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Now is the time to start building your social media strategy for 2018, or at least keep in mind that these trends will be the main focus that you should “hop on top” of for 2018.  The number one marketing tip is to promote your business where your target audience spends the most time.  Knowing your target demographic (or Avatar) on social media is a powerful marketing tool.

I have created a numbered list of the strategies I feel will be most important in incorporating these into your 2018 social media plans.

Here are the 5 Social Media Trends to know for 2018:

1.  Increasing popularity of Instagram Stories.

This is brand new and businesses haven’t jumped on the IG (Instagram) stories advertising yet.  Entrepreneur.com states that 200 million use Instagram stories each month and it’s only one year old.  IG stories was introduced in August, 2016 and is catching on quick.  I have outlined some basic tools you will need in order to perfect your Instagram game below in #4.

2.  Increasing brand participation in messaging platforms.

Chatbots will enable brands to personalize shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and KiK.

Using chatbots to provide customer service, receipts, and special offers to customers has really gained momentum in 2017. Customers want (and expect) immediate answers to their questions, chatbots are an ideal solution – especially when they’re used through Facebook Messenger. Chatbots allow brands to interact quickly with customers in a way that feels personal and they get immediate gratification with quick answers.

3.  Re-thinking Twitter.

Twitter just changed their 140 character limit to 280 characters.  How does that affect your social media strategy in 2018?  Think about how much more you can describe your products and use more hashtags for promotion.  Don’t forget though, that a longer tweet takes up room on a feed and the population isn’t quite on board yet with bigger real estate taking up their feeds.  You have to do this strategically and test out a few 280 character tweets and see how well they are received.  Let me know in the comments how this works out for your business!

4.  Live streaming videos on Instagram Live and Facebook Live should be in your monthly content plan.

In 2018, more brands will begin to realize the power of live streaming and will incorporate it into their social media strategies.  Please think about adding a monthly or weekly live video to your strategy.  Use a nice background and purchase stabilizing equipment for your phone and you might need to purchase extra lighting equipment that is not too expensive.  I have checked these products out and here is what I recommend:

  1. Emart Photo Video Studio (for backdrop)
  2. Movo PM10 Deluxe Lavalier Lapel Clip-on Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone for Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android Smartphones (for better sound during a live feed)
  3. Demetory Ring Fill Light Rechargable for iPhone 6s Plus/6s, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge/S6, Galaxy Note 5, Blackberry, Sony Xperia, Motorola and All the Smart Phones (Pearl White) (for on-the-go live broadcasts)
  4. Acuvar 50″ Inch Aluminum Camera Tripod and Universal Smartphone Mount This is to keep your smartphone stabilized during a Facebook Live or a Webinar

All of the previous products are what I will be using in my studio for live feeds.  They are inexpensive and under $50.00.  You don’t have to break the bank!!

In addition, back in March of 2017, we were given the ability to record live video on Instagram to be repurposed for future posts.  This is a valuable time saver when it comes to saving a live post for future reference.  Videos have been shown to elicit higher engagement, including more likes, retweets, comments and shares – especially on Facebook. And with new live streaming formats cropping up every day on most social channels, there are many options for integrating video into your existing social media marketing strategy.

5.  Influencer marketing is still going strong

This idea was found at business2community.com and authored by Vivian Michaels.  I really liked the statistics and it helped me understand how important influencer marketing will be in 2018.

It’s about time to do social media outreach, find a suitable influencer for your business, and step into the future of marketing. In 2018, influencers are set to take over social media as more companies, both big and small, are realizing the importance of this marketing strategy as a form of noninvasive product/service promotion.

Not sure whether you should try influencer marketing? A few key statistics will help you make the right decision:

  • 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions more than “regular” celebrities
  • 86% of women turn to social media before making a purchase
  • 32% of US-based influencers say Facebook is the best platform while 24% think Instagram is the best
  • 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a reference from social media

In 2018, it won’t be enough to establish a collaboration with some random influencer especially now when this marketing strategy has become mainstream. Instead, the focus will be on building meaningful relationships with influencers, setting clear objectives, and choosing a person who meets your requirements.

Conclusion

2018 is almost here, and it’s time to reconsider our social media approach to maximize marketing results. Next year, we can expect to see major changes on many platforms to enhance user experience and appeal to the younger population.

Leave a comment with any other ideas you may have below!