As we draw closer to the end of 2017, it's time to look at what the new year has to bring to the social media marketing landscape.
With the innovation of technology in 2017, we saw trends like AI, chatbots, and augmented reality become new ways for brands to get their message across. We also saw social media platforms continue to exceed expectations, proven by these statistics:
- 2.56 billion global mobile social media users - with 1 million new active users added every day (Source: We Are Social).
- More than 50 million small businesses use Facebook Pages to connect with their customers (Source: Facebook).
- Nearly 71% of the population that benefits from good social media service tend to be evangelists for a brand (Source: Ambassador).
With that said, here are a few trends to keep an eye on for social media in 2018:
1. More Mobile-Compatible Content
According to comScore's 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, mobile apps account for 60 percent of all digital media usage, and smartphone apps alone capture more than half of digital media time spent. One can only guess what the top mobile app is. Yes, it's Facebook.
While it's important for an ad to be seen, it's even more critical that it is compatible with mobile and formatted for the best user experience. As such, we'll see more brands creating content specifically for smartphones.
2. Video, Video, Video
In 2017, marketers found out the importance of video content across all channels. While YouTube remains the king of video content, Facebook videos receive 135% more organic views in comparison to photos AND video views are on the rise on Twitter and Instagram -- What's not to like about that!?
As static visuals continue to decrease in engagement, videos present a better way for brands to tell a story and connect with users, so we expect this trend to continue into 2018.
3. Influencer Marketing
While the concept isn't that new, social media influencers gained a whole lot of popularity in 2017 to help increase reach and brand reputation. As companies and brands begin to realize the importance of authentic content, this is a strategy we can watch out for in the coming year.
4. Live Content & Stories
Live streaming and stories were a huge hit in 2017, providing marketers with new content to create for the masses. These features saw upwards of 200 million+ in viewership daily and were included on premier platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Live content showed us it's ability to get followers excited and engaged as more brands leveraged this strategy to do product demonstrations and show videos of real people using them. Expect more brands to add fun and engaging stories and live streams to their content next year.
5. Augmented Reality
What is Augmented Reality?
AR is a technology that transforms your current environment by adding digital information to your line of sight (think, Pokemon GO & Snapchat hotdog filter).
AR has recently gained more popularity as bigger brands like Apple, Snapchat, and Facebook begin to create their own AR products to stay ahead of the game. For social media use, brands like Estée Lauder invites users to try out different shades of lipstick from wherever you are, through LipArtist, a Facebook Messenger bot. Find the shade you like? You can then proceed to the brand's website to make a purchase.
What other trends should marketers be thinking about as they prepare for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below!