Social media has become a necessary element in the way businesses communicate with their customers. Social media offers a wealth of possibilities, from reaching your target audience to building a following around your brand. Brands are trying so many ways to connect with their audiences across various social media platforms, whether it be engaging with new customers or maintaining relationships with existing ones. As competition increases, it is becoming more difficult for brands to grab our attention.
It is important to be aware of the latest social media trends as you begin to plan to strengthen your social media marketing strategy for next year. Here are the top five social media trends we believe that will drive social media in 2018:
1- Ephemeral Content
Ephemeral content is any material that is not permanent. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories have induced the popularity of ephemeral content. Ephemeral content allows you to put up real-time content, and be more authentic. This sort of content forces engagement among your followers to take action quickly as they usually last up to 24 hours, which is a very short time.
To gain from this strategy, you must have a high quality social media content strategy. Also, to have your stories appearing at the top of your followers’ feeds helps to keep your brand at the top of their minds.
2- Augmented Reality (AR)
Social media trends are often dictated by the developments in their supporting technology. It is safe to say that augmented reality is here to stay. The use of augmented reality on mobile devices allows brands to reach their target audience in a niche and engaging way.
An example of the use of augmented reality is Snapchat’s feature that allows users to create their Bitmoji and project themselves into the real world through the app’s camera. In addition, IKEA also created an AR app that allows users to preview the furniture in their homes before making a purchase. This is a great way to increase conversions. It is very likely that in 2018, social media will help AR to go mainstream.
This year we have seen a significant growth in the popularity of online video content. 90% of the content shared by users on social media is video. Video is undoubtedly the world’s fastest growing ad format. Companies that have not yet incorporated video as part of their social media strategy need to start ASAP. Video is incredibly beneficial to your business as it captures attention, generates engagement, and build followers.
4- Influencer Marketing
Surely, we are all familiar with influencer marketing. This form of marketing has proven to be a great success. Companies like North Face and Rolex use social media influencer marketing strategies to interact with new audiences and improve engagement with existing viewers.
Due to the popularity of influencer marketing, marketers struggle to identify the right influencers for their brands; it has become difficult to know who to trust. Consumers want transparency and authenticity from influencers. Hence, brands seeking to work with real influencers or industry experts will acquire a higher engagement rate.
Building relationships with influencers and industry experts should be marketers’ focus in 2018. This is because marketers will become more mindful and thoughtful on who they want to work and be associated with. In the future of influencer marketing, we will be seeing brands turning to real industry experts. The reason behind this is that too many brands want to collaborate with social media influencers but their opinions are no longer being trusted.
Many prefer social media as a medium of customer service, as opposed to email and phone calls, because you get real-time answers and updates. However, big organisations tend to receive huge volumes of inquiries that human agents can barely handle. Instead of (or in addition to) creating a FAQ page, businesses are building chatbots to assist customers.
A chatbot is a software application built to stimulate human conversation. Chatbots help brands to interact with their audience almost instantly, and are able to solve customer issues. With the help of chatbots, you can customise your brand voice and send personalised messages directly to users.
In conclusion, it is very likely that video and augmented reality will become mainstream in 2018. Whether you plan on introducing video into your business strategy or want to start using chatbots, ensure you have a solid plan to implement these tactics.