Whether you’re a fan of the world of social media or prefer to enjoy offline activities and keep your life private, it’s undeniable that social media is taking over the world, and from a business perspective, you simply must adapt or get left behind. Whether we like it or not, the world doesn’t wait for us, and any business who wants to be seen and heard online is missing a trick if they don’t embrace social media and all it has to offer. However, with new platforms popping up left right and centre, new features released on the old faithfuls and new trends to adapt every month - educating yourself about social media simply isn’t enough, you need to stay on top of the trends to keep your strategy current and effective.
Here’s our pick of the social media trends to look out for in 2018.
Instagram Stories Bigger and Better
According to the Pew Research Center’s social media report in 2016, 325 of teenagers consider Instagram to be the most important social network. Instagram has gone from strength to strength, especially since it was bought by Facebook for $1billion in 2012, and now boasts over 800 million daily active users. Our prediction for 2018? The 2017 addition of ‘Instagram Stories’ to the platform is going to get bigger, better and much more popular.
In a move considered by many in the industry as pretty bold, Instagram released their own ‘stories’ function to rival the platform Snapchat. The concept is almost identical, that users can post pictures or videos that will be available to all of their followers as a ‘story’ for 24 hours before disappearing. The platform has gradually edited the functionality of their stories feature to almost mimic Snapchat’s entirely, offering filters, stickers, location tags and other nifty options originally coined by Snapchat.
The difference with Instagram, especially from a business perspective, is that you’re posting your stories to an audience that you have already built thanks to your photo content, which means you already have an engaged pool of potential customers or viewers to digest your stories. On Snapchat, you need to actively promote your account and get people to specifically follow you in order to see the content you’re creating for this purpose, with Instagram, your audience is already there.
As Instagram continues to grow, so will the popularity of the stories function, with brands and influencers slowly transitioning from Snapchat to Instagram to create more instant content for their audiences.
Video Will Dominate Content
It’s almost impossible to scroll Twitter, Facebook or Instagram even once without being greeted with a viral video of some kind. We believe in 2018 video will dominate social media content.
YouTube overall, and even YouTube on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. This alone proves how popular video content can be. A recent Cisco study predicted that mobile video traffic will account for 75 per cent of total mobile data traffic by 2020. According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2016, 73 per cent of marketers plan on increasing their use of video in 2017, and 50 per cent plan on using live video in their marketing. As a business, it would be incredibly smart to adapt video content into your social media and marketing strategy for 2018.
The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video, and landing pages with a video have been proven to see an increase in conversion rate by up to 80%. Whether you’re marketing a service or a product, incorporating your vital information and selling points through video format could be a great way to help boost your sales. Not only that, but creating high quality video content for your social media channels will help you stay on top of the wave, rather than be caught under it.
Top tip: use subtitles in your videos. Many users will be scrolling through their social media channels without actually listening to the sound.
Live Streaming Will Boom
Our final prediction for 2018 is that live streaming will boom in popularity. All major social media channels have worked hard to implement live streaming functionality into their platforms, with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter allowing you to live stream to your followers both as a personal account or as a Twitter.
Facebook offers you an easy live streaming function that will notify your followers that you’re live. Twitter partnered with trendy live streaming app Periscope for you to stream live to your audience. Most excitingly of all, however, is that Instagram have very recently developed a functionality where you can collaborate with another account to do a joint live stream, as well as the classic live streaming functionality. If your brand is on any of these platforms - you’ll be able to live stream to your audiences.
With social media platforms favouring and encouraging the live streaming type of content, we predict that generally, live streaming will become much more popular next year.
We look forward to welcoming the new year and seeing whether our social media predictions unfold. In the meantime, why not adapt your social media strategy to include these 3 trends and see if they benefit your business? We’ll be back on the blog soon with more digital marketing tips and tricks to help your business grow online.