As you’d expect, our web design New York team has its finger firmly on the pulse of breaking trends across the digital marketing space. This week, we’re turning our attention to social media and sharing five ways you can get ahead of the curve by keeping track of these trends.
#1 Limited time content sharing
This is a trend that our web design New York team is particularly excited about given its abundance of creative potential. While Snapchat was the original source of limited time content, Facebook and Instagram are rapidly starting to dominate this space. Despite launching its answer to Snap years after the chat app pioneered the disappearing content phenomenon, it now dominates. The latest figures show that Instagram Stories has 300 million daily active users – around half of Instagram’s total user base – so this is one format that isn’t going anywhere soon.
With only a small window in which to engage your audience, limited-time content challenges you to really flex your creative muscles and share images and videos that make an impact right away. Expect to see more and more energy directed at ephemeral content this year and more emphasis placed on planning and production. Content must be authentic to offer value so don’t be surprised if you begin to need expert assistance in this area, perhaps in the form of a dedicated team member or even a specific budget for Instagram Stories.
#2 Video content will dominate
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg called this trend when he told TechCrunch that “…he sees fostering community around video as a big push for Facebook.” Over 9 in 10 people who access the internet via a mobile device already share video content with others so there is little doubt that we can expect video to dominate social media campaigns in 2018.
If you aren’t already using video as part of your social media marketing, the chances are good that you will be before the year is out. Those who are regularly creating and sharing video can expect this format to become more important and an even bigger driver of engagement – the challenge will be in creating content that not only encourages the social fan to click play but to retain their interest until the last reel.
#3 More social filters
Our web design Port Washington, NY team, is seeing more and more filters creeping into social media content creation – so we bet you’ll also start to see more custom filters popping up in your own feeds this year. First made famous by Snapchat, brands are slowly being given the technology needed to create custom filters for their social fans to use. This is great for advertising and audience engagement, and as smartphones become more sophisticated with AR built in, there will likely be a wealth of new opportunities to use this type of product in your social media creation.
#4 The chatbots are coming
Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence are infiltrating most marketing channels, and social media is no different. According to our web design New York experts, chatbots will be a key trend in 2018 and a term that you’ll hear repeatedly.
Many consumers now rely on social media to voice their complaints, access customer service or praise a brand for their experiences. This shift in how buyers and sellers interact is one of the reasons chatbots are set to become more prolific in social media this year.
Chatbots are a superb way for businesses of all sizes to deal with this increase in direct engagement as they can be programmed to provide standard answers to a range of queries.
#5 Expect a different kind of influencer marketing to dominate
It’s fair to say that influencer marketing has come of age. As a discipline, it’s becoming much more streamlined and more mature, with specialist influencer networks and dedicated influencer marketing agencies springing up to help brands better connect with social media’s own brand of celebrity.
With some influencers now commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars per post, this is an important channel and one that more and more brands are switching on to. According to ‘The Social Influence Business in 2018 and Beyond’ report, there has been a huge growth in influencer marketing in the last 12 months:
83% of influencers report an overall business growth.
52% say they’ve grown their audience.
Micro-influencers (those with 10,000 – 100,000 followers) are seeing increased success, with 57% reporting more revenue growth, a more prominent audience share, and more audience engagement.
If you aren’t familiar with influencer marketing, you likely will have seen it in action but perhaps not realized. It is simply the act of using a well-known personality, usually a blogger or social media personality, to work with your brand and promote your products to their audience. This is often done in a more subtle way than advertising, with the influencer showing how they use the product or service or advocating its benefits.
Our web design New York experts say you should expect influencer marketing to be top of the agenda for social media teams in 2018. If you’re a smaller business, we predict you’ll find a wealth of new content creators emerging, giving you more micro-influencer collaboration opportunities than ever before.
That said, audiences are now also becoming more aware of product placement and paid promotions, creating a challenge for brands looking to leverage this potential. Merely gifting appropriate social media personalities with a free product will no longer be enough, so increasingly, expect to see a shift towards longer, more meaningful relationships.
With bigger budgets and more power, influencers will be more considered about who they work with too, but this will come at the cost of being more accountable for value and results.
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