Top Social Media Trends in 2019 (Research)

What are the latest social media trends in 2019? And what does this mean for brands and businesses?

The social media tool Hootsuite has conducted an annual report, surveying more than 3,000 of their customers (both large enterprises and small agencies). Additionally, the company gathered insights from industry analysts, as well as data from Edelman, Gartner, Forrester, and others.

Here`s an overview of the top 5 social media trends and some practical tips on how to adapt to the changes:


# Trend 1 Lack of trust


People are losing trust in social media. 2018 has seen the Cambridge Analytica scandal and numerous other leaks of private data. Consequently, social media platforms like Facebook has faced criticism from both users and regulators.
Many people are wary of the accuracy, privacy and overall ethics followed by social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, among others.

In fact:


The Edelman trust barometer says that 71% of consumers around the world want brands to pressure social media to more effectively safeguard personal data.


But there`s more: about half of the study`s 9000 respondents see brands as complicit in the social media companies` unacceptable actions.

According to the report:


“Brands must act to address data privacy concerns, create trusted content, and join forces with regulators, platforms, and consumers to restore trust in the social media ecosystem."

How to respond to this trend?


Here`re some of Hootsuite`s best tips for counteracting the trend (which we adapted to the hospitality sector):

  • Use hashtags to build conversations around your hospitality brand

Here`s what to do:


Think of a short and easy-to-remember branded hashtag that refers to an interesting topic for your audience.


Any successful real-life examples from the hospitality sector?


#LifeWellTravelled was created by the airline telegraph Cathay Pacific appealing to numerous travelers who look for inspiration. Also, the hashtag campaign has been successful because the company involved influencers like the popular travel blogger Jessica Stein (who has 2.4 million followers).

  • Run Travel & Tourism Twitter chats


What is a Twitter chat? It`s a discussion on Twitter that`s formed around a specific hashtag. It works like that: you set a time frame (usually of one hour or less) and cover a given topic with the help of a moderator.


Here`re some examples of travel and tourism professionals Twitter chats:


#TravelSkills chat that`s hosted every Friday at 12 noon Eastern time, the #CultureTrav (Cultural Travelers) chat that takes place every Thursday at 2:30 p.m Eastern, the #FoodTravelChat that`s held every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and etc.

  • Create Facebook Groups


Facebook groups are a great way to complement your Facebook Business Page and build a community, as Hootsuite`s research explains. The goal is to create a space, where people can talk and engage with your products and services in a natural way.


Let`s say your guest house or hotel is situated in Rome. Create a Facebook Group discussing the specifics of the region - giving travel recommendations about couples, dog owners, families, adventure travelers, etc. 


Bonus tip: Try running Facebook Live Q&As sessions addressing commonly asked questions about specific travel destinations.

  • Use the power of influencers


Search micro-influencers in your niche. Do a quick hashtag search on Twitter or Instagram. Look for people with influence in your particular niche. For instance, popular travelers who have many followers and happen to visit your region.

#2 Stories are gaining popularity


The Story format is spreading over social media feeds. Therefore, content teams should think of creative ways to adapt to it.

According to Facebook`s chief product officer, Chris Cox, stories are expected to take over the feeds of WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Cox says that people will share things with their friends through Stories.

But there`s more:


Consulting company Block Party writes in a report that the vertical, disappearing videos invented by Snapchat are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing.


Bottom line?


Social media is shifting from text and Desktop-based platforms to mobile-only networks that are focused on capturing consumers` momentary experiences.


How to respond to this trend?


Hootsuite gives a few practical tips in relation to the Story trend:

  • Start experimenting with Stories (before the others)


According to industry-specific research by Block Party, over 820 million accounts use Stories every day across social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. If you don`t, it`s high time to start.


The report adds that at the time of publication there were only 9% of major brands that use Stories on Facebook. For this reason, becoming an early adopter might put you a step ahead of the competition.

  • Create Story-specific content


Stories are personal, raw and unedited. Therefore, you and your content team need to focus on creating content that matches the format.
For example? Animated stories, custom GIFs and live action videos usually perform well on Stories.

  • Experiment with Story structures


Try different structures like tutorials on how people can book an affordable accommodation/plane ticket, Q&A sessions on topics of interest or behind-the-scenes look into your accommodation property.

What`s next on social?


The diminishing trust in social media and the rising popularity of Stories is only the beginning. In the next part of our sequence, we`ll explore more of the hottest social media trends as presented by Hootsuite. Stay tuned! And feel free to share your observations and experiences in the comments down below.

 
Yoana Hristova
Content Writer & Strategist