With a new year on the horizon, tech-savvy individuals and influencers everywhere are trying to grasp the top social media marketing trends to get ahead of. After all, 2017 saw social media platforms grow exponentially, merging into our everyday lives to a point where not having an account on at least two platforms makes you abnormal.
In fact, Australian statistics show that eight in every 10 people use social media, with 59% of those people accessing social media every single day.
We should no longer need to convince you of the power of social media marketing for businesses. Simply know that if your company is not on social media, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to easily access your target audience and grow your business.
For those who do have corporate social media accounts, now is the time to start evaluating the way your business will take on the social media market in 2018.
The Top Trends for 2018
1. Generation Z Paves the Way
Also known as the iGeneration, the children of Gen Z have grown up with internet and tech influences since birth. They are more engaged in marketing and communications through social media formats. Most even use smart devices in their school classrooms.
If we’re talking about using technology as a second nature, Gen Z are the prime example. Your business needs to start focussing its marketing attention towards not only Millennials, but Gen Zers too.
Gen Zers, who are born between the years 1996 and 2010, are the fresh new crop of young entrepreneurs. If you want to see the newest trends in social media, Gen Z are probably the ones creating them. They are hyper-connected and completely fluent in the perpetually-evolving online lingo that older generations struggle to keep up with.
They are a generation of social media thought leaders, knowing the intricate ins and outs of not only social media movements, but also the best marketing tactics businesses should use to attract the attention of new markets.
Think about it: if you want to find out what is ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’, you would usually turn to someone who’s younger than you for information.
Businesses need to leverage the information that Gen Zers have if they want to stay ahead in 2018.
2. Augmented Reality
We’ve seen a rise in AR over the past 12 months, but it’s predicted to reach a whole new level next year. The augmented reality and virtual reality experience is taking off, with tech giants incorporating this into the productsthey use and the platforms and apps they have created.
The growth in 2018 will be partly due to the fact that influential companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google are backing AR and VR with the new tools, services and platforms they are building.
It’s already starting to be implemented over social platforms, and will likely find its way into the branding and marketing of products and services. In fact, some companies have already started to do so – the most recent of which being Mastercard’s partnership with Qualcomm to develop an augmented reality shopping experience through wearable technology.
AR and VR will create a whole new playing field for companies everywhere, so make sure you implement a strategy in 2018 based around the realities you can create.
3. Video Content is a Must
Online video content is being heavily facilitated, not only by the advancements in our smartphones, but by the updated versions of the social media platforms we use every day.
The evolution of video content marketing will spike in 2018, covering everything from live streaming to Instagram Stories. Businesses need to evaluate the way they can implement video into their social media marketing campaigns to drive engagement and build branded content.
There are so many ways to create engaging video content in 2018. These include:
- Live streaming: Live videos that can be created on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. These are ideal for events, industry-based talks, discussions that will impact your audience, Q & A segments, or to highlight current events that may be taking place (i.e. a car chase for news outlets).
- Online hangouts: Inviting users to see a more personal view of your company and essentially ‘hang out’ with your brand.
- Facebook Series: One of the newest features of the platform, Facebook Series allows users to deliver video content as a series. Popular page Humans of New York has been one of the first to latch onto this trend, and it will only continue to grow in the new year. These ‘episodes’ allow users to easily flick through the content, almost like a subscription channel such as Netflix.
- Instagram Stories: These are easily created through the platform and can be anything from a Boomerang to a small live snippet of a company culture day or an update that your viewers would be interested in.
Video content is the major aspect of social media that’s set to thrive in 2018, so ensure you take the right measures to make it part of your marketing strategy in the new year.
2018 is destined to be a year of growth on social media, and it will be exciting to see how it unravels. Businesses everywhere should be harnessing the power of the platforms their audiences use every day and getting serious about their social strategies if they want to succeed online.