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Long gone was the time when social media is used only to share your pictures of vacation or honeymoon.
Even though, that trend still remains, nowadays, social media is used by many brands to promote their items.
Brands have chosen social media as a channel to promote and endorse their products because people 24*7 check on portable devices such as mobile to browse and more time is spent on social media.
If people have any frustrations or dissatisfaction with any of the brands, they express their emotions on social media.
Mostly people search on social media to get ideas about new brands.
More brands are using social media to build relationships with their customers which will help them to create loyalty towards their brands.
Let’s take a look at the social media trends you should focus in 2018.
1. Ephemeral Content
The phenomenon of Ephemeral content is introduced by Snapchat. Wondering about what exactly is that?
The content which user has created vanishes after 24 hours and followers only have that limited time period to view that content.
Snapchat pioneered this phenomenon but Instagram copied that idea and introduced it as Instagram Stories.
Each month more than 200 million people are using Instagram Stories; which is more than 50 million of Snapchat users.
If it’s continuing by this rate, by the end of 2018, more than half of Instagram users will be using Stories.
Since launching the Instagram Stories, the average time per day spent by users on Instagram has increased to 28 minutes.
This is definitely 7-13 minutes more time spent before introducing Stories.
Each month, stories feature is actively used by more than 1 million advertisers.
The advantage of using stories for brands is that any Instagram user can see your brand stories even if they are not following you.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways for the companies to get connected with next generation audiences.
World famous companies such as Rolex, The North Face, and HubSpot have made huge profits by making use of influencer marketing .
On the other hand, companies who have used traditional marketing strategies struggled to get connected to social media users.
This clearly indicates that 2018 is definitely a year for influencer marketing to bloom.
3. Understand Learning Styles
When you are trying to build and enhance personalized experience and categories for your targeted customers, you need to take an extra care in understanding learning styles.
Learning styles indicates the pattern how each people learn and process information is different.
The way you handle different learning styles on social media must be different.
4. Generation Z or Gen Z
This is one important area to focus more in 2018. Generation Z or Gen Z is more valuable to brand owners because this group is influenced more by the social media than they are by other sales and discounts.
Gen Z is also known as Post-Millennials, iGeneration, or Homeland Generation which includes freshly passouts from colleges who will enter corporate life or have already entered.
As they enter into workforce, their buying capacity also increases.
More than 80% of Gen Z says that they spend at least one hour in watching videos. This in turn will make more influencers move towards the brands.
Influencer marketing is an instant hit among Gen Z as they deliver 11 times Return On Investment (ROI) over other usual digital media channels.
5. Live Streaming
Live streaming was one of 2017’s top marketing trends and it will continue the same in 2018 as well.
Videos are always preferred over photos. In comparison with photos, Facebook videos get more than 135% of views.
Brands stream live videos on social media platforms which helps them dramatically to increase user engagement and followers.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms offer in-app live video streaming which help them in creating more user engagement.
Chatbots is a software application which is used to interact with customers; usually it adopts texual conversations with users.
Already, Facebook messenger have more than 100,000 active bots on a monthly basis. These chatbots have helped in increasing prodictivity of the organization up to 3.5 times.
More than 60% of Millenials says that they have already used chatbots in their business and other 71% wants to try hands in experiencing chatbots used by brands.
Don’t mistake chatbots to be robots. Using machine learning technology, chatbots are programmed to speak like human agents.
Brands are able to customize their bots in such a way they perfectly reflects personality of the brands and also send personalized messages to its users.
7. Messaging Platforms
More than 2.5 billion people use various messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and, Kik to communicate with companies.
Instead of simply posting marketing content into profiles and feeds, companies should take an extra care to make it simple for customers to start one-to-one conversations.
It is more suitable to integrate chatbots and voice assistants into messaging platforms to create a unique and personalized experience for users.
Engaging more number of users through these platforms will contribute a huge difference in taking your business into new levels of success.
8. Social Listening
Social listening is the science of tracking conversations of the users which involves certain phrases, brands or words.
Then you can make use of these phrases/words together in finding new opportunities to create content suitable for your users.
Social listening tools help brands in synthesizing their customer’s digital footprint.
Using social listening, brands are able to track brand health in social media, develop marketing campaigns suitable for customers and therefore able to provide excellent brand experiences.
9. AI Marketing
Wondered when you search for something in internet and has seen related ads on pages you visit?
It’s because social media marketing has collaborated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that enables corresponding ads to appear.
More than 50% of marketers already make use of AI in their businesses.
With the advancements in technology, the growth of AI is expected to reach around 53% in coming years.
10. Sentimental Analytics
In 2018, social media marketers will be concentrating more in analyzing emotions and feelings of customers towards brands rather than looking just into Likes, Views, Shares and Clicks which are great.
Social media marketers will be analyzing the following questions:
The answers to these questions do matter as these answers can help you in analyzing what people feel about your brand and how you can improve the image of your brand.
11. Augmented Reality / Virtual Reality
Most brands are not aware of the marketing possibilities Augmented Reality(AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) possess and still thinking it’s expensive and take years to adapt to it.
AR/VR are able to drastically enhance content marketing, media relations and customer service.
AR/VR is expected to give whole new dimensions to SEO, social media, public relations and enhance better experiences to audiences.
12. Visual Content
Visual content gives brands a major opportunity to grow in 2018. As tons of contents are cluttering the social media, people don’t pay attention to these contents as they scroll very fast through the social media pages.
This trend can be avoided by videos (pre-recorded or live stream) as they stand out in between the junk contents.
So, visual contents are going to be a stand out trend in 2018.
13. Support Key Influencers
Another important social media trend to focus in 2018 is to support key influencers related to your industry.
It is important because by providing data, ideas, products and support to people who can easily connect large groups of followers to your business brand is a major trend to be focused.
Definitely a key influencer can outreach your marketing strategies by their influence in the followers.
They can do so much for your products, services and brand but you have to make sure that they also receive equal value for the relationship they have with your brand.
14. Video Ads
Video was one of the hit trends for 2017 and it still continues to be same in 2018 as the need for videos are only increasing.
43% of users prefer to see more video content from marketers.
Social media ads is the area where brands can capitalize more on social media in 2018.
As social media ads are already trending and expected to continue the same throughout the year.
It’s clear that video ads can influence people greater, because 95% of the message conveyed through the video stays in minds of people compared to 10% while reading content texts.
Last but not least, LinkedIn. You will be thinking why LinkedIn not any other platforms?
It is because LinkedIn is a mix of culture, business, life insights and lot more. LinkedIn doesn’t have any limiting algorithms like other platforms to bind its activity.
Content can be published by anyone and also can be seen by anyone; this makes the platform as an open source for its users.
While other platforms need someone to follow to even see their published content.
As it is an open source, there is more chance for achieving success. This makes LinkedIn one of the hottest social media trends in 2018.
Why You Should Care About Social Media Trends?
Social media trends are definitely the ice breakers in gaining large number of customers.
To achieve success in your business, not only you should take care of social media trends but also in keeping up trust and transparency for your customers.
As you now know the top social media trends to be focused in 2018, we hope that this will definitely help you in achieving heights of success.
Please let us know if you have any questions or queries.