Social Media Trends for 2018

GlobalWebIndex, offering the most important insights on social media around the world, issued its Q3 2017 report on social media trends to look forward to in the next year. Here is what you need to know.

Social Media Engagement

The bottom line in social media engagement is if you are an internet user, you most likely spend an average of 2.25 hours on social networks and messaging. In fact, 98% of digital consumers are social media users. As this figure continues to increase in to 2018, here are trends to watch:

  • Mobile devices are primary. Most people access their social media platforms on a mobile device. In fact, people use their mobile devices 13 percent more often than their computers. Smartphones mean your customers are engaging with social media on the go, so you need to be where they are.
  • Social media accounts are increasing. In 2013, the average social media user had 4.3 accounts. In 2017, that figure jumped to 7.6, almost doubling in 4 years. This means you need to attend to multiple social media platforms to engage with your customers. Multi-networking will be the norm in 2018.
  • Age group matters. People between the ages of 16 and 34 have the most social media accounts at 8.7. Those 35 to 44 have 7.1, while people ages 45 to 54 have 5.7 accounts. People between the ages of 55 and 64 have increased to 4.6 social media accounts. In 2018, you must branch out to more social media platforms to find all age groups.

Social Media Behaviors

News and entertainment are the biggest contributors to social media usage across age groups. More digital consumers are using social media to stay abreast of news, almost as much as staying in contact with friends. You will need to compete with news and entertainment sources for your customers’ attention in 2018.

  • Video watching on social media is huge. All social media users report they’ve watched a video online in the last month. Facebook captures the most with over half of their users watching one video on their network while Snapchat and Instagram capture about 4 out of 10 users watching video.
  • Online purchases are increasing. Of all internet users between the ages of 25 and 34, 78% purchased a product online in the last month. The next highest age group is those between 35 and 44, at 76%, and younger users between the ages of 16 and 24 come in at 74%. Not far behind are 45 to 54 year olds at 72% and 55 to 64 year olds at 70%.
  • More people use social media for product research. Of all internet users between the ages of 16 and 24, 50% researched a product online in the last month. The next highest age group is those between 25 and 34, at 44%, and persons between the ages of 35 and 44 research around 38%. Not far behind are 45 to 54 year olds at 30% and 55 to 64 year olds at 24%.

Social Media Environment

Facebook continues to dominate the social media environment. With 90% of digital users as a member of at least 1 of its 4 platforms, Facebook has the most members. YouTube has the most visitation/usage, and Instagram has jumped in front of Twitter for individuals between the ages of 16 and 44.

  • Top messaging services. Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp at the top messaging services, both with over 50% of internet users. For those Gen Z-ers in North America, 36% use Snapchat as the top messaging service.
  • All Facebook services.
    • For Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, the percent of users who have an account has steadily increased from 79% in 2012 to 90% in 2017.
    • Broken down between regions (Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin American, Middle East and Africa, and North America), between 87% and 97% of users have accounts.
    • Broken down by age group, 95% of 16 to 24 year olds have accounts while 94% of 25 to 34 year olds do. Next is 90% of 35 to 44 year olds, 85% of 45 to 54 year olds, and finally 78% of 55 to 64 year olds who have accounts.

Final thoughts

Watch for these social media trends in 2018. Social networking, devise usage, online purchasing, and entertainment are only a few instances of what your target audience is doing online. You will need to find what audiences you can reach through social media and what devices they are using to target your marketing messages better. And as social media behaviors change over the new year, you will need to find new and compelling ways to engage with consumers through social media platforms.

Contact us for a complimentary social media marketing audit which will serve as a roadmap for your social media success in 2018.

Author: Emina Karic