2017 is drawing to a close, and there have been a lot of developments on social media this year- including the recent evolution of Twitter from 140 to 280 characters. As we prepare and strategise for 2018, here are 3 social media trends for 2018, highlighted by the Digital Marketing Institute, to prepare you for the year ahead:
Video will continue to rise in importance.
Video has grown in popularity over recent years, and its continued relevance for the years was accurately predicted by Zimbabwean digital marketing experts (link the article). Video continues to be a powerful tool for increasing engagement, especially on Facebook, and there are new video formats and live streaming popping up on various platforms. In 2018, more brands are expected to harness the power of live streaming, and should leverage “stories” on Instagram and Snapchat to create timely content.
Ephemeral content is key for engagement.
Ephemeral content is short-lived, and expires within a 24 hour time period. Facebook and Instagram stories are two examples that have been hugely popular in 2017. In the year ahead, as brands seek to connect with younger audiences, they cannot ignore short-lived content as it is hugely popular. Customers tend to believe short-lived content is more authentic compared to sponsored posts and adverts. Furthermore, because the content is gone within hours, it increases the fear of missing out and encourages audiences to take faster action.
Users will continue to respond to personalised content.
More than half of Zimbabwe’s population lies between the ages of 15 and 54. It therefore follows that brands need to adapt themselves to appeal to millennials and Generation Z consumers- who generally distrust traditional advertising and hard selling. Instead, be authentic and show consumers what you do, believe and are about. Leverage relevant social influencers, and keep content as relevant to the audience as possible. Understand your target market, create personas around them, and scrutinise whether these personas would find your content relevant. Creating personalised content means it will be more engaging to the audience.