2018 is in full swing and social media is predicted to be surfing a more significant wave than in 2017. After a year of many changes in the social media industry, how do you plan on reaching and engaging your target audience?
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube continuously implement new and improved features to enhance user experience. With the world of social media under constant modification, a social platforms ability to adapt to the latest developments is crucial for tangible results, which evidently leads to business success.
To help you succeed, here are four social media trends that will continue to evolve in 2018.
Over time, the dominance of videos on social media has taken the world by storm, particularly Facebook and YouTube where people are much more likely to watch a video as it instantly plays. Off the back of this, live streaming has made its own mark as Facebook live videos are being watched 3X longer than regular ones and continue to reach large-scale audiences unmediated.
The selling point in executing a live video rather than posting a recorded video is the interaction, primarily receiving questions and comments in real time. Due to this mass appeal, brands both big and small have started to incorporate this form of compelling content to capture the attention of followers.
An oldie but a goodie, launched in 2016. Instagram Stories currently has more than 250 million users thanks to its user-friendly and interactive nature. Aside from developing personal connections with users via sharing of photos, Instagram Stories creates a fear of missing out amongst its audience, coupled with the 24-hour availability which drives a higher engagement rate.
The rise of Instagram Stories, also known as ephemeral content, has also encouraged brands to create a community off the main Instagram profile, inline with the brand’s social strategy, which helps to drive traffic in other ways, such as linking to outfits/products, influencer shout outs and driving promotional offers to the branded website. This is a key feature because unlike traditional Instagram content, where it is not possible to include an active link to a webpage, Instagram Stories allows viewers to swipe up to do just that.
A 2017 trend that is only set to get bigger. As the social media world is getting overcrowded, Influencer Marketing is becoming one of the most popular forms of advertising that drives growth. According to an influencer marketing survey conducted by Collective Bias involving 14,000 respondents, 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.
With progression over time, there has become many ‘types of influencers’ with specific roles and as a result, the decline in celebrity ambassadors has seen an increase in niche and micro-influencers from specific interest communities, leading to a 10x rise in conversion. A recommendation from friends and peer-to-peer speaks volumes and is now the main source of a consumer’s decision.
Love it or hate it, the algorithms are here to stay. A casual user who only wants to see what friends and family are up to and not Facebook posts from brands they followed five years ago, will benefit from this new update. However, those affected include social media marketers and brands that have noticed a decline in their reach over a longer time period.
The purpose of a social media algorithm is to provide the audience with relevant and interesting content that they love to see, which is measured by with whom they interact. With recent changes on social platforms, it has become tougher for businesses to achieve a higher level of organic reach within busy news feeds, despite Facebook’s algorithm actively prioritising video content, which means it is much more likely to appear in people’s feeds. This is because meaningful interactions and posts from friends and family continue to be prioritised. To combat this a brand would need to post relevant content that engages the user and creates conversation, followed by social advertising for the content to be seen.
To find out how HROC can help you stay relevant by incorporating 2018’s trends to grow your business success, get in touch with the team on 0121 454 9707 or email gary.hebblethwaite.co.uk