It's that time of year again when magazines and newspapers come up with their top 5 or top 10 predictions for the coming year. Fast Company invited Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite to offer his Social media predictions for 2019 and they do make for very interesting reading:
- He quotes a Edelman Report which says that 60% of people no longer trusts social media companies. We have become distrustful of influencers and he thinks that we will revert back to "immediate friends and and family and close acquaintances on social media". He thinks that companies will focus less on reach (through ads possibly) and more on "generating transparent and meaningful engagement".
- Standard updates will become less relevant and stories more relevant. Apparently, stories are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. In an oft-quoted HootSuite survey, Holmes says that respondents have either implemented Instagram stories or plan to next year. And he reckons that the Guardian newspaper is a pioneer in this area.
- And I do like this one: 'The rise of LinkedIn'. He points to the fact that over a 100,00 articles are published per week, LinkedIn groups have improved, you can now naively publish video and integrations with 3rd part apps show that it is no "far from just a place to warehouse your resume" and it has accelerated user growth. On our Social Media courses, we now focus more on LinkedIn. One area where we have seen big changes are within the timeline where content has got more engaging and people are experimenting more with native video. Long may it continue!
- One area which is worth further observation, and which Holmes mentions, is Facebook Groups. Facebook Groups were around well before Pages but as brands moved over to Pages Groups were less used. Not anymore! According to Holmes Facebook group Membership was up 40% last year. And it is not surprising. Brands and companies have started to discover that offering clients/members exclusive access to closed groups can be hugely beneficial though he does caution that active moderation and restraint are important when it comes to those who want to sell more than they want to add value.
- Most of us (and our families) are using messaging platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp (let's not forget that like Instagram they all belong to the Facebook family) to communicate with family, friends, work colleagues, political groups or sports clubs we belong to. Holmes believes that these apps will ever more find their way into customer service. Interestingly he points out that 9 out f 10 consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses but only half of business responding to a Hootsuite survey had implement it.
There are some really interesting predictions above and it will be interesting to see how they develop over the course of the year. My hunch is that they are all 'bankers' to succeed.