Companies are always on a constant lookout for new social media trends and strategy to reach out to their target audience and build their brand around them as trends keep changing more often on marketing landscape.
Here are top social media trends and strategies to follow in 2018 for brands to stand apart from the competition and to reach out their target audience.
Posting something regularly on social media by following social media trends alone will not all get things done.
Hence brands must carefully determine their goals, make use of social media to their benefit and design objectives accordingly. It’s always ideal to attain those goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
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Objectives may vary from brand to brand as for one. It may be brand awareness, and for other, it may be lead generation and conversion.
However, to attain those objectives brands should primarily identify their target audience (prospective customers) and must do enough research about their competitors, create a content strategy and allocate budgets and resources for their marketing campaigns.
1. Chatbots for Superior Customer Experience
Chatbots are one of the new social media trends and strategy for business in 2017 which brought a revolutionary change in the way how business is conducted and how a business process is being executed. They are software programs designed to interact with their audience in a personalized manner by adding a human touch to it.
Chatbots integrated with social media profile of customers will completely transform the nature of conversations and how customers interact with their brands.
They can now send the customers the relevant information they require based on customer attention and interaction they can also help the customers take an appropriate purchasing decision based on their previous buying history.
They help brands seamlessly collect customer data to send personalized information to the targeted customers and help them in their buying process, and they will also assist the brands in driving their customers through the sales funnel from lead generation to sale conversion.
Strategy to Use for Chatbots
Chatbots can be programmed to analyze and monitor the customer purchase patterns which can help brands to market the products in a highly targeted manner to the customer segments which are more likely to get converted, and it saves money to the company.
2. Video Marketing
The video is being considered as an essential tool and popular social media trends and strategy for business today. The video is used for building and engaging a broad set of the loyal audience by a majority of the brands across the world. It has completely transformed the way how is social media used in advertising.
Videos are consumed by a majority of internet users, and it is likely to get more click-through rates, impressions and conversions and is also getting popular across all other forms of content published on the internet.
In the recent days, video marketing has evolved to be as the dominant form of marketing and has completely transformed the way how is social media used in advertising. Customer testimonial video’s, how to video’s, webinars, animation videos, etc. are few popular of videos displayed on the internet.
A recent study has revealed that about 60% of online consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video demonstration of that product. It is also estimated that by the end of 2017 video content is expected to account for more than 75% of The internet traffic hence Brands need to invest quality time and effort to create videos which can Deliver more value to their customers.
Strategy to Use for Video Marketing
- One should be clear regarding what they would like to achieve with the help of video marketing, and they should understand what kind of video content works for particular type of audience and what doesn’t work and create video’s accordingly
- Video marketing has lot of potential to grow in the coming years also and will stay popular as one among the social media trends and strategy in 2018 as well
- Brands also must be careful in choosing the right social media platforms where the video content should be displayed and which brings them the maximum ROI on the amount spent on video marketing.
3. Social Listening
“Social listening” is one among the latest social media trends in the market it is the process followed to monitor social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, etc. to tracks mentions and conversations of people made around a particular brand, product, services, etc.
It is continuously growing its momentum in various countries as brands showing interest to adopt this strategy into their marketing plan. It helps to improve the quality of their products and services accordingly to their customer opinions and interests and to create the superior customer experience.
Social listening also helps brands to respond to conversations of their consumers efficiently and effectively which will help the brand to improve its customer loyalty and brand popularity.
Strategy to Use for Social Listening
- Primarily companies have to identify their target audience and social media platforms they use to reach out them and respond to their grievances swiftly.
- Brands must also need to identify popular keywords, trends, phrases around their brand products or services which are searched the most on the internet and must proactively reach out to the customers who have created them and resolve their issues and should acknowledge their efforts.
- Google alerts, TweetDeck, Social mention, Topsy are a few free social Media listening tools which brands can be put to use for this purpose Initially.
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4. Augmented Reality
“Augmented reality” is an emerging technology in the market which integrates the physical or real-world elements with computer-generated inputs such as sound, images, gif’s to create a unique experience to the user.
It is also known by other names “virtual reality” or”computer simulated reality.” It is more likely to be as one of top marketing trends in 2018 used most practically.
It is also now being extensively used in various fields like retail, commerce, tourism and sightseeing, video games, industrial design, education” etc.
Snapchat has enabled its users to experience augmented reality through its instant messaging app where users can render an animated cartoon version of themselves called as “bitmoji”, later on, these animated versions of images can also be brought to real-world settings and can be photographed or video recorded.
“Loreal Paris” also brought augmented reality experience to the personal level to its consumers through its app makeup genius, which allows users to try out different makeup and beauty styles using their mobile device.
Strategy to Use for Augmented Reality
- With the help of augmented reality, companies can take an opportunity to take feedback from their customers on their newly introduced products and Services and make changes to them as per the responses received from them.
5. Influencer Marketing
“Influencer marketing” is also one of the latest social media trends in 2017 used in the marketing world.
It is the type of marketing which uses Influencers instead of celebrities who have considerable knowledge and understanding in a particular field like the stock market, real estate, sports, hospitality, education, business, etc.
Brands across the world have already started including influencer marketing strategy in their marketing toolkit and implementing it extensively to get the best out of it in improving their brand identity and brand value in the market to their target audience.
An actor posting a tweet on his twitter or sharing an image on his Instagram regarding a brand will be seen by a broad set of the audience following him and is also widely circulated among them which can be called to be on influencer marketing.
According to a research made by tap influence, 71% of YouTube subscribers trust an influencer’s opinion over traditional celebrities
Strategy to Use for Influencer Marketing
- Brands need to create influencer marketing programs around well-defined KPI’s which could be sales numbers to be achieved, amount of social engagements or attracting unique visitors towards the website.
- Next, the brands must be careful in identifying the right set of influencers who can deliver their brand message to the right set of target audience based on the market segment they are operating in.
- They should carefully define the objectives what they would like to achieve with the help of influencers and should make the best use of analytics tools to calculate the ROI to measure the success of influencer marketing campaign.
6. Ephemeral content marketing
“Ephemeral content” is creating content which is impermanent. This new social media trend is on the rise in 2017 and has the potential to grow in the coming years as the attention span of the majority of the internet population is getting depleted day by day.
Thee ephemeral content marketing is considered to be the most cost-effective way of attracting audience attention and reaching out to them.
“Ephemeral content marketing” is one among the latest social media trends being used to provide fresh and exciting content to its target audience and it has become so popular within short span time of its emergence in the marketing world.
Today majority of social media websites and apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Periscope, Imgur are enabling their users to create content which is interesting and worth sharing but not worth preserving,
Facebook live videos and Snapchat stories can be cited as perfect examples of ephemeral content.
Strategy to use for Ephemeral Content Marketing
- Brands must keep posting interesting content regularly on their social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest related with recent happenings in their company and industry.
- They must make sure they are crisp, short and informative and should entice the audience to share it with others.
7. Personalized Content
Nowadays customers are bombarded with content everywhere, and most of the content created goes unnoticed by the audience and will not serve the purpose.
Personalized content fills this gap to reach out to the target audience in a more engaging manner and delighting them with personalized greetings and offers and hence it has become one of the latest social media trends today.
Personalized content is now the latest trends in social media for business.
According to a brand survey, it is revealed that around 75% of people are willing to pay more for a brand that provides a personalized experience.
It is also revealed in a study conducted by Marketprof’s that brands that have adopted personalized content marketing into their overall content marketing strategy have seen a direct increase of 19% in their total sales. Hence brands must keep an eye to get the best out of this strategy
Amazon, Starbucks, Netflix are a few popular brands which are successfully implemented a personalized content strategy to attract and retain its target audience.
Strategy to Use for Personalized Content Strategy
Brands should put some mechanism in place which can collect email addresses of people who are interested in receiving your content on a regular basis which helps to build a list of quality leads whom you cultivate to actual customers in the long run
· Make the best use of analytics tools like google analytics to measure and analyze your target market and what kind of content they would like to read.
· Email marketing software such as MailChimp must be used to send content to a group of the target audience by adding a personal touch which includes addressing them using their names in the emails they receive from the brands.
8. Inbound marketing
“Inbound marketing” is the strategy of attracting prospective customers to know more about a brand. Its products and services by offering relevant and helpful content through various digital media platforms such as blogs, social media websites, podcasts, etc.
It also uses content formats such as white papers, infographics, ebooks, etc. by using digital marketing tools such as Social media marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, etc.
The value of inbound marketing is getting known to various brands across the world slowly and it will be implemented on a broader scale by 2018 and will stay top of social media trends 2018.
The decline in the “outbound marketing” caused due to a fundamental shift in the consumer behavior and interests resulted in the emergence of “inbound marketing” which offers the target audience the choice to consume the information in the content format they are interested in.
Hubspot, Marketo, Optify are some of the most popular inbound marketing software used by the majority of the brands across the world.
Strategy to Use for Inbound Marketing
- Brands must learn as much as they can learn about their target audience and should create compelling content which tickles them to read.
- Brands must do enough research to identify the delivery platforms through which they can disseminate content to their audience.
- They should create a content calendar to make sure that they post unique content regularly across their delivery channels.
The success of implementing various social media trends in a brand’s marketing campaigns can be measured in different ways, some of them are being discussed below:-
- Social Media ROI
It helps us determine the revenue generated on the amount invested on marketing campaigns held across various social media channels.
- Tracking Follower Growth
We can determine how many unique people have taken an interest in a brand by tracking its follower growth on social media, consistent rise in the number of followers signifies about brand awareness and brand loyalty it has gained through social media campaigns.
- Tracking Likes, Shares, Retweets, Mentions
Brands can evaluate how much their target audience is engaged with their brand by tracking metrics such as likes, shares, retweets for their brand posts on social media. Brand should take this opportunity to serve their audience by reaching out to them and knowing them more and helping them in getting their need getting fulfilled.
We can access a wealth of information like follower growth, likes, shares, retweets and other analytics about our audience by going through Facebook insights and Twitter analytics.
It helps brands determine the number of unique visitors a brand has gained within and outside the target audience and also helps the brand to understand what kind of content goes well with the audience.
Despite the fact that the best social media trends for 2018 talked about above are justonly the tip of the iceberg as far as changes go, they’re among the most essential to watch out for.
Follow the newest changes to social platforms closely, track what the best brands in your industry are doing, try different things with new methods yourself, and make the most out of digital marketing in 2018.