5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch For 2018

5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2018

 

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached this time of the year already! The holidays are quickly approaching, which means businesses are scrambling to get things in order. Immediately after the holidays is a new year with new trends to explore.

Based on what we’ve seen in 2017, we can expect 2018 to be an exciting year too! Social media is growing and finding new ways to assimilate into our daily lives. Not only do people use social media to connect with friends, read the latest news and watch entertaining videos but also to buy products and services.

Let’s explore five social media marketing trends that we can expect to take full effect in 2018.

1. Facebook: Augmented Reality  

A decade ago, the internet was largely text-based. Over the past 10 years, it has evolved into photos, videos, gifs and memes. Does it stop here? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says no. He anticipates that the next step is a type of virtual reality where users feel like they’re actually there.

With the cost of virtual reality, however, Facebook is starting with augmented reality. AR blends together online and offline experiences. Facebook plans to make large investments in AR in 2018, incorporating elements such as virtual overlays and image-recognition triggers. Snapchat is also working on similar technology to deliver immersive experiences for users. It will be exciting to see these new updates being added!

2. Twitter: Customer Service

Twitter had another rough year. With numbers lacking, the platform is trying to find its niche in the social media world. It’s possible that this niche revolves around customer service.

Several studies have found that Twitter is the preferred platform for customer questions. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the platform shows the tweets publicly, putting pressure on companies to respond. Second, consumers like being able to deliver short messages in real time. Easy, effortless communication is what today’s shoppers crave.

As long as Twitter believes that they can become the customer service platform, we should expect to see more investments made in this direction. For example, Twitter has already added bot-like tools and options, such as the customizable Direct Message Card and automated customer response tools. In 2018, look for additional connection options to be rolled out.

3. Instagram: Shopping Tags

Instagram has had a standout year. Not only has the social platform experienced substantial growth in 2017 but also it has reached 800 million users – well on its way to being a billion user platform. We can expect to see many exciting changes in 2018, and one of them is Shopping Tags.

The Shopping Tags option lets businesses put pricing and information tags on items in their images. For example, if an ad features two children dressed in kid’s clothing, you can click on the image to discover the prices and names of the items. If you’re interested in buying one of the items, simply follow the link to the appropriate page.

The Tags are discreet and only activated when a user clicks on the image, so they don’t disrupt the user experience. The feature has been in testing since last November and has done incredibly well. We can expect to see more of this in the coming year, especially as Instagram looks to wipe out any competition from Pinterest.

4. Instagram: Stories Development

Another way that Instagram is trying to eliminate competition from other social networks is by offering an immersive story development experience. Instagram Stories was copied from Snapchat, but it has become an integral part of the platform. Already, the brand has added live streaming, video masks and searchable location tags to bring stories to life.

In 2018, we can anticipate Instagram Stories to add new features and functionalities such as interactivity tools, world lenses and augmented reality. With more ways to tell stories, we can also plan for more advertising opportunities. Canvas ads is one of the most recent ad additions, which allows brands to post ads in an immersive Canvas format within Instagram Stories.

5. Snapchat: Improved Search and Bitmojis

One of the things that keeps Snapchat going strong is its innovation. The company isn’t afraid to take risks, probably because it knows it has to in order to remain competitive with platforms like Facebook and Instagram. So what can we look forward to in 2018? An improved search function and Bitmojis.

So far, the search feature on Snapchat has been limited. Part of this comes from the fact that Snapchat wanted the platform to be a place “just for friends.” Unfortunately, this is limiting, so the network will have to offer more advanced search options if they want to keep growing. Some options have already been added, such as the Snap Map feature and updated search tools, but there’s still room to expand.

Another promising feature to look forward to are animated Bitmojis. In 2016, Snapchat purchased Bitmoji. At a launching event for iPhone X, Apple and Snapchat released Animojis that respond to a user’s facial movements. These fun, animated characters will make Snapchat even more compelling, especially for its young users.

Summary

Social media is always evolving, and 2018 will be no exception. With new ways to interact, consume news, watch movies and create content, we are just as excited as you to see what’s next for social media marketing.

To revamp your social media marketing strategy for the next year, schedule a consultation with WSI Net Advantage. We’re watching the trends and working with brands to create competitive, cutting-edge social media marketing strategies that will crush the competition. We can be reached at 510-687-9737 or by filling out our contact form.

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