If you want to stay ahead of the competition in almost any area of life, being updated with current knowledge/latest trends about the said category gives you a solid edge.
Needless to say, It is even more essential in the world of marketing.
So, today we’ll be talking about some of the biggest and most effective social media marketing trends for 2018 that all marketers should be updated with.
Knowing these trends will aid you in devising an efficient business plan while also helping you get a leg up on the most effective social media strategies today.
So let’s get started
Our number one trend for 2018 is Video.
Video finally takes center stage, particularly live streams.
Last year almost every skilled marketer on the planet called for the rise of video in 2017.
Obviously, those predictions came true, but 2018 is where the majority of brands and marketers adopt video as a mainstay in their marketing programs.
The reason being is that technology is making it super easy for brands and marketers to create high quality and engaging videos.
And of course we can’t forget that videos actually work. It’s not just a fad, as a matter of fact a recent study from Word Stream found that videos generate 1,200 percent more shares and engagement than images and links combined.
So in 2018 marketers and brands that can keep their audience’s attention for more than 30 seconds with video are the ones that are gonna see big rewards on social media.
Here is a great video that will enhance your knowledge about video marketing.
2. Instagram Stories
More then 500 million people use Instagram which is around 20 percent of the Internet users.
Out of it, 300 million people use Instagram stories every single month. That’s 50 million more than Snapchat. Moreover, Snapchat usage declined from 15 to 40 percent since Instagram stories were launched. Keep in mind, Instagram stories is just 1 year old.
So brands and marketers interested in growing their Instagram account must learn to master Instagram stories.
Why you asked?
Because of Instagram’s algorithm. Posting the Instagram stories has a positive effect on the rest of your content.
Not to mention it helps to give your brand a more authentic and human feel, something that people are most certainly looking for nowadays on social media.
There are some big brands already taking advantage of this feature.
With that said, if you own an Instagram account, you should take this feature into account in your marketing strategy and make the best use of it for your products and services.
Here is a tutorial to get you acquainted with Instagram stories if you aren’t already.
3. Influencer Marketing
Our number three trend for 2018 is the continued investment in influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is rising rapidly and will boom in 2018 as a dedicated part of social media marketing. In addition to this, influencers and influencer marketing agencies will be professionally hired by larger digital marketing and social media agencies.
Here are some stats if you’re still on the fence.
Influencer marketing drives 11 times the ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.
40% of consumers report that they purchase an item after seeing an influencer talk about it on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Companies like North Face, Patagonia, Lemon and lots of other brands are using influencer marketing to connect with audiences in ways that they previously could not through traditional forms of marketing.
So in 2018, expect to see a bigger investment from brands on influencer marketing, especially targeted at younger generations who, as we will discuss in trend #5, are a bit harder to reach on these more closed platforms.
This is a good beginners’ video on finding influencers:
4. MESSAGING AND CHAT
At number four is the increasing brand participation in messaging apps and chat BOTS.
No, we’re not talking about the annoying chatbots on Tinder!
Did you know that over 2 billion people worldwide use messaging platforms? Yet brands and marketers are still hesitant to jump on this massive trend.
In reality, most people use messaging apps like Whatsapp or Facebook messenger more than they actually do social media networks.
If you’ve dug in a little on some activity of popular brands, you’ll notice they have a chatbot for their Facebook page which will make customer service easier and accessible.
In the near future, you’ll be able to do things like allow customers to shop, ask questions and deliver content to them in a variety of other awesome use cases for these automatic chatbots and messenger tools.
As time passes by, more and more brands will try to integrate AI into their social media marketing activities and introduce AI-powered Chatbots for their customer interaction. With that, it will slowly grow on other social media platforms as well.
So in 2018, you can definitely expect brands and marketers to invest more time, resources and effort into connecting with their audiences on messaging platforms.
So, When are you designing a chatbot for your brand? If you want to start now you can have a look at this video:
5. GEN Z
Generation Z was born roughly between 1995 and 2016, meaning that the oldest people in that generation are now turning around 22 years old. So many of these youngsters are entering college or about to join the workforce, and in marketing terms, that means they will soon have a ton of buying power.
In 2018, brands will start to recognize this buying power and start to shift their social media strategies accordingly.
Marketers and brands can expect a huge investment in platforms that GenZ’rs love.
Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, messaging apps, HQ, house-party, in other words, more closed platforms.
So, when is GenZ going to get a glimpse of your brand?
6. Brand protection
With all the copyright breach, fraud news, mudslinging, duplicate content and what not on social media. To keep a check on this, Platforms will make sure to scan and assess the content that’s being published.
Social networks will introduce a lot of new techniques. At the same time, brands will also have to be careful as it affects their reputation as well.
This is in addition to the fact that Google and other search engines are already taking strict steps against non-relevant and copied content.
So the crux of this is that if you’re completely white-hat in terms of marketing and content, you’re going to greatly benefit from this.
But if you go a little black-hat, you’ll be risking a Google penalty or even a ban from a social media network.
7. Mobile first content
According to research, 70% of the media time is spent on smartphones and 81% of people watch at least one hour or more of online videos per day.
With these statistics, it is only wise to optimize your marketing efforts with mobile and smartphones in mind.
Plan and create your content for mobile and by that, we mean create content in such a way that it is easily consumable for the people. A 2000 word, boring article will be ignored instantly by mobile users or users in general.
Be short, but precise.
Here are some of the best mobile marketing campaigns
8. Virtual And Augmented Reality
Introduction of VR and AR devices in the market and their easy availability led to the rise of many online games such as Pokemon Go.
However, in the coming years, augmented reality will not be limited to games. Social media companies will soon find ways to introduce their platforms in other formats as well. In fact Facebook has already launched a project known as Facebook Spaces.
You can check it out here;
It is predicted that most of the digital world will shift to AR and VR.
Hence, it is a must for you to get a grip of these platforms so your product/service doesn’t face issues in adjustment with such platforms.
These were the 8 most noticeable Social media trends of 2018.
As a Business owner or a marketer, you must be completely updated with the new trends.
As a wise man once said
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson