Posted: 21 Dec 2017 Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle
Social Media Marketing Strategies That Will Help You in 2018
2017 proved that social media is as strong as ever. Facebook reigns supreme, Twitter is growing faster than ever, and social media use as a whole is higher than it’s ever been before. Going into specifics, Twitter’s 140-character limit is a thing of the past as users are now able to vent with 280-characters, a move Twitter says will lead to easier expression while retaining the brevity they’re known for; Instagram and Snapchat continued their struggle to one-up each other with new tools and features in a battle for the top spot in their users’ phone; and live streaming is the new hottest thing brands everywhere are starting to explore.
And now we move to 2018 social trends and social media predictions for 2018. For example, is there a next big social media platform 2018 has in store (spoiler: probably not)? Will video still be a big deal? Is eCommerce becoming a bigger part of social media marketing (another spoiler: yes, eCommerce is definitely one of the bigger SMM trends 2018 will bring)? Well, let’s get to it!
1: Combine Social Media and eCommerce Strategies
This is for you if you’re in eCommerce, so listen up! Did you know that you could actually integrate your store with your social accounts and sell from there? That’s right, apart from using social media to foster a closer relationship with your audience, you can even sell to them.
Let’s use Instagram and a scenario in which you own an online fashion store to illustrate how this works:
- You integrate your store to Instagram (e.g., if you have a Shopify powered store)
- You take awesome pictures of your inventory and upload them to Instagram for your followers to see and admire
- Your followers fall in love with your clothes and can’t help but to buy them right then and there because the option to do so is in front of them and they can’t resist your designs
- BOOM, you just got a sale
Easy, right? Therefore, a social media trend 2018 marketers are sure to use and one you should pay close attention is social and ecommerce integration.
2: Ads Are Good, but Influencers Are Better
Consumers expect marketers to focus on the positive, so they turn to the people they trust. With the rise of social media, the circle of people we trust now includes our favorite industry experts, celebrities, and athletes. - Neil Patel
Ads are very good if you want to give your business more exposure, but pairing your business and products with an influencer will do even more. As Neil Patel suggests, people trust the people they admire, and influencers are just that. People are already following them, and a team up will place you in in good standing with their followers, AKA your audience.
Considering that your competition is probably already using an influencer (73% of marketers say that they have allocated budget for influencer marketing), getting an influencer in 2018 will be even more important than in recent years.
3: Video Is Everywhere
“The web was built on words. And words, of course, are available to anyone who can type. They're cheap, easy to edit and incredibly powerful when used well. Today's internet, though, is built on video. Much more difficult to create well, far more impactful when it works.” - Seth Godin
In 2014 Mark Zuckerberg predicted that Facebook would be all video by 2019, and anyone who regularly scrolls through their feed knows that if we’re not already there, we will soon. In fact, if you haven’t already incorporated video into your social strategy, you better do it soon, because that’s exactly what your audience is demanding — especially for social media. They want an easy-to-digest way of consuming your content, and videos offer the perfect medium.
As you tailor your video marketing strategy, definitely include going live. For those who don’t know what that means, it means streaming in real-time. It means that your audience will get a notification when you’re live so that they can join the fun. It means that after you go live, your video will stay online so that those who missed out can catch up (note: this does not apply for Instagram Live). And finally, it means you can engage with your audience in a more personal way than ever before.
It’s All About Emerging Technologies
The last strategy you should include in your 2018 social media marketing plans is to embrace emerging technologies. Artificial intelligence, for instance, was a hot topic in 2017 and will be even hotter in 2018. Narrowing on chatbots, one of its many facets, many brands adopted them into their social channels as an avenue for their audience to get in touch with them 24/7. Whenever they have a query or concern, they can simply revert to the chatbot as opposed to waiting X amount of time for an email reply or for a human representative to become available.
Another emerging technology to keep an eye out for is augmented reality (AR). With its ability to superimpose the virtual over the physical, AR is poised to make a big splash. Some brands are already making use of it with Snapchat, and you should too if you want your engagement to skyrocket.
Final Thoughts and TL;DR
To conclude, social media will be even bigger in 2018, all the spots are pretty much filled (so no new social media platforms 2018 will bring), and here’s what we covered today, AKA what your social media strategy 2018 needs:
- Combining social media and eCommerce strategies leads to sky high ROI
- Ads are good, but influencers are better because people actually want to follow them
- Video is everywhere and will continue to be everywhere — especially live video
- Emerging technologies have always been important, but even more so for social media