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It won’t be long until 2018 comes to a close. Soon it will be time to reflect upon the year that has passed, in order to make notes, plans, and goals for the next.

This certainly goes for social media marketing as well. A lot has been learned over the last several months. Many brands are already taking stock of what they did right, what they could’ve done better, and what they have to look forward to.

With that in mind, this article will go over 8 social media tips and tricks that you might want to consider in 2019.

1. Social listening.

Social media monitoring tools are becoming necessities for marketers. They assist with finding out what’s being said about brands across social media. This allows the brands to adjust their strategies and tackle areas where they’re having problems.

These tools often boast in-depth analytics, keyword searching, sentiment analysis, hashtag tracking, influencer data, and more. They take a lot of the footwork out of sleuthing around the internet and making sense out of what you find. The sheer convenience they provide can’t be overstated.

2. Augmented reality.

It’s almost difficult to believe that augmented reality is a technology that’s already widely available today. It still feels like a farfetched concept from science-fiction. Yet, not only is it real, but it’s already in the process of being integrated into social media.

Facebook is testing AR advertisements in their News Feed as we speak. That alone assures us that AR is going to be a huge part of social media soon. So don’t hesitate in trying it out as soon as possible. Being at the forefront of its launch will get your brand noticed in a big way.

3. Micro-influencers.

Influencers have cemented themselves as a vital part of the social media ecosystem. They’re the tastemakers who act as an intermediary between brands and the average internet user.

“However, there’s been some changes lately regarding which influencers that brands seek out,” says Jonathan Foley, whose worked with Instagram micro-influencers on his pages @Positivity, @Deep and @Societyfeelings. “The larger influencers are starting to lose their appeal and potency. Meanwhile, smaller micro-influencers with under ten thousand followers are valued for their ability to reach niche demographics.”

4. Streaming video.

Over the last few years, live video has emerged as a major source of news and entertainment for internet users. Many social networks have introduced their own streaming features in response to its overwhelming popularity, such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Twitter’s Periscope.

The power of streaming video is that it’s raw and unfiltered. It gives the viewer a sense of being closer to the people recording it. There’s also the exciting potential for surprises and unexpected moments to occur.

5. User-generated content.

User-generated content is a win-win situation for both brands and their followers. For the brands, it’s practically free content to use — with the consent of its creator, of course. Some UGC can even rival the best material that professional designers can offer.

For the followers, it’s a potential avenue to get featured and noticed by others. This in turn encourages others to submit their content as well, which can spread brand awareness like wildfire.

6. Direct messaging.

Direct messaging is a feature that is severely underutilized by brands. Just about every social network allows users to send private DMs to each other.

You can use DMs to share information about upcoming events or give out special discount codes. Doing these things will make your followers feel more appreciated, as you are paying individual attention to them.

Another good use for DMs is resolving issues with customers. For instance, if you see somebody complaining about a bad experience they had with your product or service, you could kindly ask them to send you a message in private. From there you can see if there’s anything you can do to help them.

7. Chatbots.

It has taken a while to chatbots catch on and live up to their hype. A lot of the early incarnations had definite flaws that held them back. However, after some advancements, it seems that 2019 is on track to be the year that they will become widespread across social media.

In fact, it would be a wise idea to be an early adopter of chatbots. That way you could get a head start and learn how to use them more effectively. Their ability to automate communications with customers will make them an indispensable tool for marketers.

8. Ephemeral content.

Snapchat was the first social network to introduce ephemeral content. It was a revolutionary concept when it arrived. Having content that only lasted 24 hours before disappearing gave it a sense of exclusivity and spontaneity that other platforms lacked.

Now Instagram, Facebook, and Google have their own similar offerings. It’s a certainty now that everybody else will join the bandwagon in 2019. If you haven’t tried any of it out yet, now’s the ideal time to join in.

There is less of a need to be polished with ephemeral content. Instead you are given more freedom to play around and have fun. It is a perfect format for giving behind-the-scenes peeks, teasing upcoming products, and telling ongoing, emergent stories.