2017 is about to come to an end, and as it always happens, social media and digital marketing trends continue their constant evolution. What was useful this year might prove to be worthless the next, and sometimes, with all changes and updates, keeping the pace can get a bit overwhelming. Many things changed in 2017, and we’re starting to see the birth of new practices and behaviors that will definitely get all our attention during 2018. Watch out for these new trends, with your brands in your hearts, creativity in your minds, and success as your goal, to get the best results this new year.
To explore the path that social media will take in 2018, Hootsuite’s specialists, James Mulvey and Amber Naslund, collected different sources of statistics and data to make accurate predictions of what the market will look like for the months to come. We can see some of those changes in our everyday lives. All social media platforms are investing huge efforts in developing live broadcasting tools, such as Instagram Stories or Facebook Live. What started with Snapchat has now become a rule for social media apps, and we’re just starting to see its true potential. Changes in algorithms and declining organic reach are also transforming the way marketers think about social media advertisement. Here’s what we can learn:
The Internet is turning mobile
Technology is making our smartphones more powerful than ever. So, naturally, people are using them now like never before, especially when it comes to social media. In fact, when using their cellphones, people spent 1 in 3 minutes in social apps. This calls for new ways to understand and optimize our content because now it’s much more likely for it to be seen through a smartphone’s screen. Blogs and websites need to make sure that their content is mobile-friendly and easy to access.
New ways to read social data and ROI
One of the greatest challenges in social media has always been how to prove ROI through social media’s metrics. Actually, according to a poll organized by HootSuite, 56% of marketers say that not being able to prove revenue from social media investment makes it difficult for organizations to track their success. Sometimes, they even have a hard time defining which metrics they should look at.
This 2018, both executives and marketers need to work together to understand how data can be tied to goals set explicitly by an organization. Traditional marketing plans need to fuse with digital strategies to measure if both of them were truly successful or not. Take into consideration the customer journey and find some indicators that can let you track their journey: awareness, engagement, evaluation, loyalty, acquisition, and advocacy.
Secondly, we need to understand that the value of digital marketing goes beyond sales. What we see nowadays is that social media is becoming a very powerful tool to understand what our customers want. They can be used to get a clear insight of who they are and how they behave. This should always be a key element in any marketing strategy, as it can help organizations realize where the focus of their efforts should be and which adjustments need to be made in their products and services.
Video content: the new king of social media
Before, this was mostly a trend set by the youngest generation of Internet users, but today it’s becoming the main content consumption format on the web. This new year, and if you have resources to do so, you should definitely start producing as many videos as you can. A decrease in our attention span and videos’ potential to present attractive and dynamic information are making them the new king of social media content.
In 2018, brands need to act as broadcasters. Social TV has come here to stay. Instagram Stories, Periscope, Facebook Live, they all have one purpose: to show real-time content to which audiences can easily connect. In fact, live videos have a 25% higher engagement rate than traditional ones, and social networks’ algorithms are set to privilege live content. You can also combine your live streams with SEO strategies, as Google indexes Facebook’s videos and will soon start to play previews on its interface automatically.
Unscripted live videos also have an overall better performance over scripted ones. And just like we said before, don’t forget about the mobile experience. We’re watching mobile videos now more than ever before, and social networks such as YouTube are already adapting to this new era of broadcasting and social television.
As trust in media declines, peer’s influence rises
We think it’s fair to say that ‘fake news’ was probably the word of the year. Crazy political campaigns, failed polls with unexpected results, and a general lack of trust in traditional media has made people wary of mainstream personalities and outlets. With old institutions failing them, people are turning to their friends and families to find trustable sources of information. In this regard, influencers act many times as friends.
Nowadays, someone who can be called ‘a person like me’ can be as trustworthy as any expert. That’s why you should embrace the use of regular people to communicate your brand’s message. Employees, advocates, customers, and micro-influencers can all help you develop a successful marketing strategy that, above anything else, feels real.
Steadily but surely: Artificial Intelligence is here to stay
Artificial Intelligence still sounds like something that came out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s way closer than you think. In fact, it’s already here! Today, there are at least 100,000 messenger bots on Facebook, and AI usage will increase to 62% in 2018. So could you trust a machine? Maybe you should.
Artificial intelligence can prove to be very useful for customer services, but it’s a matter of balance. AI bots responding to customers are great for troubleshooting, but not so much for building relationships with them. This new year, consider getting your own bots because they’ll be able to send personalized messages to your targeted audiences and they’ll also give you clear statistics of what your customers are asking and saying. Keep humans to stay focused on human needs.
Which trends do you think will be the most successful ones this 2018? Are you already applying some of them? Go to our social media and let us know what you think! 2018 is bound to be a year of great changes for digital marketers, and the challenge is just now getting started!
Facebook: 786 Marketing
1234 S Dixie Highway #1124
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone Number: (786) 738-6877