2018. A New Year, for all industries and a new year to really look at current trends and predict what they may evolve into as the year progresses. This year is no different and social media is a very fast and evolving industry. I’m sure we will see a thousand new trends, strategies & fads. Some may be long lasting and others just around for a week. but that is of course the beauty of social media.
Personally I am ready to predict four big things to be a continuous trend for 2018. And if you love social media, this shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone.
Instagram stories to rule
Its no secret that instagram stories has developed itself into becoming a VERY useful marketing tool VERY quickly. Do remember its only been around for just over a year. In the last year, users have become spoilt for choice with options to:
- showcase a 24 hours story for video and photos.
- use filters to increase quality
- location tagging
- hashtags to use as tool
- following hashtags too! – my favourite update
- add in links (only available to verified accounts but I reckon this will change soon)
The point is, instagram has quickly become much useful as a tools over snapchat. I wouldn’t write snapchat off just yet but Instagram will always have the better visual platform over it. With instastories you can direct people to your grid and offer more content, its a very stable set up. I expect this formula to keep going throughout 2018, with additional tools added to the mix. Now cross posting stories is available on facebook & instagram I expect to see a much more advanced way of storytelling across both platforms.
A Dominance of User Generated content across all social media
Now when I say user generated content, I really mean this in terms of brands. As a consumer I love to see gorgeous photos from brand showcasing their products, brand ambassadors and other aspects around the brand. However what I love even more, is seeing the average user posting images, blog posts etc of themselves using the product as it gives a more realistic and less perfect insight.
I do see how brands would shy away from this as quality wouldn’t be at their high standard. However I expect attitudes to change throughout 2018 to allow this to become a worthy trend. Brands using user gen content, allows the user to feel appreciated and consumers tend to trust an individuals opinion over a brand as its more personal.
Ever since the introduction to be able to live stream across different social media channels, users have been wanting more and more. Nothing is more exciting than being able to connect to a live audience when its costs next to nothing. This has to become a bigger trend this year. Why? These tools have been at our disposal for a couple of years now. From my perspective, brands will have figured out how to incorporate this into their strategy and those lives will become more constructed and offer better content because of it.
Increase of a Personal Touch
Social Media is not and should not be an isolating process. The clue is in the name, social. Whether its for a professional or personal use, I expect social media to become a lot more personal, people to connect more on personal stories and each and every platform to become more and more engaged in authentic content.
A lot of the biggest heart warming or political stories that we see in the news do come from a tweet or an instagram photo. Audiences thrive on learning an insight about the everyday person, someone that you can connect with.
So there you have it, my four predictions for social media across the board. Im very interested and excited to see what developments each channel will bring! What do changes do you think will happen this year?