It’s no breaking news that social media plays an integral role in today’s business and personal interactions. In 2017, social media took on a new role in reporting, both in the political and corporate arenas, forever changing the “social norms” associated with social media.
As companies plan marketing campaigns for 2018, strategically intertwining marketing efforts with social media activities is guaranteed to be a successful best practice to help companies interact with its target audiences, increase website traffic, attract new talent and simply boost engagement with its current customer base.
Below are four social media trends that both Inc. and Entrepreneur have reported as on the “must watch” list for 2018:
Instagram Stories are in. In 2017, users experimented with Instagram stories. After working out the kinks and quickly ridding doubt, consumers, business influences and celebrities moved away from Snapchat and fled to Instagram’s “Story” feature to promote new products, share glimpses into daily-life activities and more. Now over 200 million individuals use Instagram Stories each month, if this trajectory continues, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Instagram Stories by the end of 2018. For companies looking to boost engagement with its target audiences on Instagram and hire new employees, Stories present a great opportunity to showcase product innovations and company culture – a feature that is crucial in attracting new talent.
Facebook is ditching the desktop. Unlike predominantly mobile-accessed social media like Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook was originally designed for use on a laptop or desktop. 2017, however, saw an increase in mobile engagement with 88 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue for Q3 2017 derived from mobile advertisements. In addition, Facebook Live and subtitled videos – content that caters to individuals scrolling through their newsfeeds on mobile devices or tablets, in most cases without headphones or volume – increased in popularity from consumers, celebrities and corporate brands. In 2018 Facebook videos will continue to rise in popularity, and by 2020, experts predict that nearly 60 percent of users in the U.S. will access Facebook using mobile devices. This immense increase of traffic to Facebook mobile presents a great opportunity for companies to get visual content on the social media platform.
Augmented reality (AR) should not be overlooked. In 2017, Snapchat entertained users with AR by combining its 3D Bitmoji and World Lens features to experience their Bitmoji on the screen in front of them. Similar to this use case, this year Wayfair – the home furniture and décor company – integrated AR into this mobile application through its “View in Room” feature, letting shoppers view the furniture in their homes before making a purchase decision. Next year, the AR market is expected to grow to 200 million users, an increase from just 60 million users in 2013. Just as Apple has integrated AR face recognition to unlock its new iPhones, social media platforms will continue to experiment with AR as a way to increase market share and create new opportunities for companies to build following and interact with them.
Influencer marketing is worth the investment. Listed on nearly all of the 2017 marketing predictions lists over the past year, influencer marketing continued to increase in popularity among B2C and B2B businesses because of the added customization and flexibility these programs provide companies for recruiting brand advocates and interacting with customers. In 2018, businesses are going to increasingly coordinate influencer marketing efforts with social media activity. This synchronization will help design brand advocacy programs that add value to customers and help businesses achieve their overarching objectives. Influencer’s activity on social media will continue to grow in popularity as companies turn away from traditional advertising methods to connect with new audiences such as Generation Z who are quickly entering the workforce and becoming more active consumers.
When putting the final touches on social media calendars for 2018, consider these four trends. If utilized properly, they can help boost advertising efforts and increase engagement through maintaining a regular stream of visual and interactive content.
Did your company experiment with any of these social media approaches in 2017? Are they on your radar for 2018? If so, please share in the comments below!
Tags: Social Media Trends, social media trends 2018