The Top 8 Social Media Marketing Trends of 2018

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It is now evident to almost every marketer that social media is one of the most effective techniques to widen your reach, connect with your target market, and take your business to the next level in terms of growth. However, the world of social media is ever evolving, and marketers must stay on top of its changes. In regard to your business, your desire is most likely to stay ahead and not to waste money, time, or other resources on things that will not impact your business on a large scale. You can improve by engaging services of social media experts, such as SEO Analytics , who have helped companies with social media marketing to register impressive results. To help ensure that you’re investing your money into something worthwhile, here are some of the top social media marketing trends of 2018:

  1.      Instagram stories

Facebook borrowed the idea of short videos from Snapchat and incorporated this feature on both Instagram and Facebook. Due to Instagram’s humongous following, it was obvious that its short story feature would go crazy and surpass that of Snapchat. It has already happened with Instagram’s views, which have overtaken Snapchat’s by 20 million every day. The implication is that brands seeking to engage their customers on Instagram must do so using stories. The use of Instagram stories applies to both B2B and B2C scenarios. The following points are advantages of Instagram stories:

  • The stories are enjoyable to use and view, giving you the chance to add filters, texts, and tags.
  • The Instagram stories are public, meaning that even people who are not your followers can still see them.
  • Similar to any other posts on the social site, you can hashtag relevant keywords to find posts faster.
  • The tags are clickable, so companies can target their specific audience or followers and market in a better way.
  • For accounts with more than 10,000 followers, the owners can add links to their stories, thereby multiplying inquiry or buying opportunities by massive numbers.
  1.      Increased live streaming

Live streaming has been around for some time now, for example through Facebook; however, the way to live stream is changing. The most important thing about live streaming now is the technology, as it is taking advantage of hardware development (for example in phones). The development translates to enhanced and more readily available video recording and processing. Many more brands and social platforms will capitalize on the effectiveness of live streaming in 2018.

  1.   Influencer marketing’s prominent role in social media engagement

An important marketing strategy in past years was hiring a celebrity to endorse your brand. We are now seeing the same in social media marketing. The current fad is engaging social media influencers (or micro-influencers), who in their own right are celebrities. The influencers may have a massive reach with a vast following running to hundreds of thousands of people. The companies are now considering these influencers, as they bring a high return on investment as compared to the traditional online marketing. Moreover, a large percentage of people indicate they rely on influencers while making their purchase decisions. This is also coming up as a billion-dollar industry. More than 90% of brands that have utilised influencers in marketing say it is successful; we can only expect the trend to go a notch higher in 2018.

  1.   Generation Z’s influence on social media trends

Generation Z comprises those born in the late ’90s and early 2000s.They have grown up in a time of constant online activity, and they are more tech-savvy than any other generation. Gen Z is deemed to be more influenced by social media than by other marketing tactics, like price and discounts. This shows a significant switch from the price-sensitive shopper of previous years. In 2018, marketers should be more concerned about Gen Z than Millennials because the former’s purchasing power is rising. Businesses should start shifting their attention to Gen Z-friendly social sites, like Instagram.

  1.   Increased use of messaging platforms

Messaging platforms, such as WeChat (a Chinese messaging platform that has more than 1 billion subscribers) and WhatsApp, are prevalent in their respective territories. The reason these social platforms have such a good following, even in the US where it took some time to embrace them, is because the majority of buyers are Gen Z and Millennials who prefer these platforms.

  1.   Online hangouts gain popularity

Online hangouts go together with live streaming, and Generation Z drastically loves both. A good case in point is Houseparty, a free app where several people can live video chat, which registered crazy growth last year. Facebook is rumored to be looking at the possibility of incorporating such a related feature in its live stream.

  1.   Twitter will change

Despite Twitter registering the lowest growth among all the major social sites in 2017, it is still around. With high migration from Twitter to other platforms due to the former’s extensive coverage of President Donald Trump’s statements, which portrayed an unfair code of conduct enforcement, experts think it will try to change to improve its subscription numbers. Some changes are already evident, like the increase of the character limit to 280 from140. Experts also foresee Twitter introducing its paid-for model for advertisers and other things. Twitter is not yet out and will have surprises in store for 2018.

  1.   More moderation of social media platforms

Along the same line as Twitter’s code of conduct issue relating to President Trump’s statements, more social sites are reconsidering the way they manage their users. Also, since the emergence of a series of contentious issues during the 2016 US presidential elections, social media platforms have been adopting a more participatory style.

The measures seem to be more reactive than proactive, but you can anticipate that the sites will take more preventive and long-term actions with regard to content monitoring. Marketers should acquaint themselves with these guidelines to avoid penalties.