Article

John Siebert
John Siebert 15 November 2017

3 Social Media Trends to Follow in 2018

Discover three big trends that will have the impact on social media in 2018 - from ephemeral content, to influencer marketing and augmented reality.

There were around 2.80 billion active social media users all across the world in 2017, which is equivalent to 37 percent penetration, finds a report by We Are Social.

When even the president of the U.S. continues making news and policies via social media, you better start strengthening and accelerating your own social strategies. Social media is undoubtedly one of the fastest changing industries; a lot can change in just 12 months, thanks to the evolving cutting-edge technologies and overall market trends. In fact, these fast changes and evolution can either be blessings or a curse for social media marketers. The goal, therefore, is to stay atop the trends to better reach our targeted audiences with appealing, resonating content.

Here are 3 social media trends that are likely to make a big impact on 2018.

1. Ephemeral Content Will Be the “New” King

You are going to hear more about the latest marketing buzzword, ephemeral content, in the coming years. Snapchat Stories and live streaming videos are some examples of ephemeral content. This type of content lasts only a short time (no longer than 24 hours) and then “magically” disappears forever. And it’s on rise, thanks to the popularity of Snapchat.

The Snapchat Discover channel of Cosmopolitan generated “more than 19 million average monthly visits.” It is interesting to note that the brand’s website generates “20 million unique visitors per month.” With 10 billion daily video views, it is one of the best platforms to reach millennials and generation Z. It, therefore, comes as no surprize that Instagram and Facebook are also following the footsteps of Snapchat by providing services for distributing short-lived content.

For some marketers it might sound scary that all efforts and money that went into creating the content can just go into vein, once the content disappears. But the truth can be quite opposite to that, provided you have created something really interesting and have proper strategies for ephemeral content marketing. There are quite a few reasons why ephemeral content works:

Ephemeral content can undoubtedly strike a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect, encouraging your audiences to take fast action.

Short-lived content, like those raw clips and images available on Snapchat or Instagram, helps users develop a sense of excitement and trust for the brand, making them more authentic than those spammy posts or sponsored ads that have long lost their charm.

It is a great way to preview upcoming projects, showcase behind the scene content, offer promotions and other content that are supposed to be short-lived.

Most importantly, it is very easy for users to access the content. For Snapchat, for instance, all you need is a Snapcode or QR code for your users to access the content. However, you need a proper strategy to reach your target audiences, allowing you to engage them in the shortest possible time.

2. Influencer Marketing Remains a Priority

Vanessa Kerrutt, a brand manager in a social media marketing Tampa company, believes that social media influencers will maintain their popularity even in the coming years. She has a point. Influencer marketing has been extremely popular in 2017 and the previous years. According to a study by Twitter and analytics firm Annalect, 40 percent of people have made online purchase after seeing the same being promoted by an influencer on Twitter, Instagram, Vine or YouTube.

In 2018 and beyond, this trend is more than likely to stay although there will be some major shifts. For example, influencer marketing is likely to come under increased scrutiny. This means, the number of influencers who used to charge big fees in exchange of very little return data is likely to diminish. Brands are less likely to throw money at popular influencers with the hope for the best results. Instead, brands are going to manage influencer campaigns and relationships, from start to finish and are likely to opt for single-source operating systems for the same.

In addition, highly intelligent chat bots will be introduced to represent the social media influencers talk back to and engage users who want to speak to them.

3. There will be More Room for AR

Augmented reality is nothing new but it indeed got a big boost from social media recently. Snapchat’s augmented reality selfie filters, launched in 2016, became so popular that Instagram too introduced their more subtle and mature (albeit error-prone) version of AR filters earlier this year. And it seems other competitors are likely to catch up soon.

Considering the growing popularity of these filters, we can expect some major expand of the concept in 2018. In fact, according to Ad Week, “Snapchat and Instagram will soon support filters that allow users to take selfies with a friend or celebrity that’s projected via augmented reality.”

The idea is a steal. Brands can also project their products using special filters directly into the homes of users. In fact, with devices like iPhone 8 and iPhone X in the market, which have the ability to provide some really extraordinary augmented reality experiences, it is no surprise that more brands will jump on the AR bandwagon.

Facebook, for instance, has already released live AR effects in their camera app. In addition, Facebook created a space where users can meet with friends in virtual reality. Now that’s really something cool happening in the social sphere!

With AR and virtual reality finding its way into mainstream marketing experiences, it is only a matter of time before brands recognize its value. Augment reality is exciting, it makes people share the content with their network; and that’s exactly what brands want. It is, therefore, no surprise that more and more brands will be investing in providing memorable experience via AR and virtual reality to enhance customer engagement like never before.

Conclusion

In 2018, a lot of changes are expected in the social media landscape. Brands need to capitalize on these changes really fast and leverage them in their digital marketing campaigns. However, they don’t need to incorporate all of these social media trends. Combine a few of these trends with your existing marketing strategy to create a memorable brand presence across the popular social media platforms.

 

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