The digital landscape is constantly changing, and staying on top of the latest trends is crucial to growing your business. In the Adweek.com article "5 Instagram Marketing Trends We Will See in 2019," Robert Katai, a marketer and content strategist, refers to Instagram as one of the most powerful marketing channels on our time. The article goes on to highlight a series of trends we can expect from Instagram in 2019, including IGTV, shoppable posts and a micro-brand takeover.
Eager to dive further into the topic, American Salon sat down with Jay Baer, a long-time digital media consultant and author of six best-selling books on the topic, to get his take on things that are currently trending in the digital sphere, and how brands can best utilize social platforms to grow their businesses.
AS: What were the biggest social trends of 2018 and do you see them carrying over into 2019?
JB: Video, especially live video; the rise of Instagram and slight decline of Facebook and fundamental doubts about the accuracy, privacy, and fairness of social media content. I expect most of these to carry into 2019.
AS: What might we expect from the digital landscape in 2019?
JB: A greater use of video, a continued increase in Instagram and we'll see more and more companies (even small salons) using Facebook Messenger and website chatbots for customer service and appointment setting.
AS: Do you see Instagram as the main social platform moving forward or will Facebook still play a large role?
JB: Facebook is still more than twice as large as Instagram, and it's definitely the broadest audience demographically. In salons/fashion, etc., the Instagram audience (younger and more fashion-forward) is perhaps the best fit, but Facebook is so big that I would by no means ignore it. Youtube is also getting stronger and stronger, and a strategy there is important too.
AS: What are the advantages of Instagram over Facebook and vice versa?
JB: Instagram has fewer content types, more hashtags for discovery, a more homogenized audience, less competition (for now), and much better integration between still > stories > live. Facebook has more features (pages, events, groups), more audience, but also more competition and more complexity.
AS: What are your top five tips for using social media to grow a business?
- Understand why you are using social media and what you hope to accomplish
- Find a way to measure your progress beyond just followers and likes
- Focus on being social, not doing social
- When in doubt, do it in video
- Realize that the stuff you find mundane and boring in your salon is the stuff your customers find fascinating—think like a documentary filmmaker and show people what you actually do