empiher special report:

Top Social Media trends to watch in 2018

Social Media Trends with Stacy Mayfield

Ever wanted to gaze into a crystal ball and ensure you are on top of the key trends for the upcoming year?  Well, you are in luck.  With Social Media constantly evolving, there are 3 tactics that you need to stand out from the crowd and stay ahead of the curve.  

 

Social Media is about communication.  People are heading to “Social” for all their important decisions, especially their purchasing journey.  Peers are now as credible as experts & more relevant as sources of information. More than academic experts.  

 

2018 will reward businesses that put their people (customers, communities and influencers) at the centre of their social strategy.  Build a community and put people first.  

 

Here are the top trends to watch:

 

1. Video.  Ok, video has been on the top trends list for a few years now, but things are changing. Online video is now Social TV.  Social Video is on the rise as digital is going to overtake traditional TV.  You are going to see more “made for social media” shows next year.  Brands need to become Broadcasters.  

 

Live streaming and stories will continue to make waves by breaking through the algorithmic challenge while making its way into the newsfeeds of viewers. Facebook Live video is watched 3x longer than regular videos and shows up higher in search results. Bonus: Go Unscripted and be authentic!

 

Everyone has a TV camera in their pocket so ensure you find the right platform for your video goals.  Video is the fastest growing ad format and by 2020 video will make up 80% of consumer Internet traffic.


 

2. Messenger Services.  This one started to gain traction in 2017, but with increased brand participation in “dark social”, messenger ads, etc. will become hotter in 2018.  Dark Social is communication that is not publicly visible.

 

I expect that private messages will surpass email marketing as a direct communication strategy for brands.  With private messages comes Chatbots.  Chatbots give brands the opportunity to interact quickly with their followers in a way that feels personal. Bots are becoming smarter and more human-like as you can customize your brand voice and send personalized messages directly to users.

 

3. FB groups.  Ok, this one is not new, but it has a twist for 2018. Groups are a key opportunity for brands to engage with customers thanks to declining organic reach. (Another trend – declining organic reach)  Communication on social is much more effective when you know your audience.  What better way than to narrow your audience to ones that really want to hear your message.  Be a micro-influencer over a smaller group rather than being a bigger influencer over a larger group.  This will emerge as a greater necessity.  

 

This community approach for brands will merge the lines between peer influence and product selling.  With social dominating time spent online, people want content that is relevant to them.  Customized content is more likely to be shared.  Knowing your target market and building a private community around them will make them feel like you are creating it just for them.  


 

While I think it’s important to stay up to date, you don’t necessarily need to jump on each and every one of them now that the New Year has started. A smarter approach would be to look at your 2018 strategies and see which ones you could benefit from (or negatively affected by).  It’s not a one-size fits all approach.

Put your time and effort into great content and focus it around communicating with the right people.

 

Stacy Mayfield

STACY MAYNARD,

MASTER DIGITAL MEDIA STRATEGIST 

 

I'm Stacy and I have been called many things: Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing/Media Consultant, Online  Business Specialist, LinkedIn Expert and probably a few more.

I am not a "Jane of all trades" and master of none.  I am a master of this online world with a unique mix of business smarts and tech-geekness.

To learn more about how you can better utilize LinkedIn for your business, check out Stacy’s online training and services at http://bit.ly/linkedinprofile2018