For marketers, deciding where to invest your time and money isn’t easy, but recently more brands are pouring their efforts into social media. Why? With the rapid growth of social media combined with the declining rate of organic reach and referral traffic, they can’t afford to ignore its value any more. With this in mind, what are some of the most popular social media marketing trends of 2018?
Yep, I know we’re probably repeating ourselves, but video is still the queen of social media content right now, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. In fact, mobile video is expected to increase 11x between 2016 and 2020. Simply put, video is the most engaging, easy-to-absorb kind of content around. I probably should have made a video of this blog post instead…
Here are some statistics if you’re still not convinced:
- YouTube viewers watch a billion hours of video each day
- Facebook users consume over eight billion videos every day
- 82% of Twitter’s audience views video content on the platform
- 90% of Twitter video views and 60% of YouTube views are now from users on mobile devices
- 65% of marketers are preparing to increase their budgets for mobile ads to focus more on video within the next few months.
Video boosts conversions and sales, and can make you serious money if you know how to do them well. And even though producing videos is not the easiest or cheapest task out there, it does pay off — big time. In fact, 83% of businesses say that video provides a good return on investment. Time to brush up on your video editing skills!
2. Social influencer marketing
There are over a billion tweets which are shared every two days, and around 52 million Instagram photos shared every day. But in 2011, Satmetrix suggested that only 2% of customers trust advertising more than personal recommendations. That number is still falling. So, with trust in brands at an all-time-low, and with the need for customer’s attention at an all time high, influencer marketing is becoming the best option. This involves promoting your products or services through popular individuals on social media who can influence your target audience’s purchasing behaviour.
Why? According to Brandwatch, 96% of the people that discuss brands online don’t actually follow those brands’ owned profiles. Influencers simply seem to have more of a genuine connection with their audiences compared to huge brands; it just feels more personal and credible to have something recommended to you by someone you admire. Those who follow influencer lifestyles often feel like they know them (or even want to be them), so these followers end up trusting the influencer’s judgement over any direct advertisement from a brand. After all, 71% of consumers have said they’re likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals. I know I’m certainly guilty of it. This is why big brands are jumping at the chance to spend more of their budget on getting influencers to test out and share their products or content.
3. Stories and Live
Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Facebook Stories, and YouTube “Reels” all have different styles, but still follow the same concept. They’re temporary images or videos which show snapshots of your day. This creates a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) in followers who don’t check them before they vanish. Instagram Story Highlights, however, lets your brand showcase your best stories permanently at the top of your profile, so you can save, repost, organise by theme, and measure the long-term performance of the content you want to promote the most.
Live videos are also a fun way to engage with your audiences. The intrigue of these comes from the fact that they’re unedited, live videos where you can talk directly to your audience in real-time. According to Wyzowl, 34% of marketers have used Facebook Live and of those who used it, 81% found it to be an effective strategy. Plus, 37% have said they plan to use Facebook Live in 2018.
Not only that, but since last year, users and brands are now able to broadcast live with a guest on Instagram in a split-screen format. These broadcasts will appear in the Stories section of Insta with two circles, instead of the typical one circle. If your collaborative broadcast receives a lot of engagement, you could end up in Instagram’s Search and Explore tab, which is great exposure.
Lithium states that 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour. But there isn’t always someone available to get back to them that quickly. Clearly there’s a big gap between people’s wait time expectations and brand’s response time. That’s why chatbots have become such a huge thing recently.
Robots aren’t here to take over the world, they’re just here to make life easier. At the moment, chatbots are mainly used for freeing up customer service agents. Just last week, we were discussing the use of chatbots in Salesforce and how Einstein uses AI to helps agents focus on more complex issues. The bot takes over in the background routing calls, helping customers, and collecting loads of data along the way. This also allows you to provide ‘after hours’ support for your customers.
Sprout Social research shows the number of social messages requiring a response from a brand increased by 18%. With chatbots, you can save so much time automating your responses.
So, are you planning on trying out any of these social media trends this year? Let us know in the comments!