Why Social Media Will Matter Even More in 2018.

We don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, but here are some predictions that will show you why social media will matter even more in 2018. If your brand uses social media or even if you are just curious about how it all works, these helpful tips will give you clear insight into the future as observation of the current state of affairs points us to these conclusions.  

There is no denying that social media has grown far beyond the expectations of most people. What was once seen as a fad, sure to be dead in a heartbeat, now consumes the majority of attention as a media platform. With an increasing shift in power from networks and corporations to consumers, we will continue to see this trend gain even more traction and spread its influence even further.

Record ad revenue for Facebook in 2017.

Facebook has already seen record ad revenue this year for the last quarter, registering $9.2 billion (up 47% on the same period in 2016), driven predominantly by its investment in video and a massive shifting of its algorithm to favour video content – especially it’s native LIVE format for broadcasting. Several platforms now offer the ability to go “Live”, and Facebook is looking to become an actual media production company with Facebook TV on the horizon. Expect to see more platforms seeking to create their own media and finding innovative ways to share this with their audiences.

Mobile continues its takeover.

Mobile continues its march to take over social with more functionality being built into mobile devices and apps, giving users abilities that previously were reserved for desktop or laptop users. As mobile penetration continues to increase, expect to see this trend continue and consume even more market share as it becomes the primary method for most people to access the Internet. We have already seen where mobile is the single most popular method for accessing social media, with even entertainment giants seeing massive shifts toward mobile viewership (Netflix, Amazon video and other streaming services).

Network providers are continuously improving their infrastructure to deliver even faster mobile data service to their customer base, and this move will continue to fuel this growth as mobile network speeds are finally able to rival broadband in some regions.

Paid content to get even more focus.

Expect to see an increased focus on social media advertising as platforms not only seek to monetise their largest resource, (us, the users), but also to allow hyper-specific targeting for marketers to find their ideal audience. When we sign up for a social media platform or network, we allow them access to us, to our information and we give it over willingly.

To make the advertising experience as efficient as possible, using this information that we provide has changed the way that we advertise forever. Look for continued innovation in this space with business models being tested and refined, and as we move away from traditional marketing and more towards social. Additionally we will see the issue of privacy come into play more often as how our data gets used by social networks to sell to advertisers. Net neutrality will also be a factor going forwards as it will guide how the internet will be used and grow in the future. Very interesting times ahead.

Will Chatbots take over the world?

With brands seeking to better manage their engagements with fans and potential customers, we are seeing an increase in the use of chatbots, which allows big brands the convenience of immediate responses to customer queries. As a result, we are now moving towards even more sophisticated bots that have, dare I say, an almost human feel to them. Fusing the mass effect of bots with the best of human interaction will make the future for engaging with audiences a very interesting dynamic to observe. For some markets in Asia, the use of bots is much more mainstream, as their user bases are the size of some global platforms and is simply one of the most effective and efficient ways to communicate with large audiences. The future of social will see customer service moving away from just answering a few FAQ’s to integrations with messenger platforms worldwide as more and more brands turn to this solution for guaranteed efficiency.

Content remains king.

Content still remains king – even with so many platforms creating algorithms specifically to promote paid content, as users demand even better quality, more interaction and engagement. Attention spans are decreasing due to the saturation of advertising noise that surrounds us, so expect more Augmented and Virtual Reality integrated into content creation. More big investments continue to be poured into both as brands seek to innovate and improve on how their content is consumed and experienced by users. While we don’t see mainstream adoption of these two technologies yet, you can expect that will change with time. Will we still see the use of headsets, or will the tech be more wearable (think Google Glass)? Your guess is as good as ours, but we look forward to what the future brings.

What you should be doing in 2017 to prepare for 2018.

  • With the variety of platforms available to brands and consumers, you should know which one is most relevant to you.
  • If you’re not yet doing video, start. If you are already doing video, do more and get better at it.
  • Become an advert expert. Expect more social networks and platforms to increase their focus to paid content as traffic and audiences increase.
  • If you don’t measure what you do, how will you know if it works? You should be running in-depth analytics to see your performance in a detailed and measured format.
  • Expect e-Commerce to also increase as banks and money become more digital themselves. More and more users expect the ability to pay digitally, so be sure you are ready for secure e-payment solutions in your business.
  • Your brand should be mobile friendly in 2017.
  • Interactive content is the future. Users like content that they can interface with, so give it to them!
  • Learn how to Livestream on all of your social platforms if you don’t already.

We know that social media can seem daunting and, to be honest, that’s understandable. It is fluid and always changing. Let Digita Global Marketing guide you through the social space and give your brand the impact that you’re looking for today.

About the Author:
The Digita team is committed to bringing you the most helpful and relevant information. Stay tuned for more.