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Top 10 Social Media Trends in 2018

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As you know, social media is a great way to get the word out about your business and build relationships with your fans, but it is an ever-changing beast. If social media is a large part of your marketing plan, it's important to stay on top of the most recent trends and tools. Did you ever think augmented reality would be part of your plan? Well, it's time to factor it into your 2018 plans, as well as other cool trends. Here are the top 10 social media trends to prepare for 2018.

1.    Augmented Reality

Augmented reality blurs the line between what’s real and what’s generated by a computer.  The mobile gaming industry will be the first industry impacted by augmented reality, but social media platforms will soon incorporate this technology.  For example, the iPhone 8 and X both have new chips that give users augmented reality experiences.  Pretty soon, users of Snapchat and Instagram will be able to take selfies with a friend, celebrity, or product via augmented reality. 

2.    Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.  Businesses use Stories to increase engagement, generate awareness, drive traffic to their website, and even make ecommerce sales!  Instagram Stories is only one year old and over 200 million people use it.  This number will only increase so it’s important to become experts in Instagram Stories if you want to engage with Instagram users. 

3.    Embrace Influencers

Research has found that over 90% of marketers that use influencer marketing believe it is successful.  Those companies that use traditional advertising, not influencer marketing had difficulties connecting with social media users.  In 2018, you’ll see that more brands will turn to influencer marketing strategies rather than traditional advertising. 

4.    Find the Value in Gen Z

Up till now, brands have focused their efforts on Millenials.  A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs found that Generation Z is more valuable to brands than Millenials.  Gen Z is just starting to enter the workforce and will have increased buying power for a while.  Since Gen Zers love Snapchat and Instagram, you will see a shift to invest more in these social media platforms. 

5.    Messaging Platforms

Companies have focused on pure social networks like Facebook and Twitter even though there are over 2.5 billion people using messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp, and Kik.  However, in 2018, you will see a shift and more brands will focus on connecting with consumers through messaging platforms. 

6.    The Power of Live Streaming

Both big and small companies are now using live streaming to connect with their followers.  One company that successfully does this is GORUCK.  Thousands of their followers tuned in to watch live coverage of a 48-hour endurance race.  In 2018, more brands will incorporate live streaming into their plans. 

7.    Reconsider Twitter

Social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram have significantly grown their followers in 2017.  However, Twitter has failed to do this.  In 2018, Twitter’s management will rethink the way they do business and might even sell the company to private investors. 

8.    Video Hangouts

Group hangouts is the next wave for Gen Zers.  One of the popular video hangout platforms is Houseparty.  It’s used by over 1 million people every day and it’s a way to hang out with friends digitally.  It’s so successful that Facebook is thinking of developing a similar platform. 

9.    Facebook Spaces

Just as live video streaming is popular these days, Facebook is working on a project called Spaces.  This will allow friends to connect through a new platform using VR. 

10. Stronger Governance Policies

Due to the wide criticism that Facebook and Twitter received in 2017, these platforms have elected to take a more hands-on approach and will govern conduct on their platforms.  This strong governance is a result of the thousands of ads linked to Russian meddling. 

To read the entire article, check out Deep Patel’s article for Entrepreneur at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300813#.

So, let's get our social media plans together for 2018.  Till next time... :)

 

Ruby Benoit