10 Predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2019 – Based on Top Experts & Blogs

image source: pixabay.com

The new year just got started. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a summary of the top predictions by the top social media experts and blogs? Well, this is exactly that.

#1 Video Marketing

Going by the trends on the entire portfolio of Facebook and Instagram combined or according to social experts such as Mari Smith and blogs, such as Social Media Today and Smart Insights, Video Marketing will continue to be one of the highest focus on Facebook and on social media in general in the new year.

Be it Social TV – think IGTV, or more variety in video formats – think Vertical Video or Facebook Live; the video – media will continue to rise in 2019.

#2 Real Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing took a step forward last year and according to Forbes, Entrepreneur and Social Media Today and many others, Influencer Marketing will continue to rise in 2019.

It wouldn’t be just the mega influencers that will rise but the smaller, micro or even nano influencers will be something to take into consideration in your marketing plans for the new year.

Marketers would also focus on more niche targeting of influencers as well as focus on authenticity and real honesty more than anything. Today’s consumer is smart and they can easily smell fake influencers, miles away.

One of the best practices that continue to be asked of influencers who are new (and even old) is to use clear disclaimers or disclosures. In addition, Employee Advocacy would be another form of internal influencer marketing that more companies would be gunning for in 2019.

#3 Marketing Funnels & Really High ROI

Experts say, marketers would focus on really high ROI this year and for this, you need to replace your Website with a proper Marketing Funnel.

Gone are the days where you created a website to make your mark on the interwebs. Say hello, to sophisticated Marketing Funnels that churn out sales when you throw in traffic. This is the only way you can get really high ROI in your business.

Social will definitely take on all aspects of the buying cycle and according to Hacker Noon marketers should focus on a full stack approach to funnels for best gains.

#4 Audience Targeting & High Spending Digital Ads

You can’t really speak of Marketing Funnels and ROI – more like ROAS (return on ad spend), without discussing Audience Targeting. These are the Digital Ads that will bring you leads and sales. Not just traffic.

As a business, you must do razor sharp audience targeting where you tweak the Ads until you get really high ROI. And then only, scale the ads where you spend high and gain high profits in return.

2019 would see a rise in marketers adopting these methods that only a handful had been successful in doing so in the past. However, a word of caution here. Don’t just crowd your social with ads. The folks at Agora Pulse reminds us that GDPR would seep into social, and would result in a tightening of rules for digital ads.

So, make sure you have a healthy balance between your organic (think content) and paid marketing this year.

#5 Marketing Automation

image source: flickr.com

Marketing Automation is no doubt one process that makes the lives of marketers easy. While some argue that automation kills marketing, in reality, there are many processes that can and should be automated.

It is up to the marketer to figure out which processes are more repetitive and does not need human interference and which should actually require personal input. More and more sophisticated tools help today’s marketers decide on this and put each aspect into practice so that the customer doesn’t feel like they are just a number on a list.

#6 Better Content Marketing with Real Value

Providing great value through your content marketing is something all marketers strive for. Blogging and Vlogging – mostly YouTube marketing (even podcasting – which isn’t seen much in the local market). And the content you provide should not just be good for consumption but that it’s SO good that people are compelled to engage and to share them too.

Apart from providing great value, your content marketing should also focus on storytelling. Whether it’s video or image or text, storytelling is the best way to make an impact on your audience and make them remember you.

Content Marketing game is getting even better with ebooks, video courses, and live webinars etc. We are sure to see an increase in the competition when it comes to Content Marketing in 2019. Oh, and don’t forget UGC (user-generated content). It’s still powerful stuff.

#7 Messenger Marketing, Chatbots and A.I.

image source: pxhere.com

Messenger marketing will take over email marketing. That’s for sure. Email marketing has been hands down, one of the most effective and economical forms of marketing. Messenger or chat will, however, takeover Email in the years to come.

In 2018, we saw the trend appearing and in 2019 this will become a highly practiced form of marketing. The growth of A.I will boost and support business growth, together with the emergence of Chatbots.
Not only business growth but also A.I. driven customer service will also continue to rise. Newer, more sophisticated tools would aid Messenger Marketing and customer service in the new year.

#8 Social Communication & Groups

People seem to like to gather around common ideas, causes or topics more actively than participate in brand chatter connected to business pages. During last year, on Facebook alone, Group membership went up 40%, with 1.4 billion people now using Groups every month.

Part of the reason could be due to the fact that Facebook had recalibrated its algorithms to prioritize engagement with friends, family, and Groups, while down-ranking public content shared by businesses, brands, and media.
Considering these facts and trends, we can safely say that Communities and Groups, be it Facebook Groups or other niche communities will be an essential strategy for businesses to take on in 2019. Here’s an excellent post from Amy Porterfield on how businesses can maximize the usage of the 3 types of Facebook Groups. Amy’s post is a little old but definitely gold.

#9 Voice for Search

image source: growthmanifesto.com

With the rise of A.I. assisted voice search, voice, seems to be an upcoming trend that would mature in 2019, or even 2020. According to Search Engine Land, voice-based commerce sales in the United States is projected to reach $40 billion by 2022. And so, 2019 is the year to get ahead of the game.

With Siri’s popularity at 41.4 million monthly active users in the U.S alone, if you want your business to prosper and thrive, make sure to leverage voice search. And marketers must think about voice search when planning campaigns. Test and play with new social voice features as they become available and get creative with how they mesh with your social strategy.

#10 Blockchain going Mainstream

Undoubtedly Blockchain was a big conversation topic in 2018 and this year, it will definitely make more headlines as people are realizing the benefits of the technology in multitudes of areas as it gains a better reputation among marketers.

Blockchain integration with social media would see the light of day especially with security and privacy levels on social networks have been expensive affair last year. Social networks may even issue their own coins, using blockchain. A number of gaming sites and virtual worlds have been using their own currency but this can take a step forward with actual cryptocurrency with real value for users.

Apart from this, think BaaS like SaaS, which a few companies already provide, going mainstream with increasing demand. From security tokens to stable coins (which is different from cryptocurrencies) There are a number of trends to look out for, with the Blockchain technology.

For more Blockchain trends, you can get this 47-page “Blockchain Trends In 2019” report from cbinsights.com for free.

Speaking of coins, does anyone smell an F-coin or even a G-coin on the way? IYKWIM lol Okay, maybe I’m not joking. Facebook already had Facebook Credits, from 2009 – 2011 but they never went beyond the Beta stage. Who thinks we would see a comeback? ;)

One more thing – LinkedIn

Many social networks had had a rough time in 2018, mainly Facebook that had a number of blows form of legal and privacy. But LinkedIn had slowly but surely passed the 500 million mark last year and continues to grow. Unless they somehow manage a controversy, they seem to be gaining people’s faith and will rise further this year.

That’s it. Did you guess any of these on the list? Let me know what your personal predictions are if you’d like to share them in comments!

If you would like to read more on trends and predictions for the new year,, Social Bakers have done a study on the “Most Important Social Media Trends to Remember in 2019”. It’s pretty comprehensive and it’s Free. Click Here to download.

Is your business ready for 2019? If you are looking for Digital Marketing consultation for your business to work out your annual strategy or Social Media training for your team, talk to me today.

Click here to get on Messenger chat –> m.me/indunanayakkara

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9 Key Takeaways From The First Keynote At Social Media Marketing World 2017

social media marketing world 2017

I just got back from attending one of the biggest social media marketing conferences on the planet Social Media Marketing World 2017; a couple of weeks ago. I must confess that I’ve been dying to attend this conference for the past 4 years and I finally made it this year! Also, according to them, I’m the first Srilankan to attend this massive conference, so YAY for that!

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The event comes on top of probably every blog post out there that tells you which are the best SM conferences to attend this year. The event takes place in the beautiful city of San Diego, California every year. SMMW17 website says that some of the recognized brands that attended this year’s conference include Apple, Cisco, CBS Interactive, IBM, Deloitte, Hilton, Humana, Macy’s, Mayo Clinic, McDonald’s, ReMax, Reuters, Sprint, Toyota, the United Way, UPS, WalMart; to name a few. It also says that people from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and other platforms also attended.

120+ Sessions in 3 Days – Totally Worth It

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The 3 days of the conference was packed with 120+ sessions. These included 4 Keynotes, multiple sessions on  Content Marketing, Corporate Social, Measurement & Analytics, Social Strategy, Social Customer Service as well as Tactical sessions on the major social networking platforms. They also included multiple Workshops and’a Creator Series’on the topics of Live Video, Blogging, Podcasting, Video & YouTube.

If these details make you kinda wish that you too could have had the opportunity to attend the best social media marketing conference of the year, you still have the chance to catch up on all of these sessions with the virtual ticket to the SMMW17 conference which is still available at the time of publishing this blog post. You can purchase it here at a cost of $697. And no, I’m not getting a cut out of this! lol, I just think it was truly worth it.

If you’re also interested, next year’s conference will be held on February 28th, March 1st, and March 2nd and the tickets are already available at a discounted price  Also, next year they will have two different ticket categories – All access ticket and Creator ticket. If you ask me, would I be going again? Absolutely!

Key Takeaways

SMMW17 Mike Stelzner

On this post, I really would like to share the key takeaways from the first keynote of the event – Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveals By Michael Stelzner. Mike is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, founder of the Social Media Marketing Society, and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. He also hosts the weekly Social Media Marketing podcast and the Social Media Marketing Talk show.

During his keynote, Mike revealed the hottest trends in social media based on the brand new research they did with the participation of over 5,700 marketers from all over the world. This survey is the 9th edition of their annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report.

The most interesting insight from this survey is that Facebook is the most important social network for marketers as. 62% of those who took the survey have revealed that Facebook is still the most important social media marketing platform for them. Back in 2016, only 55% have said the same thing.

Also, Facebook is updating the News Feed algorithm and marketers are finding it difficult to get around it. In fact, 54% of marketers who took part in the survey had agreed that Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure in the last 12 months. Only 4% have disagreed with this while  42% were actually clueless about this.

Facebook is Running Out on Ad Space?

Not so long ago, Recode published an article that Facebook says it’s running out of places in the News Feed to show people ads. The consequence of this would obviously be that it’s going to be more and more difficult for marketers to get their content in front of their audience organically.

What is also interesting is that based on the survey, 42% of marketers who’ve said they were uncertain if Facebook’s algorithm has decreased their News Feed exposure, have also said that they post 7 times a day on their Facebook page. Also, 74% of the same audience had said they will be INCREASING their post frequency in future.

Meanwhile, out of the 54% who’ve said they DID see a decrease in their News Feed exposure – are currently posting 8 times per day on their Facebook page and 64% have said they plan on increasing their post frequency as well! Is this the right thing to do?

Less is More for Facebook Algorithm

Mike says, increasing your post frequency is NOT the answer to this and that with the Facebook algorithm – less is more.

Mike’s Advice to Marketers

So what should you as a marketer do, to beat Facebook’s algorithm game and get your content in front of your audience? Here’s Mike’s advice in a nutshell:

  1. Number 1 key to beating Facebook’s algorithm game right now is with Live Video
  2. Refocus on community development. Influencer marketing anyone? In general, as a brand, be helpful to your community and customers
  3. Stop worrying about the big numbers. They won’t make much of a difference
  4. DO advertise on Facebook. But only do so with highly targeted ads so that you don’t have to spend a fortune on them
  5. Instagram is HOT. And you need to get on it! However, you need to work on your content game
  6. Your content must be visual
  7. Messaging is the future. You need to learn how to, in terms of bots and ads
  8. Create Amazing Content (Yes, content is STILL King! LOL)
  9. Make blogging part of your content creation

Details of the Keynote

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/smmworld/agenda/

If you’d like to know details of this keynote, in terms of market insights along with why these are important steps and exactly what you can do as a marketer to include these key points in your social media marketing game this year; let me know and I’ll do another post on the details.

I’d also love to know what YOU think about the above steps and if you would actually implement them in your action plan this year. If so, which of them would be most important to you and why? Do share your thoughts with me in comments below. Also, if you disagree with these ideas or have any questions with regard to them, I’d love to hear from you!

Loops is Looking – for awesome Digital Marketers!

digital marketer vacancy

 

I’m sure all of you know that I’ve been working for Loops Solutions for the past 5 years as Head of Digital Marketing. As we’re expanding our team and are looking to hire a couple of Digital Marketers, I thought it would be a good idea to put down all details that someone who’s interested would like to know, and share this post. So, basically we’re looking for Digital Marketers with at least 1 year’s experience on a full-time basis and the following are all the additional details.

 

The Skills

We’re looking for awesome folks who have the following skills already under their belt.

  • Creative writing and out of the box thinking
  • Excellent writing skills in English
  • A good understanding of social media and how the main platforms work
  • Strategic thinking and the ability to come up with really cool campaign ideas
  • Taking ownership of your brand and seeing an activity through to the end successfully

 

Key Responsibilities

If you’re picked for this post, you’ll be given the responsibility of managing the entire digital marketing for a few amazing brands. Here’s what you’ll be doing:

  • Coming up with content strategies and activities for each brand
  • Daily updates and housekeeping on each of the social media channels for your brands
  • Brand listening and crisis management
  • Recommendation of ad strategies for various online and offline activities
  • Meeting KPIs and creating reports for the work you’ve carried out, periodically

While we expect you to have a fair understanding of each of the main responsibilities above, we would be giving you in-house training so that we get you up to speed on these things!

 

About the Company…

Loops Solutions is one of the leading digital agencies in Sri Lanka and has a wide variety of clients both in Sri Lanka and abroad. Our digital marketing team has collectively won many awards and recognition for our awesome campaigns and other activities on the digital sphere. Working at Loops is fun, chilled out and you’ll never hate Mondays, EVER. If you’ve always wanted to go BIG in social media and put your creativity to the test with big brand names and award winning campaigns, Loops is where you should be!

Send your CV and LinkedIn profile link to me – indu@loops.lk

Indulekha Nanayakkara
Head of Digital Marketing at Loops Solutions

If you’ve got more questions, just type in comments below and I’ll reply with details.

Facebook Home Is In Sri Lanka – Have You Got It Yet?

facebook home

I was waiting to download Facebook Home on 12th April as was announced by Mark Zuckerberg but was disappointed when it said ‘not available in your region’ on Google Play. However, this morning my boss said it was finally available on Google Play so I quickly downloaded it to try it out. At first I was a bit confused as to how I was supposed to get out of the Cover Feed and get to my apps. After playing around it for a few minutes I figured it out and quickly fell in love with it.

I love the big images that slide over my screen. I like this better than live wallpapers or other image based wallpapers because these are not just images, they are images from my friends or form the brands I like and follow and each image has a story or a message for me to follow up with.

I also like the fact that I can easily interact with notifications. For the past few months I’ve neglected so many notifications – literary hundreds of them because I don’t want to distract my work-time with Facebook (ironically, thought I HAVE TO BE ON Facebook almost all the time when I’m at work). So this app gives me an easier way to access Facebook on-the-go when I have small pockets of time to ‘waste’ on Facebook.

So yes, so far I’m in love with Facebook Home and I wrote this other post on the Loops Solutions blog – check it out. Maybe some of you are indifferent towards it altogether and couldn’t care less. But don’t judge until you download and try it for yourself. Unfortunately this app is only available on certain mobile phones such as Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and HTC One X+. If you have one of them, lucky you!

I’m curious to know how many of you love this app and how many hate – and of course WHY? So, try it out and let me know what you think. Post a comment here or on Loops blog.

The Social Media Marketing Conference

Hello my readers, today I would like to let you know that I will be doing a full day conference on Social Media Marketing on Tuesday, 12th February 2013 (that’s just a couple of days from now) from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM at the Galadari Hotel.

For whom

I would like to recommend this for beginners to intermediate level Social Media marketers or sometimes who we call ‘account managers’ and Page admins. Maybe this would not go down too well with absolute beginners who are clueless about SMM but I guess one could still learn a thing or two. I would also not recommend this to the ‘pros’ who’ve been in the industry for the past 2-3 years. Nope, you would find this pretty boring :)

How to participate

This conference is organised by McQuire Rens & Jones, the people who conduct all sorts of exclusive corporate training programs. You can find more details on how to participate, on their website HERE or you can check out the e-flyer below. For registrations and more details, call them on 0727-002002, 0115-833100 or 0115-836888.

If you want to know more about this from me, Tweet me @InduNan and I’ll be happy to help! :)

Social-Media_new

Feedback

If any of you are hoping to attend this conference, let me know in comments below and don’t forget to come say ‘Hi’ to me at the conference. Also, after attending the conference, I would love to hear your thoughts on it so go ahead and comment below when you come back – or you could always Tweet me :)

– Update –

If you’re at The Social Media Marketing Conference, you’re most welcome to live-tweet with the hashtag #SMMconSL13 and even G+ update if you like!

 

Google Sri Lanka Gets Active!

Google Hangouts OnAir

Google Sri Lanka has been very active during the past few months. I’ve already blogged about a couple of such initiatives HERE and HERE. The latest activity they’re working on is Google Music Hangouts On-Air under the hashtag #RipplesOfMusic.

A small group of Bloggers, Social Media activists and Tweeps were invited to CIOCONAT lounge, Colombo 07 last Friday (11th January 2013) to officially introduce the concept. Music Hangouts On-Air is a collaborative effort among Google Srilanka, Music.lk and Neo@Ogilvy, the agency partner for the project. One aim of the organizers is that #RipplesOfMusic will showcase the use of Hangouts as well as Hangouts On-Air to the local public. But even more than this, they hope that through the use of Hangouts, which is a free service offered by Google, the up-coming and not so popular musicians will have an equal opportunity platform to reach the public.

Speaking at the gathering, Google Sri Lanka – Country Consultant, Rohan Jayaweera said that he hopes the public will take the cue from #RipplesOfMusic and create a variety of spin-offs such as tech and other subject discussion hangouts, sports discussions, dance performances etc. He said he also hopes #RipplesOfMusic will not be the only music related hangout. When asked what #RipplesOfMusic hashtag stands for, he said with a quick grin; “Google+ Circles!“. Of course!

What’s Cool About Google Hangouts

The beauty of these hangouts would be that the content delivered via them would be Srilanka specific. This would not only reach the talent of local musicians to a vast public who are spread out through the island and connected only via an internet connection; but also to the international community.

#RipplesOfMusic

So when and how does all this begin? Wednesday, 16th January from 9.00PM to 9.30PM via Google Hangouts On-Air feature. The first guest will be popular singer Lahiru Perera and the discussion will be moderated or hosted by another popular singer and television personality Devashrie De Silva. The link to the Hangout will be available on the Music.lk website. I’ll be updating this post when the link becomes available.

Things won’t stop there, nope! #RipplesOfMusic will be held every Wednesday from 9.00PM – 9.30PM via Hangouts On-Air with a new music personality each week. The first few episodes will be held with known musicians. However, the organizers invite all budding musicians to come onboard. If that’s not cool enough, every week, a selected few will be able to participate in the Q & A session. However, your will be required to send in your questions via Music.lk’s dedicated page. In addition, anyone and everyone will be able to view the Hangout On-Air, live over their computer, because, well – this is not just a Hangout – It’s a Hangouts On-Air; which means anyone will be able to watch it online. Plus, it will be available to watch on YouTube later.

Music.lk

Meanwhile, Music.lk folks said they wanted to go with the whole concept of Hangouts On-Air due to several reasons. The biggest one being that, as opposed to conventional meetups with a musicians where one needs a number of high-end and expensive resources for recording purposes, Hangouts only require a couple of laptops, webcams and additional microphones. Well, technically speaking they could just use a laptop but for a slightly better viewing pleasure they decided to use additional webcams and mics. In addition, they could just conduct the discussion right from the musician and the host’s home and the viewers too can watch from the comfort of their home. Most of all, it’s the direct interaction with the musician and the virality of the entire event.

First time in Asia-Pacific

It was interesting to note that according to Rohan, this is the first time Google is initiating something of this magnitude, related to Hangouts in Asia-Pacific region. This means the entire region would be basically watching how this takes of in Sri Lanka. Pretty exciting huh? Rohan also said that their next aim would be to have people join the #RipplesOfMusic Hangouts On-Air via their smartphones, even on the go.

Upcoming Google Activities

Google is also conducting a series of seminars this week, starting from today. These are completely FREE of charge and are conducted by Googlers from Singapore. Here are the details:

Monetizing Apps with AdMob
Tuesday 15th January, 6:30 PM at Dialog Axiata G+
Go to G+ Event page

Introduction to AdSense & Google Display Network (GDN)
Wednesday 16th January, 9:30 AM at Dialog Telekom
Go to G+ Event page

Advanced session on AdSense & Google Display Network (GDN)
Thursday 17th January, 9:30 AM at Dialog Telekom
Go to G+ Event page

To attend or register for these events, all you have to do is follow the link to any of the G+ Event pages and RSVP “Yes”.  I hope those who are interested in these topics would take this rare opportunity. So, who’s attending what? Hope to see some of you there!

Do you want your Facebook Page – Cover Image done for FREE?

Just a few more days until all Facebook Pages will get a new design. Facebook says that on March 30, 2012 they will be enforcing the new Timeline format on all pages – regardless of whether you have already switched to the new format or clueless about the whole thing and still on the old format.

So, how many of you Page-admins out there are ready for this change?  Have you already changed your page to the Timeline format and published? Maybe you’ve reluctantly converted to the new format but not quite happy with how the whole cover image and the profile image combination looks on your page. Or you don’t have a nice image to put up there at all…

What ever the situation you are in, I’ve got GOOD news for you! The Srilankan social media company Loops Solutions has volunteered to help out absolutely anyone who wants their cover page done – That is, Loops will create a cover page for your Facebook Page, absolutely FREE!

How’s that for a deal? And no strings attached, what so ever. They have just taken it up as a fun thing to do and in general,  just to help out the social media community. If any of you want to make use of this crazy opportunity, email them at inquiry@loooops.com or visit their Facebook Page and ‘message’ them.

 

(Disclaimer: I work for Loops Solutions and I’m the head of social media)