Top 5 Summer Social Media Trends
By the end of this year, experts predict that there will be more than 2.62 billion social media users worldwide.
For businesses, this is a massive audience that can be easy to track and connect with. But to do so, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and strategies to keep your social media accounts relevant. With new social media trends catching on each month, knowing which new tactics to utilize and which to forget can be a challenge.
If you are looking to update your business’ social media strategy, check out these five summer social media trends that you need to know for 2018.
1. Live Video Content Continues to Grow
In the past couple of years, visual content in the form of pictures and infographics was taking the internet by storm. Video content has since taken over, with one-third of all online activity now spent watching videos. But when it comes to social media, even traditional videos are now being replaced.
Live streaming on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer a unique way to engage viewers in real time. According to Facebook, videos that are live streamed generate six times the engagement of other content.
But live streaming videos are great for more than just attracting views. The increased engagement that they can cause may help your business’ page get onto your followers feeds, thanks to Facebook’s recent algorithm changes. Content that creates the most engagement among users will rank higher on users’ feeds than other content. Produce a live stream that gets your followers talking, and you will be more likely to reach other followers.
2. Virtual Reality is Breaking into Social Media
While live streaming videos might be a great way to increase engagement, another video format that is rapidly gaining in popularity is virtual reality. Virtual reality headsets are now more affordable. Consumers and businesses are buying them and finding new ways to produce and view content.
Virtual reality takes engagement to a whole new level, by allowing your viewers to enter your office, warehouse, the field, or other locations right from their device. You can immerse them in your message and brand in a way that helps to decrease distraction and lead to deeper engagement than other forms of visual content.
If your marketing budget is limited, this trend may be one to watch this year, as virtual reality for advertising is still a new concept. But the Consumer Technology Association is expecting a 25 percent increase in ownership of virtual reality headsets in 2018, which means that in the coming years you can expect this trend to continue to grow.
3. Increased Engagement from Businesses
Accountability and transparency have become significant demands from consumers of all ages. Consumers in the B2B and B2C spheres want to know who they are working with and want to feel that their connection to that business is a personal one. That is why hiring an experienced social media marketing agency is so important.
Creating friendly and engaging content is not enough to achieve this. Instead, social media users are now expecting direct and personal engagement from business social media accounts. When a consumer tweets, posts, or otherwise shares an opinion, complaint, or praise for a company on social media, they are now expecting a response, even from major corporations.
Despite the consumer demand for responses, 89 percent of all social media messages go unanswered. Fighting back against this trend can help your business stand out and build a stronger reputation on social media.
4. Smarter Chatbots
If your business is seeing high levels of engagement and messaging on social media, following that last trend can feel impossible. You would need an army of marketing professionals to manage personal responses to each message and interaction. That’s where chatbots come in.
The use of chatbots began to proliferate in 2016 and has not shown any sign of slowing down since. In fact, between 2017 and 2025, chatbots are expected to experience an annual growth rate of more than 24 percent. Chatbots are now becoming smarter and more specialized. They can now be programmed to answer customer service questions, respond to messages, offer product suggestions and more.
5. Face Filters for Advertising
From dog ears to location tags, face filters on Snapchat and now Instagram as well are popular features. Now, businesses are looking to cash in on the trend by creating their custom face filters for one or the other social media applications.
While creating one of these filters is far from cheap, they can be a great way to engage followers and also reach a much broader audience with minimal effort on the business’ part. Social media users will be able to use the filters whether they have previously engaged with your brand on social media or not, and when they use the filter, it will get shared with all of their friends and followers as well.
Improving Your Summer Social Media Strategy
Most of the social media trends on this list are complicated and tough to master. But failing to implement them can leave your business’ accounts looking outdated, which can hurt your traffic, engagement, and growth.
If your business is struggling to stay ahead of the latest trends and engage with your followers, it may be time to get help with your social media marketing strategy.
Check out our social media services, like management, blogging, and video creation, today to see how we can help your business improve and expand its social media strategy this summer. Request a complimentary social media marketing audit.
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With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.