It’s hard to believe that 2018 is nearly over. While it’s difficult to tell what directions social media marketing can take in the future, there are some people who have already looked ahead to 2019, and are predicting what trends in social media we should look out for in the upcoming year.

Top Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2019

The first trend that Business 2 Community says will be a big deal with social media in the future is what’s called “augmented reality.” This report states that augmented and virtual reality markets could make close to $300 billion by the year 2023.

Augmented reality is similar to virtual reality in that what you’re seeing in your computer is augmented by other elements. A good example is Snapchat facial filters, and as this story explains, “A handful of [these filters] have sponsors in the corner of the screen, and people can create their own geofilters as well.”

Focusing on Today’s Generation

Generation Z has grown up with social media technology as an everyday reality of their lives. As Generation Z gets older, it will be important for social media marketing to focus on them as they get out of college, start working, and have money to spend and put into the marketplace. (One tool that retail stores are now utilizing is pop up stores and events because those get a lot of coverage on social media.)

While social media marketing is very progressive and changes all the time, it will be increasingly important to keep in touch with Generation Z and how they’ll utilize social media as they grow older.

The “Dominant Mediums” For Next Year’s Social Media

This article tells us that video is still the dominant medium for social media. Instagram created “Instagram Stories,” an idea they took from Snapchat, and 200 million Instagram users use this program every month. Instagram and YouTube are still major platforms where you can build a presence, and another platform that Generation Z likes is Houseparty, which utilizes group chats.

Other important mediums are messenger apps, chatbots, and live streams. With messenger apps and chatbots, the lines of communication between you and your customers are wide open. As this story explains, “If a customer lands on a business page and sees something they’re interested in, marketers can reach out to them via chatbot and initiate a conversation that could ultimately lead to a sale the customer never saw coming.”

And one of the hottest trends to watch out for is influencer marketing. There are major influencers, who are well-known social media stars, and “micro-influencers,” who aren’t huge internet stars yet, but who are still influential on their level. Micro-influencers, in fact, could be more helpful to your social media marketing because they’re usually regular people that your customers can relate to. (YouTube is one of the best mediums to utilize influencers.)

This also goes hand in hand with one more social media trend, utilizing user-generated content. This kind of content can be photos, videos, and memes, and again, it’s all about the personal touch that people can relate to.

As Business2Community concludes, “It’s not enough to tell someone they need a product. They want a story behind the product…User-generated content personalizes products in ways businesses simply can’t.”