5 Social Media Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2018
If you’re like most business owners, you’re probably analyzing your social media marketing efforts of the past year, and strategizing for how to improve it in 2018.
As social media continues to grow in importance, it’s safe to say that most businesses will be investing more into this marketing channel than ever before. If you’re in this boat, keep reading, since I’m going to shed some light on what you need to keep an eye on as we head into the new year.
Use Ephemeral Content to Better Engage with Your Audience
Ephemeral content is going to continue to grow in popularity, whether you like it or not.
If you’re like most people, you probably think that ephemeral content goes against the concept of marketing, since it doesn’t really leave a lasting impression like more “traditional” marketing does. But this is why it’s so darn brilliant.
Here’s a good example of why…
You’re probably familiar with “flash” sales and how they attract new clients. The sale is there one minute and before you know it, it’s over. People don’t like missing out on good deals, so this type of strategy gets people to act fast.
Think of ephemeral content in a similar manner. It keeps your social media audience on their toes, which in turn, keeps them more “tuned in” to what you have to say.
Embrace Augmented Reality (AR)
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go. The game used augmented reality and showed us how it can be used. AR brings a new dimension to how people interact with technology and you can be sure that in the coming year social media platforms will be looking at how they can use it to create a better user experience.
Instagram and Snapchat are already using variations of it through their introduction of filters that provide users with different AR scenarios. Using AR will give businesses a unique and innovative way to interact with their audience, which will drive engagement.
Continue to Use Influencers
If you haven’t jumped on the “influencer marketing” bandwagon yet, there’s no better time than the present. In fact, in 2017, 94% of the 86% of businesses that used influencers found the strategy to be effective. Just keep in mind that the market is flooded with influencers, so you need to be smart in what you do.
Focus on influencers who have built up a target audience that is similar to yours, so that the traffic you get is targeted and relevant. If you’re a business coach for spa owners, targeting someone whose audience is mostly lawyers probably isn’t going to generate great results.
What’s more, keep in mind that influencer marketing is changing. While celebrities and big names have — to date — been top influencers, industry experts with smaller followings are becoming the new “norm.” When identifying influencers, focus on quality over quantity. Smaller influencers have better traction with their audience, which results in a more meaningful relationship. What this means is that the chances of them driving business your way are much higher.
Video Content Is Vital — and Viral
The easiest way to share content and knowledge is through videos, which is why videos are the most popular type of content when it comes to sharing on social media. You can expect that trend to continue in 2018.
Again, the key here is to focus on quality over quantity. There’s an art to creating videos, which is why you not every video is shared. Focus on engaging viewers with your videos. And grab their attention within the first 3–5 seconds, otherwise you can expect them to move on.
The length of your videos is also crucial. While in the past, people focused on making videos as short as possible, shorter isn’t the ideal option anymore as more and more people are engaged by longer videos… as long as the content is relevant and captivating.
Build Trust with User Generated Content
Most marketers tend to forget that their target audience is more than just a marketing persona. Target audiences consist of people who live ordinary lives. There’s no easier way to build trust than to have real live people tell others how wonderful your products an/or services are.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s some food for thought: a recent report published by Nielsen’s Global Trust found that 83% of people surveyed said they would trust a recommendation from someone they know.
If you really want to up the ante, get creative with how the content is presented. Reviews are old-school now, so try using pictures and videos of people actually using your product or service in their testimonial. They can then share this directly on their own social media page with specific hashtags so your business reaps benefits of their content.
Say Hello to 2018
As we say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018, it’s important to take stock of the highs and lows of your social media marketing strategy for the year, so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes. It’s equally important to understand what changes are on the horizon, so that you’re not left behind. So, embrace the strategies outlined here, put on your thinking cap and let your creativity run wild. Your target audience will thank you for it.