In many ways, 2018 has been the year of change, and with that change comes adapting. The way we adapt requires us to develop new tools and technologies and they become trends. Anything can become a trend, anything from a new product on the market to a popular dance move going viral. As a marketer, the types of trends you need to be looking at are social media trends, as they will help you increase your brand’s social media presence and popularity. Trends come and go and it is important to keep an eye out for upcoming trends to make the most use out of it. It’s easy to latch on to a trend a little too late, and your social media presence will look like hopeless attempts to stay relevant. Always try to be the first to catch on to trends and maintain your brand’s coolness! Here is your guide to the unnoticed and unmissable social media trends in 2018 and how to stay on top of your social media game.

First of All, What are Trends?

A quick catch up session on what trends really are. Understanding what a trend is will help you notice when something is trending and identifying what is considered trendy. Simply put, a trend will signify something that is going on at any specific time. On social media, this can be shown through the top trending hashtags and other ways people are posting on social media. Trends can vary from field to field, for example fashion trends are different than photography trends. But social media trends can help bridge everything together and make content more relatable for all target audiences.

What does the Internet Look Like?

To make use of the internet and social media, you need to take a look at what it looks like in 2018.The unmissable social media trends in 2018 move in the same direct as the internet. To tackle internet users, we need to find out what they’re up to. We can do this by looking at information and statistics about the online world.  
  • Social media users are now up to 2.5 billion people. Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms, but other sites like Twitter and Snapchat’s users are still active worldwide. The number of users are rapidly increasing
    1. Users love accessing social media on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Everywhere we go, and whatever we’re watching, our eyes are often glued to our smartphones. In fact, studies show that the majority of social media users are accessing it through the apps on their phones.
  • The best engagement rates are generated through customers themselves. Truth is, people trust people more than they trust faceless corporations, and creating content that reflects your interest in that increases reach and engagement rates.
  • Video content is the most popular type of content. No doubt that video is more engaging that many types of content, but it is interesting to realize that is has been the most popular for the past few years, and 2018 is no exception.
  • Businesses are now investing in social ads rather than TV and other platforms. Since video ads and social media influencers are one of the unmissable social media trends in 2018, business are definitely leaning more towards spending their money on that.
  • Social messaging is becoming more popular than social media. While the numbers of social media users are skyrocketing, the number of people who use social media apps like WhatsApp and Messenger are quicking exceeding that.
  • Chatbots are now the norm. As social messaging is increasing, chatbots are also one of the unmissable social media trends of 2018. Chatbots can be used for many purposes, which is why many businesses are reverting to chatbots for customer service and marketing purposes.
  These are only some of the internet trends that will help you understand what is cool and what is not on the internet. Most of these trends encourage the creation of mobile-friendly content in order to tap into the daily lives of this generation’s target audience. By looking at these trends we can deduce that creating and sharing content is not enough anymore, we need to be creating quality content that will start conversation and increase engagement rates. Notice how nowadays, a brand can not ignore their social image, and the best marketing campaigns tackle some sort of social issue and sympathizes with it on a personal and a slightly humorous level. Businesses can not risk ignoring the relationships with their customers, which is why a lot of attention is directed towards creating and maintaining these relationships.

Let’s get to it, The Unmissable Social Media Trends in 2018

To make your brand stand out online, you need to make sure you’re up to date on the latest social media trends. Creating content becomes easier when you know exactly what your audience is interested in. Take a look at this list of the most recent social media trends.  
  • Video, video, video! When it comes to video, the shorter the better. Statistics suggest that an average social media user spends over 70% of their time online watching videos. We are being in encouraged to watch videos on many social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, where watching one video leads you to watch another. Creating video content for your brand is definitely the way to go. It has been proven to be the best channel for higher engagement rates because of how easy it becomes to digest the information presented.
  • Go live. Seeing things live adds has become an important part of any business-consumer relationship. Live streaming is offered on most of today’s social media platform. This feature allows users to go live and share their activities with their followers on several social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. Business should be using this feature to create a direct bond with their viewers.
  • Social media influencers are taking over the world. Whether is beauty, fitness, or technology, social media influencers make the most out of their hobbies by talking about them online. That way, social media users find influencers who share their interests and are highly influenced by their opinions. With the wide variety of social media influencers, you can easily find the face and personality to represent your brand online.
  • Focus on engagement. The relationship between brands and consumers has never been more powerful than it is today. Consumers are now more likely to share experiences with certain brands on social media, this make it essential to for business to make sure that this experience is a good one and be willing to receive positive as well as negative feedback.
  • Virtual and augmented reality too. Showing things and products in augmented reality is quickly gaining popularity. Business can use this to let users test out products before buying them, which has a high probability of boosting sales. Augmented reality has an advantage over virtual reality since it doesn’t require headgear to access. The full immersion that augmented reality allows has become a widespread trend on today’s social media.
  • Take advantage of paid advertisements. Advertisements are not completely dead, you can pay to advertise on social media for a relatively small price. Although from the consumer’s perspective, sponsored content seems to be less attractive that genuine social media posts. Nonetheless, these ads boost your social media posts to reach many people as you wish, based on their interests and online tendencies.
  • The irresistible face filter. Also a part of augmented reality, face filters are becoming more and more popular, and they’ve become one of the unmissable trends of 2018. The infamous dog ears are unsurprisingly the most famous ones on both Snapchat and Instagram. Face filters were very popular last year, and are certainly gaining more popularity on social media platforms this year. Business and institutions are taking advantage of this by creating themed face filters, related to local and global events such as the world cup.
  • Chatbots. To deal with waves on customer service questions and inquiries, chatbots were designed to ease the hecticness. Chatbots is the prime example of making use of technology to save money. Rather than employing more customer service employees, revert to chatbots. Chatbots on messaging platforms make companies a lot more accessible, which eases customer service and care.
    1. Expect more from Generation Z. As the first generation to grow up completely online, Generation Z is slowly reaching adulthood their shopping tendencies are quite different than what we’re used to. Rather than being influenced by sales and discounts, millenials are more concerned with the trendiest and the brand with the best social media presence. This changes a lot about how products are placed, marketed and accessed.
  • Talk about the problems of society. Nothing is more attractive than a brand that is socially conscious. The global culture is so quick to call out business for the slightest social offense. Once you’ve made the mistake of appearing as social ignorant, you become labelled as oppressive and your consumer base will quickly deteriorate. Be actively speaking up on what’s right and voice your opinion on what’s wrong.To get your audience to relate to your brand, you need to show them that you share their struggle and you support their views.
  • Instagram stories and ephemeral content. Ephemeral content is any type of content that is accessible for 24 hours. These features are great for posting news, updates, or teaching your viewers something new. They also give a chance for your content to stand out amongst the rest and be truly unique. Instagram stories were originally made to compete with Snapchat, but they have been rapidly taking over the social media world.
  • Let’s hangout, online. Online hangouts are now the norm. Video calls are not enough, group video calls are now the real deal. Talking and meeting with your friends takes a new perspective through online hangouts and it surely one of the unmissable trends of 2018. Houseparty is an example for an app specially made for this purpose, and it has quickly gained popularity in 2018.

Check out Social Listening Too!

Social listening is one of the unmissable social media trends in 2018, and you should definitely take advantage of it in order to help boost your audience reach. Social listening tools are online software that help you identify certain phrases or words that are being used online and help you embed this knowledge in your advertising and/or marketing campaigns. Social listening tools also help you understand your target audience better and find the most effective way to reach and engage with them on their own terms. These tools allow you to listen in on conversations on social media platforms that are related to your specified keywords. Social listening tools are might inspire you by providing opportunities for your brand to step in and make a change. Take a look at some reasons why you might want to use social listening:  
  • Customer Care: Knowing what people are saying about your brand increases the chances of you being able to help your customers. This improves your social media presence and further develops your relationship with your customers.
  • Creating Content: When you are familiar with that your target audience is talking about and interested in, you can be sure of the type of content you need to create to attract their attention.
  • Clear Campaigns: Understanding the type of content to create and pointing out opportunities where your brand can step in, your marketing campaign is bound to be more successful.
    The social media world has been changing by the day, and 2018 has certainly proven that. Understanding the landscape you’re approaching is an essential factor in creating successful content and effectively portraying your brand in a positive light. Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the unmissable trends of 2018, make something great!

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