Unmissable Social Media Trends for 2018 to Boost your Business

Social media has remained one of the top and most effective platforms for brands to advertise and engage with their customers. It’s also where millions of people go to find out about other opinions and experiences with the same brands.

Did you know that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a reference from social media?

If you’re already on social media and you’re looking to ramp up your activity and engagement, here are some of the top trends set to become huge in 2018. Bear these techniques in mind when preparing your strategy and you’re sure to remain well ahead of your competitors in the social media world.

1. Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has seen a surge in popularity over the last 12 months. It looks like it’s here to stay and set to become even more important for any brands looking to promote their products and services. Consumers turn to influencers for their opinions on the brands that they purchase from. With such a wide reach and hundreds, thousands and even millions of loyal followers, if you can get influencers to believe in your brand then you open the doors to a much wider audience (most of whom are your target market)!

49% of people say that they depend on influencers for their purchase decisions and 90% of marketers who use influencer marketing believe it is successful. As consumers turn away from traditional advertising messages, building relationships with influencers is the best way to tap into an audience who are ready to listen to their opinions.

2. Messaging Apps

More than 2.5 million people worldwide use messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. These platforms make brands much more accessible and improve the quality of customer service too. When something goes wrong, consumers want their problems sorting straight away rather than spending an hour on hold or waiting 3 days for an email reply.

3. Video

After a few years of gaining momentum, it’s no shock that video will continue to rise in prominence throughout 2018. It’s proven to be the best channel for increasing engagement, allowing consumers to digest information quickly and easily.

Mark Zuckerberg estimates that 90% of Facebook content will be video-based by 2018 so it’s certainly something you should consider within your strategy. If you’re on a low budget, you might have to get a little creative with the videos you produce but they will certainly help you to see a rise in results.

4. Instagram Stories

In 2016, Instagram launched it’s Instagram Stories feature to compete with SnapChat and now has around 250 million daily users of the feature.

Instagram uses an algorithm to showcase the stories that users are most likely to engage with first. Users can see your stories even if they don’t follow you so it’s a great way to build brand awareness and reach users who are likely to be interested in your brand.

1 in 5 organic Instagram Stories from a brand results in at least one direct message from a consumer so your time investment will certainly be worthwhile if you can utilise the platform effectively. It’s a great way to showcase your brand, products or services.

5. Generation Z

Generation Z are now reaching adulthood and will soon be out in the working world. This means that a whole new generation of consumers are going to be hitting the market so you need to be prepared for them.

These are the younger siblings of Millenials and were born in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, meaning that they’re the first generation to grow up completely online. And the best news? They’re 2-3 times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales and discounts. Are you ready for a generation of customers who are more concerned about the opinions of others than the price of a product or service?

Using social media properly will really help you to engage with this new market.

6. Social Listening Tools

Social listening tools are set to become even more popular as brands look for ways to engage with their target audience on a more personal level. These tools allow you to listen in on conversations across social media that are related to your keywords and brand. This information can be used to create content specifically for these audiences or to interact with the conversation allowing you to provide a better customer experience by offering engaging and relevant information to your audience.

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