This year marked further evolution in PR and marketing, as data-driven insights became even more imperative for creating brand awareness and understanding audiences on social media. In 2019, analytics will continue to drive brand storytelling, control and promotion. With the New Year rapidly approaching, it’s time to start preparing for what lies ahead in the social media realm. So, we’ve listed five trends to look out for this coming year!
1. Increased focus on earned media
Publishing social content that generates likes and shares is extremely cost effective. In fact, it’s free! Earned social media is the modern equivalent of traditional “word of mouth” PR on an exponentially larger scale. Earned social media is particularly valuable when customers share positive sentiments about a brand or an influencer decides to share or re-tweet content. Furthermore, earned media provides the kind of third-party validation that customers trust.
2. Moving towards corporate social responsibility (CSR)
This year Dunkin’ Donuts announced it would eliminate all Styrofoam cups from its stores by 2020, taking a step towards CSR. Starbucks also announced it is changing its cups to a new design that eliminates the non-recyclable straw. In the entertainment industry, Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” video celebrated women’s’ empowerment by showing female celebrities, activists, entrepreneurs and others promoting the #MeToo movement, immigration reform, and water preservation. The deviation from standard music videos led to over one billion views on YouTube.
Looking ahead, we should expect more brands to follow suit. PR professionals should focus on promoting positive initiatives, such as social, political and environmental issues.
3. Returning to authenticity
A brand’s job is to build trust with its audience that through various channels, including social media, press releases and blogs. In 2019, we’re expecting to see a break in the downpour of highly-branded content as it transforms into more authentic content. As usual, Google leads the way in this area, continuing to emphasize natural, high-quality content in its algorithms. So, be prepared to get back to basics and create narratives and messaging that are rooted in authenticity.
4. Social listening
Controlling the narrative is essential to PR and marketing. In 2019 those who invest social listening will be rewarded. Responding in real time to concerns or negative reviews is crucial to a brand’s general well-being. With the right tools and strategy, social listening can be highly effective in controlling a PR crisis or addressing customer concerns.
5. Creating your own news
Creating news that promotes thoughtful discussion of your brand is possible by commenting or riding on the waves of current news. Essentially, your brand gets its message across by displaying its relevancy to the larger world. In 2019, organizations will continue to create their own takes on current events, getting their messages across from their own unique perspectives.
Until next time!
Erin Tehila Easley
Erin is a copywriter based between New York City and Jerusalem. With a background writing for hi-tech startups, she is always willing and ready to learn about the next great advancement in the digital landscape. Erin holds a B.A. in Literature and an M.A. in Historical Studies from The New School.