Date Posted: January 15, 2018Reading time: 4 minutes
From #Twitter280 to Facebook’s #FakeNews controversy, 2017 has been a wacky year in social media news. But that’s part of what makes the social media world so exciting — it’s impossible to predict how the landscape will change from year to year. That’s not to say we can’t make a few predictions, though.
Here are five social media trends worth keeping an eye on as you navigate the internet in 2018.
Instagram Stories were a massive trend this year. Since January 2017, their audience doubled from 150 million daily users to a whopping 300 million daily users. That’s bananas. If you haven’t already, here are some great reasons to pay your Instagram Stories some attention in 2018:
If you’re worried about losing your job to a robot, don’t be. Not yet, anyway. According to Chatbots Magazine, a chatbot is a service powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence that you interact with via a chat interface. There are over 100,000 chatbots currently active on Facebook Messenger alone.
One reason why chatbots are gaining popularity is because they solve a problem that people can’t. Chatbots can efficiently respond to the hundreds or thousands of daily messages some brands receive, many of which are repetitive questions. Automated bots can’t provide the same level of customer care that you (an empathetic social media expert with a conscience) can, but they can help a small team to not get bogged down by constant customer service needs.
We know that social media is now consumers’ top choice for customer service, so providing a speedy response time and helpful answers to common questions are important. This is where chatbots fit into the mix.
Regardless of how you feel about Snapchat’s dancing hotdog, augmented reality technology is predicted to have a big year.
In 2018, augmented reality capabilities are expected to become a legitimate strategy for brands to drive ROI and provide value to consumers. In fall 2017, cosmetic brand Estée Lauder used a Facebook Messenger bot called LipArtist to allow users to virtually “try on” lipstick shades with their front-facing camera. If they liked the look of one, users could click through to the website and make the purchase. This type of user experience is expected to become even more popular this year. Some sources even predict that the future of influencer marketing incorporates augmented reality features.
By the way, the dancing hotdog was used over 2 billion times.
Generally, shorter Facebook videos attract?more attention from viewers than longer ones. While the 30-second video won’t be going away soon, ads lasting less than 10 seconds have been proven to capture the attention of younger demographics.
If you think ten seconds seems short, 2018 is expected to be the year of the 6-second ad. Brands like Samsung and Under Armour are already experimenting with this hyper-short video format. A potential benefit of this format is that these super short videos can often be repurposed from longer formats for cross-platform use on Snapchat or Instagram.
Though an emerging trend for 2018, the six-second ad won’t be the right fit for every brand, audience, or social platform. However, their ability to be created from segmenting a previously created long-form video makes them relatively low-risk to experiment with.
Roughly 82 percent of consumers say they prefer watching a live stream to written social media updates. This isn’t particularly surprising since we already know that video always outperforms text. Platforms have responded to the growing popularity of live-streaming by adding features like?live broadcasting with a friend on Instagram. Live-streaming can be a cost-effective addition to a video strategy and although the content may be unfiltered, it’s guaranteed to be unique!
Beginning to use live video can be intimidating and even scary – we’ve all seen the live TV fails which go on to be forever archived on the internet. Check out this handy infographic filled with marketing tips for live-streaming on social platforms to get you started.