Already this year there has been talk of Facebook changing their algorithms, Instagram has introduced a shopping feature recently and Twitter has increased its word count. So what are the social media trends that really matter for 2018 and what do they mean for you and your business?
We have come up with five social media trends that we think are going to be important to you and your business this year:
- The Facebook algorithms – Some of you may still be asking algo-what-now? Yes, Facebook uses formulas to determine the content that people see on social media. It isn’t as complicated as it sounds and actually it is a very good thing for businesses. The main reason this is a positive change is based on the fact that although businesses may start to see a dip in their online traffic, they may actually start to see their sales figures rising. This is down to the fact that new Facebook data shows you who is buying your products and their demographics meaning you can tailor your advertising to a more specific target audience. The result of this will mean your advertisements will be going to relevant audiences rather than just some people who may be interested because they fit into a certain age group or gender. Therefore, our advice to you is start learning more by using the Facebook blue prints now and really understand how it works.
- Invest in moving content now – social media video content has soared in the past 12 months and with two out of three businesses not currently using video marketing on social media, planning to do so in 2018 says a lot about which direction you should be moving in.
- Talk to your customers – and being able get it right has been impossible with social media becoming a 24 hour seven days a week kind of industry. To keep up with the high demand for instant answers and access try investing in a ‘chat bot’. Chat bots are handy tools that allow you to create pre-written content that can automatically answer customers when you are not available. This will also ensure that your response rate stays as high as possible and doesn’t tarnish your company’s reputation.
- Millennials are being outed by generation Z. Yes, that’s right generation Z is definitely moving in on their elders and 2018 is going to be the year they get noticed. With UK millennials spending just 8.5 hours consuming content, generation Z are going a step higher and are spending around 10.6 hours consuming content. That is going to be a big chunk of the market so you had better get researching about them and their habits. FAST.
- More than just content – Social media platforms are moving away from just using content to boost sales. They want to generate interests, hobbies and educate people. It is how you go about getting your content in front of your customers. Although the new Facebook algorithm is supporting this transition there is still a long way to go. One tip here is to generate content that doesn’t directly sell a product or service. Write content that will interest your readers but in turn direct them to your website. ‘Soft selling’ is key – for example; if you are selling animal products, write about things to do with your pet or ways to keep them healthy – publish the links on social media, ‘boost’ them to target the correct audience and this will drive the traffic back to your website. Having good knowledge about your particular industry will also lead your customers in to trusting you and coming back to your website for more advice thus leading to more sales.
Author: Dave Williams
Dave Williams is the founder and director of onefoursix; a digital marketing agency based in Northampton. After setting up onefoursix in 2011, Dave has gone on to grow it to one of Northampton’s finest agencies. His expertise include social media, user experience and SEO.
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