With more and more brands entering the social media marketing arena, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to attract, retain and grow a strong and loyal fan base on social platforms. A run-of-the-mill social media advertising approach is no longer helpful. To generate better engagement businesses today need to quickly figure out what is interesting and most relevant to their target audiences.

Your social media strategy in 2018 must be different from what you’ve been doing in the past. In other words, you need to keep abreast of the most crucial social media trends that will determine your success toward better customer engagement and increased brand loyalty.

Facebook, Twitter, and Linked are known as the BIG THREE of social media. 22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook.  More than 450 million users are on LinkedIn.  89% of world’s businesses with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing purposes. These are astonishing facts, but what is more important from a marketing standpoint are the latest trends that are changing the course of social media advertising. Let’s discuss them one by one!

#1 Personalized Content

There is so much clutter on social media now. People have long lost interest in generic events, boiler-plate offers, irrelevant products, gimmicky marketing slogans, or invitations with no personal appeal. It seems the only way companies can break through this clutter. It is by getting a deeper insight into what their customers’ needs, liking, and preferences are. And then formulate a content strategy based on the findings. Any promo content in the form of a video, graphic, text, audio, or animated content you put out into the social space must be contextually relevant. It should resonate well with your prospects’ needs and requirements.

The problem with today’s social media platforms is that users have become quite immune to pretty much everything. Even the best of the content finds it hard to cut the mustard! Reason? Because people can’t bite off more than they can chew and, as you see, there’s an infinite amount of content being churned out by marketers every day.

Nevertheless, today you can also utilize the tools that were not available to the previous generation of marketers to help you make your content super specific for the end-users. You can use data to gain a proper insight into your potential prospects’ needs and then come up with a personalized approach to content marketing.

#2 Chat bots

Chat bots, the apps you interact with through a chat interface, have gained increased popularity throughout 2017 and would continue to. What makes them so viable for marketers and social media users alike is their ability to provide instant information and uninterrupted customer support. Chat bots are easy to use. They save your prospects’ time.  And, they have a personality too!

According to a survey conducted by Aspect, 49% of consumers prefer interacting with companies through text, chat, or messaging. For millennials, texting is even more effective means of communication. Although using a human touch in all communications is generally preferred, using chat bots to eliminate the limitations that are associated with humans is rather more acceptable. If a chatbot can understand our problems and resolve them in the shortest time possible, it’s exactly what people are looking for!

Facebook chat bots are one example of this artificial intelligence. The third-party platforms to provide personalized experience for the end consumers. ChattyPeople, MEOKAY, Smooch, Botsify, Chatfuel, BotKit, and Telegram Bots are the other Chatbot Platforms you can use to build a custom chat bot for your own business or social media channel.

In a nutshell, businesses that are willing to leverage the power of social chatbots for customer service are going to win the game in 2018. So, leverage this technology now!

#3 Influencer Marketing

As the level of noise increases on social media, the clutter starts keeping your content out of the reach of the end-users. Building relationships and engaging your audience on social platforms has become more difficult today than it has ever been. The content clutter is constantly increasing. It is causing marketers to shift their focus on influencers and Thought Leaders for their brands’ promotion. According to Zephoria.com, 421,920,000 statuses are updated, 195,840,000 photos are uploaded, and 100 million hours of videos are posted every day on Facebook. Clearly, it’s getting noisier than you expect in the years to come!

The idea of influencer marketing is to overcome this excessive noise. Also, to build a relationship with people who can build a relationship for you. Or taking a step forward, to help you influence the purchase decisions of your targeted customers. According to beliefs, word of mouth is the most valuable form of advertising. An article from Mckinsey’s research says that 20-50 percent of all purchasing decisions are influenced by word of mouth (whether online or off-line). This really reinforces the fact that investing in influencer marketing will pay off. But given the fact that people are more receptive to recommendations from the individuals. They respect and trust more than the ads they see on social media or elsewhere.

#4 Live Video Marketing

Live video marketing has become a sensational trend. Many renowned brands are using it as an important element of their online marketing mix. Live videos have greater appeal, they are more effective in generating “in the moment” value for the audience. They also help in achieving greater engagement and response from the end-users. If you’re not sure how it can be done at a business level, you can look through some shining examples from renowned brands like Buzzfeed, Grazia UK, and Dunkin Donuts.

Facebook Live will continue to dominate the live video marketing segment in 2018. If you want to engage your followers, get instant feedback from end-users. It will increase your overall fanbase on social media platforms, Live Videos are the future tool. Use it to help you effectively achieve these goals.

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