How's your 2019 social media strategy coming along? Keeping up with social media trends can be a daunting task. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, another new algorithm change explodes the internet.
While you won’t be able to slow down this rapid rate of change, you can stay up to date with dominating top trends to ensure your home building social strategy is armed and ready.
Let's get started!
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- Augmented reality
- The latest Instagram trends
- Why are social media influencers important and what are the rules
- How to use live streaming to your advantage
- Why you should pay attention to generation Z
- Learn about new virtual reality platforms
- What online hangouts have to offer
- Include video in your marketing strategy
- What Snapchat can do for you
- Why upgraded chatbots are super-effective tools
- How to use social media to connect with customers
- Why the social media "call-out culture" can be positive
- Increased privacy
You might be thinking augmented reality sounds fancy and complicated. Fear not, because you already know what it is. Have you ever used a Snapchat or Instagram filter? Augmented reality is the enhanced version of the world around you. With the help of computer-generated images, you're able to see your world from a different perspective.
Augmented reality is different from virtual reality because you don't have to inhabit a virtual world — you only enhance the real world. Like many social media trends, augmented reality has become even more sophisticated in 2019. This year augmented reality is showing no signs of slowing down. And, as new and more sophisticated smartphones come out, there are more possibilities for augmented technology in social media.
Brands are capitalizing on this fun trend to connect with audiences through a unique experience. Imagine a prospective homeowner personalizing a new home to their liking through a home staging app. This could eliminate the need for costly and time-intensive changes to the actual showhome.
More Instagram Stories
Instagram seems to be winning the story battle. Instagram Stories now has double the number of daily active users as its competitor Snapchat, according to Instagram. The Stories feature, which allows users to share photos with their followers, has up to 400 million daily users.
Instagram is the ultimate storytelling platform: you can easily share videos and photos to portray your home building business' culture. Users can follow along and submit their own experiences with your brand, bringing it to life. Sharing user-generated experiences will add to your brand's narrative and deliver key messaging in a way that's anything but sales-y.
Plus, Instagram has added something new, allowing users to share other stories to their own feed! It's still being worked on and evolving, but it's a big step.
Social Media Influencer Marketing
It's no surprise that social media influencers have changed the way brands promote their products. According to Google Trends, the search for influencer marketing went up 400% in only two years. Individuals who successfully established a following have done so by developing a level of trust and closeness with their audiences. They remain invaluable to brands as they're known for creating content that sells a lifestyle rather than a product.
Brands can earn credibility by working with influencers as they often endorse products they actually personally enjoy. Brands can certainly gain a lot of exposure through an influencers' established network of followers.
In 2018 the rules changed:
Businesses measured influencer marketing ROI
Influencers adhered to FTC guidelines and clearly disclosed their partnerships with brands within their content
Expanded beyond Instagram
Focused on the great content rather than the ad
Live Streaming Is Bigger
Remember the days of having to go to a specific place to live stream content? You'd have to provide people with a link and even give them a password to watch you stream live. Well, those days have been over for quite some time with Facebook and Instagram adding live streaming features.
This form of video has really caught on in the world of content marketing. You can create a live stream to break news, share a tour of a new show home, or capture a live event.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to create value while engaging the correct audience on the correct channel. Determine where your audience spends time and stream accordingly. And remember to keep the content entertaining, engaging, and fun!
Pay Close Attention to Generation Z
If you had gotten used to the terms "generation Y" and "millennials," guess what? That's old news. Generation Z dominated 2018, and they aren't slowing down.
Who belongs to generation Z? This generation is defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s.
This is the generation of people who are either starting college or entering the workforce. And most of Generation Z have used the Internet since a young age (or don't even know a world without the internet), and they are generally comfortable with technology and with interacting on social media. Most of their jobs will involve using social media in some capacity.
Social media trends in 2019 wouldn't be complete without paying attention to them as they make up a good portion of the population and are extremely tech-savvy.
In order to market to Generation Z, you have to know a little bit more about them. Typically they are:
Have higher expectations than Millennials
Facebook Embraces Virtual Reality
This new platform allows you to connect with friends via virtual reality. You're able to design your avatar and interact with your friends as if you were in the same room as them. Facebook acquired the VR company Oculus, so it's no surprise they'd want to make something happen. Since Oculus develops virtual reality hardware and software, it gives them an opportunity to play around with exciting possibilities. In Spaces, users are able to create 360-degree and 3D backgrounds to interact with them.
Online Hangouts Are In
In 2019, social media trends are more focused on online hangouts. Facebook's Spaces isn't the only one buzzing. The app Houseparty, allows you to live video chat with up to eight people.
In our fast-paced culture, sometimes it's challenging to get friends together under one roof. People seem to be caught up in their lives and don't spend as much time connecting with others. Online hangouts are tailored more towards Generation Z and can be an easier way to interact with others in the comfort of their homes. As the concept of online hangouts catches on even more, other social media platforms will want to develop their own version of it.
Bring on the Video
2018 already saw a shift in the type of content being shared by users on social media. Photo-based platforms like Instagram quickly knew they had to add video before they were left behind. Advertisers, marketers, bloggers, and influencers had to pick up their cameras and start recording.
It's true, the demographic for Snapchat has traditionally been younger - teens and earlier twenties. However, according to studies, Snapchat is showing huge growth in older demographics.
This means it could be a strategy you want to incorporate into your marketing plan. By staying true to the audience you want, and keeping the key factors of Snapchat in mind, you can see some real success with this platform.
The Chatbot Upgrade
Let's face it, no one likes to pick up the phone when they have an issue and call a customer service representative. Not to mention, newer generations feel strongly about avoiding using the phone at all costs to make phone calls.
You're already familiar with giving Siri a command and expecting it to get a phone number for you. What if you didn't have to get on the phone to fix the issue?
Since social media trends are shifting into more sophisticated technology, AI via chatbots are quickly becoming the norm.
What is a chatbot, anyway?
Chatbots operate using several functions such as machine learning and AI systems. They operate via instant messaging and mobile devices. Companies use chatbots to have conversations with people as a way to better their customer service. By implementing the use of chatbots, many companies have improved their customer service interactions. The customer wait time has decreased to almost nothing.
The level of sophistication in their design has, of course, depended on how much time and money a business is willing to invest. Chatbots are an ultra-effective tool that can assist in all stages of your lead nurturing process.
More Brand and Customer Engagement
For some time, it felt like there was a divide between home builder brands and customers. However, thanks to social media trends, this is changing. In 2019, brand and customer engagement has become better than ever. As a customer, how good does it feel when you reach out to a home builder and they acknowledge you on social media? After all, products and services should improve and help customers.
About half of millennials tend to mention a brand when they share some sort or personal accomplishment or want to make a recommendation. Brands have also taken notice of the positive impact their engagement with customers on social media has. So be willing to explore more ways to keep up the momentum in 2019.
Social Media Call-Out Culture
On one side of the coin, home builders are becoming more active and accessible to their customers. However, on the other side, they're challenged with customers publicly calling them out if they believe they've been wronged. Consumers have found a place where their voice can be heard and if the company doesn't want to risk a tarnished reputation, they had better do their best to listen.
As far as social media trends, call-out culture won't stop at brands. Most social media users also call-out injustices and social movements. The truth is, home builders can take advantage of and embrace this new culture, and they can also thrive! For example, quite recently Evernote, a note-taking app, wasn't able to respond to the number of customer inquiries they received. What was the answer? They invested in a Twitter chatbot to quickly help 80% more customers with their questions, complaints, and order tracking.
With more social media trends taking over in 2019, there was also a need to increase privacy. Many platforms, especially Facebook took a more hands-on approach to ensure privacy. Facebook started to share “customized messages” with users on the following topics:
How Facebook uses data to pick ads
Political, religious and relationship information that users have shared
Facial recognition — how it works and how to disable it
Updated terms of service and privacy policies
In regards to security, users were given a summary of the choices they’ve already made without being shown the redundant information about features they’ve already disabled or decided not to use. They also offered up detailed explanations of how to turn these options off and redesigned its settings menu so that privacy options were available in a single place, rather than spread out across different screens.
Facebook's efforts in increased security (data breach and trial of 2018 notwithstanding) made a big difference to the user experience in 2018, and that's the way they want to keep going for 2019. All companies should be following that lead.
Time To Gear Up These Social Media Trends
2019 social media trends have been a gateway for the future. They are incorporating more of what worked out in 2018 and making it better. Expect to see a lot more video, live streaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality in 2019. This is only the beginning!
If you want to learn why social media development is important (or for other great topics) check out our blog for more information!
PHOTO CREDITS: DEPOSITPHOTOS.COM
About Casey Cleary
Casey is passionate about marketing and using his skills to plan, implement, and run social media campaigns. He also creates and promotes content and plans digital strategies. He loves split testing and tweaking programs for maximum conversions! Also... #GoOilers!