Social media lessons 2018: Adapt or perish

1 March 2019. Thoughts in Featured, Social Media by
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2018 was an interesting year for Social Media and the digital sphere as a whole. With social platforms constantly changing and evolving into business avenues that are more than just tools used to communicate with friends and family; more marketers are exploring opportunities in sharing their messages with the right market on a larger scale. We saw the developments of Facebook’s news feed, Twitter cracking down on bulk posting, social sharing declining, the rise of dark social, influencer abuse, scandals and lastly ad blindness and blocking. Like anything, change causes disruptions, however, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Here are a few trends we spotted in the industry:

Increasing the popularity of Instagram Stories

Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat. Instagram Stories is just one year old! One would think after Facebook’s bold move of copying Snapchat’s concept that it would fall flat on its face. However, with the pressure of Instagram ‘’standards’’, users were predicted not to post as much due to the obvious fact that not everyone has a ‘’picture perfect’’ day every day. Having said that, the implementation of Instagram Stories couldn’t have been a greater hit for users who wanted to share a lot more but didn’t want it to hang on their gallery wall.

Continued investment in influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can be seen as the newest method for brands to communicate with their target audiences through social media influencers, who then market these products and services. Over 90 percent of marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy believe in its success. This is evident through the driving force of an influencer’s platforms and the direct influence they have on their followers.

Focus on Generation Z

A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that Generation Z was more valuable to most organisations than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Z-ers are 22 years old. They are just beginning to enter the labour force and will have increased buying power for some time.

Expansion of live streaming

What was once a novel gimmick has become a mainstream part of social media. Today, brands big and small have started using live streaming to capture the attention of their followers. With millennials spending more hours consuming live-stream content each week, traditional forms of media have become a thing of the past. Live streaming platforms don’t only provide opportunities for interactions with viewers but allows businesses to reach new audiences.

Rethinking Twitter

Twitter has experienced a significant increase in users worldwide which we can positively assume has something to do with the platform increasing their character limit from 140 to 280. Twitter also expanded its “Happening now” feature, allowing sports fans to follow along with tweets about a game and get the score in one place. This feature includes tweets about breaking and personalised news that surface to the top of a user’s timeline.

Facebook Spaces goes mainstream

Facebook isn’t just interested in live video streaming; they’ve been working on a project called Spaces that is designed to allow friends to connect in VR (Virtual Reality). Given that Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company, it is no surprise that the social media giant is developing a platform to make use of this new technology.

Increasing brand participation in messaging platforms

Over 2.5 billion people use messaging platforms globally, and yet brands are still primarily focused on connecting with consumers on primary social networks. In 2018, brands invested more time and money in connecting with consumers on messaging platforms. Artificial intelligence (AI), voice assistants and chatbots enabled brands to offer personalised shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp.

In conclusion, social media has not only an ever-changing ecosystem but the ability to comply and adapt to recent developments thus becoming fundamental to the success of your business. Technology rules your job as a business or professional to stay updated with the most recent changes and to swiftly identify how it affects your online marketing strategy. The decision remains: either you adapt or get left behind!

10 Social-Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018.
Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300813

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