No one knows exactly what the future holds. It would certainly make life easier if we did. However, when it comes to social media trends for 2018, there is no need to dust off a crystal ball or consult a Ouija board. The writing is on the proverbial Facebook wall, enabling us to give you heads up as to what’s coming.
Twitter Doubles Its Character Limit
The platform has been trialing this since late September with random users. Thus, if it doesn’t happen before we get out the noisemakers on December 31st, it will soon after champagne hangovers have worn off. What this means for the personal user is that there’s more room to be profound, ridiculous, cryptic, etc. For Twitter, it’s surely an attempt to get more account holders and revitalize the platform. This is good news for marketers.
More Twitter users means more potential buyers. Thus, Twitter becomes a more inviting channel to include as part of a social media marketing strategy. Marketers are also less constrained by a 140-character limit so they can say more in a single tweet, and hopefully resist the temptation to clog followers’ feeds. Yet, with double the characters comes an increased likelihood of wordiness. Social media marketers need to remember that audiences have limited attention spans. Therefore, it is still key that tweets pack a punch with an economy of expression.
Gen Z Gets More Attention
Marketers have been wooing Millennials for years. They know that this young, tech-savvy generation is full of social media influencers and has significant buying power. However, in 2018, some of that attention needs to be shared with Generation Z. After all, the oldest within this demographic will be turning 23 in 2018. They are entering the workforce, and doing a lot of shopping. They are also truly digital natives, not knowing a world without Internet, smartphones, and social media. Consequently, online, mobile, and social media marketing is what will get their attention and their dollars.
A recent Forbes article suggests a variety of ways to reach Gen Z where they live, including:
- Master the Art of Snapchat
- Create Instagram Stories
- Think Mobile First
- Get to Know Gen Z Influencers
- Share Content on YouTube
- Interview Gen Z Followers For Great Insights
Chatbots Improve Connections with Customers
What are chatbots? Chatbots are robots that talk to you online. Yes, you’ve probably spoken to one without even knowing it. They can sound very human, and provide instant customer service for an increasingly impatient audience. “You can customize your brand voice and send personalized content directly to users. Maybe that’s why there are at least 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger — and the reason two billion messages are exchanged between brands and their audiences each month.”1
Chatbots are on track to becoming more and more prevalent in 2018 and beyond. If you are considering adding one to amplify your marketing efforts, check out “The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chatbots”.
Content Gets Personal
Each social media channel attracts different segments of your target market. Therefore, it is essential to tailor your content on a particular channel so it best reaches each segment. We’ve recently seen an influx of new ways to do this, and make that content more personal. Whether it be through emojis, filters, stickers, etc., the relationship between companies and their audiences is taking on a more friendly, relatable tenor.
In 2018, your target market will also be looking for personalized recommendations when shopping online. They’ve gotten used to this on sites like Amazon and eBay. Not surprisingly, Pinterest has already seen the future and is working on tools that “will give users the ability to take a photo of an object (think of that amazing hotel you stayed at in Maui), and Pinterest will essentially aggregate a list of recommendations, taking into consideration the style and features within the photo.”2
Social Media Trends Challenge Marketers to Keep Up
We’ve seen a lot of changes in the social media marketing landscape in 2017, and, there’s more to come as we look ahead to 2018. Let us know in the comments how you stay up on all the social media trends. What changes are you planning to make to your social media marketing strategy in the new year?
1 Hall, John. “6 Social Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018.” Inc. 27 Aug. 2017. Web. 27 Oct. 2017. https://www.inc.com/john-hall/6-social-media-trends-to-prepare-for-in-2018.html.
2 Marcyes, Lisa. “What’s New in Social? Platforms are Raising the Bar on Personalization.” Marketo. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2017. https://blog.marketo.com/2016/07/whats-new-in-social-platforms-are-raising-the-bar-on-personalization.html.