10 Top Social Media Marketing Trends Of 2018
We know that Social Media is the new talk of the town yet it is important to find out what is trending in the Social Media arena. From dogface being the most popular filter to influencers influencing our choices; from getting maximum likes on our pictures to using of twitter to lodge complaints. Indeed, digital is the new world where certain trends live long while others die with the blink of an eye.
So today The Hustler Collective is the fortuneteller, ready to predict the Social Media Marketing trends that will boom in 2018.
Are you ready to know the secrets?
Here you go:
- Customized Chatbots
Are you familiar with Apple’s Siri? How about Alexa on your Amazon Fire Stick? Or possibly Cortana and Google Now? One more, have you ever visited a website when suddenly a chat window pops up asking you if you have any questions? That’s right, all of these are examples of Chatbots that come in everyday use.
A Chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate human-like conversation. Chatbots come in different forms. They can be messenger applications, which could be your own company’s messenger app, a messenger app on your website like PureChat, or an app you build through a social media platform, like Facebook Messenger.
Chatbots allow for a quick back-and-forth conversation, increasing interaction and the exchange of valuable information between the prospective customer and your company, all without picking up the phone or drafting an email!
Chatbots are able to ask questions and, based on the answers received, qualify prospects and send them directly to your sales team – effectively streamlining the lead generation and qualification process.
Thus chatbots permit efficient sales and direct contact with the customer.
Multiple companies are increasingly adopting this trend and certainly we are going to see more of it in 2018. Is it on your checklist for being digital?
- Live streaming
“Live feeds are better than a brand’s post” as reflected by the opinion of 82% of the polled viewers. With live streaming, brands can reach out to larger audiences, creating an engagement and getting feedback as well. It can even help in initiating discussion among viewers.
As per the researches conducted, users have a tendency to watch a live video as long as 3 times in comparison to a non-live video. Moreover millions of people are hooked to the networking sites like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and hence there is nothing better than using these platforms as an opportunity to enhance your brand’s reach.
This technique has been followed by brands like Starbucks, Benefits, Shopify, Gracia UK, all of which belongs to different segments of product line yet have shown commendable results.
Live streaming is a conceptual art. Marketers should work on grooming an idea to build up a brand’s image and then build on top of that theme. As the internet usage time of users has been increasing this is a growing area that can be harnessed by brands for active and engaging marketing.
- Social Media Stories
Snapchat brought in the concept of social media stories way back in 2013. These stories are a bunch of pictures or glammed up videos that live for 24 Hours. If your brand’s target audience is the millennials this can come out as one of the major marketing strategies. Studies show that in the US alone 41 % of 18 to 34 year olds are Snapchat users. Do you need some more reasons to start using social media stories more rigorously?
In addition to Snapchat stories, Instagram also has the story feature and according to Tech Crunch just within 25 weeks of its launch on Instagram, had a reach of around 150 million on an average for the stories that it uploaded.
Giveaway, Q&A can be used along with these stories to engage more with the customers. Eg: – like the polling feature on Instagram.
Verdict: This trend is certainly here to stay.
Today, in the age of smart buyers, most of them refer to the online platforms to find out the best available products available that satiate their needs and comes within their price bracket. As per a survey, 84% buyers agreed that they make purchases after watching videos about it. Today 80% of the Internet traffic is due to these videos.
It is the most active tool used in marketing.
Video’s not only tempt the buyers to buy the product once but with review video’s and “how to” explanatory videos, the complaint’s and support calls decreased and the brand image improves. Also, these videos can be employed on various social networking sites in the form of user-generated content which can be harnessed to build brand advocates.
Apart from traditional video-making, one can tap into 360° video technology as BMW used for its latest campaign. The reason for this upcoming trend is, as high as 79% of people prefer to watch a video of a product of their interest rather than reading text about it. So, this form or marketing is definitely your next call.
- Generation Z
“8sec filter”,”multitasking”,”future focused”. These are some of the words associated with the generation Z. The term Generation Z defines users born between 1995 and 2010. This generation has not seen the pre smartphone era, they prefer in store shopping, drift away from slow or low quality video content, juggle between as many as 5-6 devices at a time.
Since the market for generation Z is huge, there would be amplified focus on them in the marketing world. The content needs to be eye-catching stuff with good quality. It has to be made visually appealing by including pictures, videos etc. Key focus should be on showing rather than saying can be helpful with them. And these plans have to be continuously developed based on feedback. As much as 25% of US population is generation Z and this justifies the need to groom specific agendas to cater to them.
- User Generated Content (UGC)
User generated content or UGC in simple words is just allowing customers themselves to advertise your brand. Automobile giants like Toyota, Ford have encouraged users to come forward to voice their experiences and thoughts on their products.
With customers being brand promoters, the overall authenticity and trust in the brand increases. It creates brand advocacy as well.
Photos and customer reviews are two major forms of UGC’s. The users of a brand are anyhow creating a huge volume of UGC for a brand in this era of social networking irrespective of it being used or not.
40% of Facebook users post pictures of great products that they have used. 38% users buy products they have checkout on Facebook. These figures hold good for some specific brands and show how an effective digital marketing tool is UGC. UGC can be considered as a long-term tactic in developing marketing strategy for a brand.
- Social Listening
Social listening is to monitor customer conversations to know their views on a brand’s products. It can also be easily understood as a form of communication between a brand and the social audience. It helps to tap customer pain point and get real-time feedback so as to satisfy the buyers. Also, to assess the impacts of a marketing strategy, social listening can be used.
Brand names, handles, product names, brand and product taglines, key people’s name, slogans, hashtags etc can be search criteria’s to know about the current needs, pain points and feedback of products. Similar searches on competitor brands can help reach out to new customers as well. So, this marketing trend can be a smart tactic in the bigger league.
Facebook analytics for example can give real-time descriptive data to marketers to increase and improve their presence. Many tools are easily available to capture into social listening. Hootsuite can be used to cover multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc. There specific tools for different social networking sites. For example, if your target strategy is on Facebook, Buzzsumo can be used, for Twitter TweetReach, TwazzUp, TweetDeck can be helpful.
- Augmented Reality
Nintendo’s Pokemon Go is the best example of augmented reality at scale. The popular game got everyone walking and opened up people to a new world of imagination.
International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the market for the Virtual Reality (VR) and AR technologies will explode from about $5.2 billion in 2015 to $162 billion in 2020.
Augmented Reality is a treasure for digital marketing: It is mobile friendly; it can act as a bridge between all the types of media that digital marketers already use and the ability to track data and measure the ROI makes it an indispensable tool. The rise of new, less expensive hardware will put virtual and augmented reality technologies within the grasp of a growing numbers of companies and individuals. In the coming years, brace yourself for a new range of experiences that will totally change the way many of us choose online.
- Social Callout
The rise of social call-out culture is bringing more responsibility to brand’s social teams. Consumers turn to social media when they feel unsatisfied with a product or a brand and use Social media platforms to be heard. According to the Sprout Social Index, 81% of consumers agreed social media increased accountability for businesses. But what causes consumers to voice their opinions online? The same index found that 3 in 5 consumers said dishonesty from brands causes their social call out.
In today’s social world, it’s hard for even your most loyal fans to keep quiet if something is unsuitable or wrong.
This causes brands to make more of a social effort or to reinforce a stance through social media platforms. A major debate at the end of last year revolved around net neutrality. While many corporations avoid any political stance, Comcast made an effort to post tweets to promote its stance on the open Internet.
However, this doesn’t mean one needs to hit on every issue, but in 2018, it’s likely you’ll see more brands address call-outs on social and customer related issues.
- Solutions to declining organic reach
If you want to realize the long-term potential of social media, focusing only on promoting your products is not enough. You also need to amalgamate tactics and types of content that creates organic (unpaid) engagement.
Several tactics like the following can be used –
- Being active on the right hashtags
- Pin Your Best Performing Posts to the Top of Your Profile
- Use Emojis’ in Your Social Copy to Boost Engagement
- Run a Contest/Giveaway
- However these tactics won’t be enough in the future. More methodologies and solutions will be devised in the coming year. In the long run it’s the organic reach that’s going to make a difference.
Social Media Marketing Trends are dynamic in their nature. However, it is a blend of appropriate content curating, making it visually appealing and automation. Endorsing a brand not only involves broadcasting a message but is also about understanding, engaging and reacting to audience and building a world they can relate to. Connect with The Hustler Collective to know what works better for you, in your niche, for your target audience and use the best of Social Media Marketing Trends of 2018 in your strategy to hit the online market.