Social media in 2018 is in a transitional phase. Social media networks are rising, others are starting to see user engagement drop, and Facebook continues to be a behemoth with the company passing 2 billion monthly users.
Social media trends must be the focal point of small businesses that hope to promote their offerings on social media.
The audience is growing, but their habits are changing.
The top social media trends coming up in 2018 include.
1. Video is Taking Over
Internet speeds are fast. There’s no need to worry about long buffering and loading times when watching videos. People prefer video. And this is a trend that’s starting to takeover social media this year.
You have a lot of options in the world of video:
- Facebook Live
Video is everywhere, and when businesses use social media, they connect to users on a very deep, personal level.
When it comes to trust and engagement, video has come a long way. Small businesses that are using video to provide informative, useful information find that:
- 64% of users are more inclined to buy a product after they’ve seen a video of it
- Consumers, some 90% of people, state that they use product videos when making a purchasing decision
Businesses can use video to communicate complex subjects and topics in an interesting, unique way.
If your social media campaign is lacking engagement, start spending time on video and watch engagement soar in the process.
2. Engagement is Taking Over Views and Retweets / Re-posts
Social media for small businesses once revolved around page views, likes and retweets, but now a lot has changed. These superficial numbers are starting to fall to the wayside, with engagement being the dominate force.
What does this mean?
- Engagement, or the amount of comments you receive, is taking prominence. If you have 10 million followers and just 10 people comment, your numbers mean nothing if another business gets the same amount of comments with a following of 1,000 people. Followers want to be engaged, so start a conversation that’s worth having.
- Share ratios are also a thing. This means that if 10% of viewers share a post, tweet or comment, this is a great ratio. You want your fans and followers to be sharing machines, so this is a metric to follow very closely.
Putting this entire section together, everything is starting to become more analytical in nature. Conversion rates are also becoming a hot topic. Why? Businesses need to know that their efforts are paying off.
The way that you measure your results with social media is to focus on conversion rates.
If you’re funneling a lot of resources into your social media campaign and you’ve seen no conversions as a result (results do take time), your campaign is either new or simply needs to be tweaked.
3. Participation on the Right Platforms is a Must
Facebook may be a great place for many businesses to promote their products, but it might not be the best place for your business. The truth is that some platforms work better for others, and we’re seeing a much more analytical approach being taken by businesses.
What does this mean?
Businesses have limited resources, so they’re targeting areas that they know will reap profits. This can provide a significant boost to your social media campaign, but you need to know where to cut your efforts.
A few ideas to remember is that:
- Instagram’s main audience is 18 – 29 year old users
- Facebook has 2 billion users, everyone’s using it except younger generations
- Snapchat is an option with younger teens, but it’s starting to lose traction
- Twitter’s user base is active and filled with educated millennials
Putting this all together, if you promote to 18 – 29 year old individuals, you may want to put more of an effort into Instagram; the social network that is known to have a large population of your target demographic.
Quick, digestible content works best on social media, so ditch the long rants and fill your audience’s day with the content that they’re interested in seeing.
4. Conversions Are Becoming Increasingly Important
Conversions are the backbone of marketing. If you want to be able to make money, you need conversions to make it happen. Social media for businesses will become even more focused on conversions, and this means:
- Tracking conversions across all social media platforms
- Changing your strategy to increase conversions
- Changing content plans to use only content that does work
If social media isn’t generating leads, it’s only being used for vanity. Remember this statement. You need to use social media with a purpose, and this purpose is the essence of everything.
If you find that your account isn’t generating leads, you may need to try different content:
- Educational content
- Informative content
- Video content
You might also need to become more engaged with your audience by asking them questions, taking surveys and maybe even commenting or responding to their needs more often.