Over three billion people are active social media users, equalling 39 percent of the world’s population. That’s huge!An average social media user scrolls 300 feet of content every day. To reach out to them, think beyond fitting in. You need to stand out.For social media marketers, 2017 was a dream year. Many new technologies were introduced and almost all major social platforms launched new features. If there was one thing that remained constant, it was change.Marketers like you are routinely integrating social media marketing into their core strategy. There’s a lot more on the horizon for social media in 2018.Let’s take a look at social media trends most likely to take over in 2018:
1. Customer and Brand Engagement Will Scale Up
Brands and consumers have never been so connected, all thanks to social media! Brands now understand the impact of social media engagements.
Q4 2017 Index by Sprout Social pointed out that one out of three consumers would mention a brand while sharing their accomplishment on social media.
It is essential to provide your consumers a platform where they can connect with you. According to Instagram, at least 80% of its users already follow a brand on the network. So, be on social media channels to create a lasting relationship with your customers.
2. Chatbots Will Improve Customer Relations
Chatbots provide an instant connection with customers from all over the world. They give brands a chance to interact quickly with their audience in a way that feels personal.
Over 100,000 chatbots are in use alone on Facebook Messenger to gather information, give product guidance, and take actual orders.
Bots are now smarter and more human-like. Using them helps you customize your brand voice and send personalized messages directly to users. In 2018, we will see many brands testing chatbots with varying degrees of success.
3. Messaging Platforms Will Boost Accessibility
Messaging platforms like WeChat and WhatsApp are ubiquitous. These platforms, including the in-platform messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct, can help brands become more accessible.
There are over 1.3 billion active WhatsApp users, 1.2 billion active Facebook Messenger users and 375 million monthly active users communicating via Instagram Direct.
Many brands have already integrated WhatsApp for Business with their marketing tools. Facebook is testing ‘WhatsApp us’ as a call to action for advertisement campaigns.
4. Videos Will Take The Stage
“Video isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic”, said David Wilding, Head of Planning at Twitter. Features like Facebook’s 360-video, Live Video, and Instagram Stories offer brands alternatives to publish enticing video content on social media.
For 51% of marketing professionals worldwide, video is the content type with the best ROI, and 59% of executives are more likely to choose video over text content.
All major social media giants are investing in video to generate engagement and increase the number of followers. Before diving into video, be sure of what you’re doing. Make your objectives clear, and don’t just use video for the sake of it. Use Facebook Live and Instagram Live to create new and exciting content.
5. Use of Augmented Reality Will Rise
The use of Augmented Reality (AR) provides an engaging way for marketers to reach out to their target audience.
Compared to Virtual reality (VR), AR is expected to attract more investment by 2022. 25% of brands are showing interest in incorporating their marketing efforts with AR, but only 21% are interested in VR.
Marketers can expect face filters and AR continues to drive social media content in 2018. For example, Snapchat allows advertisers to create temporary custom build face filters for all of its users over a period of time. ‘Virtual FOMO’ could become a reality with AR, as people might start to feel like they are missing out on this new world and want to become part of it. Social media will help AR go mainstream.
6. Ephemeral Content Will Shine
The push for “ephemeral” video content, i.e. Snapchat/Instagram stories, has seen growth in the past. Many brands now have a separate strategy for ephemeral content marketing.
Instagram Stories accrued more than 250 million daily users compared to the 173 million daily active Snapchat users.
Ephemeral content allows you to be more authentic. If your stories appear at the top of your followers’ feed, they will keep your brand at the top of their minds. For businesses, it’s essential to reach out to users where they spend their time.
Instagram is leading the way for brands to get more messages through the app, with more than one million advertisers actively using Stories each month.
7. Gen Z Will Be The Trend Decider
Generation Z represents a big opportunity for marketers interested in connecting with a growing segment of the global economy. Marketers will need to embrace social media platforms as well as video and mobile-first strategies to attract Gen Z.
Gen Z is two to three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts — the only generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decision: RetailDive
For an effective campaign and strategy, it is a good idea to analyze the brands and topics Gen Zers find interesting. Only after that, you can accelerate your understanding of this young but potentially lucrative new market. These trends predict that the average time spent on social media platforms will increase in 2018. Social media is more about people than technology. It is a big deal and you need to improve your online presence. Need help with your social media marketing strategy? Get in touch with us.