By Jill Messinger, Social Media Specialist
It’s hard to believe another year has passed and 2018 is right around the corner! Although many things have changed in the realm of digital marketing over the years, there is one thing you can always count on: new social media trends.
2017 saw quite a few changes within social media marketing, including the increased Twitter character count, the implementation of stories on multiple platforms, and the increasing interest in live video, just to name a few. As we look ahead to the coming year, there are even more trends that will further expand social media as we know it.
Take a look at the top trends to keep an eye out for in 2018!
User-Generated Content Continues to Reign
User-generated content, when used effectively, can help rapidly expand your brand awareness and build trust with customers. What better way to promote your brand than by having happy customers promote it for you?! In recent years, many brands have caught on to the idea of user-generated content and successfully utilized it to grow their following and build awareness.
Starbucks has one of the most popular user-generated success stories. Each year, Starbucks encourages customers to share photos with their holiday-themed cups using the hashtag #RedCupContest for a chance to win high-valued gift cards. This campaign is particularly savvy because participants have to buy a red cup from Starbucks in order to participate in the contest, which generates sales. There are currently more than 40,000 user-generated posts of Starbucks red cups just on Instagram alone!
Videos, Videos, Videos!
It’s no secret that videos are key when it comes to engaging your audience on social media. It’s nearly impossible to scroll through your Facebook News Feed without seeing multiple videos one after the other. In fact, SmallBizTrends states that by 2019 video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
If your practice isn’t utilizing video on your social media platforms, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to foster engagement and yield results such as leads, shares, and sales. Sharing videos through social media is a powerful strategy to promote your “story,” and for this reason you can count on video marketing to continue ramping up in the coming year.
Augmented Reality: Not Just for Games Anymore
The use of augmented reality filters has blown up in recent years thanks to platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. Although augmented reality is most relevant in gaming programs, it’s easy to assume that AR will soon establish itself as a permanent aspect of social media. With the recent unveiling of the iPhone X and its AR capabilities, it’s possible that more and more businesses will be utilizing the technology to interact with consumers.
Brands such as Estee Lauder are already incorporating AR into their Facebook advertisements. The makeup giant recently rolled out a Facebook Messenger bot that allows the user to virtually “try on” different lipstick shades before purchasing, which has made a direct impact on sales, according to the VP of Estee Lauder Companies Online.
So: Expect to see more creative uses of augmented reality in 2018!
Chatbots Will Rise
The convenience of the Internet has conditioned users to expect answers immediately, and social media is no exception. The usage of Chatbots, such as Facebook Messenger, makes that consumer expectation feasible. Companies are able to respond immediately to consumer requests while remaining personable.
1-800-Flowers is currently taking advantage of this trend by allowing customers to order flowers simply by sending the recipient’s name and address to the company’s Facebook Messenger. Once more businesses begin to catch on to the simplicity and advantages of Chatbots, it’s likely that this feature is going to become prevalent across more social media platforms.
2018 Is Almost Here...Are You Ready?
Social media has come a long way since it first began, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In order to stay competitive, you’ll need to adjust your social media strategy to stay on top of the latest trends.
If managing your social media marketing on your own seems overwhelming, a digital marketing agency such as Page 1 Solutions can create a comprehensive strategy that implements best practices to pursue the results you want to achieve. Call Page 1 Solutions today to learn more about how we can help you with your marketing efforts: 800-368-9910.