As 2017 winds down, we have compiled a list of 5 important social media marketing trends that you should know for 2018.
Trying to stay ahead in 2018? We’ve identified the hottest social media trends for 2018 so you can get them implemented right after the new year.
We rounded up the Top 5 social media trends you need to include in your 2018 marketing strategy to Grow your business successfully:
Leah DeKrey, Social Media Strategist, CoSchedule
I think the two biggest things in 2018 will be ephemeral content and messaging.
I think we’ll see Instagram and Snapchat ramp up their arms race in 2018. As new functionality is released, we’ll likely see returns in the form of better engagement, and brands will want to be a part of that.
Brands Leveraging Messaging Apps to Reach Customers
We already see this happening with Facebook starting to build ad links between the Facebook ad platform and WhatsApp. So this is a great avenue for customer success agents to build 1-on-1 interactions with users.
Genuine Influencer Marketing
Everyone is all about influencer marketing right now, and a lot of people think it will continue to develop in 2018. I agree with this.
But I’m also growing tired of the constant feed of reality stars hawking detox teas and teeth whitening products on social media. I can’t be the only one growing sick of this and also feeling it’s far too disingenuous.
Let’s move toward more genuine influencer marketing in 2018, please.
Katy Katz, Director of Account Strategy, Marketing Refresh
The main social media priority for smart brands should be how to enhance the experience of connection through their social platforms. If you pull together all of the biggest trends that will be shaping social media next year, they all have the theme of enhanced user experience in common.
Visuals are a major opportunity for brands in 2018. As social media becomes increasingly cluttered, people are scrolling blindly past content more and more.
Video (live stream or recorded) consistently proves to be an opportunity to stand out. And now that phone companies like Apple are prioritizing augmented reality (AR) technology, AR has become a real opportunity for brands in social, too.
Use the tools that are available in 2018 to push yourself past the old stock photography limits. Now is the time to get good at these new visual capabilities.
But the experience has to be more than just visual next year. The most memorable brands make the experience personal, too.
Wendy’s social media team was on fire toward the end of 2017 as they jabbed other brands and took time to answer individual questions in a snarky, personalized way. When their social team held an ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Reddit, it went viral with additional praise and questions from the public.
Millennials and Gen Z live for memes, clapbacks, and inside social jokes and Wendy’s understands this about their target market. They found a way to speak in the voice of their audience and prioritized personalization to actually drive business results.
And you should set your customers up for success on social media. too. Over 90 percent of people trust user-generated content more than traditional advertising. Brands can take advantage of this trust by setting their customers and influencers up for successful social sharing.
For example, if you have a retail location, make it easy and interesting for your customers to post to Instagram. Inviting spaces, lighting, and even a gimmicky goody should all factor into a complete 2018 social strategy.
Be Like Your Customers
One final thing for businesses to consider is to use social media the way that your customers use it. Many brands have not mastered the “stories” feature on Instagram. However, its daily user totals have surpassed 200 million, blowing Snapchat out of the water.
Instagram users scroll through stories sequentially, meaning they are going to see your brand story in between their friends’ selfies. This is a big opportunity in 2018 as more Instagram users jump onboard.
Kevan Lee, Director of Marketing, Buffer
I see social media shifting from a one-to-many platform to a 1:1 or one-to-few platform. This is evident in the decline of organic reach, the rise of messaging apps, and the expectations of consumers.
Social media is a place to engage, less so a place to promote.
The companies that will win in this new environment are those that stay true to their brand. Being:
- Consistent with posting.
- Authentic with their voice.
- Responsive to their audience.
The icing on the cake is if you can combine this brand emphasis with a bit of data, particularly with segmentation, so that your voice is reaching the right people.
Ted Rubin, Co-Founder, Prevailing Path
Social is moving to a prove it or lose it stage… so start thinking how content is the ad. The importance of content in your SEO and middle funnel strategy will be critical.
Social media platforms are essentially huge AI systems designed to keep users “tuned in” by showing them things they want to see and using data to improve the success of that goal each time a user engages. But AI isn’t really that smart yet.
Most AI is big data pattern recognition that gets better at predicting what they will do as more people use the systems. It’s not actually ‘thinking’.
As the Trump media machine proved, real thinking beings can manipulate these systems with relative ease using anchor content such as a blog post, or video, bot based syndication (half of Trump’s Twitter followers are fakes) and then the power of real people sharing and training the algorithms to “think.”
Add in some well-placed adds on automatic networks like Facebook and bam, media that motivates. Brand marketers can easily do this in a less nefarious way and tune the process to eliminate endless digital spam and create awesome content that the AI algorithms connect with people along the path to purchase that might actually care.
All of this is so important because shopping behavior is changing from a world where consumers go to stores to get products (walking around and finding what they need, to one where products come to consumers.
Stores aren’t going away tomorrow, but the fundamental role of a retailer is going to change over time from a physical location to a service that fits the product needs of a consumer whenever and wherever she chooses, including product discovery.
What’s more, much of a future consumer’s product needs will be anticipated and automated, moving toward a friction-free experience. The challenge for retailers and brands alike will be remaining relevant in a consumer’s mind. The combination of the decline of the store shelf coupled with the end of push advertising effectiveness will eliminate some brands and retailers while others will thrive like never before.
Retail relevancy will become all about simplicity. Frictionless buying is the future of retail.
Simplicity is the new EDLP. Make it easy and… she will buy from you again, and again, and again.
Dennis Yu, Chief Technology Officer, BlitzMetrics
Reorganize your entire business and marketing efforts around ONE-MINUTE VIDEOS if you want to succeed in 2018 – not bots, tools, AI, or tricks. Facebook is the Google of social, and their algorithm heavily favors engagement. A three-second video view counts as engagement and is the easiest type of interaction to drive.
Here are some ways you should be creating ONE-MINUTE VIDEOS:
- Interview your best customers with your iPhone, each answering a question in a ONE-MINUTE VIDEO. You’re not looking for a blatant testimonial, but to engender trust among your prospects who see these videos. Facebook calls this “word of mouth at scale” when you use the “dollar a day” method to boost your posts.
- Create a one minute WHY video – who you are, a life event that affected you, or anything that personalizes you. If you want to drive a sale, you must get people to know, like, and trust you.
Interview your employees and partners in ONE-MINUTE VIDEOS. Be like a journalist, not a used car salesperson – to elevate them and help them tell their story. This creates “implied endorsement”, as the authority from these people rubs off onto you, whether or not they say something about you. Who are these authority people you can get ONE-MINUTE of time with to ask them just one question?
Here’s how you should be using your ONE-MINUTE VIDEOS:
- Create a public figure page (not your profile) to post these one-minute videos. You can’t boost or get analytics from a profile, so create a page with your name and profile picture, just like your user profile.
- Post your one-minute videos natively (uploaded to Facebook) and enable captions. Trim these videos to get right to the point – no bumpers, since people bail immediately if they see them.
- Boost these posts for $1 a day for 7 days each. That’s $7 total to test what’s working, according to Logan Young’s “Standards of Excellence.” If you can get more than 50 percent of people who watch for 3 seconds to stay around to 10 seconds or get an average watch time above 15 seconds, add more money to that boost.
- Set up remarketing audiences against anyone who has engaged with your one-minute videos. Send them to your website, collect their emails, or do whatever is next in your customer sequence. Consider how you can break your AEC (awareness, engagement, conversion) funnel into many steps. Use your one-minute videos in sequence – pretend you’re Netflix and you have seasons and episodes with your videos.
- Get pro at understanding what videos are working against which audiences. Copy these sequences over to YouTube, Twitter, your website, LinkedIn, and wherever.
Instagram is part of Facebook – and they let you boost videos that are under one minute.