It’s January, everyone is over those post-Christmas / New Year blues and now you actually feel like you’re ready to tackle 2018 with both hands – but – going in blind is dangerous. To tame the social media marketing beast, you need to be equipped; equipped to adapt your plans, strategies and social campaigns to the latest social media trends. As live entertainment experts, the NEC Group is all about Bringing Live to Life® and our social channels are key to this. In this article, Todd Newton, Content Marketing manager for NEC Group Arenas, talks about our top 5 social media trends for 2018 that you need to know about:
RISE OF THE MOMENTARY CONTENT
It’s reported that over 200 million people use Instagram stories on a monthly basis, whether that’s to check in on their favourite social media influencer or to engage with the brands they love; people use Instagram stories ALL of the time – and you should too. Although content is here today, gone tomorrow it’s a really effective way of organically getting your brand in the face of an engaged user. You have 10 seconds to blow their socks off, so think quirky, quick and digestible to ensure they buy into what you’re saying. Also, avoid making your post feel too much like an advert. They’ll disengage and you could potentially lose a precious follower. Nobody wants that.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS ARE HERE TO STAY
Although it kind of feels like every man and his dog (quite literally in some cases) are becoming social media influencers, there’s absolutely no sign of dilution - in fact - in 2018 prepare to see even more ‘real people’ pushing brands, products and venues to their ever-growing, hungry following. Why? Because people buy from people. However, if working with a social media influencer isn’t within your budget, make sure your brand personality is super strong and your tone of voice is as an engaging as it can be, don’t be another faceless company. You’re better than that.
VIDEO, VIDEO, VDEO!
Facebook users consume over 8 billion video views every single day, 82% of Twitter users view video content straight from the platform and over a billion hours of video are watched on YouTube daily. That’s just a few astonishing stats from 2017 on social video and things are only going to increase. It’s also reported that social viewers remember up to 95% of a message when it’s included within a video compared to just 10% when reading the message in text. If that doesn’t make you want to start using more video, then nothing will. However, it’s important to be mindful when producing video content; make sure it’s aligned with your brand, make sure it’s relevant and most importantly, make sure it’s something that people actually want to watch.
Video isn’t just restricted to final cuts… go LIVE! Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all support live streaming within their apps now, so why not give it a go. Whether you’re behind the scenes at an event or you’re unveiling a new product, hit live and give your followers real-time access to areas they’d never usually be able to see. Obviously, be careful that there’s nothing sensitive, embargoed or offensive taking place because once it’s out there, it’s out there.
AUGMENTED REALITY IS GOING TO BE EVERYWHERE
Calling this in 2018 for business use is maybe a little premature, but expect to see leaders of technology trialling and testing augmented reality in the very near future. It’s happening. It’s also the thing that will become second nature with predictions claiming that most of us will have some form of daily interaction with AR within the next 5 years. You’ll currently find AR taking over the gaming industry as they blur the line between what’s real and what’s computer generated…and that’s exactly what will start happening in the business world. Don’t be surprised to see Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram supporting new-gen filters and windows allowing users to browse stores, join events and watch gigs all from the comfort of your sofa. However, the development of the software is steeped in irony as the more we use this feature across our social accounts, the less social we’ll actually become. Thanks, AR!
BIG TWITTER CHANGES (AND NOT JUST ANOTHER CHARACTER LIMIT EXTENSION)
2017 wasn’t a great year for the guys over at Twitter, in fact, it was one of their most disappointing years to date. As they watched the following on their rival platforms soar, Twitter’s unfortunately remained stagnant leaving very little to cheer about. Plus, to make things worse, they lost the NFL streaming rights to Amazon, which was another huge blow. We’re betting that this year is the year of change, 2018 will be the year of Twitter. Although it suffered a bit over the last 12-months, it’s still an absolute giant in the world of social media and rumoured developments could mean huge new benefits for both consumers and companies.
It’s thought that there will be a big revamp of the Twitter advertising function, which has undeniably fallen way behind its competitors, as well as changes to the way profiles are viewed and better ways to engage and interact with followers. Don’t rule Twitter out of your marketing plans just yet, we’re expecting it to be back with a bang!
To conclude, social trends are changing by the day which is what makes the industry so refreshing. Read as much as you can, analyse your own findings and speak with similar brands and companies to ensure you stay on top of what’s hot and what’s not. Also, bear in mind that the Generation Z demographic will play a huge part in how products and brands are consumed across social platforms in 2018, so keep these cool, young, hip people in mind when you’re putting together your plans and strategies. They could become priceless to your brands success.