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5 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

by Zia A., posted 7 months ago
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If you’re still scrambling to nail your 2018 social media marketing strategy, we’re here to tell you it’s okay. No one has all their ducks in a row yet, and we’re here to help. We’ve scoured the digital ether and come up with five key trends shaping the social media landscape in 2018. So stockpile the chocolate and settle in for the read. By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to fine-tune your 2018 social strategy to greatness.

Bigger Budgets.

As Jerry Maguire so eloquently put it back in 1996, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

2018 social media marketing trends

In 2017 social media budgets increased by 60%, and that trend is set to continue this year. As consumers spend more and more of their waking hours online (digital consumers say they are now spending an average of 2 hours and 15 minutes per day on social networks and messaging, up 300% from 2012), we’re going to see a greater commitment of resources (both time and money) in social media marketing from brands big and small.

Of course, the flip side is that those brands are going to demand greater proof of ROI. Metrics will be more important than ever as businesses try and determine the best use of their budgets, funneling money into what’s working, and pulling funding from what isn’t. Your job, as a social media manager, will be to find ways to provide these numbers, and prove that social media marketing works. When in doubt, toss in this gem:

According to research from IBM, a lead developed via social media is 7x more likely to close.

The Influence of Influencers.

In the last 12 months we’ve written a number of posts on Influencer Marketing (because, not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been tracking this trend since before The Man Repeller was deflecting member’s of the opposite sex). Read our posts on Influencer Marketing 101, How to Find the Right Influencer for Your Brand, and Influencer Marketing ROI and you’ll be ahead of the curve in adopting this trend.
2018 social media marketing trends

Influencers are the new celebrity endorsements. They’re more affordable, they’re more accessible, and, most importantly, they’re more relevant, providing an incredible amount of reach to a very specific audience. Studies show that influencers deliver 11 times the ROI compared to traditional digital marketing. 49% of people say that their purchase decisions are influenced by influencers.

But with more and more brands seeking them out, this elite group of social media unicorns are going to become increasingly selective about who they want to work, and be associated, with. So now, more than ever, it will be important to build, nurture, and maintain meaningful relationships with key influencers in your industry.

Story Time.

According to Smart Insights, storytelling is the future of content marketing strategy in 2018. Social media is an increasingly crowded and noisy environment. Users are inundated with advertising and paid content, but what they really want is a story, your story. So deliver it to them.

If we want to get really literal (and you bet we do), this year, Instagram Stories will be where it’s at. By November of last year, Instagram Stories had amassed 300 million daily average users. If your users are among them, then – NEWSFLASH – that’s where you want to be too.


2018 social media marketing trends

Stories are a great way to add more personality to your brand, to showcase company culture and new products. Be playful, be creative, take risks. With a 24-hour life cycle, this is a great space to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t.

1 in 5 brand Instagram Stories receive at least one direct message from a customer. Stories represent outstanding potential. Make yours count.

Need help creating an engaging Instagram story? Check out this handy resource, then grab your smartphone and get ready to film.

Greater Governance.

2018 is going to see greater governance in the world of social media marketing. As the leader of that frontier, you need to know and understand whatever new guidelines come into effect, to ensure you’re staying within the lines.

Many platforms are rethinking how they manage and monitor their content and users. Facebook, for instance, invested in additional human capital and new monitoring protocols to help ensure inappropriate content doesn’t end up on their platform. Following pressure from the EU, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have all implemented protocols to monitor and potentially remove flagged material, respectively reviewing 89%, 63%, and 80% of flagged content within 24 hours. There have even been suggestions that social media be regulated, like tobacco or alcohol.

The net net remains to be seen but we expect social platforms to be more proactive when it comes to monitoring content. Staying in the loop will ensure you don’t get accidentally blocked when they change the rules.

Listen Harder.

As we’ve said time and time again, social media is a conversation, not a monologue. And, as Malcolm Forbes was quick to point out, the art of conversation lies in listening. In social media that means enlisting social listening tools like Twitter Counter to track conversations that are happening around your brand, your industry, and relevant topics.

As listening tools become more refined, the information they provide will become more valuable. Harness that power to find new opportunities, create more targeted campaigns, and ultimately improve the customer experience. That’s one trend that stands the test of time – satisfied customers will always be your biggest advocates and ensure your road to success.

2018 social media marketing trends 

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