Can you quite believe that another year has nearly been and gone? 2018 has been a bit of a whirlwind for a number of reasons, with all sorts of things going on around the world. So when you look back it, it can be easy to only look at those things that happened throughout the year that weren’t all that great. But in reality, there have been so many good things that have happened. One sector to look at in particular is the internet and things like social media channels. They have been changing and changing, and look very different to what we knew about them when they first started out. Naturally, they change and evolve to keep up with demand, as well as the technology that is available.
Gone are the days when social media was for just sharing memes; you can now stream live video, make short 15-second stories to view, and make your face into a dog at any given moment. Social media influencers are on the rise too, so the social media networks are finding ways to make sure that the content is able to stay relevant and can help influencers (because when they do well, the social channels do well too). But what is on the horizon for the year to come? What changes do we think we will see in social media over the next few weeks, months, and year? Here are some trends that are set to popular. Get to know them, so that you can make the most of them and use them to your (or your business’ advantage).
More Relevant Content
When social media content is irrelevant to the person scrolling through it, it can be very frustrating. When you think of it from a business or an influencer point of view, it can be very frustrating when their content is coming up to the right people or customers are having to wade through a whole heap of other stuff to see what you have to offer. Which is why targeted personalization is a growing trend for social media and online marketing and content marketing in general. Having the right kind of data to help them and their audiences will mean that content can be tailored, as well as the content reaching the exact audiences that they want to see.
In a similar vein to what is mentioned above, sites like Facebook and Google could never write specific rules to choose the ads a particular social media user is most likely to click on. But that is where machine learning comes in. It helps to identify patterns in user behavior and determine which advertisements are most likely to be relevant to which social media user. You could take a look here if you are interested in looking at more of machine learning, but it is something that is going to become more and more prevalent in our world, especially the digital world. Simply because machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence that means systems are able to automatically learn and improve from what has happened before.
For a lot of people, they won’t have the time or inclination to sit down and read a lengthy blog post, unless it is something that they are really invested in. Which is where video content comes in. How many times have you seen video content, such as a cookie decorating video or a video of ‘hacks’ as you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed? Video content is really key and it does start to stop you in your tracks. The algorithms of many social channels have changed, and will continue to change, making video content more and more valuable. As well as conventional methods of creating video, you can do some off-the-cuff videos with things like IG-TV and Instagram stories. In fact, more and more users are using the Instagram video tools than the ‘original’ Snapchat video feature. So you can see just how quickly things change, and how they can grow and grow.
You might have seen plenty of #ad disclosures or the ‘paid partnership with’ disclosures coming up on your social media feed over the past year. But the truth is, this is going to get bigger and bigger. Influencer marketing is something that is really new, but it is getting bigger and bigger. It hasn’t been something that has been trialled before it started, and now over 90% of companies that use influencer marketing strongly believe that it is successful for them. So it can be worth it to get an influencer on-board if you’re a brand, so be prepared to see plenty more of where that came from.
You can share links on social media channels, and have been able to do that for a while now. But something that is becoming really novel is using social media channels for publishing content. Take the site LinkedIn, for example. Over the past year or so it has got busier and busier with users, and has become more and more popular to be used as a publishing outlet. You can see many companies, as well as individuals, using the platform to boost their marketing by sharing some inspiring, informative, or influential content.
Along similar lines, there are other social channels like Instagram that are making it easier for people to ‘swipe up’ to read articles or visit a website where something was bought from. This kind of feature is only available to a certain number at the moment, as you have to have over 10,000 followers, but could the future of it being allowed for everyone, no matter the number of followers? Social media and content marketing isn’t just about creating great stuff on your website. It is all about how it is shared and promoted on social channels as well now.
Do any of these trends interest you as we enter 2019? It would be good to hear what you think and what you preferred social channel is.