5 social media predictions for 2018

Gerry Johnstone Social Media

It’s that time of year in the industry where the predictions for next year roll out. The beautiful thing about this is more than just the conversations people have in their offices and on social platforms, it’s the fact that many of these predictions may get scrapped. Why? We’re in an industry that is forever changing, what works today might not work tomorrow.

That said, 5 things I can see doing well next year are:

Social media chat bots for customer service

2018 could see the end or at least a reduction in the number of tweets to brands about poor service and products due to chat bots. They’ve had a slow and steady rise over the years but with Facebook’s introduction of them to the messenger platform earlier this year, it’s likely that 2018 will see more brands take advantage of this tool to create more effective and streamlined customer experiences.

Social Selling

Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a steady rise in social selling. 2018 will see this practice grow. Social selling has become a useful sales and marketing tool for many businesses, helping to drive new sales and strengthen relationships with existing customers. As more businesses see the benefits there’s no reason for this practice to not become as integrated into the sales process as cold calling.

Continued investment in Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is something we’ve all heard about but many of us may not be taking advantage of. 2018 will probably be the year you start to, if you haven’t already! With more than 90% of marketers using the tactic and finding it to be an effective method, it seems 2018 could be the year it really takes off.

Many of us prefer to hear about the experiences other people have with products or brands, even when it comes to B2B services. This effective word of mouse tactic can be largely beneficial if you know who the influencers are within your target market.

The rise of the cinemagraph

This year has seen Brooks Brothers partner with Instagrammer Mike Mellia to create a campaign around what Mike does best, cinemagraphs. This campaign has drawn Mike and Brooks Brothers a lot of attention on social media and in the press, having transferred the imagery into outdoor advertising too – it’s all pretty amazing!

We could see more B2C organizations picking up this image format, especially for their social channels. It’ll give brands the chance to showcase individual products within imagery, really making them stick out. B2B will likely shy away from the format to start with but for organizations working in industries like manufacturing, it’s a great way to showcase machine parts or process details.

Social Stories

We’re likely to also see a rise in ephemeral content, which is the stories function available on several social media platforms. Originally launched by Snapchat in 2013, Instagram and Facebook quickly adopted the function due to its rising popularity.

Instagram alone has an impressive 200 million active users daily engaging with posts and watching stories. Although primarily a medium for B2C brands, there’s no reason certain B2B industries can’t make use of this function or even use it to showcase company culture for future employees and clients to see.

Currently, many brands and individuals claim to gain more organic views from Instagram Stories than post interactions and views of Snapchat stories. So, what’s everyone waiting for?

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