This article has been compiled and written by Noah Miller of Sochin Limited.
Organic reach is steadily declining and brands must face this reality by building sustainable content strategies. This means a pivot to paid advertising as well as an influencer and/or advocacy strategies if this hasn’t happened already.
Organizations have struggled in the past with proving ROI. According to a Hootsuite survey, that is now in the past as the company predicts a revolution of social ROI measurement in 2018. In the survey, 56% of respondents said that not being able to prove a return on investment makes it difficult for them to be successful on social media.
According to Cisco, 86% of all web traffic will be claimed by video by 2019. In 2017, 90% of all content shared by users on social media was video. The biggest challenge now is how to capture an audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds. As more consumers watch videos on mobile devices, social networks will, therefore, offer new opportunities to augment traditional TV and create new forms of entertainment as well as news programming.
Trust in traditional figures of authority continue to decline while peer influencers gain in importance. Real customer communities, micro influencers and ‘people like me’ will take center stage and influencer marketing will continue to grow in 2018.
About 38% of enterprise organizations used AI in 2017 and this will increase to 62% in 2018. Brands need to make sure artificial intelligence strategies stay focused on the being human and remain helpful & relevant at scale.
According to Brandwatch, 96% of online conversations are unbranded. Social data can help marketers gain new influence and recognition in the enterprise, even though there’s still more to be achieved.
Ephemeral content will provide the best engagement rate. Brands are now creating content for their social channels as well as having a separate strategy for their ephemeral content marketing. Because story content is lost within hours, ephemeral content makes your followers take fast action and marketers gain from this.
There will be a rise of augmented reality in 2018. The use of augmented reality on mobile devices provides a niche and is an engaging way for marketers to reach their target audience; it’s quick, easy and very interactive.
Chatbots will make customer service faster. According to Gartner, 20% of business content could be machine-generated by 2018. If machines can be taught to create stories that are genuine and relatable, the advertising and marketing potential is worth investigating. The quickest adaptors to chatbots are currently millennials, with nearly 60% having already used chatbots and 71% saying they would like to try a chatbot experience from a major brand.
You cannot deny that users trust each other more than any influencer or marketing campaign and UGC (user-generated content) is an authentic marketing venture. According to one study, 83% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know and 66% trust other consumer opinions posted online. Those are substantially higher numbers than the 46% of consumers who trust ads on social networks
A recent comScore report shows that mobile now represents almost seven in 10 digital media minutes, with smartphone applications alone accounting for one-half of all time spent engaging with digital media. With more and more users indulging every passing minute on social media with their smartphones, the content available on websites and social media in 2018 should also be highly mobile friendly.
In 2018, mobile video consumption is expected to grow by 25%, so get ahead of the competition by planning a mobile video strategy that includes live video. It offers a way to connect with your audience on a more intimate level because live video allows them to interact with your business in real-time. This creates seamless trust and loyalty between brand and consumer.
If we take into consideration that more than 2.5 billion people globally use messaging apps, it’s easy to conclude they deserve their own status as a separate type of social media. Most companies still stick to connecting with consumers through posts they publish, but we can expect brands to invest more time and money to interact with consumers via messaging apps.
In 2017, voice searches accounted for 20% of searches on mobile. Experts project that this will increase to 50% of searches by 2020. It is therefore advisable to include voice search in your strategy.
Most studies are predicting businesses to focus more on Generation Z in 2018. Brands will begin to recognize this and will shift their social media strategies accordingly. This means investment directed to platforms loved by generation Zers like Instagram and Snapchat.
Facebook Spaces will go mainstream in 2018. Facebook isn’t just interested in live video streaming; they’ve been working on a project called Spaces that is designed to allow friends to connect in VR. Facebook is poised to scale Spaces in 2018 and it could become the first successful VR social media product at scale.