Over the past year, we witnessed the evolution of social media and the power of social media services. We saw Instagram go toe-to-toe with Snapchat, we saw the power of 140 characters, and we saw a vision of an augmented reality. All producing producing new tools for social media services to use.
2018 will make an even bigger splash. New technology will hit the market and what we thought we knew will all change. Here are 7 moves to make in order to remain in the game in 2018.
1. Augmented Reality
Pokémon GO took the world by storm. Users everywhere were interacting with their environment through their phones. This has paved the way for social media platforms and mobile phone companies to capitalize on this technology. We already see the filters created by Snapchat that project onto our surroundings. Soon we will see a bigger push into augmented reality and its use by social media services.
2. Instagram Stories
Instagram rolled out Instagram Stories in order to compete with Snapchat stories. So far it looks like it will claim top spot. According to a CNBC article, Instagram has 500 million daily users versus 173 million Snapchat daily users. This provides brands with an opportunity to connect with Instagram users and utilize the power of Instagram Stories. Just scroll through your Instagram feed and look at the targeted local and national ads that you see. The power of Instagram and Instagram Stories are boundless.
3. Invest In Influencer Marketing
Many companies are jumping on the social media influencer train. The ability to plug in with an influencer with a large number of followers helps to connect with a new audience. Predictions for next year are leaning towards brands that will embrace influencer marketing in order to reach more users/consumers.
4. Generation Z
Generation Z is beginning to enter the labor force, which translates to buying power. Brands are recognizing this and shifting their focus towards this incoming consumer demographic. This is also the generation that grew up on social media. Harnessing the power of Instagram and Snapchat to reach out to this demo, will be a worthwhile investment.
5. Brand Participation
Brands are expected to invest more in connecting with consumers over social media platforms. We will see a rise in artificial intelligence interacting with consumers. 2018 will show an increase in chatbots, as they engage with consumers and offer them services catered to their personal shopping needs.
6. Live Streaming And Video
Live streaming has evolved. Today we see brands both big and small using live streaming to engage and capture the attention of followers. Starting a Facebook Live Stream will notify your audience that you are going live. This will have users jump onto the stream to watch whatever you stream. They can also comment and engage with the video. This provides instant access to your followers and to get instant and direct feedback. Videos and live streaming will become more prevalent in 2018. Brands will realize the power of live streaming and why they must partake in it.
7. Ephemeral Content
As mentioned previously, Instagram Stories and Snapchat are powerful marketing tools. This is one of the greatest ways to reach out to young millennials and to gen Z. Ephemeral content can last up to 24 hours max before disappearing forever. However, the impact it has is beneficial. Short lived content can seem more genuine since it will disappear. It also pushes customers to act on making purchases if it advertises a time sensitive sale. Additionally, audiences could have FOMO (fear of missing out) and jump on an offer quickly. Finally, it helps to capture the attention of your audience, which everyone is trying to do.
New social media trends will change the current landscape. Augmented reality and live streaming will be bigger in 2018 than they are now. Brands will invest more time and money in capturing gen Z and millennials on the platforms they spend their most time on.