Our Social Media Predictions For 2018
I don’t want to alarm anybody but it’s NOVEMBER ALREADY! Um, hello? Just what the fox happened to 2017? Get the decorations and your stretchy pants ready because Sweet Baby Jesus, Christmas is coming. Before the season’s festivities begin now’s the time to reflect on the business year and start preparing for the new year. Especially the social media predictions likely to become a reality in 2018.
2017 proved that not only is social media here to stay, but it’s imperative to the success of a business. Brands that embrace it are able to reach audiences in an exciting, targeted way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. If you haven’t upped your social game in 2017, 2018 is the year to take the reigns of that sleigh (see what I did there?) and get socially savvy for good.
In the coming year, the social space will continue to take brand promotion, relationship management and customer acquisition to genius levels. We’re already seeing mind-blowing stuff like augmented reality; the integration of digital information with our environment in real-time. 90 percent cool, 10 percent creepy! And we predict things are going to get more exciting for the social landscape in the coming year.
These Are Our Social Media Predictions for 2018;
INSTAGRAM STORIES WILL TAKE OVER
Snapchat, you mean Snoozechat? Joking, millennials, relax. But seriously, there’s no denying that the Instagram fam’ are dominating the live stream and story space. A year from releasing their Instagram Stories feature, they’re smashing Snapchat’s monthly users by a cool 50 million. Impressive stuff.
Next year both will continue their reach. But we’re forecasting that the ‘Gram will continue to dominate and branch out on some cool new features. If you really want to slam your brand’s Gram (ok, I’ll stop) for 2018, mastering Instagram Stories will put you ahead of your competitors and right in front of your target market.
It’s what’s known as ephemeral content – content that’s around for a short period of time until it disappears forever. Like Snapchat, the premise is to share photos and videos in a slideshow format with your followers for a period of up to 24 hours. Brands can show behind the scenes footage , feature products, host promotions, create moments and more.
When developing your digital marketing plan for the New Year, consider what place ephemeral content will play. It’ll continue to increase in popularity, and brands that jump on board now, will stay ahead of the game for the next year.
INFLUENCER MARKETING CONTINUES TO EXPLODE
Here’s the thing; It’s not that I DON’T believe Revlon’s latest mascara will make my lashes pop, or that McDonald’s new chorizo and egg wrap is delicious. I just don’t TRUST their judgment in remaining impartial to their own endorsement.
I’m more likely to trust literally anybody else, for a more authentic recommendation that doesn’t come directly from the source. And that’s where influencer marketing comes in.
In a busy, marketing-message and advertisement-full landscape, influencer marketing is this generation’s word-of-mouth system. The difference is a socially savvy influencer has a much larger audience reach than just their friends and family. Their voice reaches the masses because they’ve developed their own brand, following, and celeb status in their own right.
This year influencer marketing exploded because it works. It works because it does what its title implies. It influences the buyer journey and give brands access to followers that wouldn’t trust marketing messages directly from them.
Finding a marketing influencer in your industry can take promoting your product and services to new heights. Consider looking into local social media stars, sports stars or anyone else with an influence related to what you do. This sort of partnership can have a real impact for your brand in 2018.
ROBOTS AND CHATBOTS WILL BECOME A REAL THING
Having to talk to other humans is the worst, amiright? As more companies embrace chatbots – computer generated conversations between programs and people – interacting with people is going to be less and less necessary in the coming year. What a time to be alive!
All jokes aside, businesses that started using these programs in 2017 saw positive results. Especially when initial teething problems were overcome to make the bots a useful asset. We believe improved technology in 2018 will see it becoming a revolutionary way to provide high-quality customer service in real-time in a cost-effective manner.
It’s cheaper than producing an app, it’ll save money on human labour, and it helps improve communication and retention rates. Depending on your company size and customer base, developing a chatbot may benefit your business in 2018.
HANGOUTS WITH YOUR FRIENDS WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE
It’s the age-old Friday night dilemma. It might be nice to head out and catch up with friends, but that would involve showering and pants-wearing and leaving the comfort of your couch. There’s just not enough time to mentally prepare for such a commitment.
Hold on tight, friends. We’re about to blow your mind. There’s a way you can hang out with your squad, sans pants, with limited risk of getting arrested for indecent exposure. It’s called digital hangouts.
There’s currently an app called House Party that’s a video hangout platform. Over one million people already use it to digitally chill out with each other daily. We think the coming year will see the popularity of it and other digital hangouts erupt.
We’re not sure how businesses will use these, but like any new social media platform that becomes big, there is an opportunity for brands to embrace their popularity for their own purposes. Watch this space.
FACEBOOK WILL CONTINUE TAKING OVER THE WORLD
Like previous years Facebook will continue to do it’s a thing and strive for world domination. Not happy to settle for its conventional social media slice, it’ll continue putting its finger in every digital pie.
This year we saw Facebook’s buy and sell feature Marketshare become popular. It’s streaming service Facebook Live made news around the world. It invented a virtual reality called Facebook Places that is starting to get traction. And amongst other things, it’s also purchased the rights to stream major sporting events for the coming year.
It’s not too late to get Facey Fantastic for 2018. It’s all about video, video, and video. Preparing strategies for both it’s live and recorded video features is a great place to start. Also, integrating it’s messenger application to your customer support team, and spending time each day building your brand’s Facebook community will help you achieve strong results next year.
More importantly, whatever Facebook does in the future, adopt it (within reason). Time and time again they’ve proved they’ll continue to evolve and they have the resources and the power to produce amazing things. Their potential is limitless and your brand’s ability to harness it can be too.
If you really want to get ahead of the 2018 social media trends, why not get in touch with our social superstars at the What The Fox Creative Fox den? We have an expert team of social strategists who are masters in everything social media. They’ll work with your brand to give it the foxy prowess needed to get ahead of the pack for the coming year. Book in for a social media workshop or contact us today!