08 Jan New Year, New (Social) Me(dia): Social in 2018
So, 2018 is here in all its glory and that means you will be seeing a whole bunch of articles talking about ‘Top 8 Social Trends for 2018’ along with other SEO-focused titles. I thought I would put my thoughts together in a small article to give you all some insight into Social for 2018. Hopefully it will provide you all with some insight into how to use different platforms and how to get the most out of your experience on social. Don’t worry, I’ll include lots of pictures to keep you all entertained!
Instagram Stories to disrupt the way we make Content
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Instagram stories are taking over in a big way. Just one year after launching, Instagram story views over took Snapchat views and 2018 is going to be yet another big year for Instagram. With video being such an integral part of social media, Insta stories are the perfect way to digest content due to our goldfish-like attention spans.
With new functionality becoming available and overtaking the likes of Snapchat, Insta stories will be rising even further in popularity. Brands will be utilising these in a big way in 2018 as it provides them with great organic reach and a ‘behind the scenes’ look into there brand. When you partner this with the link feature which invites users to swipe up and access more long form content, this greatly increases the amount of information you can make available for your followers. And for those who aren’t capitalising on Instagram stories, you are missing out! (My followers will all know that I love a Poll).
2018: Year of The Micro-Influencer
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2018 is meant to be the year of the Dog, False. 2018 will in fact be the year of the Micro-Influencer. With influencer marketing beginning to mature at the end of 2017, you will be seeing a lot more of this in 2018. With Millennials and Generation Z consumers (If you don’t know what these are, click here) being the driver of social media sales and marketing, brands look for more and more ways to engage with these to consumer bases.
Research shows that these two generations engage with influencer marketing far more than traditional marketing as they value the opinion of these influencers far more than brand communications. However, influencer marketing in 2018 will work in a different way to how brands have engaged with influencers in the past. Micro-influencers will be the focus (Personalities that have 10,000 – 100,000 user communities) for brands as they are more focused audiences and therefore better for brands to market there products.
For those who read my previous article, I spoke about how large scale influencers who demand high prices for just a basic post is actually wasting resources for brands as you may receive a high volume of impressions but it does not provide meaningful engagement and sales for a brand.
Messaging Platforms open up the Conversation
Messaging platforms have been a bit of a mystery when it comes to Social Media as users have been very reluctant to communicate with brands on them and have chosen to use them for private use. However, in 2018 you will start seeing platforms opening them up to create communication channels between users and brands where digesting content can be more meaningful rather than just sending your mates funny memes.
Africa is already way ahead of the curve on this with platforms such as Whats App and Messenger Lite which allows users to digest and receive content for their specific wants and needs. Brands will be using these platforms to inform users of exclusive releases or news that they can’t find out on other platforms creating a more direct route to the users and increasing the bespoke nature of an offering to individual users.
This will combat what we call ‘Social Media Fatigue’ where people are becoming bored with having to scroll through just to find the content that they want. This may also cause people to migrate from the likes of a traditional time line view towards users opting in to receiving content via messaging platforms. For example, you may like the Great British Bake Off (Guilty) on the Channel 4 Facebook Page but not any of the other content that they produce. With messaging platforms, you can have this content sent directly to you and avoid the other irrelevant content that does not apply to you.
Personal Experiences delivered to your Timeline
With platforms such as Facebook becoming more and more sophisticated, this is opening up new possibilities for users and brands alike. Have you ever found yourself thinking or talking about certain products and then they suddenly appear on your timeline available for purchase? That is not just a coincidence but it is apart of Facebook’s sophisticated AI that mixes your interests on the platform along with your cookies on your computer to come up with adverts that will suit you most.
2018 will be the year that this takes one step further where experiences will be created that are specifically tailored to you and not for just based on your interests. This will allow adverts to speak to you as a person rather than just a consumer and build a taste profile so that it can learn exactly what you want. This should increase the quality of adverts on social media platforms and avoid delivering you the wrong content.
Overall, 2018 is looking good for Social Media as it tries to cope with the growing pains of this rapidly changing environment. A lot of these trends look to make platforms a better place to spend time as fatigue has been a factor over the past 12 months on social media. There are lots of other trends that you can find by doing some further reading but I think these will be the key ones for the upcoming year and that will have the greatest effect on the social media landscape.
Once again thank you for reading these articles, any feedback is greatly appreciated and if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask!