Social media in 2019: a round-up

Icons representing social media for businessAs the decade draws to a close, we take a look at the major developments in social media in 2019, along with their impact on small businesses.

1) TikTok: new kid on the block

Even if you have spent 2019 living in a cave, you have probably still heard of TikTok: the app that lets users create and share 15-second videos. If you remember Vine, think of TikTok as its modern-day reincarnation. With 500 million (mostly young) users, TikTok has monetised by offering various advertising options to businesses. It’s definitely one to watch in 2020 if your business has a young target market.

2) Facebook’s Automated Ads

Small businesses who aren’t sure where to start when it comes to creating Facebook Ads can now take advantage of the new Automated Ads tool. As the name implies, this tool simply requires you to answer a few questions about your business and its goals, before it generates half a dozen potential ads for you to review. When you’ve made your ad selection, the tool will help you create a tailored audience, make budget suggestions, and send notifications about your campaign’s performance.

3) LinkedIn’s overhaul

LinkedIn had a significant facelift in 2019, introducing features such as Facebook-style post reactions buttons, and an algorithm update to prioritise post discussion over sharing. You’re also more likely to see posts from people you know, and those that discuss topics of interest to you. Small businesses should think of LinkedIn as a place for thought leadership and debate rather than the sort of viral marketing based on content sharing that might be more effective on Facebook or Twitter.

4) The rise of Snapchat and Instagram

2019 was a good year for visual platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, with 14.5 million people accessing Snapchat in the UK, and Instagram enjoying 500 million daily visits worldwide. Both platforms offer cost-effective advertising options for businesses, with custom geofilters starting at a few pounds per day (Snapchat), and Instagram’s average CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) coming in at around $5.

5) Pinterest powers forward

The original visual social network, Pinterest has been solidly advancing in 2019 and has rolled out several updates to improve the experience for its 200 million monthly pinners. Of all the social platforms, Pinterest is perhaps the one to make the strongest case to small businesses of a link between brand activity and consumer purchase. Its own study of 4,000 weekly pinners revealed that 90% used the platform to make purchase decisions. Small businesses with a product range or a strong visual aspect to their brand should consider including Pinterest in their 2020 social media strategy.

6) Goodbye to Google+

As of April 2019, Google+ is no more. After years of trying to tempt small businesses away from other social networks, Google+ never managed to achieve the same sort of engagement as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. By the search giant’s own admission, it deleted all Google+ pages and profiles “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations”.

As you can see, there were a lot of changes to social media in 2019 and the pace of change will only accelerate into the next decade and beyond.

To stay up-to-date and equip your business with a winning social media strategy, book yourself onto our Embrace the Space social media course in 2020.

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