Social media marketing is not optional in 2018… It’s a necessity.
Just imagine: about 86% of businesses are on Facebook and around 70% of brands use Instagram.
It’s no secret. A large (and growing) component of your potential customer pool are on social media. So including social media in your marketing strategy is a must.
If you want your social media strategy to be successful, you need to keep up to date with the latest trends. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the latest social media trends rocking Facebook and Instagram in 2018.
When you think about the most popular social media platform for business, what website pops into your mind? Most businesses choose Facebook as the main social network for building an audience, spreading the word about their brand, and making online sales.
Let’s find out what is trendy on Facebook in 2018:
Live steam is still here
Broadcasting live videos was launched in April 2016. It has become a must-have trend since then.
While big dogs like Starbucks are pioneers in live videos on Facebook and their results are incredible, small businesses benefit from live streaming as well.
Nowadays more and more brands use live streaming to connect with customers in a more personal way, and users love video content.
Internet users view live streams at 3x higher durations than non-live content.
What does this mean for you?
Your followers crave live content as it helps to humanize your company. Sharing live video content makes users feel as if they are engaging with people who they might know in reality.
The bottom line? Live streaming allows marketers to gain trust. So yes, live video needs to be a part of your visual marketing.
The growth of AR/VR
Augmented and virtual reality is rapidly becoming mainstream with the PokemonGo! App success one key example of this.
According to Statista, the augmented and virtual reality market is expected to reach a market size of 143.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
Thomas Caudell, the person who termed the principle of augmented reality, said: “Maybe AR technology will help spread the information riches to everyone.”
The social media giant, Facebook, knows the importance of this trend, so its team has implemented new camera effects.
Users have an option to try new augmented reality tools for Messenger, and it has become an interactive way to engage your Facebook audience.
Customers crave personalized care a.k.a great customer service, and automated text-based virtual assistants are great helpers when it comes to providing customer support.
Unless you have a huge moderating staff, focus on customized chatbots as they allow brands to provide customers with on-time information without spending much time and money.
Your customers want to get their questions answered professionally, and the faster you do it, the better. Thus, you’d better stay available 24/7 for your customers’ support, and using messenger bots can be a way of doing this, as they send immediate responses.
Plus, now you can customize chatbots to deliver personalized support.
How do you use chatbots to make communication personalized?
- Reply fast.
- Know customers’ names.
- Make personalized suggestions.
- Collect data to suit needs.
People share personal information on social media, and you can use it to create a personalized message to gain their trust.
A big concern of many marketers is: Will I gain followers on Facebook with the help of free tools? Will I boost organic reach without investing budget?
The short answer is: No.
If you’ve been running a Facebook Page for the past 2-3 years, you must have noticed a drop in organic reach. The Facebook algorithm is changing, and it’s getting harder and harder to be visible in the News Feed. Moreover, Mark Zuckerberg has outlined the News Feed changes that are waiting for marketers:
To make a long story short: do not expect to promote your business on Facebook until you post sponsored posts – and using Facebook advertising tools is a must. And what is more, you need to spread your ads where your customers are, and optimizing for mobile devices is a must.
- The average American adult spends almost 3 hours on their smartphones daily.
- The number of Facebook mobile daily active users has reached 1.15 billion people.
- Facebook also claims that 80% of their advertising revenue comes from mobile.
If you want to reach potential customers, adapt to changes to meet customers where they already spend their time.
Instagram has reached 800 million monthly users, and it’s one of the most popular social networks worldwide. More brands are setting foot on Instagram for their marketing, and they want to boost engagement in order to stand out from the crowd.
Here’s the list of trends that might help your business grow in 2018 on Instagram:
Instagram stories launched a year ago as a copy of the Snapchat feature. Expiring content allows users to post photos/videos on a separate in-app feed that is available for 24 hours. This feature is getting more and more popular, and it’s reported that Instagram stories has surpassed Snapchat in its number of daily active users.
Ephemeral content isn’t just a buzzworthy trend; proficient marketers know how to use Instagram stories for marketing purposes.
Why is using Instagram stories beneficial? Marketers can:
- Increase engagement on a business profile
- Generate buzz around their brand
- Drive traffic to websites as they can add a link to the Instagram story (available for business accounts with 10k+ followers)
Using stories on Instagram is an actionable way to step away from on brand feed and add personality to your profile.
Instagram users can create a permanent home to show off their ephemeral content without posting to the main feed. It’s easy to create and edit a highlight, so it can become an actionable tool for marketers.
How to make the most out of stories highlights?
- List services/products you offer
- Highlight tutorials or how-to’s
- Share your achievements
- Announce events
- Collect UGC to gain customers’ trust
You can add up to 100 photos/videos to a story highlight and know that it will be available for your visitors. It makes the process of searching easier if you know how to use this feature the right way. In short, it can be the crème de la crème of your content, so give it a try!
User-generated content (UGC)
Did you know that 80% of all online content is user-generated?
People love taking visual content, and 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram per day. Proficient marketers can use it in order to use UGC in their social media marketing strategies.
It’s in our nature to crave for belongingness, the emotional need to be an accepted member of a group, so people share their preferences with others online, and brands can use it for business purposes.
Why UGC is on its peak? Using UGC helps to:
- save time and effort on content creation
- drive engagement
- gain customers’ trust
Do you want to use UGC? Try to encourage user-generated content creation from your customers and followers.
Influencer marketing is booming, and brands collaborate with opinion leaders to enter an already-established community to promote their product. While most marketers are looking for popular influencers with many followers, micro-influencers have become a new trend on Instagram.
Although the number of followers matters, engagement plays a significant role too. It’s proven that micro-influencers, who have a media following of anywhere between 1,000 and 30,000, drive more engagement.
Why collaborating with micro-influencers is better:
- You can save on promotion as their rates are lower
- You can expect a higher average engagement rate
- You can establish contact with them to collaborate in the future
If you know how to find the perfect influencer to collaborate with, you can get better results without investing much as they charge lower prices.
In a Word
Brands use social media marketing more often, and Internet users receive a lot of information daily. To beat your competitors, you need to know how to stand out from the crowd and reach your target audience.
Unlock your potential by using these current social media trends, and rock 2018.
Guest Author: Lale Byquist is a media communications student who is fond of the digital world. She is interested in self-development, so Lale runs PresentationSkills.me website and reads a lot about modern trends. Find her on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @lale_byquist