7 Top Innovations That Are Going to Shake Social Media in 2018

Nemanja ManojlovicStarred Page By Nemanja Manojlovic, 29th Jan 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2e79mjy-/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

If you want to stay tuned to what the year 2018 has in store for social media, here is the list of 7 top innovations that are going to make an impact and lead to changes in how we see and use social media.

Intro

In the world of ones and zeros, everything changes rapidly. Why would social media be immune to it – it was built on the latest web technologies, has to be attractive to a great majority of people, has to offer tools for businesses to advertise and efficiently communicate with customers, and so on.

While use cases and the purpose of social media may remain constant, every other aspect is prone to a change. In 2018 we expect an abundance of changes, updates, features and innovations to enter the realm of social media and shake it from the ground up.

If you want to stay tuned to what the year 2018 has in store for social media, here is the list of 7 top innovations that are going to make an impact and lead to changes in how we see and use social media.

1. Influencer Marketing Will Become a Recipe for Success

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you must be familiar with influencer marketing. It’s a growing marketing trend on social media, and experts predict that it will become the most dominant one during this year. In fact, it has become so popular that brands have to be very careful when choosing one. Why?

Since influencer marketing is immensely popular, it has become a very lucrative line of business. This is why everyone now desires to become an influencer. Sadly, purchasing likes and clicks from third-party companies has become a serious issue, and businesses have to be cautious when puting the fate of their brand in the hands of the rising stars in influencer marketing.

Furthermore, companies have to be very careful when it comes to riding the influencer marketing tide and should know when to get off. Why? Because consumers can quickly become bored by the same product or service popping up over and over again on Instagram stories or in YouTube videos. This can have a negative effect on your brand image.

On top of that, some influencers will start losing the audience's trust, since they use their follower base to earn money by constantly promoting products on their social media stream. You have to agree that this can’t get past the audience without sacrificing a bit of the authenticity that helped influencers build their follower base in the first place.

So what can you do to stay on the safe side when using this highly effective method that’s catching fire in 2018? Go only with influencers who are experts in your niche and who are held in high regard by your target audience. Alternatively, you can put your faith in the hands of an AI specialized in making decisions about influencer campaigns.

2. Advocacy Marketing

Advocacy marketing is the next big thing that's gonna hit social media platforms in 2018. In case you don’t know what it is, here’s a simple definition – it is a form of marketing that revolves around turning the customers into brand advocates.

Social media has a huge role to play in this new scenario. Since it is an organic form of marketing, businesses will have to shift their focus to providing as many opportunities as possible for customers to become brand advocates. This means round-the-clock activity on official social media accounts, responding to product and service reviews posted by customers, etc.

Why is advocacy going to be such a big this year in particular? Well, according to experts, customers have grown weary of marketing. It is flooding their TV, social media feeds, radio stations, etc. In 2018, customers tend to place their trust in their peers.

What role do advocates play on social media? A well-planned advocacy marketing strategy can boost your social media campaigns. Simply because it complements it really well and adds authenticity to it – something that is much needed today when people are losing their trust in ads on social media.

3. Facebook Live

The gaming industry has been using live video for quite a while now to attract more customers to their products. It seems that other industries are catching up with them. This year we expect to see businesses hoping on the live video bandwagon. The innovation that’s going to make all this possible comes from Facebook and it is conveniently named Facebook Live.

A new survey conducted by Social Media Today tells us that Facebook users spend three times more time watching live videos than standard videos. From a business point of view, Facebook Live is a viable option because it enables them to reach fans very quickly. On top of that, video is the most engaging form of media online and can be used to convey powerful messages to vast audiences.

Why Facebook Live and not YouTube and LiveStream? Simply because Facebook has the largest community. Besides, Livestream reports that 66% of people who enjoy watching live videos like Facebook Live.

So how to leverage the Facebook Live? You have a plethora of possibilities when it comes to boosting brand awareness via live video feed – Q&A, Instructional Videos, Exclusive Interviews, Announcements of New Products, Company Live Tours, Behind the Scene, and many others.

4. Chatbots Will Dominate Social Media

The chatbots have come a long way from being simple chatting buddies to becoming sophisticated providers of complex services. The end experience is not the only thing that has changed. In the past you had to possess extensive programming knowledge to build yourself a decent bot.

Today anyone can use a chatbot building tool to get their hands on custom-tailored chatbot. However, it pays to look for the best chatbot building platform, as companies like SnatchBot can allow you to quickly set up a functional bot and do so without an extensive technical background. Chatbots that are not only able to participate in meaningful conversation, but also the ones that can receive orders, schedule appointments, make hotel and restaurant reservations, and so on.

They have practically become a necessity in the ecommerce industry. Online shops use them on their official Facebook pages to enable shoppers to make their purchases and place orders online. Yeah, chatbots have become the best salespeople available via Facebook Messenger.

A strong social media presence has become an equivalent to “you must have a business website” these days. This is why businesses are looking for new ways to leverage social media and stand out from the crowd. And chatbot technology can arm them with the proper tools to achieve this.

But why chatbots and why now? Chatbots have become an easily accessible technology, and they are also easy to use and offer amazing opportunities for businesses in a customer-centric market. If a business wants to ofer quick interaction to its audience and, on top of that, make it personal, chatbots are a great choice.

Furthermore, chatbots are powered by natural language processing and AI. This means that they can learn from past interactions and offer a highly personalized experience to each customer. When you know all that, the fact that there are over 100K active chatbots on a monthly basis on Facebook won't strike you as a surprise.

5. Changing the Reality, Meet VR and AR

Augmented and virtual reality are huge things in the IT world. This year they are definitely going to shake the social media platforms. If you are not familiar with these technologies, here is a quick recap.

Virtual reality technology allows us to enter and immerse ourselves into completely new three-dimensional worlds and environments. Social media platforms have huge plans for these computer-generated simulations. Why? Because a person can interact with these simulations by using a helmet and other convenient gadgets.

On the other hand, augmented reality technology generates new images and displays them on top of the existing picture. We have seen powerful and mind blowing demonstrations of this technology on Apple’s keynote at the end of 2017.

Snapchat has already made a move. They have developed and introduced their completely new AR feature, allowing users to project images into the world. It is just a matter of time before businesses start using this feature to allow customers to see the products in their homes, so that they can make smart purchasing decisions.

When it comes to Facebook, we practically knew that something was brewing in their kitchen ever since they bought Oculus. Shortly after, Facebook announced the first large-scale commercial VR product – Spaces.

Spaces will enable Facebook users to meet and communicate in virtual reality. This creates amazing opportunities for business as well, especially the ones looking for new ways to improve customer experience and boost customer service.

6. Instagram Stories

Instagram stories is a social media infant. This technology is only one year old, but this didn’t stop it from become one of the leading trends in the social media stratosphere. Let’s review the numbers and projections.

Instagram Stories are being actively used by 200 million people. That’s over 50 million more than the number of active users of Snapchat. At this rate, it is estimated that half of all Instagram users are going to be hooked up with Instagram Stories by the end of this year – 250 million.

Why are Instagram Stories more attractive for business than standard Instagram posts? After Instagram changed its algorithm, the posts found on the users’ feeds were no longer displayed in chronological order. Instead, the algorithm assesses the posts’ engagement and likability and places the best ones on top of the list. This made business Instagram posts less reliable in terms of reaching and engaging the intended number of people.

Instagram Stories are more flexible and controllable than the standard Instagram posts. This is why businesses will be incorporating them in their marketing strategy during this year. They also enable businesses to leverage the power of frequent posting without the risk of boring their followers.

Why? Well, Instagram Stories are built to be used frequently, and Instagram users are used to and expect to see high levels of activity in this section.

Additionally, Instagram Stories enable business organizations to tap into the power of real-time marketing, increase brand awareness and distribute a high volume of information very quickly and easily.

The most popular examples of Instagram Stories used by businesses for marketing purposes are: the UFC post of an athlete eating during training, Pencils of Promise offering behind the scenes shots, E! News sharing a series of headlines from their magazine, and so on.

7. Voice Search Changes Content

One of the most common practices when it comes to using social media platforms for marketing purposes is content sharing. Not only does this practice help businesses raise brand awareness and increase engagement rates, but it also helps them drive more traffic to their website and increase conversion rates.

But a new trend – voice search – is definitely going to change the content strategy. More than 40% of adults and 50% of teens in the US are using voice search at least once per day. Business organizations have to understand how this reflects on social media marketing strategies. Since voice search is going to attract even more people to start using social media, businesses see this as an amazing opportunities to add more people to their follower base.

Voice search is definitely going to change how marketers develop content. The search inquiries made via voice search are more natural and used to ask highly specific questions. Brands will have to be constantly monitoring these queries in order to produce sharable content that is more relevant for their target audience.

As you can see, if you are a social media enthusiast, 2018 is definitely going to be a big bang in the social media universe. Because they were built on the latest web technologies, all the mainstream social media platforms are suitable grounds for implementing new tools and features.

We should get ready to see more chatbots in official business channels, as they are able to make the social media efforts of businesses more streamlined. Augmented and virtual reality will enter the scene on the red carpet and reinvent the way we communicate, while big data analytics is going to be used by social media platforms, as well as businesses to custom-tailor the content we see on our screens.

Tags

Digital Marketing, Social Media, Tech Trends

Meet the author

author avatar Nemanja Manojlovic
I am an enthusiastic researcher from Podroom Creative who likes to focus his attention on topics ranging from martial arts, weight loss, fitness and cooking, to motivation and productivity.

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