Facebook was founded in 2004, which means 2017 marked the start of the “teenage” years of social media. Just like a teenager who is anxious to move to the next new thing, social media moves even quicker. With new updates and features rolling out weekly, we can only expect this pace to increase in 2018.
This year saw Snapchat get a makeover, Instagram has exploded as the influencer marketing platform, and Twitter increased its character length. What could possibly in store for 2018?
Here’s What We Predict For 2018:
Video Saturation: Despite the explosion of video content taking our feeds by storm, we’re predicting that the pendulum will swing back to the high-quality and professional video that tells powerful stories. Well polished and produced videos will excel on platforms like Facebook and Linkedin.
On Instagram, we’re expecting to see brands leverage Stories more readily with professional templates and less behind-the-scenes.
Also on Instagram, we think there will be an increase of live interviews using the two-person streaming feature. Hello brand and influencer convos?
We’re also predicting that live videos will continue to grow on Instagram and less viewers will be tuning into Facebook Live, because...well, Facebook Watch.
Shift from a “Content Mindset” to an “Advertising Mindset”: Let’s face it social media will always be about content first, but for companies looking to identify and increase ROI from social media activities, there needs to be a mindset shift from content to advertising. It’s no secret that Facebook is a pay-to-play environment but we predict Instagram is right behind for business accounts. Leveraging Facebook’s advertising tools will become more important as it continues to be the most cost-effective form of advertising with trackable tools such as the pixels and UTMs.
Mobile: As our “phones” become faster and more integrated with our daily lives, content will need to be produced for the mobile experience first over desktop. This means more square videos, GIFs and overall shorter format posts needed to grab attention quickly.
Click-to-Shop: In 2018, long gone are the days of “click the link in bio” to purchase. We expect to see more businesses leveraging Facebook and Instagram’s click-to-shop features. This will strongly benefit product-based companies seeking to prove ROI on their social media efforts. And who doesn’t want to shop directly from a photo?
Influencer Marketing: This year saw a huge influx of influencer marketing which we expect to increase significantly again in 2018. In fact, according to Marketing Dive, 39% of marketers say they will be increasing their influencer marketing budgets in 2018. We’re predicting the ways in which brands and influencers come together to change and will no longer be limited to just sponsored posts. Expect to see more private events and live interviews (see #1). Similarly, we expect to see more transparency behind these partnerships. This is already the case with Instagram’s new “paid partnership” feature which appears in Stories and posts.
What We're Watching in 2018:
Bots are the new Customer Service: 2017 saw an increase in companies using messenger bots to respond to FAQs and customer inquiries on social. We’re curious to see how this advances in 2018 and if small businesses and large corporations alike, embrace this technology. More importantly, is the user experience better than speaking to a company representative?
Twitter and SnapChat - To be honest, we’re surprised that Twitter made it another year. (Not that we don’t love and appreciate the platform, but usership is down.) Is Snapchat’s redesign enough to compete with Instagram? Who will soar and who will fall flat in 2018?
Experiential Marketing - We’re curious to see if advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) will shift experiential marketing more towards the online space. Perhaps not right away, but we’re expecting to see AI as a standard for marketing activations.
Time can only tell what 2018 will bring, but you can bet, we’re excited to embrace the true adolescent years of social media.
What are your 2018 social media predictions? What you would like to see happen next year? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments below.