The top 5 social media trends to watch in 2018

A new year brings change and a huge realm of possibilities. With this in mind, why not take the opportunity to update your social media strategy? As social media channels look to evolve in 2018, new trends begin to emerge which simply cannot be ignored, and unless you adapt your channels to suit, you risk being left behind.

Every year it becomes more apparent how prominent social media is. With such a vast range of social media channels available businesses need to act fast to really start to understand how to use social media effectively in order to drive better engagement, increase brand identity and generate conversions. In today’s climate, decisions are made quickly and audiences have increasingly short attention spans, the pressure is on brands and businesses to make instant, positive impressions.

Here are the top 5 social media trends which are set to take 2018 by storm:

Videos on social media

If you use social media, you already know how important video is. You were scrolling through Facebook when you spotted an amusing or fascinating video on your timeline and stopped you from going any further. Sound familiar?

Videos are eye-catching which is probably why they’re historically known for increasing engagement in the form of likes, shares, retweets, and comments on all social media platforms. If we haven’t already convinced you to give video a try, these statistics may change your mind:

Social media video statistics 2017

  • Online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
  • Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day.
  • 10 billion videos are watched on snapchat every day.

Now you know how important videos on social are, here are some more stats on what videos work best:

Video watching behaviour 2017

  • Videos up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement.
  • 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.
  • 65% of people who watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video will watch for at least 10 seconds, and 45% will watch for 30 seconds.
  • More than 50% of videos are watched on mobile.

Source: SocialMediaToday 

Instagram stories drive upcoming Instagram trends

In 2017 snapchat gained a new competitor in the form of Instagram stories, and Instagram revealed earlier this year that it has over 250 million people using the feature every day. That’s over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat! (Source: Recode)

Instagram stories allow users to post multiple photos, videos and even boomerangs which in sync play like a slideshow. All of which disappears at the end of each day.

So it’s really, really similar to Snapchat. When Instagram stories first launched in August 2016, all everyone could talk about was how they’d completely copied the Snapchat model. Whilst this is true to an extent, the Instagram feature isn’t a like for like rip-off of Snapchat, but actually a better version of it and here are some reasons why;

 

  • Instagram stories allow you to share links as well as tag people in posts.
  • It allows users to run polls, collect results and monitor their audience’s behaviour.
  • It has a much larger audience, unlike Snapchat, which launched with no audience at all, Instagram was already home to a vibrant culture of photo sharers before the introduction of their Stories
  • Features like live stories, boomerangs, superzoom, rewind and stop-motions are just some of the features available for creating that eye catching Instagram story.

Source: Social Media Authority 

Influencer marketing

Are you still yet to give influencer marketing a try? If so, 2018 is definitely the year to get your blogger outreach hat on and delve into the new marketing technique that is influencer marketing.

Influencer marketers are the new celebrities when it comes to marketing, with 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers saying they trust influencer opinions more than “regular” celebrities and 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a reference from social media. (Source: Social Media Authority) To confirm this fact, YouTubers, or social influencers, have also been appearing on popular reality shows such as Celebrity Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity over the last few months.

Topshop are a prime example of a company which uses influencer marketing across its social media channels; this can be seen on its Instagram page as it reaches out to influential fashion bloggers and commentators on the channel.

Source: Topshop Instagram Account

 

Considering getting your message or brand in front of some influential figures in your industry? In 2018, your focus should be on building meaningful, long-term relationships with influencers, choosing a person or people who can really reach out and engage with your target audience.

Messaging platforms to be used by businesses

In 2018, we will see businesses step out of their comfort zone and focus on social messaging apps. Whilst it is forever apparent that great customer service is built upon excellent communication, many businesses have been missing a trick by not using social messaging as a channel.

When was the last time you used a social media messaging app to send a message? For most of us the answer is probably no more than an hour ago. People are now spending more time in social messaging than in social media. From a personal point of view, this is most people’s first port of call in delivering a message. So why not apply this same thinking to business communications?

“I think 2018 will bring something of an advent in the way marketers use messaging apps. We’ve already seen a growing trend for social media messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger – and even a rise in chatbots – but next year some of those tools are likely to be completely reinvented, giving brands a route to effectively communicate with audiences throughout every step of the marketing funnel.” – Tom pepper, Head of marketing solutions Uk, LinkedIn. (Source: Econsultancy – https://econsultancy.com/blog/69682-social-media-trends-in-2018-what-do-the-experts-predict)

Twitter will change

The world of social media is ever-growing, but is it set to leave behind our old friend twitter?

Rewind back a few years and Twitter was the main social media platform when it came to expressing emotions and engaging in discussions. However, despite a much-anticipated increase in the character count late last year, it seems people are ditching Twitter for simpler, more effective social media platforms.

There are multiple factors which could explain the negative decline in Twitter users, including perhaps that it’s Donald Trump’s chosen social media platform? Or that in spite of the increased character allowance, it’s still annoying to have your thought process curtailed by a word count. Whatever the reasons, it is it’s not looking good for Twitter 2018, although it’s rumoured the platform will be undergoing major changes, so watch this space…

Despite the negative numbers, there are rumours that Twitter will be undergoing big changes in 2018, so could there still be hope?

Need support with your social media marketing in 2018?

If you’d like more support on using social media for business then why not get in contact with us and find out how we can help you with every step of the process, from face to face or online training to social media strategy development, content creation and channel management.