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Trend: Top 3 Social Media Trends for 2018

The greatest and most challenging element of the digital marketing world is that it is a kaleidoscopic, ever changing landscape. Strategies and schemes that work one month will flounder later down the track, ideas that have seen success for one business or campaign, won’t reach the same targets for another. The key to keeping up is less about knowing the intricacies and shifting tides of various platforms, and more to do with knowing your audience intimately: where do they live and breathe online, and what trends and updates are they likely to follow, lead, or miss out on. Once you know your audience like your best friend or family, you can better gauge which social media platforms, trends, and tactics to employ to support your objectives. Here are 3 new trends in social media that are evolving the way you connect with your audience and your customers.

Customisable Chatbots Though chatbots (or ‘conversational agents’) may seem like a fairly impersonal, strange, even invasive way of reaching your audience—this technology is proving to be a great way to cut through the noise and the tricky algorithm of Facebook’s News Feed. Got a great deal, new stock, or news to share? Do you customers have lots of FAQs? Could you increase company productivity by having simple questions pre-answered?  Alert and inform your fans and customer base through direct messaging on Facebook, Twitter—save time, be in the conversation, and increase your general engagement.

Instagram and Instagram Stories New features in Instagram are creating more friendly and fun open channels with your consumers and Instagram continues to rise and rise in popularity (the app gets approximately 100 million new users each year, compared to Twitter, which is about 9 million).  Instagram is also a place to visually communicate the essence of your brand or business. What would your shopfront look like if you had one? And with Instagram Stories—what would it sound like? What places would it visit? And what conversations would it start? While the concept was launched to compete with Gen Z’s favourite social media platform, Snapchat, Stories daily user number has superseded Snapchat’s by about 77 million.

Social Call Out Culture Over the past decade, the idea that brands needed to be ‘authentic’ was more of an appearance-only, brand messaging concept that eventually lost the meaning and authenticity it strived for. Now, brands and businesses need to be accountable: social call out culture is real (those comment sections can be brutal, trust me). Knowing your audience is key here—what side of the fence do they sit on when it comes to current social issues, like the ware on plastics, veganism, or #MeToo. You also need to know where your brand values lie, and be prepared to back those values when and if you have to deal with ‘trolling’.

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