Social Media Marketing is evolving at a rapid pace. And with several updates being announced each year by every social channel, it’s becoming a bit challenging to predict how the social media marketing landscape will change over the course of a year.
For instance, a content format named Stories was introduced on several Social Media Marketing channels slightly more than a year ago. Now, according to a recent survey conducted by TechCrunch, Stories are the most popular content format individuals are posting. In fact, TechCrunch reveals that more than 300 million people are sharing stories on WhatsApp and Instagram each day, and 70 million users were posting to Messenger Day just six months after its launch.
Stories are so popular now, that even businesses have started using them to post updates on a regular basis.
We also saw the beginning of Instagram Shopping, which enable users to instantly shop products and/or book services without having to leave the app. So, with such a jam-packed year, what trends can we look forward to in 2018?
SEO Agency London sat with some of the top marketing experts to discuss the 6 social media marketing trends that every brand needs to keep an eye on:
Sharing User-Generated Content Social Media Marketing
With recent algorithm updates limiting the organic reach of social posts, businesses are now looking for smart alternatives to reach their audiences. One of which is to share user-generated content.
As part of their content strategy, some of the big names in market I.e. BMW, Starbucks, and Netflix are re-posting user-generated content to improve their online engagement scores.
Why user-generated content is important, you ask? Here are some stats that will help you understand;
-According to a report published by Mavrck, sharing of user-generated content featuring a brand drove 7 times higher engagement than brand-generate Social Media Marketing posts.
-Olympia’s 45% of 4500 survey respondents say that they look up user-generated images for inspiration at least once a day.
-The same Olapia’s survey also revealed that survey respondents trust images shared by consumers seven times more than adverts.
-About 60% of the respondents are likely to make a purchase after seeing a customer-generated post of the respective product/service.
Apart from hiring SEO Services London, businesses are now tapping into the power of their audience by re-sharing user-generated content. Brands are now reposting their customers’ social media posts to improve their organic reach and engagement ratios.
Customized Chatbots are Becoming the Norm
Almost 80% of senior marketing and sales executives around the globe are using chatbots for their business or plan to use them by 2020, as surveyed by Oracle. Social Media Trends in 2018 point towards another year of growth with chatbots. In fact, if we look at the history of chatbots, there’s a notable increase throughout 2017 and the growth is likely to continue.
According to Sprout Social, Chatbots on Facebook Messenger have improved organizations productivity by up to 3.5 times. More and more brands are joining the chatbot revolution by creating customized chatbot activity frameworks that are fed with brand-specific ways to handle customer requests.
More Augmented Reality
Use of Augmented Reality [AR] on mobile devices provides marketers a quick, easy and interactive way to connect with their target audiences. If you think face filters [also known as AI Lenses] were popular in 2017, wait until social channels announce their 2018 updates.
With the launch of iPhone 8 and iPhone X that are equipped with advanced face recognition and AI technology, social channels are likely to make big changes in the way businesses can market their products/services in 2018.
Brands can deploy AI technology to encourage their audiences to actually make the purchase. For example, IKEA’s latest app called ‘Place’ allow users to preview furniture in their home before they ACTUALLY buy it from the store.
This year social media will play an important role in providing brands with a robust platform to play with the AR technology and to test different marketing strategies.
Businesses will be Spending More Money on Paid Ads
Social media advertising is going to take the center stage this year. With more than six million Facebook advertisers and two million Instagram advertisers, social media ad spend is expected to increase more than 20% on an annual average.
The rapid increase in the number of social media marketers and social media ad spending indicates the significance of SMM ads for businesses. Just like last year, businesses from across the world will be experimenting with different paid ad campaigns to encourage sales and generate more online engagement in 2018.
If you’re planning to go social this year but aren’t sure which platforms to work with, the digital marketing experts at the SEO Agency London can help you figure that out.
Videos are Still Ruling
Back in 2017, Buzzsumo’s study of 880 million Facebook Posts discovered that the video posts have the highest average engagement. In fact, on average a video post catches double the level of engagement in comparison to other post types. With the help of a little Facebook promotion, Buffer experiences 900% year-to-year increase in its video views, growing to a count of 2.3 million in 2017.
There are many pieces of evidence that point towards the increasing popularity and importance of videos on social. For instance, Facebook and Instagram recently introduced new video features to encourage their users to create and share more videos.
According to Animoto’s findings, advertisers are likely to spend more on promoting video posts this year. More than 50% of the survey respondents have planned to increase their spend on video ads on;
- Facebook by 63%,
- YouTube by 60%,
- Twitter by 52%, and
- Instagram by 50%.
If you plan to outsource your social media marketing, then you can book SEO services London to make things work in sync with your overall marketing strategy.
Brands Address Call-outs and Social Issues More
Social media has entirely changed the way how conversations used to happen between a customer and a CSR. There is a rise in social call-out culture that is bringing more transparency and responsibility to a brand’s social team. Customers now tend to take matters on social when they feel they have been wronged and use their network as a chance to be heard.
A survey of more than 1,000 people by Sprout Social, revealed that 46% of the survey respondents have called-out or complained about a business on social. This helps keep businesses accountable, and to make more of a social effort to reinforce a stance.
So, in 2018, businesses are more likely to make use of reliable social listening tools that will help them keep track of every conversation.