6 Social Media Marketing Trends for the Second Half of 2018
Change is constant in social media marketing. To stay relevant and interesting as a small business, you’ve got to capitalise on the latest trends to stay on top of the game.
We’ve compiled the trends for you to explore in the second half of 2018 to keep your branding and marketing efforts ahead of the pack.
1) Videos, Videos, Videos
In 2018, videos are our main consumption. Recent stats from Hubspot Research show that 43% of consumers prefer video content over other content.
Increase exposure to potential customers by offering entertaining, educational videos that further enhance your brand’s presence.
Video content is naturally engaging and in the age of information overload, it’s vital to offer content that is easy to digest to maintain attention. Videos also help to improve search engine ranking.
Try out appealing video ads to bring more visitors to your website and prime them for purchase.
Another Hubspot article has revealed that 51.9% of marketing professionals perceive video content as delivering the strongest ROI.
Here are some tips on how to create engaging video content:
- Create a video title that is eye-catching, informative, and short.
- Add keywords to your video description
- 85% of all videos on Facebook are viewed without sound. To convey your message more clearly, consider adding text or subtitles
- Optimise video for conversions by including a clear call to action (CTA) such as signing up to a newsletter, or visiting a website
- Post useful and informative tutorial videos to connect and engage with your audience
2) Live Streaming
Apart from video content, “Live Streaming” was a big hit in 2017, and it’s not going away in 2018. According to the Livestream and New York Magazine Survey, live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. Facebook will also give Live videos more ‘air time’ than other content.
Live Streaming helps to generate a bigger audience as there are no geographical and physical restrictions. Online users take passive action towards content they can access on a regular basis, but if your stream is only available at one moment in time, it is able to create a stronger sense of urgency for the target audience.
You also get to speak directly to your customers via streaming in the real-time, which helps to build more trusted relationships with your customers.
Here are some tips on how to create engaging and successful live streaming content:
- Use live videos for interviews and live events to build relationships and increase engagement
- Promote your live streaming session ahead of time to build the hype and to increase the number of viewership
- Make your live stream interactive and interact with the audience in real time
- Collaborate with other industry experts and influencers through a Q&A or panel discussion using live streaming to increase brand reach and awareness
3) Influencer Marketing
According to a recent survey by Linqia, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and of those, 92% found it to be effective.
Influencers are often perceived as key opinion leaders and trendsetters. In a joint survey conducted by Twitter and Annalect, 40% of respondents reported that they’ve purchased an item online after seeing a social media influencer use it.
An influencer marketing campaign will help you reach new audiences for your products or services. When an influencer whose niche aligns with your brand recommends your products or mentions your brand, it helps you gain visibility.
What we love most about influencer marketing is that you don’t have to pay big bucks in order to succeed.
You can always opt for micro-influencers who give you more bang for your bucks as their engagement and reach are generally more targeted. Though they have far fewer subscribers, they are more connected to their followers.
According to Hello Society, micro-influencers are able to garner 60% higher campaign engagement rates; those campaigns are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings.
Additionally, you can repost the content they’ve produced on your own social media profiles giving you a great content mix!
In light of all these, here are some tips for crafting a well-planned, strategic influencer marketing campaign:
- Do not choose your influencers based on follower count alone. Instead, look at their engagement rates and the quality of posts they have produced.
- Get your chosen influencers to produce an engaging and organic content that does not look like an infomercial to increase engagement with your target audience
- Help influencers give back and add value to their followers. You may offer special discounts or access to exclusive events that resonate with their followers
- Define your campaign ROI such as click-throughs, lead generation, and engagement rate with your chosen influencer so that everyone is on the same page throughout the campaign period
4) Instagram Stories (“Short-lived” content)
As humans, we’re generally susceptible to experiencing Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), making it a no-brainer why these short-lived content are growing in popularity. Also, the raw nature of this content often lends itself to authenticity and trust, which enhances your brand image and presence.
According to an official Facebook release, Instagram Stories surpassed its competition by acquiring 250M daily active users within a year of its launch. Instagram has also reported that Stories has encouraged users to use the platform longer and more frequently.
What’s more interesting is that Social Media Week reported that 70% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound. This helps to create an immersive storytelling experience that indicates stronger engagement from the audience.
Here are some tips on how to make your Instagram Stories stand out:
- Create a story that caters to frequently asked questions. Show your followers that you care about helping them
- Ask questions on Stories and encourage engagement by conducting a poll or selecting the “Slider Sticker” feature
- Use locations and relevant hashtags to increase reach for your content
- Add animation and music to spice it up
- Provide CTA and encourage users to swipe up which helps direct traffic to your website (*you can only do this if your account has more than 10,000 followers)
5) Messaging Apps
Take a look at this 2017 data set from Statista that chronicles the monthly active users, in millions, of the most popular messaging apps. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger alone have each garnered over 1 billion monthly users.
According to a recent Facebook-Nielsen report, 61% respondents appreciate when businesses send personalised messages and over 50% of users are more likely to interact with a business if they can message it.
Messaging apps are revolutionising customer service, and the trend is showing no signs of slowing. When it comes to simple requests, messaging offers customers more of what they want: fast solutions.
With the rise of messaging apps, enter chatbots. Since the launch of chatbots on Messenger, they’ve had a huge impact on the way customers interact with brands.
Why is that so? By incorporating chatbots to messaging apps like Facebook, users can contact brands at any time and are able to receive answers quickly.
Your customers are driven by positive experiences and added value. Chatbots help to do just that.
6) Facebook is taking a Stricter Stance on Advertising Policies
Facebook has stated earlier this year that it will begin using stricter demotions on pages that are not providing useful contents and merely relying on clickbait.
What follows is a list of Facebook advertising guidelines for your Page. These have a high chance of your ad being disabled or your Page being banned from use of ads by Facebook if you aren’t careful.
We have round-up some of the useful guidelines for you to keep in mind while setting up your ads:
- Avoid emulating Facebook’s features (i.e. a fake ‘Like’ button)
- Do not create Finance related advertisements that involve suggestive keywords such as ‘make money online’ or ‘work from home’
- Facebook prohibits ad copies that hint or suggest on personal attributes such as a person’s race, ethnic origin, religion, beliefs, age, sexual orientation or practices, gender identity, disability, medical condition (including physical or mental health) and financial status.
- Adverts should not contain a non-existent functionality such as a fake play button which serves as a clickbait
- Consistent bad shopping experiences from customers (i.e. frequent and consistent negative feedback from users) may cause Facebook to shut down specific ads, limit a brand’s reach, or ban their account entirely.
If you have not tried the trends listed above, start small and give them a go. Feel free to drop us a message if you want to get help on capitalising these trends!