Invent of the social media turned the whole world upside. Currently, everyone is speaking about this extremely powerful tool. Imagine what you could do with a tool that enables you to connect with a thousand potential customers and clients just be clicking on a befriend link. Brand creation, engagement and marketing can be so much easier with such an indispensable tool. Statistics indicate that on a global scale $25.14B is used for advertising on social media platforms. It is estimated that businesses will invest up to 31 US dollars on social media advertisement. The report also indicates that 97% of businesses globally, make use of different social media platforms to market their brands. Such are the numbers that prompt us to ask ourselves: Which upcoming social media trends are likely to spice things up in the year 2018? We present you with 9 most dominant, game-changing trends in store for the year 2018. Even Phil Labonagrees with me a hundred percentage that the future of most businesses lies within social media advertisement.
1. Facebook Internet
According to a Statistica survey conducted in January, 2016, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. It accounts for 92% of total marketing platforms. These are interesting statistics, considering that only 97% of businesses use social media for advertisement. Its popularity can be attributed to the large number of people it hoists, audio and video compatibility among lots of advertising features. Businesses have to critically think about their target audience before setting into content creation for Facebook. However, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends, it seems to be facing a lot of stiff competition from Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest. Similar reports indicate that actually, Instagram has surpassed Facebook in 2016. Regardless, the impact of Facebook as a social media platform is unlike any other. It is expected to maintain its status come 2017.
2. Converged Social
This new trend involves the integration of social media software in content marketing. For a long period of time, businesses have made use of four major media types to do their brand marketing and advertisement. J P De Clerck classifies and explains these media forms as: owned, earned, paid and shared media. Converged media entails the use of these media forms to come up with a more detailed and an integrated marketing platform, the so called converged social. Sprinklr one of the social media software developers has ventured into content marketing, a move which is likely to be followed by other key players in the market. The merger between Microsoft and LinkedIn is likely to diversify marketing for all Microsoft users.
3. Hot Video
As competition increases in almost all fields, new marketing strategies ought to be developed. Real-time video is one of these platforms used by businesses to reach most of their customers. Development of new technologies such as Ustream and Meerkat now makes it easier and cost effective for businesses to create high quality content for their audience. Such applications as Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat, Blab and Google Hangouts now provide users with simple user-friendly platforms to stream videos.
4. Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising is the new replacement of banner ads. According to Sonny Ganguly, this trend is likely to grow exponentially in the next two years. Facebook was the first to introduce social media advertisement in May 2005. The trend has ever since been integrated into other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The unique feature about this trend is that it targets specific individuals depending on their shared interests in these different platforms.
5. Dark Social
In as much as we’re talking about social media, it’s not always when full information is relayed over these social media platforms. Dark social influence may be hard to track as is explained by Mahin Rahaman. Companies have a lot of traffic, which they really don’t know their source. The use of dark social especially via native mobile apps such as Whatsapp and Kik does not pass through their respective referrers but instead direct the user directly into the websites. This is some awesome stuff that marketers ought to adopt.
6. Some AI Chat Bots
This amazing code can chat with you, tweet you back and amazingly enough, convince you it’s a person talking to you. Facebook was among the first Social media platforms to introduce this incredible feature. These bots can send spam emails about a product they’re promoting online. Don’t get surprised when you find yourself opening the message and even purchasing the product. These chatbots are fully automated so you never have to worry about asking a question and not getting answered. WhatsApp, Telegram and Slack are continually adopting this new trend.
7. Mobile Networks
Mobile traffic is growing at a very fast rate. The number of mobile users surpassed desktop users in 2014. With this knowledge, we can never underestimate the importance of mobile marketing. It is expected that by 2018, over half of global mobile phone users will have smartphones. This means a lot for companies globally. They can now design user friendly apps and portals for their customers with an expected ROI.
8. Social Media Automation
Nowadays, automation is one tool we cannot live without. Whether it the automobile industry or the tech one, people are now moving towards digitization of machines. Such is the case in various social media platforms. With automation, it’s more about delivering the right information, at the right time for the intended audience. The idea is not just to sell the audience your brand, but it is more about connecting with them and creating long lasting relationships for future sake. Such tools as Zapier, IFTTT, Aweber, Constant Contact and MailChimp can be especially helpful in the automation. When automating, remember that your intention isn’t to fully do away with that human touch that can easily be lost by over-automation.
9. Social Content Participation
User participation is an equally important tool when it comes to the future of marketing. It is important that marketing agencies gather the right information from the right people or those usually referred to as influential movers of the economy. By engaging these people, companies can create high quality content that can stand out in this competitive world. What marketers need to understand is that, each day a lot of people post and create content for different internet platforms. However, quality content determines the direction of internet traffic.
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