Clearly social media is one of the foremost driving forces to move businesses across the world almost 2.5 billion social media users. There hasn’t been such a great opportunity to reach and engage your target audience before social media became popular. However social media is changing at a rapid pace.
It’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends.
- Social media is going mobile
We are becoming glued to our smartphones. In fact, the majority of social media users are using the apps via their smartphone. This trend increases the importance of creating mobile-friendly or mobile-first content.
2. Social messaging vs social media
Since the rise of social media in the last decade, the rise of social messaging (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) is the next transformational shift that’s happening. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses. It is helping businesses connect with their customers more than ever. Consumers use messaging to ask businesses questions, make appointments and purchases, and provide feedback.
3. Chatbots are the norm
The rising tide of social messaging also lifted the chatbot boat.
As Facebook Messenger grew, the number of bots in Messenger also grew — from 33,000 to more than 100,000 in just a year. There are also chatbots in WeChat, Slack, Viber, iMessage, and many other platforms.
Chatbots can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as marketing, payments, customer service, and more. They will allow businesses to automate and scale many manual processes and enjoy massive cost-savings. Chatbot adoption is also taking off on the consumer front. And consumers seem to be enjoying their interactions with chatbots, too.
4. Social customer service is the new focus
Customer service used to be private conversations between a customer and a customer service representative. Social media has changed that entirely. The public nature of social media platforms is giving these conversations more exposure with the ability to re-share a social media post that could be amplified and “go viral”. Ignoring such social media posts can have dire repercussions for your business. That’s why social media is now the top channel for customer service.
5. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
The organic reach on Facebook has fallen considerably. Both Instagram and Twitter also have an algorithmic timeline, which affects organic reach. When fewer people see your social media posts, even fewer will click on your links and visit your website.
Clearly then organic social media is for engagement and brand building, not referral traffic or revenue. Social media is becoming an engagement channel.
6. Video content goes popular
Undoubtedly video is the most popular content type. 2018 will be no different.
Video posts have the highest average engagement and twice the level of engagement of other post types on average.
That’s why Facebook and Instagram have been introducing many new video features over the recent years such as live videos and Stories. LinkedIn has also recently introduced native LinkedIn videos.
Marketers are also planning to spend more on video advertising in 2018.
7. User-generated content- the key to drive reach and engagement
With organic reach on social media falling, businesses are looking around for alternative ways to reach their audiences. One of which is user-generated content.
Many major brands such as BMW, Netflix, and Starbucks are reposting user-generated content as part of their content strategy, especially on Instagram
Instead of producing their own content all the time, businesses are tapping into the power of their audience (and influencers) and reposting user-generated content, which generates more engagement and trust thereby increasing their brand reach.
8. Businesses are investing heavily in social ads
To combat falling organic reach and boost their social media marketing, businesses are also turning to social media advertising.
Social media ad spending has also been on the rise, growing more than 20 percent annually. It is estimated that this high growth rate would continue until at least 2018 while some even predict that social media ad spending will overtake newspaper ad spending by 2020.