Here is a list of 5 social media trends were keeping our eye on in 2018!
- The Rise and Rise and RISE of Influencer Marketing
If 2017 was anything to go by, influencer marketing won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Influencer Marketing Hub found that businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. If that’s not a great return on investment, we don’t know what is.
However, the trick in making Influencer marketing work for your brand is to keep in mind that these tech-savvy millennials are just as hungry for creating authentic and meaningful connections as they are for keeping up to date with the latest trends on social media. With Instagram hacking down on transparency for paid and sponsored posts, brands need to allow influencers to have more control of the message conveyed in order to preserve the authenticity of what is being communicated.
Today’s consumer can easily tell the difference between an advert and a personal recommendation. Essentially, allowing the influencer to come up with their own caption can make all the difference. As such, in order for influencer marketing to make an impact, authenticity and credibility is key.
In 2018, building long lasting relationships with influencers is imperative. This can be quite complex and time consuming as each influencer will require a personalised message and their needs and requirements will vary. However, keep an eye out for brands starting to turn to real experts instead of influencers to convey more legitimacy in order to meet the authenticity that consumers look for.
2. Ephemeral Content is King
Ephemeral content aka content that disappears after the user has viewed it (or after a maximum of a 24hr period), has already surpassed Snapchat in being the preferred choice when viewing content. Especially since Instagram stories appear at the top of the feed, which helps to keep your brand top of mind with your target audience when utilised on a consistent basis.
Although, the concept may be quite daunting for marketers who have traditionally made content and ad campaigns to last over a prolonged period of time, it is important to note that the reason ephemeral content is gaining traction is because it comes across as more authentic than planned content. In addition, the average time spent on Instagram per day grew to 28 minutes since the launch of Instagram Stories. Just like point number 1, authenticity is the most important factor to consider when marketing to millennia’s and soon to enter the market – Gen Z.
- Live Streaming and Video Content Continue to Take Over
Video content is now the fastest growing ad format. By 2020 it is expected that video content will make up 80% of consumer Internet traffic – just take a second look at your Facebook feed. You have probably already also noticed that static image posts are gaining less traction and reach then they used to. Utilising live streaming, ephemeral content and video content in your actual feed will ensure your target audience remain engaged. It is also useful in weeding out the audience who are not interested, ensuring your content generates a higher conversion and leads.
- Brands Will Rely More Heavily on Customisable Chatbots
Brands who are marketing and producing engaging content are probably noticing how consumers also expect an almost immediate response to enquiries and messages when they finally do engage. When you have already worked so hard to gain your audience’s attention, you don’t to waste the opportunity to capitalise on their engagement, or they will move on as quickly as they came.
However, brands who receive hundreds of different customer service queries a day need a way to answer these in real time. This is where customisable chatbots come in.
Having these set up before you even launch a new marketing campaign to anticipate possible enquiries and requests will ensure there’s no delay in your response. Hubspot says that if your not already utilising it, you’re already behind.
5. Augmented Reality will Drive Social Strategies
Does Pokémon Go ring a bell?
Due to the growth of Instagram Stories, augmented reality features such as Face filters will continue to grow in popularity, as they are an easy platform to help stay top of mind with your audience. Augmented reality is also great for new product launches or any product that can easily be turned into a feature with a filter that your audience can readily interact with. Use this in conjunction with ephemeral content and your well on your way to ensuring your audience not only remain engaged but also, in time – act as brand advocates.
In all, it is imperative for brands in 2018 to always be on top of social media trends in order to ensure that they are capturing the right target audience, keeping them engaged and converting them into leads. Moreover, It is imperative that brands view social media as a tool to help create long lasting relationships with their audience and influencers, as today’s consumers value authenticity and credibility more so than ever before.
By Nat Markovic