As the year draws to a close and we start looking forward to the next year, people begin to wonder what the future will bring. For the online community, that means contemplating what changes social media has in store. Here's a look at a few of the coming trends sure to captivate users and, ultimately, drive the way business is conducted on the internet.
- Improved Analytics
From Google to Facebook, user analytics have become the cornerstone for businesses seeking to evaluate their social media impact. Initially, these services were vague and only helpful in a broad sense, but evolving technology has helped redesign these services. As 2018 approaches, greater insight will help businesses and content creators personalize their products for target audiences.
- Video is King
This trend has been gradually evolving over time with users preferring videos to stationary images. In the coming year, a greater emphasis on video and video captioning services will compete with image sharing. We may even start seeing more social media sites dedicated solely to the sharing of videos, just as Instagram and Pinterest was to pictures.
- Talents Will Rise
Since the dawn of social media, we've seen artists of all types, from writers and musicians to actors and digital art creators, trying to ply their trade. Many have failed, because, although their talent isn't questioned, they lack the marketing skills to launch successful campaigns. As more advertising platforms improve their user interfaces, those talented creators will become just as savvy at promoting themselves.
- Greater Social Marketing
Social media marketing has become big business and it will continue to evolve in 2018. As the previous point mentioned, users are educating themselves on the best ways to take advantage of the high ROI offered by sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Even Pinterest has jumped into the game. Sponsored stories are a great way to attract new users and expose your products to a wider demographic.
- Mobile Alerts are the Future of In-Store Promotions
The majority of internet users access the web via a mobile device. Recognizing this trend, businesses have been looking for a way to capitalize on the mobile craze and some may have found it. Now, brick and mortar stores may be sending notifications to your phone, as you browse their aisles. Instead of the loudspeaker announcement of old, customers may now learn of sales and giveaways via their smartphones.
- The Popularity of Ephemeral Content is Rising
Ephemeral content is the kind of short-lived content made popular by Snapchat and it's something that younger generations are embracing. Newer users approach ephemeral posts that vanish after 24 hours (at its longest duration) with the opinion that they're providing more authentic information. There's also the sense of urgency that, once it's gone, there's no revisiting that post again. For both of those reasons, marketers are enticing users with not-to-be-missed offers to attract new customers and reward returning consumers. This trend is likely to build momentum in the coming year.
- Live Streams are on the Rise
Similar to regular video postings, live streaming will continue to grow on various social media sites. Offering users inside looks at celebrities, behind the scenes footage of upcoming films, and sneak peeks at new shows are just the tip of the iceberg. Live streams allow users to communicate with each other and with content creators like never before. As we dive headfirst into 2018, live streaming may even overpass video posts in grabbing the attention of users and marketers alike.