Social Media Trends set for 2018
2017 was a year of great change in social media, and this year will be no different in terms of social media trends. The digital world is constantly improving and evolving, and every day an improvement is made to a social site to propel it above its competition and into the future.
With great change, comes great responsibility, so users and businesses must prepare themselves for another year of transformation among the social media giants. Brands are battling it out for their posts to be seen and engaged with by their audience and one of the best ways to do this is by jumping on the 'trend train' and identifying what will be big this year.
Last year we saw virtual reality introduced into social media more, with social sites like Facebook working on Spaces and Snapchat creating filters which showed dancing hotdogs and cartoon versions of users doing laundry or eating a burrito on a bench. Also, an app plunged into the realm of virtual reality, as it combined Twitter with an iPhone's front camera, so a user could send tweets and communicate with friends, while having their surroundings visible to their followers. However, this year we should expect to see a lot more of VR in social media.
As Instagram takes it first steps into augmented reality with its introduction to filters, that are similar to Snapchat’s selfie lenses, and users are likely to see an increase in this direction too. We’ve already seen some brands have their own filters on Snapchat and this is a social media trend likely to be more common in 2018. This year will be the era that business truly becomes linked with technology.
Advertising and User-Generated Content
Social advertisers are most likely to boost their services and products on different social media sites this year, such as Instagram and Snapchat, which have both been improving and adding to their advertising tools.
There is also going to be a much bigger push towards user-generated content. In terms of marketing, brands are likely to turn their attention to pictures of their products or services posted via a consumer’s social media. For example, a salon is much more likely to gain engagement by reposting a customer’s new hair, than simply posting products that they sell. Reposting makes the account seem more realistic and personal. It’s also a great way to get others to send and tag the business in photos too. For example, if a jewellery shop asks, “Who got one of our necklaces for Christmas? Send us your photos,” the business is likely to pick up way more engagement as customers may send photos to get them liked or retweeted by the company.
One of the biggest social media trends set to change the year is live content. In the transition to the New Year, over 10 million people around the world live streamed their celebrations to their Facebook friends – a massive increase from last year’s count.
Live content is engaging and in real-time, meaning an audience can see how a product is used or what a company is doing. It’s an easier way to get people to see your video and can be saved as a recording to be posted afterwards. It is also a more personal way to connect with customers and appropriate for the current generation who are used to ephemeral content – it bridges the gap between short-term, twenty-four hour posts and videos that can be reviewed at a later date.