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3 Social Media Trends for 2018

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3 Social Media Trends for 2018

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 By Cerebral Agency


So, we are 6 months into the year, let’s see what the social trends have been so far and what is going to continue to grow.

Last year saw no shortages of change within the social media environment, which included new features within certain platforms, increased brand awareness and divergent customer preferences and activity.

Customers were engaging more with their favourite brands and the brands were replying, making their customers feel wanted and part of the party.

So here are Cerebral’s 3 ongoing and growing social media trends for the remainder of this year.

1. Instagram Stories and Messaging Within Platforms

Instagram launched Instagram Stories to compete with Snapchat fairly recently, but in that time they have managed to accrue more than 250 million daily users! Snapchat have, by comparison, only 173 million daily active Snapchat users and that took years for them to build up to. The amount of engagement that Instagram has is astonishing from a brand perspective over that short period of time, for example, 1 in 5 Stories from companies gets at least one direct message from a customer or potential customer.

Stories is not alone in its growth as the push for short lived video content that disappears continues cross platform, but Instagram is leading the way for companies to get more engagement and messaging via the platform. The success of Stories is illustrated in the fact that average time spent on Instagram per day increased from between 7 to 13 minutes to a whopping 28 minutes following its launch. And, not only are users benefitting from the launch of Stories, but paid for advertising is utilising it more and more. Each month there are more than 1 million advertisers using Stories to get their message out there.

Given this growth and high levels of engagement, it’s essential that companies now integrate Instagram Stories into their social strategy.

However, we also mustn’t forget the massive benefit of in app messaging that Instagram provides. There are currently 375 million monthly active users utilising Instagram Direct messaging as a primary form of online communication, limiting the need for texts and public engagement. This trend is likely only to rise.

Read this article from Social Media Examiner on how to use Instagram Stories: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-instagram-stories/

2. Social Listening Tool 

The first question I can hear you ask is, “What on earth is social listening?” Well, it’s basically tracking any online and social conversations about specific keywords, phrases, brands, etc. Once you’ve set this up you then you utilise these to identify opportunities where you can create content specifically designed to appeal to those audiences. This is not just looking at who has commented on or liked your latest Facebook post; it’s about analysing general trends and identifying audiences that have not yet engaged with your brand. You can, however, also use this information to help you create more targeted campaigns, built around what your potential audience actually wants and thereby improve the overall customer experience.

So, how could social listening work for your brand? What are the main benefits or reasons to engage in social listening?

  • Improved Customer Care: More and more, consumers choose social media as their number one choice for customer care. Your response times and public persona has to be managed alongside this and that’s why listening for and paying attention to what your customers are saying online is a must.
  • Improved, Targeted and More Engaging Content: If your content isn’t engaging your target market, then you may as well stop creating it. Content is only useful to you as a marketing tool if it’s what your customers and potential customers want to see. Listening tools allow you not only to see what the best content to share is, but also to ensure that you know what your customers are talking about. You do this by tracking hashtags, topics, keywords, etc that people see currently in conjunction with your brand.
  • Development of Marketing Campaigns: Because of the real-time nature of social media and social listening, you can track trends much more quickly and develop reactive marketing campaigns to appeal to these and be relevant in the moment.

Using listening tools in the social world can help you learn about your social environment and keep one step ahead. It could ultimately gain more exposure for your brand and get it heading in the right direction.

Here are a few examples of good social media listening tools you might want to take a look at:

  • Hootsuite
  • Social Mention
  • Klout
  • Topsy

3. Chatbots

All incoming social media messages need a response, but what if your organisation receives hundreds or thousands of customer service questions that are very similar? The answer to this potentially time consuming issue is chatbots.

Chatbots have been growing in popularity for a while now, particularly during 2017 when there was a massive spike in usage, and it’s looking like this popularity will increase further in 2018.

Just on Facebook Messenger, there are more than 100,000 active chatbots in use, gathering information, giving advice on products and even taking orders for companies! On Messenger, these chatbots have proven to increase the productivity of a company by up to 3.5 times.

Chatbots certainly look like the way forward, but, be warned, standardised chatbots may not do your brand justice. The chatbots that produce the best ROI are ones that are tailored and customised to meet the nuances of your brand and answer questions specific to your product or service.

Here are 3 chatbots that we would recommend looking into for your business:

  • Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Bot

    • Consumers want to spend as little time as possible to find the information they are looking for. They don’t want to search around your website to find it. They want it now and they want it easily. FAQ bot allows you to provide answers to frequently asked questions in a direct format within FB Messenger, SMS and on your website.
  • Lead Generation Bot

    • Because consumers prefer the live chat or message function rather emailing or completing forms, the lead generation bot is a good idea to capture information, answer questions and start a dialog with your customers. It even goes as far as beginning the customer relationship for you. This bot integrates with CRMs and email platforms o allow you to respond and develop.
  • After Hours Bot

  • Again, this bot looks after your customers and starts/continues that customer relationship for you out of hours or when you’re busy. It will automatically respond in message format, making sure your response times are good and that customers and potential customers feel they aren’t being ignored.

So, there you have it, our 3 top social media trends for the rest of 2018.

So, what should you be doing socially as a business for the rest of this year? Get your Instagram Stories, advertising and messaging started, get yourself set up with some social listening tools and utilise bots that may be useful for your business in improving your level of customer service.

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