The previous year has been huge for social media. Twitter has seen a 280 character upgrade, Instagram and Snapchat continue to grow. Social media is changing at a rapid pace and it is vital to keep up with the changing social media trends to communicate effectively. Just as we don’t notice children getting taller day by day, we don’t always recognize how the social media landscape around us evolves. But it is evolving, constantly, and in 2018, there are going to be a handful of highly important social media trends dictating how that evolution unfolds.
Let’s have a look at some of the social media trends –
1. Videos Will Rule the Internet Traffic
Video will remain the preferred vehicle for information. By 2020, around 80 percent of global internet traffic will be attributed to video, so it’s smart to get in right away! Choosing video makes sense after looking at the stats: almost 95 percent of video messages are retained by viewers, compared to only 10 percent of text content. On social media, videos are 40 times more likely to be shared than any other type of content. The idea is not just to shoot a video and post it on Facebook, it is to create a cohesive video marketing campaign that actually works. You should keep your videos short and sweet and engage your audience with a story that matters to them. 2018 will again be the year of video for social media and make its mark in the social media trends.
2. Live Streaming will continue to explode
Live streaming statistics exploded in 2017, thanks in part to all the social media platforms and companies supporting this format. But 2018 will be an even bigger year in social media trends, now that both audiences and brands have settled into the format. This is no longer a cool new way to interact with audiences but an expectation from your brand. In 2018, more brands will begin to realize the power of live streaming and will incorporate it into their social media strategies. Instagram Stories and Snapchat stories are two other examples that give brands the chance to create timely video content and share it with their followers. It is expected that by 2021, the Live streaming industry is going to hit $70 billion dollars.
3. The Rise of Augmented Reality
When Google came up with Google glasses five years back, it turned out to be a flop resulting in hindrance to the growth of Augmented Reality. However, multiple companies—including Facebook, Google, and Snap—are now competing to enter or re-enter the AR ring. The dominance of AR apps such as Pokémon Go in 2017 is only an indication that Augmented Reality is here to stay. The Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone X have dedicated new chips to support Augmented Reality. It will join the social media trends in its own way.
4. Messaging Apps will become critical
There are a tremendous potential and opportunity for brands to leverage their presence. Many companies are using message apps to communicate directly with their customers. This helps customers to get the quick and effective response in case of query or complaint. It is cost-effective and scalable for companies to deploy this kind of customer service. It is predicted that by 2022 messaging apps will save businesses $8 billion dollars annually. Hyatt uses Facebook Messenger for 24-hour customer service, where guests can make reservations, ask questions, and get recommendations for their trips:
5. The rise of Voice search and AI
Voice controlled assistants are being built into everything possible to automate functions – from TVs to mobile devices. These intelligent assistants work on the concept of AI and keep learning. All the while, these voice-powered devices that respond and fulfill our verbal commands are learning more about us. They’re learning to differentiate our preferences and tones in households with multiple people, and they’re beginning to proactively know what information we might request. Devices like Alexa are among the initial devices in the storm of devices about to come in 2018. Voice controlled Assistants are here to stay and will continue to change the world around us.
6. Social Media is going Mobile
More and more people are also using social media on their smartphone. In fact, the majority of social media users are using the apps via their smartphone. Increasing number of people are accessing the site of Escale Solutions from mobile devices which suggests that people prefer smartphones than desktops. Let’s look at some numbers for the use of apps on smartphones as opposed to desktops:
- Facebook: 94% of monthly active users
- Twitter: 82% of monthly active users
- LinkedIn: 60% of unique visitors
- Pinterest: 80% traffic from mobile users
- Instagram and Snapchat: Majority, no stats needed
7. A Shift to Targeting Generation Z
Generation-Zers, born between 1995 and 2012 are considered to be the “true digital natives”. A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs shows that Generation Z is more valuable to most organizations than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Z are in their late teens. They are coming into the workforce and beginning to earn their own disposable incomes. Brands should begin to shift from a millennial-first social strategy to a Gen Z strategy that focuses on platforms loved by Gen Z, including Snapchat and Instagram.
8. The rise of Ephemeralised content (Micro Moments)
This “short-living or fleeting content “that is accessible for up to 24 hours is the new social game. This type of content is most popular with younger millennials and generation Z, which will both be a major focus in 2018. Disappearing content might sound scary to most marketers, but with its extreme popularity, it cannot be ignored. The content is gone within hours, so it increases FOMO (fear of missing out) with potential customers a result.
The takeaway from all the above trends is that social media trends don’t stay in one place. Remember, social media is about connecting one-on-one with your audience. So, irrespective of which social media trends you follow, you should keep customers your first priority.