Social media has become the internet for many users as giants like Facebook add marketplaces and job boards while eBay adds content and communities. Social media marketing itself has to change to keep up with these trends, even as users abandon various platforms and shift in how they use these sites. What will the future of social media marketing look like in 2018?
Social Media Logins and Big Data
Social media logins for business websites are attractive to small businesses since it eliminates the need to beg users to set up accounts while providing more than two hundred unique data points for each logged in person.
Data Mining of Social Media Websites
Data mining tools use algorithms to identify the people shaping the brand’s reputation online. Social intelligence tools are being developed to mine the masses of real-world data on sites like Reddit, Facebook, and LinkedIn to tell companies what their customers really feel about the product or service level. For example, the first social intelligence tool to have full access to Reddit premiered in 2017, and we should expect other industry leaders to gain similar access to Reddit and apply the same data mining algorithms to other social media platforms.
Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Marketing
Forget the effort of crafting evergreen content. Ephemeral content is the hot new thing in online marketing and it has been driven by Snapchat. The very definition of a viral trend is one that breaks out, spreads quickly, and then dies down. Ephemeral content is designed to tap into that trend. It consists of images, videos, infographics, and short segments that last, at most, 24 hours before disappearing. The benefits of this approach include creating a sense of urgency to go see it, never having to update the content, and being able to quickly engage in A/B testing of many marketing messages in a short period of time. It is also ideally suited for platforms like Snapchat, a site that is home to a large proportion of Generation Z. Work with companies like Snap Agency to create ephemeral content that succeeds in delivering its message in the short time it is available.
Chatbots, Social Media and the Blurring of Borders
WeChat is a chat site aimed at the Asian market. It saw a massive influx of chatbots to help customers sell products, buy the item they want, and select service providers. This helped turn the chat service into a full-fledged social media site. The West is seeing chatbots appearing on business websites to help people select the right product for them and they are prone to pushing people to post on social media about their latest purchase. The next step is the integration of chatbots on social media sites themselves. Forget hiring an intern to monitor the company’s Facebook page for negative comments; design a chatbot to respond immediately to requests for information or engage people in conversations.
These social media trends are sure to transform how we approach social media marketing in the coming year. Being on top of changes will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and implement strategies that will have durable effects.