Best Social Media Marketing Trends to Try in 2018
First of all, let’s get real about some of the challenges you’re going to face— and some suggestions for how to tackle them.
|Less Reach (Organic) due to anti-spamming protections in algorithms||Strategic ads (not outright sales-y), investment in paid advertising|
|Video saturation||More videos, finding a distribution system that works|
|Too Many New Tools||Shift back to the basics (and focus on nailing it)|
There are too many new bells and whistles out there. If you want a stable social media marketing strategy this year, we suggest trying what’s always worked well, and really being willing to put those tactics to the test.
Here are some ways you can do that.
We know video works, but how do you put out diverse content regularly in a saturated market. For one, you can spread it out across channels:
- Instagram stories
- Facebook Live
Why it Matters: Video is an awesome way to tell the story of your brand. It’s interactive, not boring, and economical to produce with a smartphone, laptop, and some basic, quality audio equipment. You can show off your products, your company culture, your launch, or your event. And of course, you can use tags, hashtags, and sharing throughout your marketing tools to boost reach and exposure. Live streaming, in particular, is going to become more and more relevant in the coming months.
You don’t have to have a celebrity spokesperson to do effective influencer marketing. All you need is someone who is a “celebrity” in their field, community, or area of expertise. Nowadays, a more reasonable solution is doing smart marketing with social media influencers (or micro-influencers), who are celebrities in their own circles. With a 2017 success rate of over 90%, it’s definitely a social media marketing trend to try in 2018.
Why it works: People trust experts. And the large following, valuable content, and big personality of an influencer lends instant cred to your brand (not to mention putting your products in front of a whole new, giant audience). You can either budget to pay your influencers or set up an affiliate program. [In an affiliate program, you promote their product on your site—and vice versa–with each of you getting a percentage of sales when your affiliates product is purchased.
Virtual Reality often conjures up images of people wearing special goggles or visors and waving their arms around at things only they can see. Doesn’t seem, on the surface, like something relevant to anyone’s marketing strategy.
But the truth is, that’s where things are headed (think: the insane success of Pokemon GO). The biggest initial impact will be for the online gaming and home entertainment industries. But Google and Apple are already starting to use AR in their latest smartphones.
Why it works: AR/VR takes brand engagement and interactivity to the next level. While we’re not suggesting everyone needs to “make the leap” to this technology in the new year, we included it here because we think it’s worth watching how well this type of advancement goes over with the average consumer.
Generation Z: Born in the late 90s, people in this age group are up to 3x more likely to be influenced by social media marketing than other age groups (according to data from RetailDrive). Gen Z’ers are using all the social platforms you know and love (and live streaming services like Houseparty), so you have ample opportunity to connect with this growing pool of potential customers.
Why it matters: This generation is graduating from college this year, and is only going to have more and more buying power as time goes on.
It’s still a thing. In spite of some hard hits in the past few years, you don’t need to throw your Twitter strategy out the window. [How to interact on Twitter]
Why it matters; Twitter recently doubled their character limit (to 280 from 140), so you have more room to make an impression with your tweets.
As we round out our list, we’d be remiss not to give you an important heads up. With the prevalence of social media platforms comes issues with how they’re used. That’s why everyone from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram has tightened up their Codes of Conduct. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the rules, especially as it pertains to advertising and doing business. It would be a shame to do all that work only to be penalized or have your ads removed.
As we take on the new year, it’s totally fine to keep a lookout for new trends to try. But there’s nothing wrong with doing the basics well, and consistently. What works best for your social media marketing? Tell us what we’ve missed!
P.S. Make sure you don’t miss the first three installments of our series:
[Part One: Email Marketing Trends 2018] [Part Two: Branding Trends 2018] [Part Three: E-commerce & Design Trends 2018]