5 Effective Ways to Use Facebook’s New Trend Report to Boost Your 2019 Social Media Plan
Facebook just released their annual Topics & Trends Report for 2019. The report analyzes data from the past two years of Facebook conversations and packages them up into 33 pages of informational insights for marketers.
Helpfully, Facebook curated their findings into seven industry verticals, such as Beauty & Fashion, Entertainment, Commerce, and Science & Technology. For each industry, Facebook provides an overview of emerging trends with illustrative graphs that make the information easy to digest.
The full report is worth reading in its entirety, but to save you time, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Below we cover the most impactful new developments, from social media trends to influencer marketing, that you need to know. We also offer ideas for you how can capitalize on these through your social media marketing in 2019.
5 Social Media Takeaways from Facebook’s New Trend Report
Here are the top takeaways from Facebook’s Topics & Trends Report for you to dial into in your social media marketing this year.
1. Brand values Remain a Top Concern for Millennials.
We’ve all seen the studies. When it comes to brand loyalty, millennials can be very fickle. Only 7% of millennials define themselves as brand loyal. The others are willing to be persuaded away based on a compelling promo code or an influencer’s recommendation.
The one thing that keeps millennials loyal? A brand whose values match their own. Studies show the majority of millennials choose to shop from brands that reflect their values.
In particular, millennials are seeking out brands who create products intentionally, with an eye for durability. As Facebook put it, “how a product is made is often as important as the product itself.” Millennials want the world to be a better place, and they’re starting with their shopping habits. Sustainable fashion, freeganism, and durable goods all skyrocketed in popularity this year on Facebook:
Use social media to show fans that your brand is committed to sustainability, not filling landfills with your products. In your promotional posts, highlight the quality of your product. Focus on durability over coolness.
Alternately, give your fans ideas for how to get more out of your product, enabling it to last longer or inviting them to explore it in new ways. In the Instagram post below, denim brand Madewell helps fans save the environment (and their wallets) during the holidays by sharing how they can use their clothing as wrapping paper.
Beyond your products, create social media content that demonstrate how your brand is committed to these values on a personal level. Share videos of your employees taking the day off to volunteer, like Starbucks does. In fact, they do more than volunteer. They encourage their fan community to volunteer alongside them with this call to action on Facebook:
2. Selfies Sell. Simple.
Another dominant trend, especially among female consumers, is social shopping. After bursting onto the scene in 2017, social shopping continued to gain steam throughout the year.
With innovations like Instagram Shopping and Pinterest Shopping, brands and influencers of all kinds aren’t just promoting their wares on social media; they’re selling them, too. Using these features allows brands to embed links right into their social media posts.
Fans don’t want to have to leave social media to go buy something from you. By bringing the links to them, you make their lives easier. 2019 is the year to stop posting plain photos of your products. Moving forward, consider how you can incorporate product links to make your posts more shoppable.
Brands aren’t the only ones enjoying sales on social media. Facebook’s also documented the rise of “selfie selling.” Whether they’re sponsored by a brand or selling their own merchandise, influencers are increasingly taking photos of themselves using products to boost sales.
Editorial product photography remains omnipresent on Instagram, but the human face is a powerful sales tool. Encourage your influencers to use theirs, by taking photos of themselves actually using or wearing your product—rather than an impersonal, albeit well-styled, picture of it against a pretty background.
3. Influencer Marketing is Hotter than Ever.
Speaking of influencers, they’re not going anywhere. Influencer marketing continues to be popular among consumers of all ages, with a growing awareness among Generation X and Baby Boomers.
Unlike some of the other trends on this list, influencer marketing is effective fairly equally among both male and female consumers. Whatever gender and whatever age group, your brand wants to reach, you need to be investing in influencer marketing.
Within influencer marketing, one micro-trend Facebook advises brands to keep an eye on is nano-influencer marketing. These influencers are still growing their realm of influence, with follower counts ranging from 1K to 10K. Since their audiences are so small, they tend to be highly localized and/or niche. They also tend to be extremely engaged, with engagement rates 2 to 6 times higher than micro- and macro-influencers. Partnering with nano-influencers is a smart way for brands to zero in on extremely targeted demographics.
Regardless of the size of their audience, many influencers are driving engagement with livestreams on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and more.
It’s time for your brand to take advantage of that heightened visibility and engagement. How can you partner with influencers on livestreams to make your content go viral? Use live video to film influencer interviews, event coverage, sneak peeks of a product launch, or even a day of fun at the office.
4. People Want to Escape.
One fascinating trend is the rise of escapism among Gen Z and millennial audiences. Young consumers are increasingly looking to escape through rich media experiences like virtual reality, augmented reality, and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).
As long as you sell a tangible product, your brand can benefit from the ASMR trend. There are all sorts of niche ASMR topics, like #asmrsoap.
These videos are immensely popular and incredibly addictive for ASMR aficionados. If you can position your product as an easy way to get their ASMR fix, your brand just might start showing up in a ton of videos. For example, YouTubers have filmed themselves eating crunchy KFC chicken for years. Eventually KFC caught on and started creating their own ASMR content, even going so far as to make an ASMR commercial.
Even less obvious brands, like IKEA, have found ways to take advantage of the ASMR trend. Their 25-minute ASMR video has racked up over 2 million views in the past year. The video shows a woman going around the bedroom, squishing pillows, folding sheets, and interacting with other objects.
VR and AR can be yet another way for your brand to provide immersive experiences to your fans. Branded Snapchat lenses, Facebook’s AR ads, and more let fans experience your brand through the convenience of their phone screen.
5. Social Media Advocating Self-Care
When they’re not trying to escape reality, consumers are trying to deal with it through better self-care. In their research, Facebook found that millennials are investing more and more in wellness brands, particularly female consumers.
As life becomes more stressful, people turn to social media for relief. Your brand can be there to help them find it. When you promote your products on social media, position them as an essential way for your customers to improve their lives, and specifically their sense of well-being. As Scott Lachut of PSFK, one of Facebook’s research partners, noted, “Increasingly, success is not defined by people’s ability to purchase the latest handbag, but by their willingness to take the time to achieve the best possible version of themselves.”
Not all your social media content can be pushing product. For your less-promotional posts, get creative about making them uplifting for your fans. You might provide affirmations, for instance. Benefit Cosmetics is one brand that’s been very clever about doing this.
Their social media posts boost their fans’ self-confidence—in ways that also promote their products. For some of these, the product connection is obvious. For others, it’s a lot more subtle.
For example, the Instagram post on the left, below, is a mock testimonial that positions Benefit’s Gimme Brow product as life changing. All of these statements describe an ideal life their customers might envision for themselves. The post on the right puts the main focus on the affirmation “U R CUTE,” but it’s surrounded by Benefit products.
Social Media in 2019 and Beyond
If Facebook’s report proves anything, it’s that social media holds huge promise for brands into 2019 and beyond. Consumers are using social media to find brands who match their values, listen to influencer recommendations, and just have fun—with the brands they know and love.
Your brand deserves to be one of those brands. Use these Facebook insights to frame your 2019 social media marketing plan.