Social Media Trends and Insights for 2018

Social media trends never cease to surprise us with its rapid evolution and growing features. It’s clear that it has continued to change at a rapid pace and we know you want to stay ahead of the social game, right? Right! For example, over a year ago, several major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram added sharing stories as a feature – – fast forward to the present, over 300 million people are sharing stories on Instagram everyday! 

If you want to be successful as a chef, hairstylist, makeup artist, realtor, or any type of occupation that is entrepreneurial in nature, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the social media curve and embrace its latest trends. 

That’s why we’ve put together 7 of the top major trends to help grow your business on social media now! 

 

1. Ephemeral Stories

Source: Fonepaw

This type of content is a great way to create fresh content, reach wider audiences, and create urgency as well as exclusivity to your viewers. What is an ephemeral story? It’s a message, whether it be text, image or video, that is shown on your profile for a limited period of time and disappears. Although Snapchat was the original creator of this type of content sharing, Instagram and Facebook has just as many, if not more users. 

So what does this mean for your business?

This means you have the opportunity to share a myriad of unique content to reach audience members that may not be following you yet and/or make your current followers feel special. It’s also an opportunity to stay fresh in your viewer’s minds by appearing at the top (refer to the image above as to how your stories appear on one’s header). Here are some ideas for sharing ephemeral stories on the platform that you prefer:

-Sneak peeks into your brand/company’s products

-Offer a limited time promotion

-Show your personality with sharing something special to you or something funny

-Day in the life of video or behind-the-scenes

 

2. Social Messaging and Social Call-Out Customer Service  

There was a time when customer service used to only be held in private; emails, phone calls and forms. Not anymore. As long as the use of social media rises (and it probably will), so will the rise of customer service being in the public eye. Businesses that have a facebook page, instagram page or any social media platform cannot afford to ignore customers. Many social media users are quick to essentially “call out” a business for their dissatisfaction and it is in your business interest to respond to all social messages/comments in a timely manner.

Ignoring any social media comments or messages about your business can have dire consequences and can discourage other fans to distrust your business. It’s not worth it. Make it a priority to respond to all messages on social. 

 

3. Currently 2.46 BILLION Social Media Users

It’s also been predicted to have over 3 billion social media users in the year 2021. With that being said, out of the 2.45 billion social media users that are online day to day, some of them could be your most valuable future fans and/or customers. It just comes down to how you are targeting them. What’s the best way to target your specific type of customers? Ask yourself the following questions about your business:

-What is your niche

-What type of fans/customers do you currently have? 

-What types of things motivates your target? 

-Most importantly, what niche do you enjoy working in? (Ex: for hairstylists, enjoy cutting hair for kids? elderly? special ocassions?)

-Although tempting to want to target everyone, it’s simply not possible and does not provide your marketing strategy with a laser-like focus. 

 

4. Social Media on Mobile >> Desktop

As the rate of mobile users increases year by year, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to provide mobile-friendly content. Currently, the most popular social media platforms that are used on mobile are: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Here are some tips on making more mobile-friendly content:

-Crop images that are easily viewable on smaller screens

-Keep headlines/captions short, precise and engaging

-Consider employing a social media content management tool such as CoSchedule, Hootsuite or IFTTT

 

5. Video: The Most Popular Content Type 

 

By the year 2020, according to Inc.com, 80% of the entire global internet traffic will soon be attributed by videos! In fact, 73% of B2B companies have reported positive results to their ROI from their marketing campaigns. With that being said, video content has become so increasingly valuable and popular that it’s impossible for businesses and entrepreneurs to ignore.

 

6. User-Generated Content 

Source: Slideshare

So, what is user-generated content and what does it mean? It is essentially any content that is created from a customer using a specific product or brand. For example, if Sheila buys a Starbucks drink and takes a selfie with her Starbucks and tags @Starbucks on Instagram, that is what’s considered user-generated content because Sheila created the content. It’s a great way to encourage trust from other brand users and showcases a truer than true testimonial. 

How can you incorporate user-generated content for your brand’s social media? 

Here are some tips: 

-Run contest/quizzes/promotions on social media and encourage users to participate and provide content

-Leverage the use of hashtags to spread the word of your promotion/contest while encouraging users to use it when talking about your brand’s contest. Ex: #PutACanOnIt

-Reposting your fans’ or user’s content to show them you appreciate them

 

7. Trust Declines as Peer Influence Rise  

Remember the days when you’d see celebrity endorsements on your favorite cereal box? Or how about Macho Man Randy Savage “snapping into a Slim Jim”? These days, celebrity endorsements aren’t as impactful. In fact, as cool as those celebrities are, it’s going to take much more to convince a consumer to buy into a brand. 

So, why did celebrity endorsements stop working? One answer: authenticity

The demand for authenticity is higher than ever and it comes down to how you portray that in your brand or product. Be yourself, use stories to record conversations about your brands with people who have actually used it. Encourage users to tell stories about your brand and tag you on it. 

 

 

References:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-trends/

https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/9-social-media-trends-to-pay-attention-to-in-2018.html

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/5-ways-encourage-user-generated-content-social-media 

Why Peer-to-Peer Marketing Does More Than Celebrity Endorsements

https://www.adweek.com/digital/penny-wilson-hootsuite-guest-post-5-trends-that-will-shape-social-media-in-2018/ 

https://social5.com/ephemeral-content-101-what-it-is-and-how-to-leverage-it-in-your-marketing-strategy/ 

Cathy Ly