Team Social 2019 Reflections

Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash

Maria DeCabooter

NAU Social Media Manager

Favorite trend — creator features

If I had to choose one word to describe 2019, I would call it the year of creativity. With stories taking off — more work is being put into standing out from the crowd.

We’ve seen this with through the development of new Instagram Story creation apps — the most recent of them involving animations (cc: Story Art, MoStory, Unfold, Adobe Spark).

What’s fascinating is the range displayed among stories and posts. With increased access to text and motion effects and AR filters — everyone has the power to be a creator.

From small details like the below…

…to adding stickers to stories to add even more detail and make your content pop.

Favorite feature added — Ask & you should receive/ shop your heart out

My favorite new feature? I can’t pick just one. It’s a tie between the Instagram question sticker and the shopping feature.

From a work perspective, I absolutely love the question sticker. We’ve all heard it before you can’t speak to your audience — you need to speak WITH your audience. Instagram’s question sticker, poll sticker and quiz sticker allow your audience to share with you EXACTLY how they’re feeling and what they really want.

Should you post more Q&As or does your audience want more walk through tutorials? Are they loving your content or are they looking for a mix up?

All you have to do is use the stickers and ask.

And of course — use the data to create content that resonates.

#2 — Shop Til You Drop

As I mentioned before — I’m a mom. My daughter is almost five. If there’s anything that allows me to stay in the same platform and not lose my train of thought (and follow through) — it’s a mom win for me. When Instagram rolled out the shopping feature, I was excited for my self first and then realized what that meant in terms of #momlife.

I’ve always used Instagram hashtags to search for kid friendly foods and activities. In fact, whenever we go on vacation I’ll do my research on Instagram first — checking out hashtags and the location search feature. I always find myself bookmarking the posts and then later wondering where I had seen it.

Now, I can search for activities and if I like them — buy it all at once! Not only does my kid score but all her friends too since there seems to be birthday parties popping up all the time.

Favorite filter

In my personal life, I use Light Leak II quite a bit. I love the movie feel it has — it reminds me of the old home videos my dad used to make when we were kids with the VHS.

The date stamp is another plus. As my daughter continues to grow up quicker than I’d like, the time stamp acts as a digital photo album.

What 2020 holds — community building and creating personalized interactions

Customers find user-generated content to be more impactful than influencer marketing. Just how much more? 9.8x more impactful!

Four in 10 consumers say they are unlikely to become emotionally attached to a brand unless they are interacting via social media. In 2019, consumers were looking for those interactions to be authentic and personalized.

As we approach 2020, I believe nurturing trust will be more important than ever. We’ll continue to focus on community building and creating personalized interactions.

From the activity in my feed — I believe brands will find their way into private groups or create their own.

With the distrust in social media — people are posting “less” on the main feeds and are growing more active on private groups.

This has been especially helpful for social media influencers who are tying such activities into their business objectives.

Below is an email I received that uses the power of Facebook groups to not only share a business BUT use the power of community to engage, connect and build trust.

Additionally, Instagram’s new Close Friends feature allows brands to share exclusive content to a specific customer list. I believe we’ll continue to see these “insider” lists used to create more emotional attachment and turn more people into micro-influencers in their community. Lastly, I think the Close Friends feature will also make its way to Facebook groups as well.

And of course — I can’t end without mentioning Tik Tok.

Tik Tok is here to stay. If you’re looking to engage and connect with Gen Z — Tik Tok is the place to be.

If that’s not your audience — it’s still worth checking it out and seeing where video is heading. If you do jump in — just make sure you’re doing it to help you achieve your goals — not because everyone else is doing it.

McKenzie McLoughlin

Digital Communications Coordinator

This year, I found myself falling in love with Twitter all over again. Maybe it has to do with the ability to participate in political banter or the inside jokes Twitter makes you feel like you are a part of, but I definitely found myself spending more time on it. I worked hard to be more analytical about the content I was consuming and understand the virility of content rather than mindlessly scrolling. It felt good to treat my social media usage as research because it helped me keep a healthy distance since I use social media personally but also professionally.

Favorite trend from the past year:

The memes mimicking a conversation with your therapist or the #TikTokTravel videos!

Favorite feature added

I am really excited about the “Create” tool in Instagram Stories and how I can utilize that in our strategies.

Favorite filter/frame

The stained glass filter on Insta Stories

What you think is on the horizon next year

TikTok is the latest and greatest and I don’t think it will be going anywhere anytime soon.

It is crazy to think about how artists like Lil Nas X and Lizzo got so much hype from that app and how it is bringing back artists like Soulja Boy and Dolly Parton.

It’s redefining what we know and think about video editing and paving the way for a whole new wave of content creators to produce some wildly different media.

Austin Young

Digital Communication Specialist

Social media has become one of the fastest growing industries and marketing trends out there right now. It is constantly evolving and innovating in ways we would never have perceived years ago. The way you can tell a story or depict something to people from all over and from different cultures has never been better. Connections between people, brands, products, and other entities are being formed every moment across the social media platforms. You are also given a variety of tools and ways to make this happen.

That being said, I really enjoy working with it and using it for my personal life. Social media is a powerful tool that I have immense respect for and want to learn more about.

Favorite trend from the past year:

My favorite trend from last year was all the meme formats that appeared on Twitter. Brands, organizations, and individuals were able to creatively utilize them to match their own message or likeness. It was very entertaining to see how creative and funny things can get. I think that our team adapted them for our NAU culture in an affective way.

Memes are a great way to boost engagement and to create a sense of relatability with today’s social media users. It shows that you and/or your brand is aware of current trends as far as online culture is concerned.

Favorite feature added:

My favorite feature added this previous year was all the additions to Instagram Story. I found that Instagram story is a great tool for storytelling and promotion which makes have having a plethora of tools for it that much more helpful.

There are also apps outside of Instagram that you can use to enhance your story in aesthetic, organization, and content.

Out of all of the features aside from new gifs, I’ve grown to enjoy the question sticker and what it offers. The bridge between accounts and their fan bases is more apparent now. Plus I personally find it fun to see how people respond and what people submit.

Favorite filter/frame:

My favorite filters on Instagram are the camera style filters that alter the colors and look of the image you are capturing. To be able to replicate old film camera aesthetics is something that interests me even with my own photography. The one that interests me the most is “Mono” by ya.molli since it replicates advanced color grading like what you’d see in a professional photo editing app like Adobe Lightroom. I hope to become knowledgeable enough to be able to make some camera style filters for Instagram among other more interactive filters. I also would like to make frames and borders for our stories to make them more aesthetically pleasing and organized.

What you think is on the horizon next year?

I think that augmented reality for social media platforms will continue to advance more in future. I also see social media straying away from like based systems and finding other methods of illustrating engagement. The rise of concise, fun videos such as those seen on TikTok will remain. There will also be more apps that will help support content creation for all platforms. I’m excited to see what is to come.

(P.S. I feel like Twitter needs to try and do more considering how much the other apps have changed. The increase in character count is a good start. )

Tatiana Olea

NAU Social Intern, Senior

Before this year, although I used social media, I wasn’t too invested in using it often. Becoming a social media intern this year has made me view social media differently both professionally and personally.

I have learned the importance and power of social media at a professional level. I learned how you can better utilize social media to not only promote a brand, but also best express yourself.

Favorite trend from the past year:

One of my favorite trends from this past year is the use of Kombucha girl TikTok video.

This video has been turned into memes/meme videos. This meme is so entertaining, fun yet simple. It expresses an idea with the simplest change in facial expression.

Favorite feature added

This year Instagram introduced a feature that allows users to create their own story filters. This feature has become my favorite because the integration of this feature has lead to so many more filter options available for your story. I personally have used these for my stories ever since they were made available.

Favorite filter/frame

The super 8 filter on Instagram has become my favorite. I love the retro look and it gives a nostalgic tone to any video.

What you think is on the horizon next year

It may be because I like creating videos, but with the recent rise of popularity of TikTok, I feel we will be seeing more use of short videos across all social media platforms.

Short videos grasp users attention, are to the point and have now become easier to create and share with platforms like TikTok.

I now find my Instagram suggested page is full of not only TikToks but short videos in general.

Carla Bettancourt

NAU Social Intern, Sophomore

Within this past year, I found myself thinking of social media in more professional and strategic terms. Before this internship, the only times I used social media for anything non-personal was for event coverage and advertising for my high school. We never really looked at our numbers and thought of ways to improve.

Being a part of NAU Social’s team this semester has helped me learn how to implement visuals, and verbal messages to establish an image.

All in all, this year has taught me how powerful social media is and that it is essential for growth in a business or organization.

Favorite trend from the past year:

My favorite trend would probably have to be the woman vs. cat meme or the Spongebob “Ight Imma Head Out”.

Favorite feature added:

A personal favorite feature that was added this year is Instagram Stories with a “Close Friends” group. I think it’s cool that you can choose who of your followers see some of story.

Favorite filter/frame

My favorite instagram filter is “Film is not dead”. Within the past couple years, shooting in film has become a big trend and I think it is cool that I can implement it into my stories.

What you think is on the horizon next year

Like my fellow team members, I think it’s clear that Tik Tok holds the reigns in social media going into 2020. It is an advanced version of Vine and allows content creators a lot of liberty with expression. It provides a framework that makes it easy for people to create and not to mention, these creators are starting younger than ever before.

Garrett Frierson

NAU Social Intern, Junior

This year I have recognized significant shifts in my social media habits. One of my first and largest projects on the team was about utilizing social media as a personal brand. This lead me to think of social media in strategic terms for both NAU’s handles as well as my own personal accounts. Social Media is everything now. I see this almost daily in the classroom because we often discuss how social media has shaped society.

Favorite trend from the past year:

I’m not sure if it started this year or just took off but it has to be the #EmojiChallenge. Group chats would create a real life version of an emoji — the crazier the better. I had a lot of fun doing this.

Favorite feature added

Instagram quizzes! This summer I worked new student orientation almost daily and I created a “close friends” story with all of my coworkers and would do a 2 truths & a lie game. It was a lot of fun and helped everyone learn something new about each other.

Favorite filter/frame

I’ll admit that I loved the grainy filter and it really shows if you look through my Instagram this past year. There was something about it that just really added to the vibe of my feed. I’ve been trying to go a little easy with how much of a grain filter I use, but it is definitely still a part of my editing style.

What you think is on the horizon next year

Instagram. Tiktok. Tiktok! It’s something that is growing in the amount of users and I have noticed that brands are giving it a go. I think we can expect to see more brands trying to use Tiktok in 2020 with accounts or through influencers.

Karringtan Bell

NAU Social Intern, Senior

I have been interning with NAU social since 2018 and just when I think I know everything there is to know about how the social media world works something new pops up and changes the game. I love this though because I feel like i’m always learning how to adapted to new social trends, and the work always keeps me on my toes because you never know what is going to happen.

Favorite trend form the past year:

My favorite trend form this year was the Yolo app for snapchat. I feel like the anonymous feature is a way to share comments and questions with others.

Favorite feature added

My favorite feature added is being able to add music to stories. I love that you can now you can add your favorite story that fits any moment and helps you express your mood for that day.

Favorite filter or frame

My favorite filters are the Dog with Tongue Hanging Out and the filter with the blue tent that adds the date and time on the side. If you use those two filters — I feel like you can’ go wrong with a great selfie.

What you think is on the horizon next year

I agree with my fellow interns that Tiktok is the next. Tiktok is just another great way for people to have fun, express themselves, and make people laugh. I already know a lot of people who have hoped on this bandwagon and I only think it’s going to get bigger. Tiktok for 2020!!!!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store