Social media is moving at such a fast pace it can be hard to keep up with what’s hot or not and what’s tapped as the next big thing. The Drum spoke to six industry experts from Nasa, O2, Dentsu Aegis Network, The Fashion Digital, Jellyfish and FleishmanHillard, as they delve into what’s next for the social media space in 2019.
Sabrina Rodriguez, global head of social media and content, Dentsu Aegis Network – Twitch
When it comes to embracing a younger audience, gaming and streaming communities often get overlooked in favour of more mainstream channels like Snapchat. This is crazy. Since Twitch launched in 2011, the platform has continued to grow in popularity among gamers with 15 million daily active users of which 2.2 million are active monthly broadcasters – its growth comes as no surprise given eSports is projected to reach $1.1billion in revenue this year. What’s more, nearly half of all Twitch users spend more than 20 hours a week on the platform. The opportunity for brands and publishers to build loyal relationships with a highly engaged younger audience goes without saying.
Natalie Hughes, founder, The Fashion Digital – Chatbots
As social video consumption grows (and threatens to dwarf traditional TV), brands need to look beyond TV ads and invest deeply in ads for social platforms, namely IGTV, Instagram and Facebook. I’m also curious to witness the rise of content-driven chatbots; we’ve already seen fashion retailers such as The Outnet invest in content-centric AI, and I think many more fashion brands will follow suit. Lastly, we’ve seen brands like Glossier let their audiences dictate their product development to wild success, so I hope to see more fashion and beauty brands and media invest in social listening to ensure they’re delivering a more personalised, conversion-driving offering.
Greg Allum, global head of social, Jellyfish – Pinterest
With the obvious exception of Facebook, here at Jellyfish we’re particularly keen on growing our clients’ presence on Pinterest. It’s the perfect mix of social media, visual search, content marketing and a shopping platform. As such we are building an integrated agency offering of practitioners with varied skillsets.
Pinterest’s recently expanded shopping ad formats support its position in the consumer journey of being a discovery channel that drives meaningful and measurable behaviour. We’ve seen, in some cases, up to 35% higher referral traffic than Facebook and campaigns that have generated highly competitive CPE (cost per engagement), CPV (cost per view) and CPM (cost per thousand).
Jason Townsend, deputy social media manager, NASA – video
What we should be looking out for is the next evolution of video. It has become such a juggernaut in the social media space and when you look at the players out there like Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV, they are going to become more interesting because they are full screen, sit at home and binge watch experiences. It will be exciting to see how those who are not getting TV traditionally are taking advantage of that space. How will that trend continue?
It’s been going on for a couple of years, but I believe that we are approaching a more critical mass in that space. Now with things like Facebook Watch where it feeds directly into the watch tab, we are seeing video views coming out of that. Along with YouTube investing more heavily in those areas as well.
Laura Lesser, social media lead, O2 UK Telefonica UK Limited – Instagram
Instagram will be the platform to watch in 2019, due to the continued evolution of Stories with its playful, interactive opportunities. A high percentage of consumers watch with the sound on, helping make it a big opportunity to communicate with those who are paying more attention. Instagram continues to provide more opportunities for advertisers, with the same targeting capabilities and format optimisation with Facebook, plus new shopping integrations as traffic drivers. Instagram is also a key platform for our influencer partnerships and there are exciting new developments to monitor with IG TV.
Claire Twohill, director, social and innovation, FleishmanHillard – Video
Video is not going anywhere and will continue to play a big role in brands’ social strategies in 2019. With 78% of mobile traffic expected to be video by 2021, brands will have no choice but to look to platforms like Instagram’s IGTV to build meaningful connections with their audience. Bacardi’s recent campaign was a fantastic example of this – they created a sponsored music video in IGTV that was led by people’s votes in polls on Instagram Stories, a really interesting use of the platform. For global brands another area of growth will be China’s WeChat as they try and captalise on the platform’s hundreds of millions of daily active users. Google launched their first mini programme – Guess My Sketch – this week, so I’ll be watching to see how other brands follow suit.
Allum, Twohill, Lesser, Rodriguez, Townsend and Hughes are all judges for The Drum Social Buzz Awards. The entry deadline is Friday 7 September, download your entry pack now and show the industry the outstanding work you have been producing. Sponsors of the awards are UGCA
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