Social media marketing has rapidly evolved and become the game changer for online marketing activities. The platform has created high expectations among both users and marketers who are always on the lookout for something new. New trends keep coming and going, and marketers have to adapt to it to remain relevant and effective so that they can stay at the top rungs of search results. It is essential to understand the trends that keep shaking and moving the world of online marketing so that you stay current with the best practices. Since the social media platforms undergo technical upgrades in its endeavor to please customers by providing better user experience, you have to track the trends to align your marketing activities with it.
According to PPC Houston companies that undertake social media marketing alongside PPC marketing, the social media marketing scene in 2018 needs proper understanding for creating strategies for your business accordingly. Here are some of the trends of the social media in the current year.
User-generated content is in focus
It has now become clear that user-generated content drives more engagement for different brands on the social media. Marketers are giving more importance to user-generated content. Instagram especially has proved the captivating power of user-generated content that keeps the audience engaged for long periods. Instead of spending sleepless nights and cranking your brains to maintain a steady pipeline of creative and interesting content, you can now turn to user-generated content that gives an edge in marketing. The ability of user-generated content to create a large following on the social media is attracting marketers looking for wider outreach.
Micro-influencer marketing is the in-thing
The social media platforms have always been attractive for influencer marketing, but currently, there are some changes to it. To increase the effectiveness of influencer marketing, a new trend of micro-influencer marketing is on the rise. Lesser-known people can now become influencers who could have a bigger impact on marketing by using the social media. This approach has reduced the cost of inducting influencers as you can now reach out to them easily without having to strain your budget. It provides a cost-effective way for promoting brands and businesses. The reputation of influencers is no more important because the quality of the reviews and posts is what matters at the end.
Add a human face to automated communication
Facebook Chatbots gained popularity due to its ability to reduce the response time of customer services, thereby achieving faster turnaround times, which is very important. However, in the process of speeding up customer services, the communications have started losing the human touch and have become more mechanical. Customers expect a humane touch in the conversations, which is set in a new trend in 2018. How you could maintain a human face for the brand must be top on your agenda in spite of using chatbots. The content and communication used for marketing must be able to uncover the humans behind it.
Visual content remains a priority
Aesthetics of your brand and business is what you should focus on because it remains the cynosure for consumers. The appeal of visuals remains as high as ever, and its capabilities of resonating with the audience are truly unparallel. When creating your marketing strategy give the visuals the importance and space it deserves. Line up suitable resources for accessing visuals that make your campaigns vivid and vibrant and appeals to the senses of the audience in the most compelling manner. Pay attention to a curated collection of visuals comprising of still images and videos that could take your marketing campaign to the next level.
Real-time content and live video
Some trends of 2017 keep gaining momentum in 2018 as is evident from the growing popularity of going live on social media networks like Facebook and Instagram. The audience is ready to lap up real-time and live events, and you must capitalize on the trend to translate it into marketing gains. The live events provide the opportunity of engaging in face-to-face interaction with the audience and are extremely important for getting closest to your target audience as if sitting with them across the table. Indeed, it is quite challenging to come up with creative and original ideas that could provide enough value to the audience by serving them something useful.
Be in touch with Gen-Z
You have to take your business where the money is – if you believe in this statement then you must take measures to get closest to the buyer belonging to Gen-Z and stay connected to them. The reason is simple – they have the biggest buying power, and it is rising, even more than the millennials. It is therefore natural that Gen Z is the prized audience that marketers have to target. Recast your marketing strategies by considering the worth of Gen Z and bring them under strong focus. They are the band of the new workforce that could be extremely beneficial for growing your business. Track them closely and identify the social media networks that attract them so that you can take your business in front of them.
Mobile optimization is mandatory
Social media users are heavily dependent on smartphones not only for accessing the social media but also to access popular apps. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest have more than 80% users using smartphones to access popular apps with Facebook having the maximum users at 94%. LinkedIn, Instagram and other channels come just behind these. When posting content on the social media, you have to ensure that you optimize it for making it effective on mobile devices or face the consequences of distancing your brand from the audience.
The social media signals are still crucial for search engines and would perhaps be the primary reason for marketers using social media networks. However, they have to accept the reality of diminishing organic traffic from social media networks as the platforms have changed their algorithms to focus on posts and content from family and friends. The reduction in referral traffic is bad news, but the overall positive impact of social media marketing outscores it.