If you investigate social media trends for this year and beyond, you will fast find that video looms larger than anything else. Mark Zuckerberg has called it a “megatrend”.
It’s estimated that by 2021, 80% of internet traffic will be video. Already, 100 billion hours of it is watched every day every day on YouTube alone (as a parent of young children I feel like a good proportion of that is happening in my house).
It a world awash with social media posts, blog posts, podcasts and images, video stands out as the easiest way to engage your followers. It informs, entertains, and keeps people on your account or website for those vital few seconds longer than a simple photo. If you are in business, study after study will tell you that it influences purchasing decisions like nothing else online.
Harnessing the power of video
What does this mean for individuals humbly using social media on our phones? The good news is that none of our videos need to be professional-quality-perfect. Casual, authentic, live and rough around the edges filmmaking connects just fine with audiences on social media. The Guardian (who have a mighty 1.4 million followers on Instagram) researched this and found that less polished video performed better for them on Instagram Stories click here to read more about it.
It has never been easier for us to get involved in creating films on our phones. This is a video I made about editing on one of my favourite apps, InShot.
My friend, the filmmaker Lottie Stevenson is a fantastic video coach. She has just launched an email newsletter providing free content on filming techniques, editing, useful resources, content ideas and kit suggestions and more. Sign up here.
In 2019 “the Stories format will surpass news feeds as the primary way people share” Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer at Facebook
2019 seems likely to be the year that Stories surpass the newsfeed as a way of sharing our photos, videos and general random thoughts on both Instagram and Facebook. Everyone has fallen in love with these whole-screen slides that disappear after just 24 hours.
They were first seen on the social media app Snapchat, before being adopted by Instagram in 2016 and then Facebook. On Instagram, they are used by more than 400 million people every day. Users now typically spend half of their time on the platform looking at Stories content, and the other half on the main feed.
“The consumption of vertical ephemeral Stories slides on social has increased by 842% since 2016” Blockparty
If you are in the business of planning your social media content, Stories should be part of your plan, not an afterthought. Use them to meet people’s appetite for friendly, off-the-cuff, real life pictures and video.
….and keep it real
The rise of casual storytelling and video on Stories seems closely linked to the next trend, authenticity. Although thinking of authenticity as a trend, rather than a preferable way of being, at all times, seems a bit odd. So let’s call it a buzzword.
The thinking here is that in 2019 people are less captivated by picture-perfect social feeds and have lost trust in the major apps and how some brands do businesses on them. Big thinkers in social media are urging all companies and influencers to focus on transparent and meaningful engagement. Undoing the damage done by fake followers, fake news, fake engagement and less-than-transparent product placement.
So expect to see forward-thinking social media participants (to coin a phrase?) being more honest. It’s already common to see influencers talking openly about the terms of their paid advertising work, and even thanking followers for supporting it.
Down the food chain
I like to interpret the emphasis on authenticity for the average social media user as a cue to allow your feed to reflect what is 100% you. So much of what you will read about succeeding on social will ask, what does your audience or typical follower want? I’ve asked those questions myself. But perhaps this is the year to share what you want? I’d like to bet that it will resonate.
& let’s get anti-social
Have you heard of dark, or anti-social? These are the terms marketers use to refer to the growing tendency for chat and conversations on social media to take place off the grid. In direct messages and closed groups. Read more about it in this Instagram report from Battenhall, a social media PR firm. Everyone who’s anyone is going to be sliding into your DMs this year. Is that where you are lurking?