Social media trends are changing rapidly, this year was an absolute avalanche of updates and new features, and next year we’re going to see even more changes. To stay up to date we wanted to bring you the top 5 trends in social media so you will be ready for them.
Here they are:
1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual and augmented reality is going to be HUGE in 2018. What’s the difference? Augmented reality is a new reality that is displayed along the existing things you see – like Snapchat filters. And virtual reality is a completely new interface. One of my favorite social media trends for next year, for sure!
Both the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X are expected to incorporate a new chip that would allow the phone to provide the augmented reality experience to its users.
For example, when you are strolling on the street you will be able to point your phone and see icons that you could engage with, that would overlay the actual reality.
Here is an example from Nokia:
2. Influencer marketing is growing exponentially
Influencer marketing is going to be a huge trend in 2018. It’s already taken off with thousands of brands using influencers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube to promote their products. According to eMarketer, 86% of all marketers are using influencers to their advantage.
3. Chatbots and AI are going to take over… beep beep
If you listen to Elon Musk you’d be sure the robo-coplypse is coming, as one of the greates social media trends of the upcoming year. But for the more optimistic marketer, AI and chatbots are making a huge difference. Marketers like Josh Fechter, Deepak Shukla, and Andrew Warner are using chatbots to promote their products, send out weekly content updates, and build their subscription lists.
Here is an example of a chatbot landing page made with ManyChat:
Another incredible application of chatbots is in the eCommerce space. Companies like Nordstrom are launching chatbots during the holiday season to help customers purchase their products straight from Facebook Messenger.
4. Instagram Stories are going to be huge
Instagram Stories is gaining popularity quickly, and the data shows it. Over 200 Million people use Instagram Stories every month, which is 50 million more than those who use Snapchat. It is projected that almost half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018.
5. Facebook Spaces is going to take off
Facebook bought Oculus, the top VR platform, and is now gearing up for launching the first large-scale commercial VR product called Spaces. It’s designed to create a way for friends to communicate in virtual reality. Social media trends never let me down.
6. More focus on Social Media Automation Tools
Already in 2017, we saw a lot of new innovation in social media automation. With the marketing spend on social media increasing from 3% to 11% percent in 2017 we are going to see even more businesses using platforms like eClincher to automate their social media.
7. Voice Search is on the rise
Voice Search is going to be the biggest trend in 2018. Already we have Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google in the competition for the biggest piece of the pie in this market. The inconvenience of ordering a product just through speaking into your phone is unbelievable. Time is the commodity and when it comes to Voice there is nothing more that is going to save people time on day-to-day tasks.
8. Podcasts are here to stay
A lot of people thought that podcasts are a thing of the past but we beg to differ. According to Convince & Convert, 112 million Americans have listened to a podcast in 2016, and 67 million listen to a podcast every month. The cool thing is that 52% of all podcast listeners are listening at home, which means that they are in a position to purchase a product or a service.
9. Backlinks as a viral SEO strategy
Out of all the SEO strategies out there, Google revealed that domain ranking is one of the most important factors in the search engine’s decision to rank your site. That means the more links you have to your site, from other sites, and the higher quality they are the better your rank is. Through the years the quality of your backlinks rose in importance and this is the primary factor in a domain authority score of a site.
This strategy can be broken down into a few little pieces:
Guest posts – guest posts are a great way to get links back to your site. Publish a post on a high-ranking site in your industry/niche and offer as many practical tools and tips as you can. Then you can not only put a link in your bio but also throughout the article, to various relevant posts on your own site. Depending on the blog you can sometimes promote your site and even post a link to a guide or a lead magnet that you’ve created.
Brand monitoring – make sure to always search for your company’s or product’s names on social media. Chances are, you can always find someone that mentioned you without linking back to your site. When you do, kindly ask them for a link. You can use eClincher’s brand monitoring and listening tool for that.
Case Studies and Expert Panels – this is a great way to get many links at once. Invite a lot of experts to comment on a particular topic and offer their advice. Then publish a post with links to their sites and ask them to share it and write about it. Voila! Now you have a ton of links from reputable high-ranking sites.
Infographics – this is a great strategy for smaller content teams. Create an interesting and well-designed infographic and then send it out to thousands of blogs using an outbound email tool like MailShake.
2018 is going to be an exciting year for social media trends enthusiasts. The new VR technology that’s coming out is going to blow everyone’s mind and ultimately change the way we interact with the real world. Chatbots and AI are going to make businesses so much more effective and streamlined. Influencer marketing is going to be the most popular form of marketing and content is going to get that much more important.
Do you agree/disagree/have another trend to add?
Leave us a comment below.
Ben Kazinik is an inbound marketer for eClincher, the world’s most powerful social media management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world.