Top Social Media Trends of 2019!

Social media is changing the way we see the world, and with more than 3.5 billion active users worldwide, its revolutionary impact on our personal and work lives is only continuing to grow. Social media creates a virtual platform where we can connect not only with friends and family but with other businesses and organizations all around the world. In a platform where information and communication rapidly spreads, social media trends can easily go viral and can impact us personally and professionally. Keeping up with the latest trends, whether positive or negative, can help our business (or career) thrive on social media. 

Here’s what we’re seeing right now: 

Positive Social Media Trends

1. Video Content is Thriving

From live video streaming to visual explainer videos, video content on social media channels has become the most popular way to bring in new followers and keep them engaged. According to a survey from Livestream, 80% of audiences prefer to watch a video rather than read a blog or read a social media post. Videos are extremely important to a successful social media page and varied visual media is increasingly growing more significant. As a visual content agency ourselves, we understand the power behind using visuals to help our clients tell their stories. We guide our clients by planning, executing, and directing videos that communicate to the right audience and help them move toward a specific goal.  

2. Brands Working with Influencers & Micro-Influencers

Influencers have increased in popularity over the past few years on social media, and they range from celebrities to social media stars, to macro and micro-influencers. They differ in interests from famous Dallas personalities like Courtney Kerr (@kerrently), a beauty and fashion influencer, to Ryan ToysReview, a 7-year-old YouTuber famous for reviewing and playing with toys. These influencers have large audiences and normally earn money through brand endorsements and advertisements. This trendy area is evolving from the celebrity influencer to micro-influencer, who have a large following but not necessarily a celebrity status. They have followers who trust and interact with them and thus have the opportunity to engage with a higher number of their followers. These micro influencers usually charge less than a celebrity influencer so they can be more cost-effective for the brands who they partner with.

3. Pushing Authentic Stories

Social media can easily be flooded with sensationalism, fake news, misinterpretation and so much more, that it is refreshing when you find brands that create genuine content. Companies who are authentic with their customers are finding more trust and loyalty from those customers and in turn, more sales. Organizations of all types are realizing that when they are intentional with their true brand personality, they expand their legitimacy and therefore their brand heroes. We work with a non-profit organization, WiNGS Dallas (@wingsdallas), who serves women at critical points in their life, through nurse-family partnerships for first-time moms, to financial education and entrepreneur classes for women who need to support their family. We got to work with them directly on building a story for an event, “The Story of Hope,” that provided a raw, real look at the journey of a single mom of 4 who was living in poverty and found WiNGS.  Her empowerment and real talk are relatable to others who need the resource, but also to those who provide money to support the programs.  The piece represented the organization well and helped bring more attention to their needs. 

4. Communicating with Followers

Communication is key in every successful relationship, and the relationship between customers and a business is no exception. Not only should the company listen to any constructive criticism or recommendations from their customers, but they should also remain interactive with them on social media. Some common ways to do this are generating surveys or polls, posting user-generated content, or simply being a personable organization with a unique personality. A great example of company interaction online is Wendy’s (@wendys), whose Twitter page is famous for replying hilarious mic-drop worthy responses to their followers. Another great example is, Netflix (@netflix) who also shines as being one of the most interactive companies on Instagram, by commenting on Instagram posts of the stars of their Netflix Original Series shows or movies and showcasing fun interviews with them as well.

Drawbacks of Social Media Trends

1. Dangerous Hashtag Challenges

Social media usually goes viral with many things, including crazy challenges and unique fundraisers, but some of these tweets or posts are incredibly rash and not so smart. Thousands of people all around the world join into these trends, including the cinnamon challenge, the #KylieJenner challenge, the fire challenge, and so much more. However, some of these hashtag challenges truly can bring about positive change, such as the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The #IceBucketChallenge that soaked the internet back in 2014 raised $115 million dollars and showed that one person truly can make a difference. #GivingTuesday, another viral hashtag challenge, calls out for donations after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to reduce consumerism and give back. We hope that the next popular hashtag challenge is one that genuinely helps people, rather than having someone end up seriously injured.

2. Social Media Noise and Algorithms

Engaging on social media and creating content that users will find relevant is growing more difficult because of the overflow of information online. Not only is there an increasing number of people online, but the social media algorithm is also based on content, collaborative filtering, and ranking that shapes what we see on the timeline. For example, a topic that may be buzzing with activity at the moment may not “trend” on Twitter simply because the Twitter algorithm is not based on volume, but rather a surge in different clusters of users, according to research from Tarleton. This social media algorithm can determine which company gets the most likes, retweets, or views, and this can make it more difficult for smaller companies trying to get exposure. Companies must adapt their social media strategies around the algorithm, and produce content that will generate attention and interest from their followers.