4 Key Social Media Trends In 2018

social media trends

Where has this year gone? It’s already December and with Christmas just around the corner, have you even considered marketing and social media trends for 2018? No-one wants to be behind the eight-ball but you also don’t want to invest in something that may not stick around. Knowing what is relevant to your business and the trends that lie ahead are of the utmost importance.

Brands are doing everything they can to grab the attention of their audience but each year it gets more challenging. Competition grows daily while our attention span decreases where companies now only have 8 seconds to connect. It’s no surprise really considering users scroll through 300 feet of content every day. So how can your brand keep ahead of the curve and plan for 2018? Here are four social media trends we believe could impact your social media marketing strategy.

4 Social Media Trends For 2018

Social media continues to grow and 2017 saw a few interesting developments. Facebook reached 2 billion monthly active users, Reddit has become a serious contender occasionally passing Twitter as the third most popular social networking site, and YouTube has seen more active users watch more videos with an average viewing session of 40 minutes. These are all really impressive and we can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring.

  1. Social Media And Video Marketing

It really is no surprise that video is ever growing and is already the main consumption from a mobile perspective. This year 90% of all content shared on social media was video and no surprise that it appears number one on our list of 2018 social media trends.

According to Sean O’Neal from Adaptly mobile, video is the number one fastest growing ad format in the world and has been doubling year-on-year. By 2020 video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic and will eventually be the closest you get to a face to face conversation with your audience. If you’re planning a video marketing strategy, identify what your audience is really looking for and test different concepts. Whatever you decide, make sure the content is high quality and engaging.

Facebook has become a major player in video marketing and a big competitor to YouTube. In 2017, they kicked off the Facebook Watch rollout for select creators and 2018 should see that program expand to all people and pages on Facebook.

  1. Augmented Reality Making Strides

Technology is advancing at an astonishing rate especially if you consider where we were just 10 years ago. The concept of AR (Augmented Reality) certainly has the eyebrows raised and will continue to impress. AR is a niche and engaging way to reach your target market as it’s fast, easy and incredibly interactive.

The iPhone 8 and iPhone X already provide users with augmented reality experiences by incorporating a new chip. The main impact of AR is currently mobile gaming but social media platforms will certainly find ways to benefit from this in 2018. Just look at the examples below.

  • Snapchat has launched their new AR feature using special filters that allow users to project themselves or images into the real world through the camera.
  • IKEA has introduced their AR App ‘Place’ that provides users with a preview of the furniture in their home before making a purchase. This is an ingenious solution and likely to have a big impact on the market. It can increase conversions and significantly reduce the cost and rate of returned goods.
  1. Rise Of The Bots … Chatbots That Is

There has been a shift in the market where more people are now on messenger apps than social media. That’s quite important so why not build your business where the clients are. This is where Chatbots come into the equation. They can be fun or functional and some examples include Facebook messenger, Slack or Text messages. Take a look at Facebook’s chatbot video from the 2016 F8 conference.

Chatbots aren’t just for e-commerce purposes either. There is a multitude of possibilities such as a Weather bot, Grocery bot, News bot, Scheduling bot and Xiaoice bot from China, built by Microsoft that acts as your friend. More B2B brands will follow the trend in 2018 to maximize their operational effectiveness. Chatbots may just be the missing link between social, lead nurturing and sales.

According to Gartner, 20% of business content could be machine-generated by 2018. If machines can be taught to create stories that are genuine and relevant, the advertising and marketing potential is certainly worth investigating. That being said, how will this affect employment of so many marketing and content professionals on a global scale?

  1. Advocacy Marketing Is The “Next Big Thing”

This is a form of organic marketing that could skyrocket brands into the next chapter of success. Not too dissimilar from influencer marketing, this tactic sees companies turn their employees, partners or even clients into powerful sources of brand advocacy. They essentially become brand ambassadors advocating your product or service through reviews and recommendations. As a result, lead generation is improved with an increase in conversions or sales. What’s not to like about this?

In the same vein, influencer marketing has shown great success in 2017. However, brands who adopted traditional advertising strategies seemed to have struggled to connect with their audience on social media. We will likely see more companies embrace influencer marketing strategies in 2018, especially to connect with audiences who ignore traditional methods.

Final Thoughts

Twitter has not seen the same growth as other channels in 2017 where LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram all have more followers. Twitter also lost access to streaming NFL games as Amazon now has those bragging rights. It is likely that Twitter leadership will have to rethink how the platform operates in 2018 unless they want to be left out of social media trends for 2019.

The online hangouts trend is on the up and goes hand-in-hand with live streaming. Just look at the Houseparty app as an example. It’s an app where multiple friends can essentially FaceTime with each other in a group setting. This could essentially be converted into a business meeting app possibly competing with the big online meeting software.

2018 has the potential to be different although many promising programs have another year or so of beta testing before the final launch. Technology is ever evolving in exciting ways and once again, Facebook is centre stage with Facebook Spaces. Everything points to video streaming and virtual reality going mainstream but more brands are likely to spend more time on newer social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Which social media trends are you likely to follow and what are your thoughts on how AI and technology could impact employment? Contact WSI eMarketing today to discuss your social media strategy and how we can help tailor specific solutions for your brand.