Earlier this year, Hootsuite held a webinar dedicated to marketers discussing what social media trends we can expect to see in 2018. We thought we would share the key takeaways with you!
Before we begin, I would like to highlight that social media, like all technology, is forever developing and changing, but the bare bones remain the same. If you have read any of our other social media based articles you know that we harp on about how social media is not sell, sell, sell but more like engage, engage, engage. Having a kick-ass social media strategy is incredible, BUT your efforts will be quadrupled if you actively engage with people!
“96% of online conversation is unbranded.” – Amber Naslund (Senior Director, Industry Leadership at Hootsuite)
Okay, so what can we expect from the big players in social media in 2018?
Facebook ended 2017/began 2018 with the algorithm shake up, leaving many businesses worried about Facebook’s future marketing potential. Mark Zuckerberg tried to subdue any worries in early January by stating, in the Financial Review, that these changes seek to ensure that people’s experience on the social media giant is “more valuable.” He went on to say that “when you care about something, you’re willing to see ads to experience it.”
But with the Newsfeed dramatically reducing the advertising real estate, where will businesses put their ads? Well according to Hootsuite’s webinar, it looks as though Facebook is going to place greater emphasis on mobile video and the ad space that goes with it. Facebook Messenger is also set to allow greater advertising capabilities for businesses. Certainly exciting times ahead. And while we think of it, it is high time businesses begin capitalising on the 100 million+ users living in Facebook Groups.
Now for my personal favourite, YouTube. YouTube has experienced a swift kick in the guts thanks to the rise of streaming services (such as Netflix, Stan and Amazon.) However, its key objective is to become the go-to mobile streaming platform. 2018 is the year you will see YouTube place a far greater emphasis on high-quality content and live streaming capabilities.
It is important to note that, although Youtube did lose their monopoly in the video streaming world when Netflix and co. came into the picture, Google’s revenue still jumped by 23% in 2018 – courtesy of mobile video.
Just like everyone else, Twitter is going to continue pushing videos (we are seeing a trend here) and really ramp up their ‘in-stream’ ads. What are in-stream ads you say? They run prior or during a user’s viewing experience and align with the things they are already watching. The video is perfectly placed in the right person’s hands.
LinkedIn, the most unsocial of the social media platforms is going to continue to drift away from ‘social connection’ and towards their very ‘professional connection’ model. In 2018, you will see more CRM integration with Microsoft products, more talent acquisition services, more educational resources and so much more. LinkedIn wants to become the go-to location for professionals.
“49% said social helped them make better business decisions.” – Amber Naslund (Senior Director, Industry Leadership at Hootsuite)
What struggles can you expect this year?
One word, a-l-g-o-r-i-t-h-m-s !!! Algorithms are going to continue to make organic social media an uphill battle for businesses, but boy is the view good from the top. As social media platforms continue to find ways to monetise, your organic reach is going to decrease. Short term tactics will not help you in the marathon that is business success.
Best way to survive the algorithm demons?
Keep up to date with changes to algorithm changes, business model changes and pretty much any other changes relating to your social media channel(s) of choice.
Have a proactive social media strategy in place – no one likes having to play catch up.
Introduce a long-term, committed strategy – it is the only way to encourage a thriving social media presence
Global consumer behaviours you really should know about…
“Consumers are skipping search engines and going straight to social.”
As technological capabilities and social network integration expand, we continue to see more and more changes in the way users behave. Over the past five years, we have seen multi-screen consumption dramatically change the way people interact with content.
In 2017, 28% of consumers research products on social media BEFORE making a purchase. That is an increase of 5% since 2015.
Want more of this straight to your inbox?
Wrapping up 2017, social media now dominates any time spent on mobile with 1 in every 3 minutes of time being spent inside social media apps. We say time spent ‘inside social media apps’ because how people utilise social media has drastically changed. It isn’t a one-dimensional scroll of their newsfeed. Social media is dynamic. People can stay inside their social media app to read the latest news articles, watch videos, shop and so much more. This dynamic quality has seen passive social activity rise. People are using social media more and more but they are not actively engaging with likes and shares like they used to, but rather passively consuming. While passive consumption does not help businesses’ algorithm ranking and vanity metrics, the consumers are still relying on social media (more and more) on their purchase journeys.
The main theme for 2018? Video!
Social media channels are rewarding businesses that adopt live video and video features in the way of positive algorithm influence.
Why should you jump on the video train?
Social videos allow you to extend traditional TV content to mobile audiences.
Forget influencers and partner with micro influencers in video partnerships.
Launch your products/services/experiences with Facebook or Instagram Live! Double bonus is that these channels give algorithmic priority to businesses using Live features.
Insider tip: Google will be looking to feature more videos in their search engine results. Google is even looking at a silent preview feature for videos, giving your videos movement and life in search results – pulling people’s eyes to YOU!
Artificial Intelligence – get onboard in 2018 or be left behind
The future is AI. Facebook Messenger Bots are rapidly growing in popularity all thanks to AI. Adoption of AI is no longer optional – in fact, you may already be utilising the services of AI without realising. It can help your business in many ways, including but not limited to:
Connecting customers with your business
Facilitating your customers’ queries 24/7 (so you can get some sleep)
Personalising their experience whether it be on your site or socials
Providing a deep and more predictive insight into analytics and data
“2018 will reward businesses that put their people – employees, advocates, customer communities, and influencers – at the centre of their marketing strategy.” – Amber Naslund (Senior Director, Industry Leadership at Hootsuite)
Knowing about social media is all well and good, but having the time to execute your strategy may be a different story. If you need a hand maximising your social media potential get in touch with us!