Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular social media networks continuously update their platforms, which is why it’s critical for marketers to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the social media space.
So to help you prepare for the changes to come in 2018, we’ve put together a list of the top social media trends you need to know about.
Let’s dive in…
1) The power of stories
Today, the popular “stories” format has become a must-have feature for every social media platform.
Whether you’re on Snapchat or Instagram, it seems almost impossible to avoid the feeling of FOMO elicited by this type of ephemeral content – and the biggest social media networks know that.
YouTube, the latest company to appropriate the format originally introduced by Snapchat, has just released “Reels.” According to the company, “Reels are YouTube’s spin on the popular Instagram Stories format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators.”
With WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and even some dating apps pushing users to share their own version of “stories”, 2018 should be the year that your marketing team begins incorporating the format into your marketing strategy.
If you are curious to begin experimenting with stories on social media, we have developed several features related to scheduling, publishing, and measuring Instagram Stories in Falcon.
2) The insatiable demand for video
Between YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, video content is dominating audiences’ attention spans across social media platforms.
Don’t believe us? Here are some quick stats that illustrate the command that video has over online audiences:
- 82% of Twitter’s audience watches video content
- YouTube viewers watch a billion hours of video per day
- Facebook users consume over 8 billion videos every day
Social media platforms now support a variety of social video formats, but when creating video content for any social network, it’s essential to take a mobile-first approach.
60% of videos on YouTube are viewed on mobile devices, as are 90% of videos on Twitter.
With mobile video content capturing more attention than ever before, it should be no surprise that 65% of marketers plan on increasing their mobile ad budgets to account for video over the next several months.
3) The growing influence of influencers
The benefits of influencer marketing have been well documented, which is why the competition for collaborating with social media influencers is likely to intensify in 2018.
And in an effort to alleviate the threat of competition, brands are likely going to begin investing more in developing long-term partnerships with influencers. The need for establishing this type of long-term partnership became apparent earlier this year when Selena Gomez, who owns the most followed account on Instagram, ditched Louis Vuitton for rival luxury brand Coach.
Furthermore, we’re likely to see brands spending more time evaluating the authenticity of their influencer-brand collaborations next year. Consumers are quick to recognize when an influencer is just promoting a brand for a paycheck, and are just as quick to comment on the inauthenticity of the relationship – damaging both the brand and the influencer’s credibility.
4) The rise of chatbots
In 2018, brands will begin to integrate chatbots into more of their organizations’ daily operations.
While this technology has been around for quite a while, it’s only in the past few years that brands have begun to incorporate chatbots into their marketing and customer support operations.
Today, the majority of consumer-chatbot interactions revolve around customer service: 61% of people ask chatbots customer service-related questions. With chatbots capable of assisting customers 24/7, brands’ reliance on chatbots will likely continue well beyond 2018. In fact, it’s estimated that some 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AI by 2020.
Source: Social Media Examiner.
So far, Millennials are the primary adopters of this technology. In a survey by Retale, 58% of Millennials claimed to have interacted with chatbots and 71% of Millennial respondents said they would like to try a chatbot experience from a major brand. This cohort’s positive attitude toward chatbots suggests that more brands will experiment with the AI assistants in 2018.
If you’re interested in learning more about social media and digital marketing trends to watch in 2018, check out our 2018 Digital Marketing Trends Handbook.
With insights from our team of in-house experts, this handbook will help you understand how you can leverage the latest technology in your marketing campaigns.