Social media is constantly changing from year to year. In 2008, for instance, MySpace was the leading social media network in the United States. Facebook has since achieved this title, surpassing MySpace and every other social network. As a business owner, you should familiarize yourself with the following trends to gain a head start on your 2018 social media marketing efforts and to stay ahead of the crowd.
Originally launched August 2016, Instagram Stories have become increasingly popular among users of the platform. Like Snapchat, they allow users to share content that disappears after a short period of time. Unlike Snapchat, however, Instagram Stories can be accessed by anyone on the network, regardless of whether they follow your account. This means you’ll generate more views by posting content on Instagram Stories, thus helping to promote your business.
Livestreaming is another major social media trend to watch in 2018. On April 6, 2016, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Live, a platform on which businesses and publishers can livestream content. But why should you use livestreaming in your business’ social media marketing strategy? According to HubSpot, Facebook Live videos generate 300 percent more engagement than traditional pre-recorded videos. It’s a more genuine and transparent way to connect with your audience. Furthermore, Twitter offers its own livestreaming channel, known as Twitter Live.
Focus on Paid Advertising
Every major social media network offers paid advertising. However, you’ll probably see more businesses using these services in 2018 and beyond. Facebook, for example, recently adjusted its algorithm to display fewer organic promotional posts in users’ Newsfeeds. Business owners using the platform to sell products and services saw a substantial decrease in traffic and sales. To overcome this challenge, business owners are now using Facebook Ads to reach their target audience. Getting coached and trained in this process of advertising never hurts either.
You don’t have to produce all your business’s social media content by hand. On the contrary, you should take advantage of user-generated content in 2018. By encouraging your fans and followers to create content, you’ll fill your business’s social media profile with additional information, often more targeted to their interests.
You can even ask users to create and share content on your business’s website. However, it’s recommended you use a professional website creation service to design your site. Make sure you have a design that allows you to proofread and edit any new content before publishing. If you ask users to share, be sure you have social share buttons already created to make the process easier. According to Timmermann, your website should balance both creativity and functionality.
An effective social media marketing strategy requires an understanding of the latest trends. After reading this, you should have a better idea of what to expect on social media in 2018.