There are literally millions of businesses occupying social media space just vying for a customer’s attention.
They are pulling out all of the stops to promote their business, to get customers to buy their product. So it’s safe to say that there is stiff competition in the socialverse.
For a business to survive and thrive you must have a strategy that works. And in order to create an effective social media strategy you have to know what the latest marketing trends are.
Otherwise, you won’t get a return on the time and money you invest in your marketing plan.
In this post, I’m going to cover the latest social media marketing trends for 2018.
Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
Social Media Examiner published their 10th annual social media marketing industry report. More than 5,700 marketers were surveyed and they shared how they will use social media to grow and promote their business.
The most commonly used social media platforms marketers are:
And in spite of Instagram’s ever-growing popularity, Facebook is still holding its own. A whopping 94% of marketers use Facebook followed by 66% who use Instagram. And…2 in 3 marketers claim Facebook as their most important platform.
The Most Commonly Used Types of Content
Social Media Examiner asked marketers to identify the types of content they use in their social media marketing. The chart below shows the percentage of marketers for each type of content.
I can’t tell you how important visual images are. It is what will drive a customer to take action, like clicking the link to your blog post.
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. Brainrules
80% of marketers said they will use visual images in their social media marketing plan.
Social media is busting at the seams with brands trying to get a customer’s attention so it’s important that your visual images stand out from the rest of the digital herd.
Studies demonstrate that images receive a high response rate, and are a very effective technique for generating leads.
So how can you use visual images in your social media marketing?
Infographics are not only a quick and easy way to share information with your audience, they are also highly engaging. It is a graphic visualization tool to capture attention and to tell a story while the reader consumes the content.
There are tools like Piktochart to create your own infographics but you can also find infographics created by other marketers in just about any industry on Visual.ly.
The digital landscape is exploding with video content. As a matter of fact, 77% of marketers plan to increase the use of video.
According to Hubspot: 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support.
Adding video to your social media marketing plan is an effective way to draw more attention to your business. Remember a video should be interesting, engaging and helpful for viewers, reaching their pain points, their sweet spot to want and need your service or product.
Here are some of the ways to incorporate videos into your social media marketing plan:
- Create short and simple instructional videos to show your audience how your product works
- An audience loves original, out-of-the box videos. A good example is one Dollar Shave Club created to promote their blades:
- You can also create thank you videos to show gratitude to your audience for using your product or service
- Blooper videos are also popular so share those out-takes and goof-ups!
Customers prefer live videos over reading a blog post but blogging is still an important, fundamental tool to drive your business success. You can incorporate videos into your blog, further boosting the readability interest with active content.
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Blogging is means to keep your audience informed of the latest trends in your industry, develop your reputation as a thought leader, provide updates about, and to your product, and be a valuable resource hub of information. A blog also aids in building your community of loyal, interested followers. Followers can become customers because they know, like, trust you.
Quality content is essential. It truly is KING! Be the subject matter expert to drive social waves to you and your business. Rich and relevant is a must.
Live Video Streaming
Live streaming is another element to add to your social media marketing plan. Filmora created an infographic that shared marketing tips for live streaming on social media.
Here are some of the stats that caught my attention:
- According to the infographic, 80% of customers would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a plain old humdrum blog post.
- Live streaming can be used to make announcements and give updates on your products. You can do a live event to promote your business. And you can do a live behind the scenes video to show your audience the creative process for your brand.
- Now, live streaming is popular on many social media platforms but Facebook is killing it! Statistics show Facebook live videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos.
So if you’re wondering whether you should use live video streaming, the answer is YES!
Podcasts are a low cost, high impact content platform to promote your business, reach your target audience, personalize your brand and share your voice. Typically, it’s unfiltered, an opportunity to humanize brand and provide a more authentic feel than other types of content marketing.
Podcasts expand your reach, touching the lives of many. In a report by Edison Research, they found that in 2018 (so far) 44% of Americans, 124 million people, have listened to a podcast. 73 million listen in on a monthly basis. Pretty impressive.
TIP: Pat Flynn wrote a great tutorial that has step-by-step instructions to start a podcast.
Messenger bots came into the scene back in 2016 and have become a leading tool in content marketing. This form of content marketing took off when Facebook figured out how to take payments in messenger so users wouldn’t have to go to an external website to make purchases.
And from there a new trend was born!
Bots uses Artificial Intelligence to understand a user’s question and provide the right response according to the conversation flow.
It’s designed to help your customers in a more “personal” way and can help businesses provide content and resources to help customers. It adds another layer of communication to help convert viewers into customers.
Here is a list of Messenger chatbots you can check out:
Investigate the available platforms and tools to further your audience engagement and customer journey. There are many to choose from and while it can be overwhelming, start small but think big impact. Be creative and innovative, not a copy of the competition.
Experiment. The key to a working social media marketing plan is to analyze your results and tweak your plan as needed.
Over to you: What’s working? What isn’t? What are your favorite platforms?