It’s another year and if you are a marketer, you must already be planning what would be your social media strategy for 2018. According to Forbes, Influencer Marketing, Chatbots and Digital Hangout apps were among the top social media trends that dominated 2017. This past year, we also saw Instagram Stories gain more popularity over Snapchat, the leaders of first world countries use Twitter to make announcements of official policies and royal babies, and group video chats being reinvented for social media platforms.
“If you are not updated, you are outdated.”
Four months into 2018, social media continues to surprise us with the way it rapidly evolves. From Pinterest’s skin colour based search filter to LinkedIn’s new extensive #InItTogether version, brands are constantly changing the way the audience experiences their platform. Staying updated on the popular social media trends has now become a full-time job. With various apps rolling out new updates constantly, keeping up is hard work. However, to succeed in the digital world, staying ahead of others in the race is a necessity.
Brands that catch on the latest social media trends and use them to their benefit gain instant digital popularity. For example, when Augmented Reality gained popularity as a tool to build deeper consumer relationships, IKEA introduced an AR-based Place App that allowed its customers to place 3-D furniture in their home, using their smartphones and see how the items looked in their home.
Before you plan out your social media strategy of the year, it is important to know the trends which are most likely to rule this year. Let us take a look at 5 Social Media Trends that you can’t miss in 2018.
- Video content will rule the year
Are you thinking of focusing on videos and including live streaming content to your 2018 social media strategy? If Facebook and Instagram are an important part of your marketing, then you are on the right track.
According to BuzzSumo, Facebook video posts have the highest average engagement and double the level of engagement when compared to other posts. They seem to add tremendous value to the consumers and help in their purchasing decision. According to HubSpot, 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.
With live streaming of videos becoming popular on Facebook and Instagram, marketers are keen to spend more on video advertising in 2018.
Video content is gaining more popularity as it can help you connect with your audience’s emotion and convey your message in a much shorter time span. Videos that are short, some with an abrupt end, are also becoming popular as they leave the audience in a thinking spell and let them decide the suitable end. It’s not necessary to create a video that is prolonged and complete. A shorter video can also effectively convey a powerful message.
To know more interesting facts about video marketing, click here.
- The rise of Chatbots
2017 was the year of Chatbots. Despite various tech glitches, Chatbots gained popularity among many companies as a tool that helped improve brand-customer relations significantly. 2018 will see the rise of chatbots among various sectors. Now considered a necessity for Online Reputation Management, India has also become a key member of the Chatbot industry. According to Financial Express, the Indian Railways is reportedly considering the implementation of chatbots to answer passenger’s queries in a more quick and efficient way.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.3%. The ability to communicate with a wide group of customers, at the same time, using chatbots, has solved a major concern of every business organization.
Facebook has also introduced a new way to use Chatbots, helping brands use it through Facebook Messenger to connect with their followers. It was observed that this helped increase the productivity of a brand by 3.5 times. Brands such as Little Black Book or LBB, as it is popularly known on Facebook, use chatbots to introduce their followers to new services, inform them of newly opened restaurants and shops and provide updates of freshly published content.
It is highly recommended that brands adopt Chatbots in 2018 as a part of their social media strategy to grow their brand-customer relationship.
- Social Media growing smarter with Smartphones
A typical smartphone user touches his/her phone 2,617 times every day.
With the rise of smartphones, we can safely say that no matter the age, the addiction to keep a close eye on your social media platforms for constant updates is quite prevalent. With most of the people using smartphones over other devices, the discovery of mobile-only apps such as Snapchat and Instagram was not a surprise. Brands thus are now becoming smarter, taking full advantage of their target audience’s smartphone to reach them.
It is observed that the device usage of Facebook users as of January 2018 is 95.1%. 60% of visitors access LinkedIn via smartphones. For Twitter, 82% users access via the mobile app. The bottom line of the above statistics is that as a brand, you need to create mobile-friendly content, images and banners for your brand page. This can be one of the most important social media trends for 2018.
4. Relying on Tracking Tools
Tracking conversion rates, popular keywords, post timings and page visitors has become a popular social media trend. These parameters are the key to track your social media success and can’t be ignored. Apart from the analytics provided by the social media platforms, other tools or tracking sites such as Sprout Social, SEMrush and HubSpot also provide an in-depth analysis of your brand’s social media page.
Taking the help of these tools is beneficial for data reports. You can leverage these reports, based on the tracking tools’ results, to target a new audience, make a database of your present traffic, and design new campaigns.
- The rise of Face Filters
Face filters can be described as an unexpected trend that has grown extremely popular over the years. Introduced by smartphone only apps such as Snapchat and Instagram, the most popular face filters are the Puppy Ears, Sleep Mask and Bunny Ears. These filters are now used quite extensively by everyone from sportsmen to actors to the millennials and the Z generation. Therefore, targeting your desired audience through face filters is a unique trend waiting to be caught on.
Snapchat was the first platform to introduce sponsored filters that allow advertisers to use custom build face filters to help popularize a particular product or service. Quaker Oats created a sponsored filter on Snapchat, where the filter included a packet of Quaker Oats cereal. The filter went viral and people were seen sharing their bowl of cereal with the filter.
Brands can expect more such face filters and stickers on social media platforms in 2018.
Being prepared for the constantly evolving social media trends is important. If you are not sure of where to start from, how to manage your campaigns and make reports, don’t worry and write to us in the comment section below.
Greenrromnow is an influencer marketing platform and we keep yourself updated with all the upcoming social media trends to be ahead of others with better knowledge. Keep yourself updated and know about influencer marketing and the social media trends impacting it.