November 16, 2018Published by: Drew Benvie

Battenhall launches Instagram Brands 100 report, plus four trends to watch for in 2019

Monday marked the launch of Battenhall's sixth annual social media report and our annual social media trends briefing.

The Battenhall team hosted a full auditorium at London's Curzon Soho cinema, where our speakers presented new research into how brands are excelling at social media, along with insights into the social media trends shaping brand communications for the year ahead.

Launching the Battenhall Instagram Brands 100 report

To open proceedings we unveiled our newest annual social media report. Social media has reached unprecedented levels of influence on society during the past 12 months – from politics to brand marketing, consumer activism to mainstream media. This is the perfect storm for brands. Since 2013 Battenhall has gathered and processed data on FTSE 100 companies and their use of social media. Back then, just 28% of FTSE 100 firms were doing a good job of social media, with active, highly followed and verified profiles on Twitter specifically. By 2017, 94% of the FTSE 100 had Twitter accounts, although most lacked innovation. Over the past year, however, a lot of the action has moved elsewhere – namely Instagram. Our newest report highlights the leading brands on Instagram, with data, case studies and analysis. You can download your own copy here.

Social media trends for 2019

This year, four factors helped make Instagram the social platform of choice and led us in our analysis of brand success on social media. They are: putting the ‘anti’ into ‘social’ and the rise of private sharing; the rise of Stories; Instagram versus reality and the evolution of the micro-influencer; and last but not least, the data deluge and the opportunity for social media data to drive business transformation.

Trend 1: The rise of anti-social

One of the driving forces of the social media industry over the last 12 months has been the increased desire for users of social networks to share content privately, be that on Stories, in messaging apps, or small groups. While Twitter's growth as an open network has stalled, closed networks and private sharing apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp have surged. Matching this growth in user demand, we have also seen the prevalence of inappropriate content on social media and the powers that be working to clean up their acts – from anti-social content being deleted from Facebook and Twitter, to Mark Zuckerberg's repeated appearances before senate hearings and parliaments.

Trend 2: Stories take over

Scrolling left to right instead of up and down, a new user behaviour has already taken hold on social media as a result of Stories. It was a new feature on Snapchat in 2013, ubiquitous by 2017, and reached a tipping point in 2018. In 2019, we fully expect to see Stories overtake the newsfeed on social media. Our speaker Steph Bennett, Director, International at Battenhall, explored how this trend is shaping brand communications.

Trend 3: Insta-reality

While influencer marketing has continued its meteoric rise in 2018, big names on social media have attracted all the attention from brands and consumers alike, but not always for the right reasons. As our next guest speaker, Battenhall account director Rhian Robinson eloquently conveyed to the audience, we have started to see a change in tastes from a discerning public. Social media audiences are growing tired of the Insta-perfect photo and lifestyle, instead preferring Insta-reality, with real-life micro-influencers showing a surge in demand and success. Names such as Bryony Gordon, Mrs Hinch and Celeste Barber are just a few to watch, and brands should look for these newer areas in 2019.

Trend 4: Data deluge

Our final trend for 2019 is around the use of social media data by brands, especially for business insights and predictive analytics. Battenhall's senior account director, research and insights, Jonny Atter, explained how data sources, including social media but also from other parts of a brand's business, should be combined and used for business planning. Atter provided examples of divisive ad campaigns, customer care strategies, and a look at where sources of data are most abundant, with the audience urged to make the switch from reactive to proactive in the year ahead.

Our next events

If you are interested in attending future events hosted by Battenhall, please register here and we'll let you know when the next events are open for registration. We hope to see you at one soon!

About Battenhall

We look after brand profiles on social media, and we're proudly the world's #1 at what we do. Named The Drum's social media agency of the year for the last three years running. Get in touch!

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