UNB Marketing Blog
Tips and tricks from your university marketers

Social media trends 2019: This time, it’s personal

Author: Gina Alward

Posted on Feb 1, 2019

Category: Web and Social Media

The marketing styles of days past just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Social media is constantly changing and we need to know what’s coming if we want to stay ahead of the game.

While these changes don’t exactly come from out of the blue, it’s important that we let go of what no longer works in order to make way for more of what our audience wants.

And this year, the brands that are successful in delivering personalized experiences to their audiences are the ones who will come out on top.

So, how can we be more personal in 2019?

Rebuild social trust

A whopping 3.397 billion users are on social media platforms today. But these users are growing increasingly suspicious of the information they find online.

Having been marketed to their entire lives, younger generations can spot disingenuous content from miles away. This generation is much more cautious about their purchases and want a more authentic experience when it comes to their brands.

This means that marketers need to focus on ways to authentically connect with their audience on a more meaningful level. The best way to do this is to focus on quality, not quantity.

Stop bombarding your audience with pointless shares and uninspiring ads, and get a little creative – you could start a Facebook Live Q&A or build a Facebook group to add a level of transparency online. The point is to capture more real and meaningful moments, and do away with phony, staged content.

Related: How to fight the dreaded Facebook algorithm

Create a human connection

Many of us use social media to share our stories with friends and families while getting a snapshot of what’s going on in other people’s lives.

Adapting a storytelling approach in marketing opens the door for brands to share more stories of their own, which will inspire audiences to interact with their product.

Integrating a real, human face into your content is one of the best ways to make your brand more relatable. Having these people share your stories feels real, immediate and personal, and is the key to building trust and loyalty.

Capitalize on opportunities that give the public a close-up view of the people behind your brand. Take your audience behind the scenes or use student and faculty takeovers as part of your social media strategy.

Recruit community influencers

Influencer marketing is skyrocketing! Influencers are social media figures who have a large following or community around them, such as Youtube millionaires and Instagram stars.

These people make incredibly effective salespeople people because they give brands a voice and add to that human element we’re all craving. Since we typically tend to trust the people we follow on social media, we can connect to a brand more naturally through an influencer whose opinions really matter to us.

Micro-influencers in particular (10,000 followers or less) are growing in popularity because their services are much more affordable and their followers are more engaged.

You can jump on this trend by leveraging people in your unit as well as prominent alumni to share a live video at an event or post a photo sporting some of your merchandise. The more of a positive presence this person has within your community, the more trustworthy and down-to-earth your brand will seem by extension.

Use social television and vertical videos

In-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content every time (that is, unless you’re putting some money behind it!). With our audience’s shrinking attention spans and increasing mobile usage, people today prefer to get their content quickly, timely and as naturally as possible.

Of all the content we consume online, 80% are videos and content experts are predicting that stories – like those on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – will become the primary way to share content on social media.

The main reason videos have become more popular is because it’s getting easier to film. The selfie culture has now evolved into the self-recorded video with the draw being that it’s short and feels more immediate than a written post.

But remember, in-the-moment content still needs to look good. At the heart of great content is compelling visuals and having high-quality content is essential for clicks and high conversion rates. So for 2019, make it a priority to learn the basics of videography and start posting more stories and videos (try out IGTV on Instagram!).

Related: Seven steps to social media stardom

Re-purpose content for social media ads

One out of four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising as part of their strategy, which means you’ll want to jump on the bandwagon and start creating ads.

Advertising on social is only going to get more competitive and more expensive, which means if you want to have an effective ad, you need to invest some time in creating great content.

One thing that every brand should focus on in 2019 is re-purposing top-performing, organic content for ads. Rather than simply boosting these posts, you can also re-create content and give it a fresher angle, such as polling your audience on a popular topic or turning a beloved research story into an in-depth video.

Content should feel like it’s coming from a real person, so the more personal and engaging the content, the better the ads.

Be selective with platforms

On average, people have 5.54 social media accounts, which means there are plenty of ways to reach your target audience.

But unless you can commit to regularly posting engaging and relevant content on all of these channels (at least a few times a week), then you need to be strategic about which social media platforms you focus on.

If you’re using multiple platforms, segment your audiences and create tailored posts for each platform based on their differences. Don’t copy and paste the same messaging from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram – you need to decide who you want to reach and how you want to reach them.

If you’re looking to promote news stories and events, then Facebook and Twitter may be a more appropriate channel. If you want to reach a younger audience using more visuals, then Instagram or Snapchat would be a better fit.

There’s no shame in being selective if you can’t do it all – if it’s between doing a few things extremely well or everything poorly, then go for the few, my friend!

Gina Alward, Digital Marketing Officer

Learn more

Want to learn more about social media marketing? Check out our Social Hub for helpful tips or contact us at socialmedia@unb.ca. We’d be happy to lend a hand!