6 Social media trends to keep your eyes on in 2018
Every marketer knows that social media is one of the most effective ways to connect with an audience, expand your reach and grow your business. However, along with everything else inbound (Email Marketing, E-Commerce, SEO to name a few) social media is constantly changing.
In 2017 alone, Instagram lured Snapshat users to their platform with stories, the president of America took to Twitter to communicate policy positions, and Apple announces big plans for changing the way in which we interact with each other via our mobile devices and AG (Augmented Reality).
More and more brands are expanding their reach on Social Media which means that the competition on these channels is increasing and people’s attention spans are decreasing.
So, how can we adjust to social media marketing in 2018? By staying on top of moving trends and being ready for change. This is where the value of a social media agency can shine through.
2017 saw an increase of 60% in social media budget vs. 2016 and this is set to continue into 2018. You want to stay ahead of the curve (and your competition) but you also don’t want to waste time and money on something fleeting that won’t stick around. How do you know what is going to be worth your investment?
We have identified a few challenges and trends you can keep your eyes on in 2018.
Less organic reach.
As more and more business increase their presence on social media platforms, the companies themselves have made big moves to combat SPAM (see our earlier blog on staying out of Facebook jail). In most instances, it means marketers have to fight a decline in organic reach.
For the “newbies” in the room, in laymen’s terms a decrease in organic reach means that only a small % of your page followers actually see your page posts, and even fewer see them when shared in groups, just purely based on an increasing number of posts from more businesses and shares to more and more groups.
With less organic return, companies are likely to take a more selective approach to social media marketing by being more particular about what and where they post and invest more in paid ads to keep their numbers up.
Social media video is peaking.
According to research done by kenshoo, spending on social video advertising grew 130% this year and shows no sign of slowing down. The challenge is that the market for social video is saturated. Businesses are going to be challenged to produce even more relevant video content and distributing it properly if they actually want to get noticed.
New Feature Fatigue.
Businesses are starting to become fed up with never-ending lists of new tactics, tools, and formats for handling their social media marketing. 2018 will see bigger focus on metrics that prove ROI of existing tactics as brands figure out what is working and what isn’t.
Now, onto the trends!
1. Augmented Reality
The potential for virtual and augmented reality in marketing is huge. Implementing augmented reality into you marketing efforts can take some significant time and budget, but a more manageable solution is expected to come out in 2018 with social media.
When it comes to virtual reality, most technologies have another 12 months or so of development ahead before they hit the mainstream, but there is hope for 2018. Facebook has been working on a project called “Spaces” that is designed for friends to connect in virtual spaces. Facebook owns Oculus, a VR headset retailer and software company so we can see where this is going. They want to release spaces in 2018 and when they do, it will probably be the first VR social media experience. While still a way off, marketers should start strategising around this groundbreaking opportunity.
2. More Live Streaming Ahead
While live streaming on Facebook has been around for a while now, the way in which brands are using them is changing. We will see more of it in 2018, and the people who do it well will be reveling in the organic reach it generates. In 2018, more brands will begin to harness the power of live streaming and will incorporate it into their monthly content plans.
3. Generation Z
Gen Z’s are millennials’ little sibling, born in the late 90’s early 2000’s.
They are the first generation to grow up 100% online and their tech savvinnes is unparalleled. Gen Z are 2-3 times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales & discounts. This means that they value social media and what others are doing more than they do the price itself. This is a big move from price conscience shoppers. Most marketers won’t worry about Gen Z for a few years, but the very first of them are 22 years old and left university in 2017. A Gen Z workforce is now on the way, and marketers should stay ahead of the curve on this one, especially business to business. Gen Z is more valuable to marketers than millennials in 2018 because their buying power is only going to increase, and we need to shift social media strategies accordingly. There will be a shift in marketing budgets to more Gen Z friendly platforms like Snapchat and Instagram and away from those like Facebook.
4. Online Hangouts
Online hangouts are a bit of a mix between the live streaming and Gen Z. Take ‘Houseparty’ as an example, it is a free app which allows live video chat with multiple people – it saw rapid growth this last year and is starting to turn heads. Because of this, Facebook is reportedly also experimenting with similar functionality.
5. Twitter…..still here
For most companies, it might be better to invest more time and money in increasingly popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Twitter has been struggling the last few years and it needs to make some big changes in order to stay relevant in 2018. It was the slowest growing major social media platform in 2017. Expect them to try and switch things up – they have already increased their character limit to 280 and rumours are rife about a pending subscription model for advertisers – it will be worth watching this space. They are not done quite yet.
6. Stricter Conduct Policies.
After a series of controversial issues during the American election in 2016, and along the same lines as Twitter’s code of conduct issue, social media platforms have been embracing a more involved approach.
In the wake of several graphic live streams, of which some resulted in death, Facebook had to start hiring more staff just for content monitoring. It seems more like damage control than a pro-active approach, however we expect to see more long lasting measures when it comes to monitoring what goes on within social media.
As a Marketer, you will need to know and understand these guidelines to ensure you do not get penalised.
2018 is nearly here…Are you ready?
If you would like to grow your business through online marketing, contact us today for a free consultation.