Trends in Social Media

Social media are interactive computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.The variety of stand-alone and built-in social media services currently available introduces challenges of definition; however, there are some common features.

User usually access social media services via web-based technologies an desktops and laptops or download  services that offer social media functionality to their mobile devices.As users engage with these electronic  services, they create highly interactive platforms through which individuals, communities, and organizations can share, co-create, discuss, participate and modify user-generated content or pre-made content posted online.

1. Live video continues to thrive

Live video content made big waves in 2017. In one of my previous blog posts, I explained that you should jump on the live video bandwagon
It should come as no surprise that this continues to be a popular trend in 2018.
In fact, live video content has become so popular that roughly 95% of brand executives say it will be a crucial part of their 2018 marketing strategy, according to a recent study
Why? Consumers love itResearch shows that 80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog. And 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts.
As a result, the most popular social media channels have implemented live streaming options. Brand marketers are taking advantage of this.
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When it comes to live streaming, Facebook leads the way, according to the 2018 state of social media report from Buffer.
In 2017, only 31% of businesses broadcasted live videos to promote their brands. I expect to see a much higher percentage by the end of this year.
Marketers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of live streams. Regular people share live videos to interact with their friends and family on social media.

2. Chatbots are taking over

Internet chatbots have been around for a long time. They go all the way back to the days of AOL instant messenger.
But like everything else, they are evolving. Now chatbots are being integrated with social media platforms.
Businesses are using chatbots to communicate with their customers on social media. This trend is growing at a rapid rate.
In the first year of the new Facebook Messenger platform, we saw the number of chatbots jump from 33,000 to more than 100,000.
The possibilities here are seemingly endless. Take a look at how Pizza Hut uses chatbots to make it easy for customers to order food through social media:
These bots recognize word phrases sent by users. Their automatic responses are based on how they are programmed.
As you can see from this Pizza Hut example, these bots can be used directly to drive more sales and increase revenue streams.
I believe we are going to see more businesses take advantage of these tools by the end of 2018. In fact, a recent survey suggests that roughly 80% of marketing executives have used or plan to use chatbots by 2020.

It’s a winning solution that’s a cost-effective alternative to paying real customer support representatives.

3. Influencer marketing is evolving

Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept either. But the way that it’s being used on social media channels is definitely changing in 2018.
More specifically, companies are starting to partner with micro influencers to increase their credibility.
What exactly is a micro influencer? They are people on social media channels who have a strong following but don’t have a celebrity status.
While there is no exact threshold, micro influencers typically have anywhere between 1,000 and 90,000 followers. Once we start to reach the hundreds of thousands of followers line, we are entering macro influencer territory. And anything higher than a macro influencer is considered to be a celebrity.
These are some of the top reasons why brands are partnering with these types of influencers:
Research shows that micro influencers have 60% higher engagement rates than traditional celebrity influencers. You can also expect to see 22.2% increase in average weekly conversions from this marketing tactic.
Another reason why brands are so drawn to micro influencers is because they are cost-effective compared to other advertising expenses.

4. Brands are taking advantage of paid advertisements

It’s 2018, so businesses know they need to have an active presence on social media. They have profiles on multiple platforms and update them on a daily basis.
While this is definitely necessary for survival, it’s not quite enough.
Companies that want to take their social media strategies to the next level also pay for advertisements.
Facebook alone has more than six million advertisers on its platform. In September 2017, Instagram hit two million monthly paid advertisers.
That’s because it’s become very easy to set up ads to target a specific demographic. It’s hard for businesses to turn down this type of precision in targeting.
Just look at how simple these options are for marketers who want to advertise on Facebook:
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In addition to being able to reach such a precise audience, Facebook also makes it easy for you to set your budget. You can set it up on a daily or weekly basis. It’s also possible for brands to manage their budgets based on the lifetime of each ad.
There are also many different options for the type of ad you want to run.
It’s easy to experiment to find out what works best for your company based on the demographic you’re targeting.
Research shows that by the year 2020, social media advertisements will surpass newspaper ad spending.
I anticipate that more companies will allocate a larger portion of their marketing budgets to paid social media ads in 2018.

5. Social listening

Social platforms are listening to your conversations. Whether you want to believe this or not, it’s the truth.
I know you’ve seen it before. You’re talking about something with your friends and then you see an advertisement for it on social media.
Creepy? Yes. But that’s the reality of the world we live in right now.
Marketing solutions like Sprout Social offer social listening tools to help brands analyze various audiences.
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There are many ways in which businesses can take advantage of social listening.
It gives you the opportunity to see what consumers say about your company. But you can also use this tool to monitor relevant keywords or hashtags used on social media.
You can use this data to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly and make sure you’re targeting the right audience.

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