Top Social Media Trends of 2018: An Infographic

Technologies and techniques to consider for the New Year

Data makes it obvious that social media will continue to see rising adoption throughout 2018, as it has for the last decade. During this time, we can expect a continuation of well-established trends:

  • Brand engagement with social media users will continue to rise
  • Companies will spend more money on social media advertising and marketing
  • E-commerce sales will climb
  • An all time world record will be set for the total number of visitors to Facebook, Twitter and other popular destinations

All things considered, there has never been a better time to take advantage of social media marketing techniques to build an audience and bring in leads.

As 2017 comes to a close, we will also witness the social media landscape transform and evolve in significant ways. To help you prepare, we are happy to present a detailed infographic shared with us by Filmora that investigates the most promising trends and how to take advantage of them -

The consumption of video content on social media networks has climbed exponentially in the past few years, and major analysis firms only expect this trend to continue.

At the same time, major networks including Facebook and Twitter are spending a good deal of money to develop their video platforms. In 2018, we can expect this effort to pay off for brands who will have expanded opportunities to reach consumers through engaging video content.

Live streaming is a natural evolution from static online video content, and since its introduction to consumers with SnapChat in 2011, major social networks have jumped at the chance to provide high-interactivity experiences for potential customers and fans.

The industry continues to skyrocket, and the statistics are promising. In polls, 80% of customers have confirmed they would prefer to watch live video on social media than read a text post. On Facebook, the point is proven by the 300% increase in viewership on live videos over regular ones.

Ephemeral messaging on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and — as of this year — Facebook Messenger gives brands a chance to share space in a consumer’s periphery with celebrities, artists, and close friends.

Ephemeral messaging as a marketing concept is still in its infancy, but serves significant advantages by leveraging the immediacy of the platform and bringing content to consumers who mainly rely on mobile devices for the Internet.

For many people, augmented reality (AR) represents a blurring of science fiction and reality. Although it has struggled to gain widespread adoption since its inception, Facebook and SnapChat have announced intentions to bring AR features to their social platforms.

With the tremendous success of games like Pokemon Go, it’s clear that AR is a platform ripe with potential. 2018 will give brands a chance to experiment on the bleeding edge of advertising in an augmented landscape.

Few managed to anticipate the popularity of chatbots, or their utility for brands and services. However, with the ubiquity of online messaging services, artificial intelligence APIs have enabled the development of intelligent bots that can support consumers, recommend products & discounts, or simply entertain.

In 2018, the number of conversations with chatbots will climb to 30% of total social media messaging, showing that the technology is here to stay and grow for some time.

Marketers have focused on the Millennial demographic for some time. But in 2018, a higher percentage of social media audiences will be comprised of members from Generation Z.

Rooted in the middle of the 1990s, Generation-Zers are the first human beings who have never known a world without widespread usage of computers, Internet and digital media. Now that the generation is old enough to begin entering the consumer market in mass, entrepreneurs have opportunities to build new niches using technologies that Zers are only too familiar with.

Influencer marketing has caught on as a tremendously successful social media channel that leverages the influence of popular and trustworthy figures in your target audience’s followed pages/accounts.

Much like product placement in big budget movies or television can boost a brand’s sales, influencer marketing has proven to be very effective. In 2018, the number of brands involved in influencer partnerships will climb, along with the number of figures willing to make partnerships. This will makes it one of the most promising marketing techniques in the New Year.

Much of the Internet has effectively transitioned from the living room to the pocket, as consumers continue to adopt smartphone usage worldwide. Mobile adoption brings advantages and limitations at the same time, and marketers should be well prepared for both.

As of 2017, the majority of social media traffic comes from smartphones, and this number is bound to increase. To accommodate visits from mobile devices, brands should ensure that their sites are optimized for mobile visitors. At the same time, ads should be made with mobile devices in mind; it’s worth considering the development of promotional apps to keep customers updated with offers and discounts.

Plenty of brands have taken the wise first step in launching a social media presence on the web’s largest networks. However, another tremendous social media presence exists on messaging platforms that range from Facebook’s Messenger to standalone services like WhatsApp.

By launching marketing efforts on these platforms, brands can tap into a pool that currently encompasses hundreds of millions of prospects. In 2018, adoption of messaging platforms will grow right alongside regular networks, making them a gold mine for digital marketers.

OMI is dedicated to helping small businesses navigate new marketing technologies more effectively, with practical education from experts across digital marketing fields.

To learn more about preparing for the future of marketing technology, consider viewing our brand new courses which include a series of classes on social media marketing. For ten days, access to our entire library of classes is completely free.

Brandon Shutt, Editor at OMI