Numbers tell the story.
• Instagram just surpassed 1 billion users. The only
other platform not named Facebook to do it.
• 71% of U.S. business now use Instagram
• Instagram is THE platform for influencers–80%
prefer the platform for brand collaborations
• 59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram
Meanwhile, over on Facebook…
• Facebook saw a 5.6 percent decline in
users between 12 and 17 years old.
• They also saw a 5.8 percent decline in
users between 18 and 24 years old. This is the first
time Facebook has seen a decrease in users since
• Facebook usage dropped–for the first time ever–
from 67% to 62% among Americans 12+ years
Numbers don’t tell the whole story:
• Facebook is an increasingly toxic place for many
users. #DeleteFacebook is real.
• Facebook took a beating in the media in 2018.
• Facebook has completely lost it’s “cool” factor
(and guess who’s gained it!).
• Review your Facebook and Instagram numbers—
where are you seeing the most “bang for your
• Consider experimenting with Instagram ads
(including Stories), if you haven’t already.
• Consider shifting more time/energy to Instagram—
but remember who’s spending time there.
Consider the numbers:
• By last count, Instagram Stories now has 400 million
daily active users. That’s more users than Reddit,
Twitter, and Pinterest.
• Stories have also reportedly increased the time
users spend on Instagram, with an average of 32
minutes per day for those users under 25 years old,
and 24 minutes for users 25 and older.
And, Insta continues to invest:
• “Story Highlights” – create branded graphics for your
page and save your stories permanently by
• “Swipe up” – for verified business accounts with
10,000 or more followers. Gives brands the ability to
drive traffic to owned web properties and sites.
• Enhanced metrics – Host of in-app metrics for
Stories including impressions, engagements, taps
forward, taps back and exits.
• Evaluate your social media KPIs for 2019—do they
still make sense? Is engagement a part of that mix?
• Define engagement more succinctly—is it all about
customer service? Are video view metrics inflating
• Consider what you can do to capture more lead-
focused metrics—actions on site, e-newsletter
signups from social, lead form completions.
• Instagram investing more in its direct messaging
o Video chat
o Poll functionality
o 250,000+ active users (as of 2017)
• Facebook testing the notion of deleting the
• Private and secret groups seemed to gain
momentum on Facebook in 2018.
For now, ask yourself these questions:
• Do I start to adjust expectations with internal
stakeholders re: engagements? Should engagements
be a key metric in 2019?
• Should I explore the possibility of using more
automation to respond to more inbound private
messages? Should I look at chatbots more closely?
• What do I do about organic social media? Do I care?
Does this impact my content strategy and
The “Big Four” still dominate, but…
o 190M users
o 400,000 topics now exist on Quora
o 250M active users
o 175B+ pins
o 1 in 2 millennials use Pinterest every day
• Reddit “Front page of the internet”
o 300M users
o Average visit: 15 minutes, 47 seconds
• Don’t over-rely on the major social networks—
constantly explore new networks where your
audiences may be spending time.
• If you’re not already, start using these niche
networks yourself (yes, I’m talking about lip-syncing
on Tik Tok!)
• A BRANDFog survey found that 78% of people
prefer to work for a company whose leadership is
active on social media.
• The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer found that
business is more trusted than government and 64%
of people believe CEOs should take the lead on
change rather than waiting for government to
Survey also says:
• Further, 56% have no respect for CEOs who remain
silent on important issues.
• According to TheSocialCEO.org, only 20% of CEOs
have a social network account today.
• Start with the basics—make sure executive LinkedIn
profiles are updated.
• Don’t boil the executive ocean—start with one
person and build out from there.
• Make sure your plan is airtight and buttoned up
before approaching execs—you can’t afford to
position this as an “experiment”
Call it an (educated) hunch
• Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more
frequently when distributed by employees’ vs the
• Content shared by employees receives 8X more
engagement than content shared by brand
channels (Social Media Today)
• CEOs, board of directors and government officials
saw biggest jumps in trust levels (2018 Edelman
• Engagement levels nosediving—as much as 50%
drop in some cases
• Do your research: Do you have a Cameron Potts in
your organization? Work with these people to make
sure they have social content opportunities for your
• Take it to the next level: What about a more formal
employee advocacy program? Start by
experimenting with a small group of employees.
#1: From Insta/YouTube to a more
• Existing primary channels: Instagram, YouTube
• Future state: Brands will consider using influencers
o As speakers on webinars and at trade shows
o As guest authors on your corporate blog
o As featured speakers at employee events
o As an author making posts on LinkedIn (think B2B)
o As a spokesperson with media and in TV spots
#2: From celebrity and macro-influencers
to more credible influencers
• Existing focus: Celebrities, macro-influencers
• Future state: Brands will start using more credible
influencers across the board:
o People who comment regularly on your Facebook
or Instagram posts
o Employees who see above-average engagement
on their Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn posts
o People in specific geographic areas with smaller to
mid-level follower counts, but with big engagement
numbers (think: Erin Good).
#3: From episodic use to a long-term
• Current state: Campaign focus, short duration
• Future state: Brands will more broadly engage
influencers in long-term contracts and work as key
partners (and employ tiered approaches):
o Annual contracts will become the norm.
o Influencers will become more like brand advocates
vs. assets to be used and quickly discarded.
o Influencers will start to take on different roles—
spokesperson, speaker at employee meetings,
interviewee for media placements.
• Are you doing all you can to leverage your
influencer partnerships beyond just social?
• Are you looking at all types of influencers? As trust
wanes, working with those outside the “celebrity
influencer” bucket may make the MOST sense.
• Are you thinking about influencers as key partners—
or merely tactics—in your 2019 plans?
• Are you posting too much? 8-12 times a month is
more than enough for most organizations.
• Could you identify your employee content producers
and curate content for social platforms?
• Native video on LinkedIn—have you experimented
• Could you supplement coverage of live events more
with Instagram Stories?
8 (and a half) Social Media Trends
• #1: Instagram will take over as brands’ social home base
• #1.5: Instagram will become all about stories
• #2: Engagement, as a metric, begins to fade
• #3: Private social media will start to impact 2019 plans
• #4: More focus on overlooked & niche social media sites
• #5: 2019 may (finally) be the year of the Social CEO
• #6: Employees will drive more engagement than brand
• #7: Influencer marketing grows up
• #8: Organic reach is dead (or IS it?)