Social media and digital technology are iterative. That means that every new instance has the possibility of being better than the last. What this leads to is a consistent rewriting of industry standards and a constantly changing disposition.
Every month there may be an article about “the top trends in the industry” but are these truly informative pieces? The ultimate test of a savvy social media marketer is the ability to read in-between the lines. In fact, if you pay close enough attention, you may be able to predict social inclinations before they happen. The social data you collect can lead to progressive analytics that will drive your ROI through the roof.
So, what does delving into the details of social media management really involve in this current landscape? Don’t blink, because it will all change in two seconds. In the interim, check out these trends and latch on before it’s too late.
This equates to stronger governance, and why not? After an iffy American election, Facebook began to embrace a more hands-on approach to the newsfeed. Given the widespread criticism both Facebook and Twitter received last year, it is highly likely that new governance policies and codes of conduct will be installed to insulate future criticism. This means permanent changes in their algorithms.
Just recently, Facebook radically shifted its model to include more organic material and fewer ads in your newsfeed. This means there will be less authentic reach for businesses. To combat this new trend, a savvy marketer will investigate who their greatest influencers are and jump off from there. It’s called “influencer marketing” and it’s something every digital marketer should be practicing.
When the iPhone 8/X were announced, both devices included a chip specifically designed for users to experience augmented reality (AR). It is an effective form of technology because it blurs the line between reality and the imagined world. Think of how popular Pokémon Go was. It was the first type of mobile video game that had people traveling all over the world and meeting new friends. This was AR in its baby form.
AR transforms your current environment by adding a layer of digital information. Businesses can use this to their advantage in a variety of ways, particularly social media. It is highly plausible that platforms like Instagram and Snapchat will soon support filters where people can take selfies with celebrities. Or imagine the power when you can project your product straight into consumer homes?
Brands like Estée Lauder are already carrying out campaigns where people can sample different shades of lipstick from wherever they are in the world. They do this using a Facebook messenger bot. Can you see the connection?
This is not a new concept. In fact, it’s always been the best possible form of marketing a business could wish for. Think of it like “word-of-mouth” in the sense that your service or product is impressing someone so much, they become a brand advocate. They will post on their social media about your stuff and tell their friends and family. They may be leaving you positive reviews. The idea is that the audience trusts these people and thus you should pursue that influence.
Over 90% of marketers who use influencer marketing strategies believe it has brought them success. Huge names like Hubspot, Rolex, and North Face use influencer marketing strategies based in social media. Not only does it allow them to connect with new audiences, but it keeps the engagement going with their current customers.
Every generation has different wants, needs, and likes. The more your company is aware of these, the easier it will be to market to the different generations. Goldman Sachs conducted a recent study that concluded Generation Z (22 years and under) was more valuable to a company than millennials. This means that generational marketing is super important for modern business.
As brands recognize the worth of marketing to different generations, they will begin to shift their social media strategies accordingly. Gen Z has grown up completely immersed in a digital world, but that also makes them savvy and interested consumers. Having access to a vast amount of data gives you incredible purchasing power. As Gen Zers move into the labor force, you can expect big brands to make big moves towards video platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
The kids all crave the video. Whereas chatrooms were once a popular way to meet, video apps are the new way users engage. Houseparty is a what is called a video hangout platform and it is visited by over 1 million people every day. Although the app is typically used by Gen Zers to keep in touch with their friends, Houseparty is so successful that Facebook has started investigating possible integrations or a copycat.
Just as Instagram released “Stories” as a way to integrate social video, Facebook is likely to follow suit with something similar to Houseparty. Knowledgeable marketers won’t wait to develop content strategies, they’ll start doing it right now.
Over 75% of smartphone users and 2.5 billion people worldwide use messaging platforms to communicate. Yet despite this skyrocketing trend, brands are still not on the bandwagon for how they can harness this power. In 2018, expect companies to start heavily investing in messaging apps.
Brands can offer personalized shopping experiences through extensions like chatbots, voice assistance, and artificial intelligence. Expect platforms like WhatsApp, Kik, and Facebook Messenger to see an increasing number of users who demand personalized brand experiences.
Everything changes at the drop of a dime, so it may be time to investigate the platforms you currently use and reassess their value. Of course, if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. However, if you’ve hit a plateau or your numbers are decreasing, your channels should be reevaluated.
Twitter hasn’t grown significantly since 2017 and it is continuing to decline. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all have more followers than Twitter. With the increasing amount of fake accounts, the company has little brand trust. After losing the rights to stream NFL games (to Amazon) Twitter is rethinking their entire structure, which may include subscriptions. If that happens, you might want to rethink growing an organic audience on the platform.
Now you see it, now you don’t. Like that 24-hour sale, there is great power in ephemeral content. In fact, it typically provides the best engagement rate because people know they have little opportunity to view it. Snapchat and Instagram have made the 24-hour disappearing videos super popular in the past few years and now, brands are catching on.
Ephemeral content is typically the highest quality content because it has the smallest space to make a connection. This also happens to make it more authentic. Marketers that take advantage of ephemeral content are getting consumers to “act fast” or “click here before it disappears.” The tactics are genius because it forces people to make faster decisions.
This is social interaction on the next level. It allows you a chance to interact with people in a virtual reality environment using an avatar of your choice. Facebook Spaces is an entire digital planet where you can connect with family and friends, play games, and network as if in a different world. The app is currently in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch, so marketers should start thinking about VR environments now.
Following in the path of games like Second Life, businesses will soon have the ability to build virtual stores where people can physically “shop” with their avatar. Using their credit card information, they can purchase straight from a digital environment, much like your company website—only this is much more fun.
If you want to be successful, you must create business goals that respond to changing conditions. It’s incredibly important to not only know the technology that is trending but find active ways to employ it. The consequences of not paying mind to what consumers are using to purchase stuff, means you fall behind in the competition. People will simply see you less.
Ultimately, these types of trends will bring even more consumers to the table. Think about the purchasing power of someone with a disability that’s still able to visit and shop in your virtual store. Or how using influencer marketing really creates a new level of trust that companies may never have considered. Staying on top of trends is important because ultimately, it means you care about what the people want and are consistently working towards giving it to them.