It’s officially 2019—so that means its a great time to look at upcoming social media trends and make a game plan for how to tackle them in the new year. According to a recent report and survey by Hootsuite, marketers should expect five big social media trends this year:

  • Brands will work to regain the trust of consumers after a year of social-centered scandals.
  • Stories will continue to grow in popularity across all platforms.
  • There will be more competition for paid ad space.
  • Social shopping will yield big sales.
  • Consumers will demand one-on-one communication.

How to Improve Your Social Strategy

There are several ways to ensure your brand stands out:

Engage with your audience by creating groups and branded hashtags. By inviting your consumers into the conversation or chatting with them one-on-one, you make your brand seem more human. Especially on social media—where there are tons of options for consumers—it’s important to build a sense of community among your followers. Try engaging your followers by creating a hashtag or hosting a discussion in a Facebook group. By reaching out and starting a conversation about a certain topic, you will play into their specific interests, thus prompting them to interact more with your brand.

Create posts for stories and Instagram highlights. In addition to posting videos on Snapchat, you can use the Instagram and Facebook story functions to share real-time, creative snippets of your brand with your followers. By creating content that is specific for these platforms—vertical videos, images, and graphics with music, animation, and links—you will capture a new segment of viewers who might not see your organic posts on your page. And don’t forget: stories disappear within 24 hours, so make sure to save the important stuff to your Instagram highlight reels for later.

Create top-notch content and leverage video. This one speaks for itself: the more original your content is, the easier it will be to capture the attention of the social sphere. Short videos are crucial these days and often perform better than wordy text posts. Experiment with different kinds of content to figure out what works best for your channels.

Sell products or host a contest. If you’ve been on Instagram or Facebook recently, you’ve probably stumbled across a social contest (where you like, comment, and tag your friends for a chance to win free things). In an age where shopping is mostly digital, companies would be wise to start thinking about how to sell their products or services on social. Contests are a good idea because they get people engaged on your posts. For selling, Instagram and Snapchat also both have easy “swipe-up to shop” features in their stories.

Message your consumers directly.  Don’t be afraid to meet your followers in their inboxes. If you have a Facebook Business page, you can use Messenger to answer questions, give more information, and auto-reply when you’re unable to. By incorporating chat functions into your social accounts, you’ll be able to make that personal connection with a customer and give them the answers they are looking for all in one place.

The post originally appeared on JWU Online’s Career Catalyst blog

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