With Social Media trends constantly changing, finding the right platform to promote your business can often feel like a minefield.
It can seem like you spend an age perfecting your strategy, only for it to fall out of fashion weeks later. According to Wikipedia’s list of the major social media players, there are currently 205 main platforms being used daily. So, with the sheer number of different options available, and more popping up month by month, how do you decide which one is best for you right now?
As we look ahead to yet another year, we ask what social media trends we’ll be looking to integrate into our marketing strategy for 2018, along with our marketing tips to help you get ahead.
With so many platforms to choose from, it can often feel daunting, but there’s a reason why the original networks are still the best. Unfortunately, however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach – it all comes down to what’s best for you, your business and your brand.
Facebook continues to be the top social media platform around the world, with 1.19 billion monthly users as of November 2017. With 80% of social media users preferring to connect with brands through the platform, and almost 800 million users online each day, Facebook is the perfect platform for communication between brands and consumers.
While not as popular as Facebook, Twitter will continue to thrive in 2018. With the current monthly users averaging at 232 million, the opportunity for growth and engagement is huge. However, with over 56% of customer tweets to companies being ignored, businesses will need to focus more on customer satisfaction rather than generating profits and leads.
The rise of video marketing
While much of 2017 has seen a huge rise in the number of people engaging with and creating video content, this will increase further as we move into 2018. Visual content is now more prominent than ever – in 2017 Instagram engagement was 10x higher than Facebook, while Snapchat is now one of the most used platforms around the world. Throw into the mix the introduction of Instagram stories which, after only one year, exceeded daily SnapChat views, and it seems as if the world’s gone video crazy.
To truly optimise on this trend, companies need to recognise that video content will be key in 2018 – with 40% of brands adopting Instagram for marketing this year, and live streaming giving customers a simple way to engage directly with brands, video has quickly become the best, and most effective, marketing tool out there.
Artificial Intelligence takes over
The use of chatbots and AI customer service is still on the rise, as we detailed in our 2017 Social Media post. Customers are now able to get real-time help, advice or information in the form of intelligent chatbots, and this instant communication helps secure the relationship between consumers and brands.
In a world where you can check the weather, make a phone call and order a takeaway, all without lifting a finger, the way in which we view marketing has to change.
Gartner has predicted that by 2020 30% of web browsing will be done using AI. As a result, brands and companies will need to place a greater focus on automated tools to promote content. In an increasingly audio centered market, the way in which we write content has to evolve. As consumers make the move to voicing, rather than typing, questions – a much more natural style of language – the ability to recognise emotion, colloquialisms and other such nuances becomes more important than ever. A chatbot who can adapt it’s responses depending on the emotions of the consumer is the ultimate goal in AI customer service. Similarly, when using and deciding on keywords for SEO and content, brands and marketers choices need to be more aware to accommodate this shift.
Content personalisation is key
No-one likes generic marketing campaigns that make you feel insignificant and unimportant -we as consumers want to feel special and valued, especially when interacting with a brand we know, love and return to time after time. Personalised content in 2018 will be much more relevant and companies will need to keep this in mind when creating new content and advertising campaigns in the coming year. As social platforms and analytics tools evolve, meaning brands are able to create tailor-made content depending on location, personal preferences or browsing habits, as does the need for content that actually engages the consumer rather than alienating them. If brands personalise content well, thus boosting engagement, it will ultimately mean customers will come back for more.