5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

By on November 29, 2017

The digital landscape is a complex environment. At first glance, it seems to be extremely simple to understand. But later on, realization dawns and one realizes the complexities of this landscape. One of the hardest things for a marketer is to identify what’s a ‘trend’ and what’s a ‘fad’. Social media marketing wavers according to the trends prevailing in the industry. If a marketer makes the mistake of considering a ‘fad’ to be a trend, the consequences for the brand are dire.

Year-after-year; social media platforms seem to be outperforming expectations. Fifteen years ago, there was no Facebook, no Twitter. Five years ago, there was no Instagram, no Snapchat. And yet, today, today human beings depend on these channels just like their lives depend on it.

In the year 2017, social media marketing reached new heights. Due to technological advancements and innovation; new trends were born. These trends helped companies consolidate their presence online. Furthermore, following these trends, brands were better able to connect with their audience. It’s safe to assume that, in 2018, social media marketing will continue exactly where it left off.  To better understand the impact of social media marketing in 2017, take a look at some of these facts:

  • Approximately; there are more than 2.8 billion active users across various social media platforms. (We Are Social)
  • 95 % of the people between the age-group of 18-34 tend to follow a brand through its social media channels. (MarketingSherpa)
  • Nearly 71% of the population that benefits from good social media service tend to be evangelists for a brand. (Ambassador)

Facts done.

Attention; deemed to be captured. A person, who is well-versed in social media marketing and has been following this domain keenly over the past year, can easily guess the next big trends. Based on a current trajectory; there are a few social media marketing trends that one can say, will gain a stronger foothold in 2018 and perhaps, they may just prove to be highly disruptive strategies. Some companies as you will notice now, after reading the article, have already adopted a couple of these trends in the latter half of 2017. Such companies will definitely have an upper-hand in the coming year.

  1. Mobile Compatible Content: Learn from Google if not from anybody else. Early in 2017, Google came up with this open-source project called ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages Project’. To best understand the AMP; just open your phone. Go to Google. Type; ‘Liverpool vs Chelsea’ for example. You will notice that a few of the web pages have a lightning bolt on the left-hand side, right next to the link. Click on it. In the blink of an eye, your web-page will open. That’s the Google AMP Project. Google have realized the importance of making mobile compatible content, it’s high time that you do too.
  1. Video Marketing: Nobody needs to stress on how quick and how impressive the rise of video content has been in the year 2017. Let’s just take a look at our very own Facebook Home Page. Be honest, isn’t it filled, literally filled with video content? And if you notice further, most of the video content online today share certain characteristics. They can be viewed on mute as they are ably assisted by subtitles. In fact, many videos don’t even have audios attached to them. They are just videos with subtitles. Also, most of the videos don’t exceed a minute’s length. Short-videos for short-attention spans; a marriage that’s made in heaven.
  1. Influencer Marketing: The concept of influencer marketing we admit, is not at all new. But the way influencer marketing is being used today, the rise in popularity; that definitely makes it a social media marketing strategy to watch out for in the coming year. Companies and brands have realized the importance of authentic content. Authentic content means everything to the consumer. Consumers today, are smart folks.

They have come to realize that the big so-called celebrity endorsements are doing so just for money. They aren’t genuine, real-folk ambassadors. That’s where influencers kick in. Note: there are two main types of influencers. Micro and macro. Micro influencers are the smallest influencers who have a limited fan following predominantly in a niche segment. Macro influencers, on the other hand, are like mini-celebrities; more approachable, more genuine in their endorsements and have a more personal connect with the audience.

Some brands such as Koovs for example; have learned the importance of user-generated content well-in-advance. Today, there are many such brands who are attempting to do just that. Off-topic: Not related to social media but please do take a look at Puma’s new hip-hop advertisement where they leverage influencer-generated content to the very maximum.

  1. Augmented Reality: Augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence: for a lot of us, this was what we read about or watched in science fiction novels and movies. Today, however, this is a reality. A very real reality. Augmented reality will strive in the social media marketing landscape because of mobile phones. Although not entirely new, it’s still relatively new and therefore gets people excited. Once incorporated, it’s super easy for a user to use the option and not only is it easy; it’s a super-interactive activity as well.

It really helps brands garner relationships with their customers. Validating our point; just take a look at the success that Snapchat has had with this feature. Not to forget, Apple too, has incorporated augmented reality in their phone; the iPhone. Augmented it maybe, but the potential of augmented reality in social media marketing is very real.

  1. Ephemeral content: Snapchat is ephemeral content. To break it down, ephemeral content is simply any form of content that’s impermanent. Now, coming to the reason for its surprising popularity! Simply put, ephemeral content promotes authentic content. As consumer’s awareness about marketing activities increase, consumers tend to search for authentic brands. Turns out, ephemeral content is a great way to patronize your customers.

What’s more is that, since such content is impermanent in nature, it forces your consumer to actively participate in establishing a relationship with a brand. Thereby, it promotes spontaneous and quick decisions from the consumer’s side.

Conclusion

 Social media marketing is on the rise. You don’t need to hear that from us. Every seasoned professional or expert in the digital marketing landscape will agree. From a marketer’s perspective, this is good and bad news. Good, because we just gave you a pretty decent heads up on what to focus on and what to do.

Bad, because this information is never going to be enough. In marketing, especially digital marketing, advances and new concepts keep on originating. To be successful, you need to keep updated. The best way to remain updated? Read, read and read.

About Lovelesh Sharma

Lovelesh heads up the marketing team at Contentmart. Contentmart is the fastest, simplest and the most reliable platform to have content written for your business or website. He specializes in putting businesses in front of their target audience online using content marketing, social media and advanced link building. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter or LinkedIn for a chat on any of these areas.
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