This is it… the final stretch of 2017 as we count down the last fifty days before the new year. It’s time for us to regroup and really think hard about what we can do in 2018 to really stand out and have a successful year.
Whether you dislike social media or love social media. It is arguably the largest form of communication on the web and if you really want your brand to be noticeable, social media should play a large part in your content marketing strategy.
Social media is a dynamic field that is always changing, but there are several trends that can help us prepare for 2018. Here are 4 social media marketing trends I think we should all focus on, as we drag ourselves into the new year.
1. More User-Generated Content
Have you heard of influencer marketing? That’s all I read about when the topic of social media marketing arises. There are several success stories and some marketing campaigns have seen a 60% increase in engagement when using micro influencers. But I’ve also read about disasters. Disasters leading to countless dollars poured into this form of marketing and seeing no results.
Influencer marketing can be very beneficial still, but in 2018 I see a different form of influencer marketing being much more effective. I’m talking about micro-influencer marketing. The use of a smaller scale influencer to promote your product or brand.
More specifically, I’m talking about using your audience as a means to promote your content to their personal connections. This can be done through user-generated content and brands that can figure out a way for their audience to generate content on their behalf will see a significant amount of success.
Brands like Daniel Wellington and Starbucks who dominate the social media realm with their products are prime examples. Regardless of whether they promote it or not, their is this culture built around sharing the brand and product. Expect to see more companies trying to do the same in 2018.
2. Incorporate Video Content and Use Strong Visuals
Visuals. Visuals. Visuals.
The key is to capture your audience’s’ attention and we can’t emphasize enough on how important visual content is. Statistics everywhere are proving that visual content is more engaging and has a greater effectiveness than non-visual content.
Now the question then moves to, what type of visual content will be the most beneficial in 2018?
The answer to this is; higher quality visuals and using video as a source of content in your social media marketing strategy.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and most other large social platforms have implemented video in their applications. There is a reason for that and if that’s not an indicator of a trend moving to more video, then I don’t know what is.
YouTube isn’t one of the biggest social platforms for no reason. If you have the resources or the time, focus on producing strong video content for your brand. Content that is relevant and will catch the attention of your audience.
3. Live Video and Real-Time Content
Are you sick of getting the notification from your phone that your classmate in second grade has gone live on either Instagram or Facebook? Well, hopefully you aren’t because social media is moving to more real-time content and you’re about to see a lot more of those notifications.
When Snapchat started, you could see what someone was doing almost instantly. It was as close to real-time as you can get and this was very unique. This is something that Instagram initially started as, but moved away from because users prioritized quality in their posts.
Now we have near real-time content with Snapchat, Instagram stories, and even Facebook introducing a story like feature on their messenger. And well, the closest thing to real-time is actual real-time… Since we now have the resources to go live and be face-to-face with our audience, you can expect a lot more live notifications. And don’t be surprised if you start to see Snapchat implementing something similar down the road since they have added video calls.
4. Engagement with Audience and Being Personable
We’re in a generation where automation is so prominent within companies, that we forget that there are actual people working within these brands. Whenever we get a personalized message or a human response, we’re genuinely surprised and we’ve grown to appreciate the interaction so much more.
Applications like Slack and Facebook Chat bots are automating customer service, which in my opinion is fine. But, social media should be different and you should be having real conversations with your audience.
Create a human side to your brand. Remember, those double-taps on Instagram and those Facebook likes are (most of the time) real people. You should make an effort to remind the faces behind those likes that you are also a human behind each post. Engage with your audience and build a close-knit community of raving fans that actually enjoy when you post. Ask questions to your audience, but more importantly, answer them when they ask questions back.
It’s difficult to narrow down exactly what will happen in 2018 because honestly, anything is possible. The social media environment changes so quickly and it seems like there is always a new trend that surfaces throughout the year.
What I can tell you is that the ball is fully in the court of the consumer. The audience now dictates the game and we have to cater our content to fit their needs. If your audience enjoys seeing your content, they will distribute and promote it to their own network for you.
It might take a hundred interactions to get their attention, but all it takes is one poor interaction to lose their trust.
Be personable, gain trust, build quality visual content, and you will see positive effects on your social media presence in 2018!
Do you see any other social media marketing trends in 2018? If you do, drop a comment below and let us know!