Top 7 Social Media Trends You Need to Be Aware of in 2018
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If you don’t stay on top of trends, your social media presence loses freshness and you begin to look out of date. And you can’t afford that to happen.
Social media changes with each passing year. To make sure that your business stays ahead of the curve and that engagement with your brand remains high, you need to spot social trends and react to them super fast as and when they happen.
Although it isn’t always easy to look into the future and spot trends before they happen, there are 7 crystal clear trends that you need to be aware of in 2018 if you want to cement your reputation and brand on social media. In this article, we take a look at what these are.
1. Build customizable chatbots
Chatbots have been around for a while now, but it’s time to prepare for the next stage in their evolution — customization.
Customers and businesses alike get many benefits out of chatbots. There are currently over 100,000 active chatbots on Facebook Messenger, and that number is only likely to increase at a rapid rate. Chatbots are available 24/7, they quickly deal with customer queries and point them in the right direction, and they take a load off for your social media team.
A customizable chatbot enhances your brand’s relationship with your customers even more by dealing with specific requests. This cuts down a customers time waiting for a response and can improve the customer relationship while also increasing the likelihood of customer loyalty.
2. Cater to Generation Z
Millennials like to be marketed to on their own terms. They’re the largest demographic in America right now, and internet marketers have had to adapt to them and change their marketing strategies.
However, a new dawn is around the corner as Generation Z prepares to explode all over your feed. This means internet marketers and businesses need to adapt once again.
And the time to adapt is right now. As stats show, Generation Z will make up 40% of all shoppers by 2020. Here are some tips for reaching out to them on social media:
- Go straight to the end game. Generation Z care less about the product and more about what it’s going to do for them. Sell this aspect to them — focus on the end game.
- Implement an omnichannel shopping strategy. As well as being active on all your social media accounts, make sure you provide a seamless experience for Generation Z on whatever device they want to use. In other words, meet them where they are. If they want to browse your content on a mobile device but make a purchase on a desktop, make sure that it’s simple for them to do this.
- Be transparent. Get into the habit of being open and honest on social media. If your brand is to stand for anything, make it transparency.
- Post the right content on the right channel. Not all social platforms were created equal, and it’s important that you optimize content for every social media profile.
3. Live stream is changing
Still not gone live? 2018 is the year you have to live stream.
Of course, you probably already know the importance of live streaming. It helps you build a rapport with your followers and makes you look more authentic. But how is it changing?
67% of viewers say that video quality is more important than anything else when watching a live stream. Gone are the days when you could get away with poor quality videos. In 2018, you need to start implementing better tech so that your videos are watchable.
4. Beware of brand fatigue
In 2017, there were a LOT of small businesses present on social media — as many as 50,000,000, in fact.
The problem is that audiences are now starting to be veritably flooded with branded and sponsored content — and they’re really feeling it.
Brand fatigue is a real thing. A report carried out by SproutSocial shows that we are inundating our followers with branded content and pushing them away.
Naturally, you want to use social media to reach your audience. So what do you do?
The report highlighted too much promotional content as the biggest grievance of social media users. 34% also cited a lack of personality as a big turn off, while 32% were not happy with what they saw as forced humor.
Brands who post too much are also a source of annoyance.
As such, you don’t need to quit social media for good. Simply rethink the way you post on social media, how your frame your message and don’t post too much promotional content.
5. Local brands will double their efforts
Google is rooting for local businesses to do well online, while which customer wouldn’t want better social media interactions with their local businesses?
Moreover, there’s a real awareness that communities need to support local businesses.
If you have a local business, it’s time to use social media to engage with your community. Reach out to them, banter with them and host competitions.
6. Micro influencers are there for you
Nope, you might not have the power to reach out to Kim Kardashian and get her to share your product to her 800 million Instagram followers. But you don’t need to. In 2018, small businesses have tapped into the potential shown by micro influencers — those with 10k to 900k followers — who have the power to expose you to a massive audience.
Micro influencers like free stuff. Find someone in your niche who is making a fair amount of noise on social media, and offer them a free gift in exchange for them promoting it to their followers.
7. Support a cause
Lastly, studies have shown that millennials are more likely to engage with — and buy from — businesses who share their values, and who are socially responsible.
Companies have already reacted to this. Adidas has shown a social conscience by partnering with Lean In to promote gender pay equality. Meanwhile, Marks and Spencer have been working hard to raise awareness of breast cancer.
These are the top 7 social media trends you need to be aware of in 2018. Keep on top of them, execute on them — and don’t forget to check back for the top trends in 2019!
About the author:
Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of and Nightwatch— a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog and follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut