06 Feb 2018

Social Media Trends to Watch in 2018

February 06, 2018Social Media

Social media is arguably one of the fastest-changing environments in digital marketing.  Right when publishers, advertisers and brands catch up on trends, there’s something new on the horizon. Sometimes, you just need to shake that magic 8 ball and see what your future holds. So, we created one for you!

Let the magic 8 ball highlight some of the top predictions for 2018 from industry experts. Then, read on for more in-depth predictions and find out what Vertical Measures believes will hold true in 2018.

Shake the Social Media Magic 8 Ball…

Who’s making these predictions?

Many industry experts summoned their inner fortune-tellers to tell us what’s in the cards for 2018 on our favorite social channels. Below are some notable sources where you can find predictions ranging from AI takeover to the fall (or revival) of Twitter. It will be interesting to see how many of these predictions hold true this year!

What are the common themes for 2018?

There are lots of predictions. Some come as no surprise, while others may contradict our thinking about social media. There were some key themes among this year’s predictions that are worth diving deeper into. Although trends like AI and VR are increasing in popularity, not all brands have the resources to utilize them in 2018. We chose to focus on what all brands can do, tomorrow.

1. Ephemeral content will grow in popularity

The word “ephemeral” means lasting only for a short amount of time. You’ll recognize “ephemeral content” in social platform features such as Instagram & Snapchat stories. The idea of content that’s only available for a limited time can be intimidating for brands who have previously focused on evergreen onsite content, but this isn’t something to ignore in 2018.

Boasting 250M daily users at the end of 2017, Instagram is leading the way with its stories feature. With an explosive growth in active users, it’s leaving brands questioning, “What stories do we have to tell?” And, “How can we scale these efforts?”

Social-Media-Trends-Recode-Instagram-Stories

Image Source: Recode

As humans, we’re susceptible to experiencing serious cases of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), making it a no-brainer why these short and sweet experiences are growing in popularity. Aside from the fear of missing out on a good story or experience, the raw nature of this content often lends itself to authenticity and trust. At Vertical Measures, we agree that utilizing ephemeral content will be an important component of your brand’s social strategy.

Platforms & features to watch in 2018:

  • Snapchat stories
  • Instagram stories
  • Facebook stories

2. The takeover of video content continues

Another common theme among expert predictions has been the (continued) rise of video content. Considering that nearly 50% of users look to video resources about a product before ever visiting a store, video content will continue to increase in importance for brands in 2018 (ThinkWithGoogle). Perhaps even more impressive, online video will be responsible for 85% of global Internet traffic by 2019 (Cisco).

Live Video

In a study by Facebook, it was determined that people spend 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video than a video that’s no longer live (Facebook, 2016). But, why? People want content experiences and interaction with other users and brands.

Viewing a live video allows users to tap into a community of people who’s interested in the same things and communicate with each other in real time. Harnessing the power of these community-building opportunities can be a game-changer for brands looking to build on audience engagement.

Short Video

Snackable explainer videos will also continue to rise in popularity, according to most predictions. As video becomes more popular, we’ll see video length getting shorter and punchier. The faster you can convey a message, the better. And video provides a creative outlet to get your message across very quickly. According to a study by SocialMedia Examiner, you’ve got about 3 seconds to make an impact and retain your audience’s attention.

Social-Media-Trends-Recode-Video-Attention-Span

Image Source: SocialMedia Examiner

At Vertical Measures, we agree that 2018 is the year to embrace video content (if you haven’t already). It will be integral to social and digital marketing success in years to come.

Platforms & features to watch in 2018:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram
  • Twitter

3. Regulations will heat up

Politically, 2017 was a weird year for social media advertisers, to put it lightly. It sparked debate among lawmakers about the regulations surrounding social platforms and their use for political advertising without disclosure. An article from Bloomberg shares on that Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, stated in October 2017 the company would hire 4,000 workers to improve compliance of ad disclosures and identification of fake accounts creating “a new standard for transparency.”

Advertisers may face heavier authentication processes when publishing paid content on social platforms in 2018. The goal: transparency. We predict this isn’t the last we hear about increased ad regulations on our favorite channels this year.

Platforms & features to watch in 2018:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

4. The “people-first” social model will reign

With Mark Zuckerberg stating that users will be seeing “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” in their organic newsfeeds, we expect other major players may follow suit with their own algorithm changes. Social media will, in fact, be social again.

While visibility for publishers and brands will decrease organically (as it has been for some time already), this trend puts extra emphasis on the importance of having a paid strategy for promoting your content on social media.

The ship hasn’t sailed for brands and publishers looking to start their social media marketing strategy —it’s still an effective channel for growing your audience and driving awareness for your brand.

Facebook-Ads-Management-Header

Facebook Ads Management

Facebook has become one of most potent social promotional tools available to marketers today. Work with our experienced digital advertising analysts to set up and optimize Facebook Ads to unlock a whole new audience for your business.

Start the Conversation Now!