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5 Social Media Marketing Trends We Think You Should Follow

Neil Henry / Social Media, trends Leave a Comment

2018 is in full swing and another round of trend based social media articles have given rise to a new wave of thinking around marketing in this much-misunderstood area of digital.

With that in mind are you looking at the most important aspects of social media marketing for your business? I’d suggest if you aren’t onboard with the following, you’re missing the boat.

1. Live Video

Live video was a particularly hot area of social media marketing in 2017, and it has ramped up even more in 2018. We’re confident it’s only going to get hotter as the year unfolds.

Not only do social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and image-based posts combined, the live element makes them interactive, in real-time. Engaging customers and prospects via the comments section of a social media post is one thing, but imagine the possibilities of interacting with your audience during a live video.

Real-time Q&A sessions, live troubleshooting, reviewing of products and services, etc. could be extremely powerful for both brand awareness and end-user confidence.

A key point for businesses will be to ensure they give their followers plenty of notice before “going live”. Live video moments are always so much better and more valuable (for all involved) when people know they are coming and get the opportunity to contribute.

2. Intelligent Messaging Platforms

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows in terms of capability and popularity, so too will messaging platforms that leverage it.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) grows in terms of capability and popularity, so too will messaging platforms that leverage it.Click To Tweet

Consumers today love fast answers, and there are very few better ways to meet the demand for instant knowledge than with intelligent messaging platforms. The chatbots we’ve been exposed to that mimic human conversation aren’t quite there yet, but they will evolve into solutions that meet consumers’ needs because they can offer tactile responses.

For example, Facebook’s Customer Chat plugin, which enables businesses to integrate Facebook’s Messenger offering with their own website, will become more mainstream as the system beds as a result of real-world engagement.

3. A Rise In Social Advertising Costs

Organic reach on social media is at an all-time low. It was an inevitable eventuality once social media became an explosive revenue generating marketing machine. As a result, we’re at a tipping point.

The demand for paid reach on social platforms will increase dramatically going forward, and that will, in turn, cause an uptick in advertising costs.

Brands have seen how social media ads are an extremely cost-effective way to reach targeted groups of consumers. And so, to match this increase in usage – and therefore an inevitable increase in prices – marketers should be looking to secure larger social media advertising budgets for next year.

4. Even More Augmented Reality

Facebook owns virtual reality pioneer Oculus Rift. It’s no surprise then that we’ve already seen the world’s largest social network introduce augmented reality solutions.

With virtual and augmented reality technologies blurring the lines between the real world and an imagined one, consumer engagement will reach dizzying new levels. What once was science fiction is now genuinely embedded with our many online experiences with social media.

Brands that have the spending power and capabilities to introduce augmented and virtual reality filters of their own will dominate the social media landscape next year. It would be wise to keep tabs on this and, if not work it into your own strategy, keep an eye on how it could move the needle of social engagement with your brand as we approach 2019.

5. Influencer Marketing Maintaining Its Appeal

A huge number brands leverage the reach and avid followings boasted by industry influencers. What has traditionally been a primary tactic of B2C businesses, now is a standard tactic for savvy B2B businesses who want to take advantage of influencers to help push their vital marketing messages. We’ll notice some increasingly innovative ways of doing so as we move forward.

Brand advocates and social influencers can make a significant impact on your entire reputation management strategy. Building outstanding brand awareness and creating a buzz around what you do, how you do it, when, where, how.

Thinking outside the box, imagine live social media influencer videos on behalf of brands that feature an augmented reality offering. Mind blowing to say the least!

Social media is now getting the recognition it deserves as a primary marketing channel. In 2018 it is taking leaps into the unknown with the introduction of trends such as AI/AR/VR and the shift to more paid social advertising. These very easily could backfire if they upset the very reason people like to use social media (to interact, engage, share in experiences with others).

However, they also could make a hugely positive contribution to the way your own business is perceived online. The simple truth is social media offers you a voice. It is from there how you present and project it that makes your social media marketing successful.

The above are bona fide ways to build custom audiences and reach precise demographics in a very crowded social media landscape. 2019 will see a further leap into a world of ultra-personalized social media experiences, tailored to every individual consumer’s desires, even before those desires have truly manifested into a genuine need.