What is the state of social media in 2019?

Jan 25th '19

A new report from Buffer, released this month, examines the State of Social as we start 2019.


The report, based on a survey of over 1800 marketing professionals from across industry, explores ‘how marketers across the globe think about social media, what’s working, how the industry is changing, and more’.


Here’s our summary of the key findings.


Finding 1: stories are big

We’ve looked before at the rise of storytelling in content marketing. This survey supports its success, with 57% of brands believing that stories have been a “somewhat effective” or “very effective” part of their social media strategy.


For those using stories on Facebook or Instagram, ads in stories on these platforms – a new development – offer potential new sources of return. Although 62% of respondents are yet to invest in stories ads, 61% said they plan to in 2019.


A word of caution for regulated firms, though – if you are governed by the FCA, the regulator has strict rules on social media ads. Refresh yourself on the FCA’s rules on social media.


Finding 1: most firms aren’t yet using messaging apps

Social media messaging apps have evolved in recent years, with some people and brands choosing to share and communicate via one-to-one messages or small group chats. 71% of respondents to the Buffer survey, though, do not currently make use of this, and half have no plans to start doing so in 2019.


Finding 3: influencer marketing is effective, but rules need to be clearer

While only just over a third (37%) of marketers currently use influencer marketing, 68% of those that do believe that it’s been “somewhat effective” or “very effective”, and 88% plan to continue investing in it this year.


Regulation is a barrier, though, with the vast majority reporting that they’re confused by the guidelines surrounding influencer marketing. Only 6% believe that these guidelines are “very clear,” while 60% believe they are either unclear or very unclear.


If you’re struggling to understand what constitutes compliant influencer marketing, this blog, How to make sure your influencer marketing complies with the rules, has useful information and advice.


Finding 4: video content is growing

Only 14.5% of marketers never use video content – down from 25% in the 2018 survey. 36% publish videos monthly and a quarter weekly. Live video is less popular, with less than half reporting that they published live video content in the last year.


Facebook remains the most popular channel for video content.


If video is a route you plan to go down in 2019, these tips for making compliant videos and podcasts will help – they have advice for regulated firms on ensuring that videos (and podcasts, another trend tipped for 2019) meet FCA standards.


Finding 5: social media is integrated into marketing strategies, but measuring its effectiveness is a challenge

58% of Marketers believe social media is a “very important” element of their strategy, with 30 percent saying it’s “somewhat important”.


Many, though, struggle to quantify its effectiveness. 43% believe it’s effective, but 19% are uncertain as to how successful it’s been. Social media data can be invaluable, not just in finessing your social strategy but also in informing your wider content marketing approach – make sure you are getting the most from it.


The full survey findings can be read on Buffer’s website.


Social media – an integrated marketing channel

Social media is certainly here to stay as an integral part of the marketing mix. But for those in regulated firms, the usual rules and best practices come with an additional layer of governance.


Make sure your social content and approach comply with the FCA’s rules by reading our guide to Twitter for financial promotions. It’s a 10-point guide that will help you to create a compliant Twitter strategy.


Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.


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