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No field of Marketing changes more than social media. With the new generations coming, it becomes harder to predict how the landscape will change. However, a few trends will set the mood for 2018. Maybe not all of them are a fit for your business, but if social is already part of your strategy, you should consider taking advantage of these trends:
Instagram Stories Keeps Stealing Snapchat Audience
Instagram launched Stories in 2016, but only in 2017, did we see it boom. The concept of posting banal and silly things – that wouldn’t be recorded in your timeline forever – first got popular by Snapchat. Unfortunately, Snapchat didn’t have the same following and may not be as user-friendly for users of all ages. However, Instagram took the same concept to themselves and decided to launch Stories, easier to use by a larger number of people.
The biggest advantage for advertisers is the possibility of posting links on Stories’ posts. Nowadays, the only way of posting an URL on Instagram is by having one permanent link forgotten on the profile page or through paid ads. With Stories, it’s possible to share websites and external sources to increase organic traffic and generate leads.
What you should do, if Social is a fit for your business: Start by developing a Social strategy. Then start posting images and videos on Instagram Stories.
More Augmented-Reality and Face Filters Make Social Media More Interactive
Face filters (as known as artificial intelligence lenses) grew popular in the last years and will continue to be in 2018. The filters initially were widespread through Snapchat as well, but they will keep increasing with Instagram and Facebook stories.
Sure enough, the dog ears filter is the most popular both on Instagram and Snapchat. Since then, taking pictures with a face filter has become a daily activity for most active users.
Snapchat offers the option for brands to custom face filters and makes them available for users for a limited time. Instagram and Facebook could be the next social media platforms to offer the custom tool. Face filters, stickers, video filters, animated emojis and all kinds of customizations are expected to 2018. Additionally, augmented reality will increase in mobile games.
What you should do for your business: Don’t take yourself (as a company) too seriously. Be humorous and try using more stickers and filters on your social media posts.
Live Streaming is a Big Hit
Live streaming is increasing as the capacity and quality of smartphones improves. Nowadays, mobile phones are more powerful to process video transmissions with better resolution. When watching a live broadcast, 67% of viewers think that the quality of the video is the most important factor to keep watching.
Nowadays, live streaming is so attractive as traditional videos on YouTube. About 80% of the brand audiences prefer to watch a live video than read a blog or social posts. Approximately 100M internet users watch online videos every day, and they are gradually migrating to live streaming.
What you should do for your business: Start to produce more live videos on Instagram Stories. You can also broadcast live workshops and webinars on YouTube, Facebook, etc.
Trust in Institutions Declines and People’s Opinions Become More Relevant
The overall trust on both online and traditional mainstream media is decreasing. Also, the consumers are relying less on governments and corporations and trusting more in each other. Smaller spheres of influence will be more relevant to the customers when they are deciding to buy something.
What you should do for your business: Build a better online reputation based on reviews of customers. Engage your employees to advocate for your business since they’re part of the community. Unhappy former employees have the power to rate companies in websites such as Glassdoor, what can affect your online reputation.
Chatbots are the Future of Customer Service
In 2017, we’ve seen many companies implementing chatbots in their messengers and websites to answer customers questions more efficiently. The newest generations want information as fast as possible, and they don’t want to spend time looking for it. Chatbots are an efficient tool to answer the most frequent asked questions.
Each company has a different need regarding customer service, and the customization of chatbots allows to create questions and answers based on your user’s behaviour.
What you should do for your business: If you have a significant flow of information and questions, you can implement a chatbot on your social media profiles and website. You can find several different platforms available that can help you to implement your virtual assistant.
Forget About Millennials; Generation Z is the Future
The last decades seemed to be all about Millennials and how they set up consumption trends all over the world. In 2018, Generation Z will dictate the mood on social media. The first Gen Zs are in college now, graduating and starting careers in the next year, driving them to have more purchasing power and to become financially independent.
What changes? Gen Z is at least two times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales and discounts. The brands will have to adapt their messages to be able to connect to Gen Z – a generation less focused, better in multi-tasks, much more online, global and seeking for uniqueness. They’re willing to be recognized as part of more and more smaller groups.
This generation was born with technology, and it’s hard for them to go without their devices. They’re watching less TV and listening to less radio, and they’re consuming more streaming media. Curiously, they enjoy receiving letters and direct mails. Most of Gen X and Millennials were done of being overloaded with papers on a mailbox, while Gen Z never had this experience before. They think it’s interesting to receive traditional mail. Not only in 2018 but over the years, Gen Z will change everything we know about content creation.
What you should do for your business: Create more content focusing on the newest generations. Be always available online, because your customers are always connected.
Social media is constantly evolving, and you need to be prepared to catch up with the latest changes. You can start small in the trends most aligned with your current business strategy. Keep in mind that social media is about connecting with your audience and building a relationship with them. No matter which trends you choose, have your customers at the core. And if you’re unsure of how you can start with your social media plan, don’t worry, we have the solution for your company.
Social Media Marketing Coordinator
Mystique Brand Communications