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3 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2018

Sharmin Kent December 12, 2017

No matter the industry, social media marketing success is always a moving target. And while there’s always new techniques to try on various social channels, it’s difficult to determine which trends are here to stay and which are just fads.

But recognizing emerging trends can make the difference between building a brand and breaking it. Below are three social media trends worth watching–and trying–in the new year.

All Video, All the Time

We’ve talked about social video on the blog before, but it bears repeating: video is taking over social media. Marketers increased spend on video by 130 percent this year–and with social channels like Facebook and YouTube investing in original content, there will be even more opportunity to share videos as advertising content.

But it’s important that marketers who are working with video for the first time have clear metrics to measure success, as well as other tactics to use if video doesn’t yield the return they’re looking for.

Facebook Still Rules

Yes, Facebook is still the biggest, most effective social channel brands can use. MarketingProfs’ 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report shows that, by far, Facebook is the most effective social channel.

That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone knows how to use Facebook to engage customers. Twitter is a distant second on MarketingProfs’ top three most successful list, and–believe it or not–Facebook is listed as the least successful social channel. This suggests more marketers need to learn how to use audience-building and creative more efficiently on Facebook. To win in 2018, brands will have to experiment often to find the social ad formula that works best for them and their audiences.

Getting Social with Augmented Reality

While many marketing pros are placing bets on either virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) to be the next big thing in marketing, it appears as if AR has already won. Social channels like Snapchat and Instagram have been using AR to create funny filters and masks, Apple’s Animojis rely on AR, and games like Pokemon Go make it easier for players to see their prey. The social nature of AR games and photo filters is making its way into social media marketing, albeit slowly

The bigger question will be who will bring AR to mainstream shoppers. Brands like IKEA offer AR programs to show how furniture will fit into people’s homes, and Converse has an app to help sneakerheads see new kicks pre-purchase. The more value AR brings to brands and their audiences, the more popular it will become.

If 2017 was the year social media became the most effective advertising medium for brands, 2018 will be the year brands leverage new technologies within social marketing and advertising. While these trends are just now surfacing, these and others will change the way businesses interact with their customers.