As small businesses now devote an average of $75,000 a year to digital marketing, a lot of that money goes directly to social media promotion.
That’s because, apples to apples, social media allows companies to tap directly into their markets in a way that very few tools can. As each social media trend rises and falls, there’s no slowing to the actual expansion of the tool.
Here are five ways to expect social media to expand in the next year.
1. Less Fake News
One of the things that don’t seem to make its way out of our news cycle is the fact that Facebook and other social media sites contributed to fake news. With their confusion of the news cycle in our confused and mixed up era, a few Senate hearings have shaken them awake.
Social media sites now realize the role that they play in our everyday lives and along with accepting the profit, they’re now starting to accept some responsibility.
If you look at how Facebook has changed their algorithms, they now no longer display random sites to look like legitimate news sources.
In order to display posts as if they’re news, the information needs to be from a reputable source, showing something of value to their audience.
With the changes to the way that information is displayed, the whole of the internet is shaken up. Sites are now looking to do more than just aggregate random bits of information and turn it into a post.
It’s now imperative that content creators and users alike exercise better judgment before posting things online and looking for traffic to their site.
2. Smarter Algorithms
If you have trouble seeing posts from your favorite people in your feed, you’re not alone. As social media sites have tried to make their algorithms smarter, they’ve made it so that much of the content people want to see is hidden.
First, they tried judging by the people you’ve interacted with most recently. Next, they tried looking at who you message the most. They’re also judging by how many posts you’ve liked from a given person.
However, that doesn’t mean that that person has the best content for you. So it ends in a self-perpetuating cycle that you create on your own. It’s a spiral of content that you can quickly trap yourself into no matter how many people you follow online.
It’ll appear that people who aren’t that interesting are more interesting because you keep interacting with them.
However, it’s often the case that the algorithm has trapped you into interacting with the same people over and over.
Since brands demand that they’re connected with more quality users who are likely to buy their products, suddenly the algorithms are getting better. We’ll see more tweaking in the year to come.
3. Fewer Professional Influencers
In previous years, the world of influencers was filled with internet personalities who were great at acting excited about products and posing with them.
However, what started as a trick to get people interested in certain products and services has been uncovered as a ploy. People are less easily fooled and more willing to look critically at who is selling them the products they’re seeing.
When they see more real people who look more like them, consumers are more likely to buy a product or service. However, it’s hard to discern between who is real and who is fake.
That’s why more brands are looking toward average users to give them free products and earn their support.
The reign of the millionaire influencer is over. Long live the average user and their ability to show us products that they really use.
In fact, you could end up being one such user if you show off your favorite products online and how they impact your life.
4. More Media Content
Ever since Netflix changed the game in media, more companies are trying to find ways to break the mold. With the rise of YouTube’s own media channel, even social media channels are dabbling in creating original content.
While the content creation is still in its infancy, some of the content even got buzz online. With the After After Party on Facebook, Refinery29 tried to create a nightly talk show to some real praise. Even though there are very few other content producers in this space, we’re going to see more media content.
With the kind of money that social media sites generate, there’s a great potential for them to produce their own content. The cost of licensing content from independent producers is relatively cheap, and so if they can get other people to make it, they’ll fill their channels fast.
5. Further Integration into Productivity
If you look down the sidebar of your latest version of Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see a long list of buttons you’ve probably never pushed. These buttons are some of the ways that social media apps are experimenting with their format.
Basically, when they see something creating buzz, they look into how they can copy that idea or how they can buy it. When Instagram was created, Facebook tried to make their own app. When that didn’t work, they went for integration and then bought Instagram.
In the future, we’re going to see these social media sites integrate with our work and productive lives.
When we volunteer for a community organization, we probably use online tools to sign up, create events, and communicate with a team. When this becomes a necessity or when someone creates a great tool for something like this, watch for social media to try to gobble it up.
Every Social Media Trend Can Change Quickly
Don’t over-invest in any social media trend you read about, as perfect as it sounds. These things change so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to keep track of them, If you’re looking for which trend is going to add value to your business in 2019, you’re going to have to play some trial and error.
If you want to make social media work for you, check out our guide to social signals to find out how to win the social media game.