It’s safe to say that social media is now a major platform for brand marketing. CV Magazine previously discussed how it has become absolutely crucial for marketers to better understand the ever-changing social media landscape and user behaviour. Only by doing so can companies take advantage of the many opportunities brought about by social media and better connect with their target audiences.
So without further ado, here are 5 social media trends and updates to take advantage of in 2018.
BGC, short for brand-generated content, is a combination of UGC (user-generated content) and branded content. Author and tech entrepreneur Andre Kay explains that BGCs marry the effectiveness of UGCs with the superior production quality of branded content. BGCs have the advantage of the look and feel of UGCs, which are reported to be 85% more influential among consumers, without the uncertainty that comes with them. This way, brands get to decide what exactly goes into the content they publish and when they have the material ready. For marketers looking to capitalise on this trend, remember to keep things authentic and relatable, without turning your back on UGCs altogether. This is because BGCs work best when used in tandem with UGCs and branded content.
2. IG Slider
These days, social media platforms are in a race to make their UX the pinnacle of interactive engagement. In their May Digital Roundup, Ayima reports that Instagram’s latest update allows users to make use of a new polling slider feature. This feature lets brands ask their followers how they feel about anything on their Stories content using emoji sliders, a step up from the simpler option-based polls rolled out last year. IG users can simply add the polling stickers onto their Stories to engage with their followers and see results in real time, heralding yet another new innovation in tracking the pulse of customers. This new feature opens up a world of possibilities for brands with active communities on Instagram, so make sure to study what your audiences are responding to the most.
3. Mainstream Digital Hangouts
Meanwhile, news of Facebook developing a group video chat function as an app and in-app function of Messenger was released late last year. The move comes after the social media giant noticed the success of virtual hangout app Houseparty, which grew from 0 users a day during its September 2016 launch to over a million in 2017. As video continues to become the main tool of interaction on social media, don’t be surprised if Facebook unveils their digital hangout as well sometime soon, and be sure to plan your strategy before it rolls out.
Videos are becoming the go-to platform for online posts. Inc.com projects that videos will be comprise 80% of all Internet traffic in the world by the year 2020. Currently, 87% of companies employ videos in the marketing campaigns because 95% of viewers claim that they recall the messages easier when watching videos. To make the most of this trend, marketers must develop short, powerful, and effective videos that grab viewers’ attention in a short 7-second window to stay relevant.
5. Augmented Reality
With the continued growth of video, one way social media is continuing to evolve is through augmented reality (AR). AR raises the bar for a fully interactive UX. Take for example the L’Oreal app, which gives users the option to try out make-up and hairstyles without having to step into an actual storefront. This innovative feature appears to be a great way to sell consumers on projects that they’ve never tried before. It seems to be yielding positive results as it has led to sales boosts. Marketers can similarly take advantage of this trend by creating AR-enriched campaigns — as long as these are engaging, creative, and value-adding to the target audience.