Social Media Marketing Trends for 2018

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Every marketer knows social media should be an integral part of their marketing efforts, if not only to grow their brand but to reach and connect with audiences in a way you’ve not had the opportunity to do so before.

Instagram Stories
With the official launch in August 2016 and only just celebrating its first birthday, Instagram Stories have dominated the game when it comes to real time content.

With Daily viewers of Instagram Stories surpassing daily Snapchat views, Instagram is set to continue to dominate its competitor this coming year. Continuously adding new features throughout its 1st year in existence, Instagram have seemingly listened to its user feedback and adapted to suit its audience.

Over the past year Instagram Stories have changed from a disappearing image platform to integrating a number of different features, including the ability to add older content to stories, the superzoom tool, becoming desktop compatible, the new stop-motion feature and Stories Highlights Section, where users can create and save story highlights.

 

One of the most useful features for businesses, and one we’re expecting to see marketers utilize throughout the new year includes their ‘Swipe Up’ feature. Accounts with over 10,000 followers can feature a link within their story and send users straight to their website. With Instagram only allowing one clickable URL to be added to a profile, this option multiplies buying or enquiring options for many businesses.

Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month.

There’s no denying that Instagram has given us some incredible features and with plans to grow Stories and testing ‘Regram’ Buttons, this is set to continue throughout 2018.

Live Streaming
Live Streaming is set to be the go to for brands to grow their identity. With marketers beginning to realise the power of live streaming, and platforms continuing to update their live streaming options – it’s a missed opportunity if businesses fail to incorporate Live video into their monthly content plans.

80% of users said they’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post, while, according to Facebook, Live Video gets 3x more views than regular video.

For more on Live Streaming in 2018: Video Production and Marketing Trends 2018

Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is when the focus of marketing is placed on influential people, rather than spreading it across the targeted market.

Influencer marketers have built a relationship and a sense of trust with their audience over their years of blogging, vlogging or posting to social media sites. With it being the go to for many brands, especially start-ups, over the last year, influencer marketing gives audiences a sense of trust when purchasing a product, something marketers have never been able to properly utlise before.

In 2018 however, we will begin to see brands work closer with their chosen influencers and manage campaigns from start to finish. Whether that’s promoting something on the influencers social channels, or using an influencer in traditional marketing efforts, 2018 will continue to see the rise of the influencer.

Twitter
We’re keeping our eye on Twitter.

With 2017 not being the greatest year for the platform, we’re expecting to see drastic changes. We’re not sure what, Twitter themselves may not even know how they’re going to change. However, Twitter need to make some major changes in order to stay relevant in the vastly changing digital world.

Twitters growth is the slowest of all the major social media platforms, with its stock plunging in Summer 2017 and its not so successful partnership with Periscope, we’re expecting to see some drastic changes for the tweeting service.

Augmented Reality
A niche and engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience, we’re expecting to see augmented reality become a big trend this year. With Snapchat rolling out a new AR feature in late 2017, by allowing their users to project their Bitmoji into real world through their cameras and IKEA rolling out their app ‘Places’ for users to preview furniture in their home before buying, AR has already made its dent in the social world.

Augmented Reality is a quick, easy and interactive way to communicate with their audience. With the release of the iPhone X providing users with a new and extraordinary AR experience, the popularity is only predicted to grow by 53% in the next couple of years.

AR is set to make its impact on mobile gaming and it’s likely social media platforms will find ways to follow suit and incorporate the new technology as well.

The easiest prediction for social media in 2018 is change. With social networks competing to become the dominant platform, this new year is set to see social platforms change in a way we’ve never seen before.