As 2018 beckons, brands around the globe are already busy preparing their New Year business plans. Whilst 2017 was a year of great innovations in the social media parlance, 2018 years promises to bring some newer trends. One of the biggest social media trend shift in 2017 was the massive surge in the use of Instagram stories and focus on using social influencers.

Every business, every brand, every PR would know, staying on top of the latest social media trends is absolutely crucial for increasing user engagement, and getting the content out there for the readers. So, without any further ado, let’s look at the top social media trends in 2018 to look forward to.

 

Top 7 Social Media Trends in 2018

 

1) Increased use of augmented reality

The launch of Apple’s latest mobile devices, iPhone 8 and iPhone X created a huge buzz around the world. No doubt, the devices pack-in in a cutting-edge technology, but not many people would know that Apple has incorporated a new chip in these phones to provide them the best augmented reality experiences. Although augmented reality initially would have a huge impact on mobile gaming, it is expected that the social media platforms would soon use the technology to provide a better user experience to the audiences.

It is expected that Instagram and Snapchat may soon incorporate new filters that allow users to click selfies with friends or celebrities projected through augmented reality. Similarly, the brands too could soon use special filters to project their products to the users.

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2) Focus on targeting the Generation Z

Goldman Sachs, one of the leading global investment banking, securities, and investment management firms, recently conducted a study, which revealed that in the near future targeting the focusing on reaching out to the Generation Z would be more fruitful for the organizations.

Today, the Generation Z, which is in their early 20’s would soon constitute the workforce and will have increased buying capacity. It is no wonder then that this generation would dictate the social media trends in 2018. Brands that identify this fact and align their social media marketing strategies accordingly will have an edge over the competitors.

3) Increased used of live streaming

This is another important trend that is surely going to have a huge impact in the social media marketing arena. Several brands have already been using live streaming to catch the attention of their audience and some of the brands have tasted great success. Several global celebrities and even political parties have used live streaming to connect with their fans, followers, and people in general.

The trend is sure to catapult to the next-level in 2018 as more and more organizations will realize its power in garnering audience attention and interacting with them. It would be no surprise if organizations make live streaming an inherent part of their social media marketing plans and monthly/weekly content calendar.

4) Wider use of Instagram stories

Instagram stories are a huge hit among the users; an estimated 200 million people use it every month to share picture and important moments with their friends. The rate at which the user base for Instagram stories is growing, it would be safe assume that by the end of 2018, more than half of Instagram users would use the stories.

This implies that the brands have a great opportunity to connect with the Instagram users and promote their brands better and to a wider audience. It is high time that businesses master the use of Instagram stories to increase their sales in 2018.

5) Influencer marketing

The trend of using influencer marketing has been gaining popularity since early this year, and it is likely to have a grand wider impact in 2018. Influencer marketing is essentially a form of marketing that focuses mainly on the influential people rather targeting the market as a whole. In this form of marketing, the marketers identify individuals (they are more often than not celebrities) that have the ability to influence the potential buyers and all their marketing activities around the influencers.

(Image Credits – StarNgage)

 

Nearly 90% of the online marketers who have employed influencer marketing strategy have attained great success. Several renowned companies like Rolex and Hubspot have used social media-based influencer programs to connect with new potential customers and also engage better with the existing ones. The trend is likely to grow in 2018 and it would be only wise for the brands to build influencer marketing strategies as the New Year is drawing near.

6) Rethinking of marketing strategy on Twitter

In 2017, as compared to other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, Twitter has failed to grow its followers significantly. Also, this year, Twitter lost the rights to stream the NFL games to Amazon, which resulted in a massive fall out of the audience. It is speculated that the leaders and the creative heads at Twitter will come with radical changes on how the platform operates.

Some of the possible changes that Twitter is likely to announce is the revamping of the platform to include some subscription elements, give the advertising options on the platform a new facelift. Speculations are also rife that the Twitter might sell the company to private investors. With these changes expected from Twitter, it would be a better idea for the companies to focus their marketing activities more on popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram than Twitter in 2018.

7) Stronger governance policies

This is probably one of the most important Social Media Trends in 2018 that the brands should take note of. Popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, in the past year, have been focused on creating a robust system to monitor the conduct of the audience on the respective platforms. Recently, Facebook announced that it is investing heavily in developing a new AI and human forms for monitoring.

Given the fact that these platforms received wide flak in 2017 for their inability to control and de-regularize the spam content, it is highly likely that these platforms will introduce stronger government policies and strict codes of conduct. What these policies would be, we would have to wait and watch but it would be interesting to see what they come up with.

 

With the above new changes and trends set to create an impact in 2018, it would be wise for the brands to review the social media marketing strategies for the forthcoming year and gear up to implement the necessary changes and stay on top of the game.