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8 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018

Unlike most of us, social media does not wait till the new year to make changes and updates. We get notified to update an app every few weeks.

These constant updates mean that our use of these platforms for marketing needs to adjust to the changes.

Live streaming and augmented reality stood out in 2017. With a new target audience on the horizon, 2018 is expected to witness new tools and features in social media platforms as well as new uses to existing ones.

Take a look at 8 social media trends for 2018!

1. Live Streaming

You could argue that 2017 was the year of live streaming for social media platforms. It is constantly proven that audiences prefer the visual content over text, and live streaming is the next step in visual marketing. Now that both brands and audiences are familiar and comfortable with live streaming – thanks to the multiple social media platforms that support the feature –  2018 is expected to be an even bigger year for live videos. To a point where brands are expected to use live streaming to communicate with their customers to be successful online.

2. Quality content

Leave mediocre content in 2017. With SEO constantly changing, it is important to optimize your content accordingly. An essential first step is conducting a keyword and user intent research to better understand your audience and their research habits to be able to design a useful content strategy that targets them directly. Quality content is targeted, shareable, valid, and makes good use of keywords.

3. Augmented reality

There is a reason both Facebook and Snapchat launched AR studios in the same week last December. With various applications and technologies supporting AR, the technology saw some great success this year. The potential of AR was realized and while right now the main use of AR is in gaming aspects or Snapchat and Facebook filters, it is expected that AR moves more into social media interactions. And as a result, companies and brands can use AR for advertising and marketing to their consumers.

4. Instagram Stories

Snapchat may have been the first to introduce stories to their platform, but it worked so well for Instagram that now this fact doesn’t really matter. Only one year old, Instagram Stories sees 200 million users each month. For brands and companies, Instagram offers several features that are very useful for connecting and engaging with their target audiences. These features include: clickable hashtags, tagged locations, and added links in stories for accounts with more than 10,000 followers. Not to mention the most important feature for marketers: Instagram metrics are trackable.

5. Twitter Updates

If you did not have the best year in 2017 and plan to make some changes to make your 2018 better, you’re not much different than Twitter. Twitter was the slowest growing major platform in 2017. The social media also lost the rights to stream NFL games to Amazon, which was a major hit. It is expected that in 2018, Twitter’s leaders will important take steps to revamp the platform.

6. Messaging platforms for brands

Brands and companies are slowly realizing the potential that lies within messaging platforms as marketing tools. Around 2.5 billion people globally use messaging apps daily. With the help of chatbots, artificial intelligence, and voice assistants, brands in 2018 can use messaging platforms to offer services to and communicate with their customers. Facebook Messenger is currently working on improving chatbots and potentially introducing mass messaging on its platform.

7. Generation Z 

The new year is bringing with it a whole new target audience. One that grew up digital. Generation Z refers to those born in the late 90s and early 2000s. This generation’s buying power is going to increase. What this means for marketers, is that for 2018 the main value lies in mainly using social media for marketing. Specifically, platforms that appeal more to this audience like Snapchat and Instagram.