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Dec 20, 201801:01 PMOpen Mic

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5 social media trends to watch in 2019

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As 2018 nears its conclusion, business owners and marketers should be thinking about what they can do to make their companies more successful in the new year. Hopefully, somewhere near the top of their priorities list is finding ways to leverage their social media channels more effectively.

Gone are the days when companies can treat social media as an afterthought or a supplemental marketing channel. Today, social media platforms are where a business has an opportunity to consistently demonstrate its value and reinforce its voice. They are the go-to places where customers ask questions, offer accolades, and air complaints. No business can ignore the significance of its social media presence because it influences how people perceive its brand. So what can you do to bolster your brand’s success through social media in 2019?

I’ve always been cautious about making social media predictions because the ideal social strategy is unique for every business. However, there are some online marketing trends worth considering as you evaluate what tactics will grow your business.

1. The growing importance of personal branding to business branding

Especially for small businesses, putting a real, human face to a business name helps build loyalty. A brand that’s more relatable and has the human element naturally garners more trust — and trust is essential for building relationships.

One way to humanize a brand is to promote the personal brand of the business owner or a high-level leader. This tactic has become a staple for many organizations, as demonstrated through guest blogging, podcast and webinar appearances, and other publicity opportunities. Through allowing people to get to know the character and expertise of company leadership, a business can strengthen its brand reputation.

Businesses that embrace this in 2019 will have a distinct advantage over companies that hide behind their logo.

2. Long-form content for making an SEO impact

While word count is not the only thing that can impact how prominently an article will appear on the search engine results page, SEO experts say long-form content will be able to give you an edge. Although Google doesn’t penalize blog posts if they fail to reach a certain word count threshold, it stands to reason that a high-quality article with 1,600 words will likely outrank a high-quality article with 500 words. It’s for that reason we’re seeing more publishers requiring guest authors to submit articles with a minimum of 1,000 or more words.

We’ll see more company blogs embracing long-form content and incorporating it into their content strategies. Therefore, businesses that have found they aren’t getting SEO traction with short posts may want to “go long” and add longer articles rich with information and insight that will attract readers and give Google a reason to rank them more favorably. This trend will definitely make a difference in your results in 2019.

3. Acceleration of personalized marketing

With more companies digging into their data and using it to create customized marketing campaigns that target individuals' interests at different points in the buyer's journey, the pressure is on. Customers have come to expect brands to tailor special offers and discounts to their wants and needs. To accommodate that expectation, more businesses will need to consider targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media channels. I anticipate that social platforms will continue to refine their targeting offerings as the demand for individualized content grows.

(Continued)

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