Top social media trends to look out for in 2018

By February 9, 2018 Stories

Earlier this week Hootsuite ran a webinar on the Social Media trends of 2018 and what marketers should be looking for.  Here we’ve summarised the key findings and learnings from that event.

The evolution of social ROI

According to the Hootsuite 2018 Social Trends Survey, 56% of people say not being able to prove ROI makes it difficult for them to be successful on social. With this being said it then makes it difficult to win executive support or get budget for new innovations. 40% of responders also mentioned that they struggled to know what to track to gather the right information.

So how can you help prove your ROI on social? More organisations are starting to use the customer journey to guide measurement. 71% of those surveyed say they use social to track their customers awareness, and engagement comes in second at 60%. Using social to track these things as well as, loyalty, repeat purchases etc, can help provide better statistics to prove a ROI.

Key recommendations would be to aim at your easiest target first, if you’re struggling to earn budgets, invest first in what you can measure. You could use a third party to help track your ROI, Hootsuite’s Campaign Collaboration tool can help with that.

Mobile fuels the growth of social TV

As more consumers are watching videos on mobile devices, social networks offer new opportunities to augment traditional TV content and create new forms of entertainment and news programming.

In 2017 over 56% of users on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat watched a video on every platform. As Social Trends states: ‘Smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, and the thrill of novelty accelerate video consumption.’

21% of all brand posts in 2017 were video, a 6% increase from 2016, a small increase yes, but it’s only going to grow as digital has overtaken traditional TV in advertising spending.
In 2016, digital was ahead in advertising costs by just under $35billion.

Social TV offers three key opportunities for brands:

  • Extending traditional content to mobile audiences
  • Creating new partnerships with micro influencers and community engagement with groups
  • Launching products with live broadcasts and innovating with Facebook’s Live API

Hootsuite’s key recommendations are to partner with Watch tab influencers, this meaning, partner with creators on platforms such as YouTube and explore sponsorship opportunities. Use Facebook live videos to enhance your SEO strategy. Google indexes Facebook videos, so target high value keyword topics in broadcasts.

Trust declines, while peer influence rises

Real customer communities, micro influencers, and ‘people like me’ take centre stage as consumer trust continues to decline.

85% of people lack trust in the four institutions of government, business, media, and NGOs. As these are failing in the public’s eye, they have started turning to each other for help and credibility. People trust someone like themselves more than they do a CEO or government officials.

So, what’s the best way to deal with this? Don’t just think about reach and traffic, work with long term goals by committing to creating real customer and employee advocacy, rather than chasing quick fixes for temporary traffic boosts. Go both micro and macro, use big social media influencers to get a simple product to the many and micro-influencers to influence purchase criteria.

Humans, meet AI

According to Gartner, all customer service interactions will be powered with AI bots by 2020, messenger bots on Facebook increase 200% year on year. Uses for AI in social marketing include: working together with humans to help customers, having messaging apps as personalised content channels and faster time to insights with predictive analytics.
For example, TGI Fridays used chat bots on Twitter to personalise offers, connecting brand awareness campaigns to direct conversions.

The promise (and reality) of social data

It’s not easy to unlock social data – but there’s still a lot of potential. Demonstrate the strategic value of social channels, not just tactical brand awareness or customer service value. Go from reactive listening to uncovering new sources of business and brand growth and use true customer intelligence to gain new influence with executives.

  •  Get comfortable making assumptions – Marketers need to learn how to comfortably navigate incomplete or disparate sets of data to pull out as many insights as possible to make better decisions and guide new strategies.
  •  Combine social data with traditional market research – Run a research project, such as identifying new areas of product growth and combine data you collect on social channels with traditional surveys, focus groups, and other forms of market research.

Source: Social trends 2018 – Hootsuite