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2018 Social Media Trends to Watch For

2018 Social Media Trends to Watch For

Author: Julia Prevost, Social Media Manager

Although we are only a few months into the new year, we have already seen some major shake ups in the social media landscape. From the Facebook algorithm change to Snap Chat’s Virtual Reality (VR) integration, social media has proven to be a fast-paced world that continues to grow and change. With these changes, we as marketers need to keep on top of the latest trends, platforms, and news to keep our brands relevant. Here are our top 5 social media trends to watch for this year: 1. Ephemeral Content – A growing and evolving content type, ephemeral content is content that disappears after a short period of time. Think, Snapchat or Facebook and Instagram Stories. This content features either short videos or photos that a follower has to click through. After 24 hours however, the content disappears. We like ephemeral content for events, and creating immediacy for limited-time offers. 2. Chatbots and Messaging Tools – While it may seem impersonal, chatbots will be a growing trend in 2018. Customers have grown to expect a certain level of immediacy from brands. Reaching out with complaints and questions any day of the week and at any time. Chatbots can be very helpful for these situations. While some bots only allow for a single response, others offer technology that guides a customer through a conversation funnel. We should mention that this should not replace actual conversation with customers, it can be a great tool to keep response times low and get the customers the help they need quickly. Which leads to… 3. Deeper Relationship Building through Relevancy –  As marketers, we have seen the landscape change. We have seen, and will continue to see, that relationships with brands are more important than ever. Customers will continue to look for relevant products, and ignore constant brand messaging. They are looking for products, conversations, and brands that will help them in their day-to-day lives. This year, it will be important to do some social listening to really find out what your ideal clients are looking for – and how you can help. 4. Augmented and Virtual Reality – This trend is a tricky one. Augmented and virtual reality will continue to explode in 2018 with the increased integrations on platforms like Snapchat. (For an explanation of the two content types, click here.) We predict that other platforms will take note of the dancing hot dog’s success and try to replicate the ability of adding in augmented reality elements for posts and Stories. Not only will this type of media be the trend, but we also foresee the ability for brands to create their own sponsored objects for users. 5. Video – Just as we saw in 2017, video will continue to be an integral part for any social media plan. From live videos to production style videos, customers want to see the faces behind the brand, behind the scenes looks, and live coverage from major events. Striking the right balance between video content and other types of content will be key. If possible, try to include at least one video per week (to start, if you’re new to video). Then continue to plan and grow your business’ overall video strategy, separate from a social media strategy.

Putting Static Design to Shame

Author: Derek, Senior Visual Designer Recently, Sketch 49 was released, and it incorporates interactive prototyping tools. Prototyping, in and of itself, is by no means a new concept, as it has been around for years. But what this does is emphasize a shift in the importance of interactivity during design and development of websites and applications. Prototyping, in this context, is taking static designs and adding interactivity to them as a group. What this means is designers can string together multiple static pages of a website, add in hotspots that link to other static designs, add in overlays, and more. This is a great way to wrap your brain around a web system because you can actually use it in a way that is mostly true to how the end product is intended to work. So rather than skimming through a stack of designs and try to make connections in your head, it’s all there for you to actually try out. Check it out here:

Your Customer Is Not Reading Your Content Anymore

Author: Liam, Account Director Powerful media, and more of it, is slamming your customer in the face daily.  And that means consumer expectations are on the rise. Customers now demand a clear message, so they can understand what brands are presenting as fast as humanly possible. And that trend – speed of consumption – is only being delivered by a few select brands. Today’s audience is only reading 20% of content that has more the 600 words. Of those readers 91% prefer visual content over traditional formats. The learning: they’re skimming. So how do you make your content more impactful? Focus on adapting your content strategy to be more predictable (check out Think With Google), full of novelty (good vibes and product plugs from Mister Spoils), and story-driven (emotionally connected daily news from Skimm). Each of these brands have addressed something their audience craves. Google has reached marketers in droves by sending them something at the same time every day, and they know they’re going to get it. Mister Spoils’ content brings discovery and new perspective to travelers who don’t have to travel to get it anymore. Skimm blends emotional and entertaining storytelling, something our brains tag for memorizing, with what happened in the world that you need to know about. By adapting to the desires of your audience your content response will change. Don’t get stuck in the comfort of what is easy to create. Know what your customer wants and then write stories and create visuals that speak to those desires. Then sit back and smile, because your customer is reading your content again.
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