Social Media: What to Look out for in 2018
The importance of having a cohesive branding and a solid social media strategy for your company is hugely beneficial. Increasing your brand’s authority through the regular and consistent use of your social channels allows your following to increase and improves your reputation. Extending your reach through social following allows your content to be distributed effectively, maximising the efforts of your content creation. In 2017, working on building your profiles across several social media networks might have substantially rewarded you, however, in 2018 there are going to be some new trends that might be advantageous to your company.
Due to new demands from consumers, the social media industry is ever-changing. In order to stay on top of your social media strategy and to ensure that you are reaping the biggest benefits from the practices that you have put into place, you have to ensure that you are staying on top of trends and forecasts for the future. So, what can you expect for 2018?
Increased mobile social media use
Recent findings by Cisco’s Visual Networking Index have found that mobile data traffic is expected to increase sevenfold by 2021. Although it was amongst the last social networking sites to optimise for mobile, it is also predicted that by 2020, 59% of Facebook users will access the site exclusively through mobile. With apps like Instagram and Snapchat almost completely optimised for mobile use, the accessibility of these sites is what has made them popular. Analysys Mason’s recent technology report revealed that entertainment is the most dominant activity that smartphones are used for, using up, on average, 57% of our data allowances.
Since the popularity of mobile-only apps seems to only be increasing, soon Facebook will have to have all of its content optimised for mobile devices in order to stay ahead of the game. In addition to this, though, access via a mobile is quicker and simpler, so with users having optimised information at their fingertips, it pushes mobile social media usage to be their first choice in receiving content.
Higher importance placed on visuals
Optimising your social media profiles in order to establish your brand’s identity across all platforms should be one of the first things that happen. However, often the identity isn’t carried through on Instagram and Pinterest. Utilising Pinterest to the best of its ability involves making sure that your visuals are both aesthetically pleasing to the consumer and informative. Setting up rich pins that display your website name and favicon allows your identity to shine through. Unattractive pins are less likely to catch attention, and by rolling out graphics that fit into a theme allows further optimisation to take place.
In a study conducted by Social Media Examiner, 82% of respondents cited images as a crucial part of their social media strategy, claiming that it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to use them. Why are they so important though? According to Brainrules.net, a person who sees an image is likely to remember it three days later 65% of the time. If your company is creating thoughtful and eye-catching visuals, consumers and customers are more likely to react positively to it.
Video usage becoming increasingly important
As Facebook and Youtube continue to be front-runners of sharing video content, it is becoming increasingly important and something that consumers are requiring more and more. Video content marketing is something that companies can expect to invest more in the future, as it is becoming regarded higher.
One of the reasons that video works is because people can connect with the content better and place an emotional value on the subject. Brands capitalising on video content is not a new feature but is definitely one that you can expect to see increasing, and it’s easy to see why. Sharing and liking video content is extremely common so businesses should attempt to create immersive content in this field in order to appeal to the consumer.
Reflecting on the earlier theme of mobile usage, making sure that the content that you are providing is optimised is key for this marketing strategy to work effectively. Facebook revealed in April that eight billion videos are watched on the platform daily by their 1.65 billion active users. Avoiding this huge demographic would be a foolish part of our social media content strategy, and the number of videos watched is only set to increase into 2018.
Personalised content on the rise
Over the past couple of years, customised content has been increasingly popular. For some of the biggest brands, personalised content has been part of their marketing strategy for several years now, catering consumers online presence accordingly based on their likes and dislikes. MarketingProf’s study found that it has positive results and that companies who go with personalised marketing strategies see a 19% increase in sales.
Consumers are used to seeing content catered specifically towards them on their newsfeeds and timelines, as well as on regular websites that they visit; Netflix adapts its ‘what to watch’ category dependent on your recent watches and Amazon suggest products that you might like based on your viewing habits.
Do you have any predictions for what we can expect in social media trends next year? We’d love to know, so reach out to us on our socials and let us know.
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