If there’s one thing constant about social media management, it’s that it is always evolving. Wondering what new and exciting changes you should pay close attention to in 2018? Here are 7 of the latest trends that you’ll love to include in your social media management strategy this year.
1. Content Gets Personal
Social media management platforms with strong suggested response capabilities offer more opportunity for content personalization than ever before. This is great news because more of your audience members will come to expect highly personalized experiences in 2018.1 To learn how to make the right choice on a social media management solution for your brand, download the latest Forrester Wave report.
2. More Mention Monitoring
Monitoring social conversations about your brand, your products, and your competitors will give you valuable insight about your audience’s likes and dislikes as well as improve your customer satisfaction ratings. If you didn’t include social listening in your content strategy in 2018, it’s not too late to add it now. Find out how social media monitoring tools can help with customer service.
3. Influencer Investment Increases
No brand can afford to ignore the fastest growing marketing channel—influencers—especially with these stats:
49% of Twitter and Instagram users rely on recommendations from influencers.
Influencers bring a 10X rise in conversion rates.
Hand in hand with influencer marketing is a continued focus on encouraging your brand advocates to generate more user-generated content. “This is not only a great way to get new, quality content; it’s also a perfect strategy for better engaging your followers. Chosen followers will be excited about being featured, and they’ll be more likely to purchase your products and encourage their friends to check out your page.”2 Download this free guide on how to leverage visual UGC.
4. More Stories Told
Just one year after its introduction, Instagram stories had more than 250 million daily users3 compared with Snapchat’s 166 million.4 With over half of all Instagram users predicted to use stories by the end of 2018, now is the time to master ephemeral content. Don’t have the bandwidth to execute this tactic? Try an influencer “takeover” campaign. Hand over your account to a brand advocate to stream on your behalf. You’ll get more brand awareness, and your customers will get an authentic peek behind the scenes at your product or service.
5. Augmented Reality Gets Real
There isn’t much agreement about precisely what shape augmented reality will take in relation to social marketing, but many marketing experts agree that in 2018 brands will be promoting more than just flower crowns on your selfies. Gartner predicts that “100 million consumers will shop in augmented reality by 2020.”5 Retailers have already started using AR marketing with interactive 360-degree shoppable video Facebook ads.6 If you want to stay competitive, keep an eye on this trend and take time to understand the possibilities of AR for your business and, more importantly, for your consumers.7
6. Virtual Agents Engage in More Conversations
More brands will embrace artificial intelligence platforms as a way to efficiently provide 24/7 customer service. It’s predicted that by the end of 2018, 30% of our chat conversations will be with chatbots, many of these on Facebook Messenger.8 According to Social Media Today, Facebook Messenger chatbots can answer basic questions which will free up your customer service team to handle more serious customer inquiries.”9 If you aren’t already, now is the time to test automated responses with your business.10 Learn how to connect with customers in an instant in our guide 4 Ways to Offer Outstanding Customer Service on Facebook.
7. Deeper Connections with Individuals
There is no better way to make customers and prospects feel valued than by engaging with them directly. According to Smart Insights, more brands will focus on “real-time engagement and capitalization on micro-moments with the aim to delight your social media followers.”11 Automated services and solutions will free up customer care agents to uncover ways to surprise and reward their customers and prospects. Read how Hilton connects with travelers by delivering travel tips one tweet at a time.