2018 is bound to be a big year for using social media for business. Companies are really starting to understand how to better use the platforms their audiences are on and to test measurable concepts to make an impact on bottom lines. Here are 3 trends that we at LyncServe see dominating in the new year:
1. The Influencer
A social media "influencer" is a blogger or public figure with a large online following. People often "like" their posts and what they have to say about products to try or things to do. Using social media influencers isn't a new concept. With the rise of social media, “influencers”, or people with large followings in niche communities, have been used to try new products, interact with an organization or use brands in a new and fun way to reach a company's intended audience.
These influencers are a viable marketing option for many industries. They have particularly taken over the beauty industry with make-up and hair brands, both large and small, catering to beauty “vloggers” that post tutorials using products. The results have been sellouts of particular lines and big make up companies taking notice.
In 2018, the importance of micro-influencers (influencers with a smaller audience--think 50,000 followers) will rise. In the world of social media, there is such as thing as being too popular. Once a social media influencer reaches an epic portion of followers, their audience engagement begins to decrease. Often, micro-influencers will have a tighter-knit audience of engaged followers. Engaged followers mean the fan base may be more likely to buy into the endorsement by spending money or taking action.
Finding the right influencer that speaks to the niche audience you are trying to reach is key. In 2018, with ever-changing social media algorithms, micro-influencers will bridge the gap, reaching these audiences consistently with a better ROI than traditional ad buys.
2. Expansion of Live Streaming
Currently, you are able to “go live” with your brand from anywhere in the world with the touch of a button on social platforms including Facebook and Instagram. While SnapChat was something that originally started this concept, daily viewers of Instagram Stories surpassed the SnapChat forum just one year after its launch.
If you are making strides in one social media component this year, make it to use video-even if it isn't live. It drastically outperforms written static content. Go "live" at an event where everyone cannot attend--like a conference, keynote or interview session. These posts perform well and are engaging content for your audience.
3. Shoppable posts
Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are making it easier for consumers to go straight from app to site to purchase a product. These imagery-based apps now have the option to seamlessly tap and shop the product, going from browsing and scrolling gorgeous photos to information to buy, in just a few steps, making marketing more seamless—even on organic posts. To see it in action, just visit your favorite retailer on Instagram, tap on an image and tags will appear in the photo, pointing out shoppable products.
One catch. Many of these only works on smart devices, not on laptops or desktops. A way around it? Many bloggers and retailers use links in their profiles to sites like LiketoKnow.it. For marketers, this newer addition to the platform hopefully gives users a more clear path to add it to their cart.
What do you think is going to be a big trend for businesses, large and small, in social media 2018? Are you incorporating any of them into your strategy? Tell us over on our Facebook page.