Six ‘Distinct’ Trends Driving Social Media Activity in 2018

Hiren Panchal
by Hiren Panchal  |  17th Jan, 2018 in Social Media

Almost every business understands that social media is an extremely powerful tool. But how many of them know how to use this power?

Social media is huge! It has got everyone hooked.

As of 2017, there are about 2.07 billion active users on Facebook

…1.5 billion logged-in users on YouTube

…500 million on Instagram

…330 million on Twitter

…and 106 million on LinkedIn

So, just about anybody you want to connect with, you are sure to find them on social media.

Social media makes it easy to connect with customers in a cost-effective way.

Although it is getting easier to connect with customers, brands are facing difficulties in capturing their attention. The increasing competition across fields has led to a notable reduction in the attention spans of the users by giving them 300 feet of content to scroll through every day.

No, you can’t blame them for not paying attention. Instead you should try and make the most out of that 8 second window of time that you get to grab the attention of your users.

While you start building up on your brand-building ideas, let us give you a list of key trends that can have a huge impact on your 2018 social media strategy.

Augmented Reality for enhanced customer experience

A couple of years ago when Google came up with its Google Glass to take AR (Augmented Reality) to the next level, the audience wasn’t ready.

Thanks to apps like Pokémon Go; users are now waiting to explore their environments in a meaningful way using the devices they are comfortable with.

Thankfully Augmented Reality does not necessitate any specialist equipment unlike Virtual Reality.

With Augmented Reality into the picture, brands can now enhance their customer experiences in a better way. They can boost their customers’ confidence to shop online and cut down on returns. This is going to be the biggest development in retail after the concept of online shopping.

If you are not yet in the know of this amazing technology, it is high time you get started, unless you want to be left behind by your competition.

Ephemeral content for better engagement

It is not about putting your content out there forever. It is more about grabbing the attention of your customers as early as possible. Share content if it is of excellent quality and brings in value to your audience; else, there is really no use. Here are a few general social media posting frequency rules you can follow while posting content on different social media sites.

You want your story to appear at the top of your followers’ feed, whether you publish it on Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. Ephemeral Content can do this for you.

Agreed it stays for 24 hours and then disappears; but it has the power to keep your audience hooked. It makes you sound authentic; and the best part is that it is inexpensive.

If you can come up with some unique content, relevant to your brand, on a regular basis, you can make the most out of ephemeral content marketing.

Just make sure the ephemeral content service you choose gives you a QR code or Snapcode through which your users will be able to access your content quickly.

Hurry up! 250 million stories are getting published every day. You would want yours to count.

Focus on Reputation Management

Fake news that goes viral can cause a lot of damage to brand names. Just recently, a piece of such fake news got published under the logo of Starbucks. The publisher even used the same standard fonts as Starbucks.

Within no time he spread the message that the company was giving away Frappuccinos absolutely free, to undocumented immigrants. He even created a hashtag for the purpose – #borderfreecoffee.

Despite its size, Starbucks found it very tough to control the damage that was caused by this viral post.

Ergo, it becomes crucialfor brands to invest in reputation management, irrespective of their size.

You could choose between using a media monitoring tool and hiring a professional brand management service. Either way you stand at a benefit of keeping things under your control.

Chatbots for Instant Customer Service

Promptness matters a lot when it comes to customer service. Most of the times, it is the human intervention that causes delays in customer service. Through their stimulated conversations, Chatbots can solve this issue, making it easier for your customers to interact with your brand.

As self-help tools chatbots cater perfectly to the needs of today’s smart customers. They can be great when it comes to handling uncomplicated tasks like welcoming a user or helping him change his password.

Cost-effective and prompt, chatbots can make it possible for you to serve your customers 24/7, eliminating human errors.

As per Gartner’s ‘Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and beyond’ report, by 2020 customers may not need more than 15% of human interactions to manage their relationships with businesses.

Chatbots are here to change the way organizations serve their customers.

Influencer marketing to go mainstream

67% marketers have stated that influencer marketing campaigns have helped them reach a more targeted audience.

With more and more brands focusing on influencer marketing, single-source operating systems are soon going to be in high demand. That said it won’t be any more about throwing money at some of the popular influencers of the market. Things are soon going to take a technical turn.

The marketing efforts would be ROI-focused. They will be managed through technology and measured through data.

All influencer relationships and campaigns would be flawlessly managed through digital platforms, especially in case of the big brands.

It is going to be Video all the way!

90% of the content that is shared by users on social media comprises of videos. However the challenge is not about creating an engaging video; it is about how to grab the attention of your audience in the first 3 seconds of the video. You would require a strategy to achieve your goal.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, all of them are using videos to build followers and generate engagement.

Facebook Live and Instagram Live are becoming more and more popular as tools to create fresh, exciting content.

If you are ready to put in a little extra effort you could even think 360 degree videos.

So wake up and start working on improving your online presence. Embrace these trends and unleash the power of social media for the benefit of your business.

2018 – Here we come!

Hiren Panchal

Director, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Ahmedabad, India
Hiren Panchal co-founded Litmus with Kapil. Hiren owns an exhaustive character and sharpens his views with an analytical mindfulness. He observes every creative with a conscious magnifier. Just as his doer attitude wins over his believer attitude, his thought leadership aims at creating leaders and not followers on his team. His creative insights have created brands worldwide and he has been commanding in the industry for +20 years. Come to the point, he’s already there.

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