Top Social Media Marketing Trends for 2019
1. Regaining trust on the social platform.
As mentioned earlier in this article, 2018 was the not so good year for social media.
Apart from the data breach on Facebook, to which they have resolved by now, Twitter also suffered controversies over the large number of bots on their platform. This leads to the purging of millions of fake accounts on the site, according to Hootsuite.
There were questions on the privacy, accuracy and the integrity of social platforms.
This led to people going back to trusting their peers and family members as well as the traditional journalism outlets.
This only translates to brands going into more authentic engagement by producing transparent and quality contents on their social media accounts.
Since this is a social platform, people, like in real life, would want a real connection with the brands they follow.
Take for example the different short clips that the brand like Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) is currently doing.
You may have stumbled across at least one of them.
They are mostly about stories of the customers themselves. They feature it on their “Kwentong Jollibee” (Jollibee Stories) series.
It’s like you’re watching a drama series but its actually relatable experiences of people.
They incorporate these experiences with their current product offerings.
They touch the Filipinos through their core.
They took advantage of social media to air full-length short clips since television commercials can only have room for a one-minute or a thirty-seconder video for their promotional material.
They saved cost and they get to really reach their target markets – the Filipinos.
Their authentic way to engage with their audience really shows how they value the trust they have been given especially in showcasing stories that actually happen in real life. They were stories that their customers can relate.
Also, the product recall is very strong among those who have watched the videos.
JFC reported last year that this campaign upped their sales and even their following on their social media accounts.
With this campaign, they have not only struck the hearts of their followers but at the same time created a stronger brand love and affinity.
2. Mobile gadgets and users on the rise.
The Global Digital Report 2019 showed a 10 percent increase of mobile social media users from January 2018 to January 2019.
This means 297 million users have been added to the numbers making it to a total of 3.256 billion mobile social media users.
Apart from the convenience of using a smartphone to access the internet, it’s more of the user experience that’s most important.
There are mobile phone companies that are offering cheap smartphones with higher specifications that are at par with the expensive ones in terms of performance.
Also, mobile gadgets are less bulky to carry. You can even just slide it in your pocket if you need it.
It’s more intimate compared to using a laptop or a desktop computer.
A Nielsen Digital Ads Ratings Benchmarks and Findings Report Southeast Asia 2017 says that mobile achieved higher on-target success compared to using a desktop computer in the Philippines.
So, are you just going to sit down or create mobile-friendly content and ads?
3. Paid ads will be very useful.
With the changes on Facebook’s algorithms, there is now a lesser chance for pages to get organic reach not unless you have already established a million following.
That means you need to increase your paid budgets to create more compelling contents that your audience can relate to.
According to Hootsuite, more marketers are producing more ads on social platforms than ever before.
The more creative your contents are, the more chances users notice it.
Also, you need a budget for a team of creative that does that for you.
4. E-commerce on social platforms.
Have you checked the latest update that Facebook introduced its users last year? It’s the Marketplace feature.
There are over 800 million people using it in 70 countries, says Facebook.
You can sell your second-hand car, furniture, clothing line, and even food there.
If you are in the retail business, perhaps, this could be the right place for you.
5. More users are on messaging apps.
There is also now a shift from public posts to a more intimate and private conversations over messaging apps like Facebook Messenger.
Cebu-based Visayan Electric Company (VECO) is among those brands who uses Facebook Messenger as of their customer service tools.
And because there are more people sending queries online, they already have customer service people who attend to every customer’s needs 24/7.
Their average response time is between 5 to 10 minutes. You can get the answers you want anytime with the use of your mobile phone.
Messaging apps are becoming a go-to channel for users nowadays if they have a particular concern especially on the products and services.
Also, ads are on the app too.
Every now and then you can see a Facebook add on your message list.
Users have the option to click it or close it. But at least you have reached them.
6. Employee advocacy is the way to go.
What better way to promote your brand but through your own employees?
They are not working for your company if they don’t believe in what you are selling, right?
They are your best influencers outside the four walls of your office building.
This year is a crucial year to regain the trust that was lost to social media last year.
This year make your people the influencer of your products and talk about it to their loved ones.
Because there is now a slow shift of public conversation to a more private one, your employees can do marketing through messaging apps with their friends and family.
They will really take their word because after all, they know they trust them.
Educate your employees about your products and services. Make them understand your brand.
It is through this that they will not have second thoughts about teaching and sharing with others the good things about your brand and your products and services.
Try it. It wouldn’t hurt to try it this year, right?
7. Stories and IGTV.
Short-lived content will continue to dominate especially on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
People are now more into visuals rather than the text that you post as your status.
Stories and IGTV will dominate in that field.
It’s more authentic and real. This is the way people are now looking at social media. With all the trolls and fake accounts that bombarded them, they wanted to have real connections with real people.
It is through this short-lived content that they get a glimpse unto the lives of their friends on Facebook and the people they’re following on Instagram.
Also, people are consuming more videos online. The want for long-video formats is also there.
IGTV is there to answer their call by providing them a platform where they can watch those long-video formats by the creators they follow.
Although is relatively new since it was just launched in 2018, marketers and local businesses should make this as an avenue to create meaningful and helpful video contents.
8. Increased authenticity.
As what was mentioned on the earlier parts of this article, people would now look and connect with people on social media that are real.
They are through with trolls and fake accounts and wanted to have real connections.
With brands, they want more authentic content from them. They wanted more personalize approach.
This may pose as a challenge to local businesses but you have to keep in mind that this is a way you could introduce your brand in more creative ways than ever before.
What stories have you got there that you haven’t made the public known about your brand?
They may know about your background and how you started as a company but what about the little stories in your company that make it the brand they know of today?
Who are those people who make your company as successful as it is now?
Showcase them on your social media.
Make human connection with the people online. Put a heart in your brand story.
It is through this way that you make authentic human connections online.
Remember what Jollibee Food Corp. (JFC) did with their online marketing campaign?
You could also do a similar campaign.
Think of it as a way too to acknowledge the people behind your local business.
9. Going live.
Since it was introduced to Facebook, the feature going live has already 3,500,000,000-recorded videos on the social networking platform.
And there were a total of 2 billion people who watched those videos.
This trend just got started and it is predicted that it will continue to soar.
More brands are even using it to go live broadcast of their shows on social media since this is where most of the online users are currently logged in.
There are even those users who go to concerts and do live videos while they’re there to also make people get a glimpse of the scenes there at the concert venue.
Going live on Youtube is also growing popularity as events get streamed live over the social platform.
Live videos may still have its vulnerabilities for marketers to make it as one of their main platform for reaching the billions of online users. But with the right amount of creativity and a dash of extra effort, you can pull off a live video and make your local business be known.
10. Instagram users will go up.
People will look for venues where they can find something positive on social media.
One of the social platforms that are gaining this attention is Instagram.
Apart from the newsfeed where you get updates on people that you follow, there’s that explore feature where you can just see what you favorite celebrities are doing and tons of happy vibes on IG.
DIYs and food videos continue to soar on this platform especially with the help of IGTV.
If you want to get to know how to be creative in cooking, IG is the place to go to look for creative ideas in baking, plating, and preparing food.
People do more sharing on this platform especially those that create happiness and positive vibes.
If you want your customers to experience happy vibes, then, definitely, IG is the place for your marketing efforts.
Each year is a challenging year for marketers and local businesses to look at better ways to improve their products and services and to make their brands closer to the ones they serve.
Innovations and technology can aid them but the creativity still lies on the hands of the local businesses themselves.
While there may be trends that needed to be considered, it does not mean that you have to employ everything in order to make sure that you get that maximum social media exposure that you need.
All you need to put in mind are those that really matter to your brand.
Will IG help you with your local business? How? Is IGTV ideal for your products and services to be showcased there?
Will employee advocacy really mean an all out support from them? Or will it discourage your employees to not promote it because they feel compelled to do it just because they are working for you?
With all the trends that come here and there, you should not lose sight of what’s important and what’s the core of your local business.
How are you taking in all the trends this year?