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Social Media Trends in 2018

Social media is constantly evolving and has become a vital tool for businesses to use to maximise their marketing.  Anyone who is serious about marketing their business must learn how to properly leverage these platforms to their advantage. Being active on social media is huge, and it’s absolutely necessary for your survival. However, that alone won’t automatically make you successful. You also need to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and apply them to your business.

A reality of success is knowing that in 2018, marketing and social media go hand in hand. As we near the midway point of 2018, here are my top trends!

  • Ephemeral Content

The definition of ephemeral content is something that is short-lived, lasting for up to 24 hours before disappearing forever.  Snapchat and Instagram stories are perfect examples of this. After Snapchat came up with this concept, Instagram quickly recognised its popularity and implemented it as well.  Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat. Considering that Instagram Stories is only one year old, demonstrates its popularity! At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018.

The reason why short-lived content is so popular is because people feel as though it is more authentic compared to a traditional sponsored advertisement. Users clearly love it and are actively using it on their business and personal profiles on a daily basis. So businesses need to take note and make sure they are taking full advantage of this too.

Stories are a great alternative to live video streaming, but from a marketing perspective, it has similar effects. It’s an opportunity for you to post several times throughout a day without spamming your followers’ timelines.  For example, you may not want to post three pictures and videos per day on Instagram. Users who follow you may perceive endless pictures to be an annoyance.  In fact, evidence shows that posting too frequently on social media can cause people to unfollow your profile. However, users have fallen in love with ephemeral content.  If your business starts to regularly share ephemeral content, users will make sure to check back often to make sure they aren’t missing out on anything.

I’d recommend using this strategy to run flash sales or other promotions to drive sales. We’re going to see more businesses add more short-lived content to their social media profiles as the year progresses, so get active.

  • Live Video  

Live video and stories continues to be a popular trend in 2018. Live video content has become so popular that it should be a crucial part of your 2018 marketing strategy.  Consumers clearly love it, with 80% of audiences preferring to watch live video from businesses as opposed to reading a blog. 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than reading social media posts.  A massive 91% of Facebook users are using Facebook live!  When it comes to live streaming, Facebook leads the way, according to the 2018 state of social media report from Buffer.

The increasing popularity of live video means your business needs to get on board with this trend right now. Businesses need to recognise how this trend can help increase engagement with social media followers.  Start going live on all your distribution channels. Remember to respond to user comments in real time as this will help you maximise your reach and generate new leads for your business.

  • Paid Adverts

Businesses know they need to have an active presence on social media and most have profiles on multiple platforms and update them on a daily basis. Although this is a necessity for survival, it’s not quite enough.

Many businesses have the need to take their social media strategies to the next level and do this by paying for adverts. Facebook alone has more than six million advertisers on its platform and in September 2017 Instagram hit two million monthly paid advertisers.  The reason for this is that it has become easier to set up ads to target a specific demographic, making it very hard for businesses to turn down this type of precision in targeting.

Paid ads can be very productive but it should be noted that quality content, posted at the right time of day can yield fantastic results.  Quality over quantity will win every time!

  • Snapchat – Generation Z

To understand Snapchat marketing, you have to understand that Snapchat is where you go when your target audience is Generation Z. Gen Z is defined as people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s (very young people!!)

Now in their tweens, teens and early twenties, Gen Z is coming into some serious spending power. In fact, a recent study from Goldman Sachs found that Generation Z is more valuable to most organizations than the decade-older millennials.

Snapchat is where Gen Z spend most of their time (71%, specifically).  So if your target market is Gen Z then seriously consider developing a Snapchat presence to promote your products and service to this younger crowd.

If you would like to know more about the social media trends in 2018, or require assistance, then contact MentorUs Business Solutions today.