Social media allows us to reach a worldwide audience instantaneously, expanding our network of connections to include users in even the most remote corners of the globe. This kind of reach has dramatically changed the way we think of the world and the way we do business in it, making competitive and adaptive social media strategies even more integral for companies and users alike. Below are five trends that are set to go global in 2018, trends that are sure to soon become the standard in social media engagement.
- Instant Connection to Customer Service
When advertisers first began approaching consumer bases through social media platforms like Facebook, they were relatively limited in the ways they could establish contact with potential customers. Now, features like Facebook Messenger have allowed for the integration of chatbots into social media customer service strategies. These bots allow companies to interact with customers instantaneously, and have made customer service easier and more personalized for users. And people seem to prefer this method of communication; according to Facebook Messenger over half of the people they surveyed said they were more likely to use businesses that incorporated chatbot technology, meaning this trend is here to stay.
- Social Listening
Web monitoring has been in practice for a long time, but new evolutions in social listening allow companies to search for more than just web content and social media analytics. Social listening now offers the additional benefit of monitoring social mentions and queries to see what people are searching for and how they rate their experiences with certain companies or products. According to a recently released marketing report, “The State of Social Selling,” 85% of customers use consumer reviews to determine the brand of their next purchase or whose business they’ll choose to support. That’s a huge untapped resource for advertisers, and could potentially change the way we utilize social media queries and online reviews.
- Mobile-Only Platforms
More and more social media platforms are making the switch from desktop-based formats to apps that can be used on mobile devices. This trend is so widespread that there’s a high probability social media will soon become exclusively mobile, and with good reason. Mobile-only platforms like Snapchat see more traffic because users check them more frequently, and currently almost 80% of social media engagement now occurs on mobile devices. This means better exposure for advertisers overall and more opportunities for features like location-specific ads.
- Video Content
Videos have always been a valuable method of customer engagement. Lately, advertisers have been increasing their video content to attract more consumers on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, and new ways to share video on those platforms, like Instagram Stories, continue to develop. What this means is that global companies will more than likely be focusing their energies on new video strategies in 2018 and looking to businesses like automated video captioning companies and app developers to optimize this rising trend in social media content.
According to Business Insider, Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform, and the company owns four of the five highest performing networking and messaging apps in the world including WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Now that Facebook has launched its mobile app, there’s no sign this tech giant plans to slow down in the year to come, making its influence of global social media even more significant than it has been in the past.
New developments in social media features and accessibility have changed the ways in which we engage with our social networks online. Consumers have come to expect greater mobility, faster customer service, and more engaging content than ever before, and failing to keep up with these trends can be detrimental to any business seeking exposure online. Fortunately, many of the apps and features that are set to go global in 2018 have also made it easier for companies to create more personalized, effective marketing strategies, creating a wider, more involved audience for the future.
by: Lee Flynn