As a year of presidential tweets and royal engagements draws to a close, it’s time to look ahead at the social media trends awaiting us in 2018.

According to Global Web Index ‘98% of digital consumers are social media users’; it’s therefore important that marketers are aware of what are likely to be some of the hottest social media trends of the year ahead.

Video

Video continues its reign as the most consumed media type on social with over half a billion people watching video on Facebook every day. A staggering 64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social video content, and with predictions suggesting 80% of global Internet traffic will be attributed to video by 2020, if you haven’t already started investing in video then now is the time. 

If, however, video is already a primary focus for your brand then bear in mind that the battle for views is set to become fiercer then ever before, as more and more brands realise the power of video. Brands will need to set themselves apart from their competition by remembering the art of great storytelling. Social networkers expect value from brands in exchange for a slice of their valuable online viewing time.

Instagram Stories

2017 has seen the rise of Instagram stories, which is set to continue. Considering 70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen, ensuring your brand is not only visible but importantly, front of mind with consumers we’re likely to see a rise in ephemeral content (that’s ‘short-lived’ content to you & I). Social media is fast-paced and the popularity of content with a short shelf life has never been clearer. ‘Stories’, ‘snaps’, and the Facebook news feed tend to be refreshed every 24 hours. 

This style of mobile- first content is often well suited to teasers of longer form content, behind-the-scenes footage and audience interaction in the form of real-time polling, recently introduced on ‘Stories’. These formats can also be effective ways to build trust- opening the doors to your brand and inviting consumers in may well prove to be a daunting but valuable approach for 2018.

Chatbots

With 1.2 billion active monthly users, Facebook messenger is a powerful tool and 2018 will be the year in which more brands realise that. Considering there are currently 100,000 monthly active bots on messenger and 65 million Facebook business pages, the potential for growth is huge.

Engaging with consumers via messenger presents brands with a unique opportunity to build consumer loyalty (53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message), convert Likes to valuable customers and streamline customer service. We predict chatbots to be one of hottest marketing trends of 2018 but remember…use it wisely.

Livestreaming

Live video streaming has become increasingly popular in 2017, leading to a prediction that by 2020 live internet video will account for 13% of total video traffic. Facebook live videos are watched three times longer than videos that aren’t live, so combining these longer viewing periods with real-time engagement is a direct investment into your consumer relationship.

2018 is set to be the year of the live with more marketers realising its potential to form a more authentic, open line of communication between brand and consumer. 

Influencer Marketing

Influencers continue to focus our attention on their ability to point consumers in the direction of the latest brand or product release. Over 90% of marketers who have adopted an influencer marketing strategy believe it is successful. Influencers are trusted and deemed to be (relatively) impartial, which most brands will never be able to achieve. The influencers’ personal approach to social, when partnered with relevant brands is extremely powerful.

Moving into 2018, marketers will be well served to be aware of these social media trends, but don’t underestimate the importance of looking back before taking those crucial steps forward. Take a minute to review your marketing successes and failures from 2017- learn from them.

Combining knowledge of the “new” with teachings from the “old” is the key to marketing success.

LINKS USED IN ARTICLE:

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/top-social-media-trends-that-will-take-over-2018-infographic/510796/

https://boldcontentvideo.com/2017/12/06/social-media-statistics-for-2018/

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/10-instagram-statistics-keep-mind-when-planning-your-2018-strategy

https://messenger.fb.com/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2017/09/22/top-10-video-marketing-trends-and-statistics-roundup-2017/2/#2492c8dccaee

https://blog.globalwebindex.net/trends/social-media-trends/

https://stretchinternet.com/live-streaming-statistics/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300813