What are the social media trends this year, anywho, right? Specifically, what are the social media trends for business?
AND, exactly how are your social media strategies going to need to shift?
Want to prepare ahead of time, so you’re not only “keeping up” but rocketing ahead of the competition?
This post will outline 10 of the biggest social media trends we’ll see in social media in the coming year. Use these predictions to plan, prepare and profit from your social media efforts in 2018 and beyond!
1. Virtual reality/Augmented reality
Virtual reality isn’t just for video game enthusiasts anymore!Virtual reality isn’t just for video game enthusiasts anymore!Click To Tweet
More and more businesses are finding ways to use virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) to enhance the customer experience.
Action-packed, first-person videos bring the consumer right into the action, fully immersing all their senses…as if they were really there.
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As you can see in the video above, viewers are taken right into the experience of navigating through “Oreo-land”. In this way, viewers lose that feeling of being “marketed to”, and are instead drawn in to a unique, exciting and interactive experience with the brand.
If you want to be on the cutting edge of social media trends in 2018, think about ways YOU can create an immersive, virtual experience for your customers!
2. Video, video, video!
Video continues to remain hot as we enter 2018. Here are just a few stats that show how important social media video has become over the past year or two:
- There are around 22 BILLION video views every single day on Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube.
- 64% of users are more likely to buy a product after watching a video
- Social media users are 10x more likely to engage with video content
- People spend more than 3x longer watching Facebook Live videos than regular videos
As you can see, video continues to be a KEY way to extend the reach of your social media posts, as well as to increase engagement, traffic and conversions.
And LIVE video continues to lead the charge. Live Q&A’s, behind the scenes videos, interviews and tutorials are just a few options. For more on how to use Live video in 2018, check out these posts:
3. Facebook Spaces
Earlier this year, Facebook announced the introduction of Facebook Spaces, a virtual reality app where Facebook friends can hang out and interact in real-time.
Users can create an avatar using their Facebook photos, then customize as they like – hair and eye color, facial features, hairstyle, etc.
For businesses who want to take VR or Facebook Live to the next level, Facebook Spaces could be a game changer.For businesses who want to take VR or Facebook Live to the next level, Facebook Spaces could be a game changer.Click To Tweet
Interact with your clients and customers’ avatars in real time, answering questions, offering support or just hanging out and building relationships…all without ever leaving Facebook.
Keep in mind that while the Facebook Spaces app is free, you’ll need the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch (a pair of wireless controllers) in order to use it.
4. Influencer Marketing
With 73% of businesses now saying they use influencer marketing in some form, it’s definitely going to continue to be a hot strategy in 2018.73% of businesses say they use influencer marketing in some form. WOWSERS!Click To Tweet
Consumers are tired of being “marketed to”, which means more traditional online advertising tactics just aren’t working as well as they used to. With banner ads being a thing of the past, and even more native-type ads (like sponsored posts) being less effective at times, businesses need to find new and more effective ways to reach their audience.
And before you assume you’ll have to pay BIG BUCKS to hire influencers to promote your stuff, take a look at this “how to” guide on the Post Planner blog. Identifying, following and interacting with influencers could be all you need to benefit from this important strategy!
5. Instagram Stories
Using Stories can be a great way to get more exposure on Instagram. When you create a new story, your profile image appears at the top of your followers’ feed, meaning they’re more likely to notice and click through.
Stories are also a great way to promote a time-limited special offer. Since Stories only last for 24 hours, they have a built-in sense of urgency….which is perfect for promoting a flash sale, coupon, or giveaway.Instagram stories are a great way to promote a time-limited special offer.Click To Tweet
And, as you may already know, Instagram is testing out a feature that lets you add links to your Stories How to Add Links to Your Instagram Stories. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for how to increase your traffic and conversions from Stories.
Right now, you have to have 10,000 followers to get this feature but hand in there! I anticipate this feature will be available to all users sometime soon, so stay tuned!
6. Messenger Bots
More and more businesses are relying on chatbots to improve the customer experience. Bots are “on” 24/7, meaning businesses can be confident that customer questions and concerns are being addressed promptly, regardless of the time of day.
And bots are about more than just providing excellent customer service – there are plenty of examples of how using chatbots have increased leads and conversions.
When it comes to the type of bots businesses are using, Facebook Messenger chatbots will continue to dominate in 2018. This isn’t surprising given Messenger’s widespread use: at last count, Messenger had over 1.2 billion monthly users.
Want to know exactly why Facebook Messenger chatbots are the way to go? Check out my post, Why Facebook Messenger Chatbots Will Own The One-On-One Conversations Going Forward.
7. Snackable Content
Over the past few years, there’s been a noticeable shift toward businesses creating longer, more in-depth content. This has been the case particularly with blog posts and downloadable content (e.g., eBooks, guides, whitepapers, etc.).
However, when it comes to social media content, users have shown a clear preference for shorter, more “snackable” content. This is especially true of mobile users who tend to consume content on the go.
Some examples of snackable content you can use as part of your social media strategy in 2018: Videos on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook (sharing customer videos is easy and impactful); short, visual posts like image quotes or memes; quizzes or other interactive elements; infographics or gifographics; using Uberflip to turn your pdf’s into live, flippable digital presentations.
8. More content and messaging geared toward Gen Z
There’s been a strong focus on marketing to Millenials over the past number of years. However, in 2018 (and beyond) we’ll start seeing more content and messaging directed to their younger counterparts – Generation Z.
These youngsters – now around 19 years at the oldest – have been called “Millenials on steroids”.
This is the generation of digital natives, of kids and teens who have never known what it’s like to be without a phone or the internet. According to one study, Gen Y’ers are most likely to consume shorter content (especially YouTube videos), and aren’t used to being forced to watch live ads, such as those seen on cable TV.Gen Y’ers are most likely to consume shorter content.Click To Tweet
As we start to see an increase in the buying power of Gen Y’ers, you can bet we’re going to see more content – especially video-based content – specifically directed to this up and coming generation.
9. REAL engagement and personalization – More one on one conversations
People are tired of being treated like they’re just another number/fan/follower. They want to have real, back and forth conversations, and to feel like they’re actually being heard and listened to.
Sadly, many businesses still haven’t caught onto this. They’re still happy to use social media as a channel for pumping out their own messaging, rather than truly engaging with their customers.
In 2018, REAL engagement and one-on-one conversations on social media will set your business apart from the competition.REAL engagement and one-on-one conversations on social media will set your business apart from the competition.Click To Tweet
As you truly engage with your audience, they’ll come to know and trust you…and when it comes time to buy, it’s YOUR business that will come to mind.As you truly engage with your audience, they’ll come to know and trust you…and when it comes time to buy, it’s YOUR business that will come to mind.Click To Tweet
Wondering how to facilitate one-on-one conversations on social media? Check out my post, 7 Ways To Have More Relevant One-On-One Conversations On Social Media.
10. Live Podcasting
Both podcasting and live video are highly effective ways to get engagement and build your audience. However, if you want to supercharge your efforts, consider live podcasting.
Recorded video or podcasts can tend to look a little too polished or rehearsed, and it’s that real “in the moment” vibe that social media users are craving.
To convey that more personal feel, try broadcasting your show’s audio live, OR even do a live video of yourself doing the podcast. This can offer the best of both worlds, drawing in your audience and making your podcasting efforts much more effective.
I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store when it comes to social media. If my predictions are correct, we’re going to see some major shifts, especially when it comes to video content.
As you plan out your strategy for the coming year, take the strategies above to heart…or risk your social media strategy getting stuck in 2017!
What would you add to this list? What social media trends do you see on the horizon for 2018? Share below!