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Advertising on social media has quickly become a favorite for many businesses as it provides an easy way to connect on a more personal level with customers. However, as new technology develops and algorithms are updated, reaching out becomes more difficult. So, what’s the outlook for the year? What should you be aware of when preparing to advertise your business on social media platforms? We’ve sifted through the new report from eMarketer to help you prepare and make more informed marketing decisions for your business.

Facebook and Instagram in 2019

Facebook and Instagram, two of the most popular social media platforms for advertisers, are estimated to bring in $67.25 billion worldwide from ad revenue, which is up 23.5% from 2018. In the U.S. alone, this expenditure is estimated to increase by 20.6% over last year to $27.57 billion. It is no doubt that advertisers love making the personal, direct connection with customers, but using the right strategy is essential in order to keep up with consumer behaviors.

Per Nielsen Digital Content Ratings by Pivotal Research, total digital consumption by those 18 years of age and older rose by 14% year-over-year in October 2018, but Facebook – including Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp – only gained 1%. The number of users in the U.S. has also been steadily declining over the last several years, and as of 2019, only 9.8% of the 1.75 billion worldwide users are located within the U.S. However, that being said, the ad revenues are still at an estimated 41%, making it quite a large spend amount for a shrinking market.

Instagram has been showing more promise in the area of growth as it has finally surpassed print readers in 2019, making it the suspected reasoning for certain women’s magazines to go solely digital. The social platform currently has an estimated 113.3 million users of all ages, while print readers ages 18 and over are only at 112.7 million. In terms of print news, according to the Pew Research Center, a survey from July through August 2018 found that 20% of U.S. adults get their news from social media as opposed to only 16% via newspapers. This stat has grown because in 2017, these percentages were equal.

Before any significant growth and engagement can be expected on Facebook, the company will need to get a handle on fake news, negative content, and other major issues for users. Until then, it’s wise to be more budget-conscious on this social platform with advertising dollars. Instagram will face its own challenges in 2019 as users continue to become more dissatisfied over the growing ad load and the platform’s increasing use as a place for bullying, trolling and election meddling. Because they are owned by Facebook, it’s possible they may be affected by the privacy investigations from last year, so while we don’t recommend scrapping this option from your plan, businesses will want to be cautious with advertising spend here, as well.

Snapchat Trends in 2019

While the Snapchat app has become quite popular, growth is only expected to be about 6.6% in 2019 (for comparison, Instagram is estimated to be 8.2%). The platform’s latest goal is attempting to attract more users who are 35 years of age and older, but this demographic is expected to only make up 21.4% of users in the U.S. in 2019 – a small growth considering they made up 20.6% in 2018. That being said, those 34 and younger are expected to continue a steady increase, with those aged 12-24 projected to grow by just under 3% and those 25-34 growing by 8.9%.

Advertisers are starting to see the benefit of Snapchat, as Snap ad revenue is expected to grow to $10 per user, which is a 30.8% increase over 2018. This growth is mainly due to stronger advertising uptake of new ad products launched in 2018, including Shoppable Snap Ads and Collection Ads, as well as the stabilization of ad pricing after the programmatic buying rollout.

More Social Trends to Watch in 2019

Digital and social media platforms change quickly and often, so keeping an eye on what’s trending with users is vital. Here’s some more of what to watch for:

  • Stories: Using stories was super popular in 2018, but people are beginning to question them this year, so don’t invest too much time and money into creating the perfect social story for your business. Instead, keep advertising on the feeds as that is still proving to be the most popular place for users to find information.
  • Vertical Video: Although most businesses who have taken advantage of TV use the traditional video format, users are showing preference to vertical videos, primarily because of their ease on mobile. In 2019, an estimated 70.1% of mobile users in the U.S. will watch video on their mobile device, so retooling your video format could end up benefitting your business by catching more users’ attention.
  • More Social Shopping: Thanks to the highly-visual nature of social media, it’s easy to encourage users to make a purchase from anywhere. This year alone, an estimated 44.7% of all ecommerce sales will take place on a mobile device, which accounts for more than $270 billion.
  • No More Celebrities: Consumers have grown wary of celebrity and popular social media influencer endorsements for products. It’s easy to believe that a person is simply giving a glowing recommendation thanks to a healthy payout from the company. Not only that, but businesses are hesitant about working with popular influencers who boast a large number of followers as its very difficult to discern if they are real or merely padded with fake accounts. Instead, trust is being given to “nano-influencers”, which are those with only thousands of followers as opposed to millions.

There’s a lot happening in 2019, but we will help you navigate through it all. Let the experienced team at Amplified keep you up-to-date with what’s going on with social media and where your digital advertising dollars are best spent. Interested in more? Contact us today.

2019 Social Media Usage Trends Infographic

 

Sources: eMarketer US Social Trends for 2019: https://on.emarketer.com/rs/867-SLG-901/images/eMarketer_Report_US_Social_Media_Trends_2019.pdf