By Maura Hughes on December 12, 2017
One of the things that I love most about social media is that it’s always changing and expanding. This marketing medium is quite literally limitless because social platforms are always adding new features.
As you begin working on your social savvy 2018 social media strategy, keep these social media trends in mind.
Chatbots used to be awkward and robotic, but lately chatbot have become a social media marketer’s best friend. Facebook reported that there are now 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger, allowing small business to connect with customers in a whole new way and deliver personalized customer service. Chatbots are particularly popular among persons aged 25 – 34, so if you plan to use social media to reach millennial women, or a millennial audience, give chatbots a try.
2. Disappearing Content
Snapchat was made famous by introducing disappearing, or ephemeral content, to the social media game. Now, Instagram, Facebook and others are adopting the trend.
The lifetime of ephemeral content is usually 24 hours, and because of its disappearing nature, brands can create a sense of urgency for content like sales and promotions. Ephemeral content also provides the opportunity to increase trust, by sharing real-time, authentic content.
3. Influencer Marketing
Although influencer marketing is not a new trend, it’s a rapidly growing one. Over 90% of marketers who used influencer marketing reported it to be successful. As a small business owner, influencer marketing can help increase your brand’s visibility.
Take a thoughtful approach to influencer outreach, and be sure the bloggers, ambassadors and social media celebrities you choose have audiences that will appreciate your brand values.
4. Video and Livestreaming
I’m going to hit you with another mind-blowing statistic. Social Media Today reports that people retain 95% of a message communicated through video, versus a 10% rate of retention, when a message is communicated through text.
Even if your video is just a few slides, glued together by music or voice-over, videos perform the best, out of most all forms of content.
Livestreaming has significantly reduced the barriers to produce video content. All you need is a smartphone, and news reporting, video blogs, product reviews are just a record button away.
If you’re looking to reach more women customers with content marketing, add livestreaming to your 2018 social media strategy. 80% of customers would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a post, so give the people what they want!
5. Mobile Web
Last year was the year of the app. 2018 may very well be the year of mobile web. Mobile web is essentially the mobile responsive version of a website or digital property.
It focuses on enabling a seamless content experience from desktop, to tablet, to mobile, without requiring an app download, to access the content. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, and look into improving your mobile buying process, by integrating mobile payments i.e. Apple Pay, Facebook Pay, etc.
6. User Generated Content
Whether you have customers or not, you can create a robust social media presence with user generated content. Let’s say you’re launching a fuzzy sock business but don’t have photos of your product just yet. Start building your social community with photos of women wearing cozy socks, or share some of your favorite sock patterns from other brands.
If you have current customers, repost photos they’ve taken of your product. 66% of users trust online consumer opinions and recommendations from people they know. You can leverage user-generated content, to increase brand awareness and drive product demand. Just make sure you attribute curated images to their original source!
7. Generation Z
Generation Z is the audience to watch in 2018. The age range for Generation Z varies, but in general, those born between 1993 to 2014 fall into this group. Some of the oldest members of Generation Z are now graduating from college and entering the workforce, which opens up a new segment of buying power.
Generation Z differs from millennials in that they are less price sensitive (anti-bargain hunters), but also less focused. What’s interesting and relevant is constantly evolving, so if you want to market to Generation Z, be sure to keep your message, content and promotions authentic and fresh.