Just as in every industry, staying on top of new technologies and changing trends is vital to staying relevant in social media marketing. In 2018, higher engagement rates, customizable chatbots, social listening tools, inplatform messaging, augmented reality, and social call out culture are all marketing trends that should be on your radar if you want your social media marketing agency to grow.
In this blog article we’ll discuss these 6 social marketing trends all social media marketers should be using to build their social media marketing agency in 2018.
1. Higher Engagement: B2C
It’s 2018 and social media is a huge part of most people’s lives. Social media is more than just an idle distraction nowadays, but can offer a lot of valuable to its users. When it comes to the companies you’re working with, you need to take an approach that sees social media as more than just a platform to see products or services. Instead, you need to focus on connecting with the audience and creating lasting relationships with the brand or company you are working with and their customer base.
Brands are realizing the impact of social media engagement in reference to marketing their business, and they’re seeing a big payoff as engagement increases. To build engagement, it is essential to create a message that engages the consumer and connects that message to the client’s business and/or service. This is done by keeping an open line of communication between the brand and consumer through social media.
Chatbot usage has increased 3.5 times on platforms like Facebook in the past year, with Facebook Messenger having about 100,000 chatbots in use. Chatbots are a great way to spur an immediate conversation directly with the customer. Even better, developers and businesses are already looking for ways to improve chatbot technology. Companies are looking towards customizable chatbots for their businesses in 2018.
Sproutsocial and Evernote created their own bot builders for automation conversation workflow on Facebook and Twitter and saw some great returns. Evernote saw an 80% increase in customer satisfaction through direct messaging in chatbots. To be competitive, social media marketing agencies must understand and utilize chatbots in their social marketing campaigns.
3. Social Listening Tools
Social media monitoring and listening is the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening with any given customer-base and stay on top of your social media performance. Social media marketing agencies must utilize social listening tools to monitor the results of their social media campaigns if they want to stay competitive. These tools can help marketers see if their content is effective in getting their client’s message to the consumer.
Many of the social media listening tools available right now also make it easier to manage customer communication and collect data on the audience as well monitor how engaged the audience is with the campaign. Using data from these tools to assess your next stepss can improve the overall brand, create better marketing campaigns, and improve customer experience.
4. Inplatform Messaging/Instagram Stories
Instagram stories are one of the most popular social media platforms being used in 2018 to reach consumers. Inplatform messaging, or direct managing, within the Instagram platform is the main reason for the success of stories. Inplatform message on Instagram stories allows users the ability to chat within photos and videos, and the data shows they appreciate this direct interaction with the content.
According to Instagram, 1 in 5 organic Instagram stories from brands see at least one direct message from a consumer, giving brands a huge incentive to use this tool. In fact, 1 million advertisers actively use Instagram stories each month, and we can expect to see this trend to continue to rise.
5. Augmented Reality/Face Filters
Augmented reality and face filters are just for the consumer—brands can see a lot of engagement using these tools. Face filters are popular among brands on Snapchat to create fun, creative content. This trend has been transferring to Instagram recently as well. However, there is a bit of a barrier to this service for smaller business. The price tag for businesses creating their own customizable filter is steep, which limits a lot of small businesses and social media marketing agencies to invest.
In a similar vein, augmented reality technology currently featured on the Iphone X may be the next new trend to be used by social media marketers to build and drive social media content in 2018 and 2019. Some platforms, like Snapchat, have already experimented with using this technology and we can only expect to see more of this.
6. Social Call Out/Brand Accountability
With so many people engaged on social media, many consumers are turning to their social accounts to interact with brands for their customer service needs. In fact, 81% of consumers agreed that being on social media helped keep businesses accountable. Social media marketing agencies must monitor feedback on their client’s social media platforms and address any negative feedback or comments immediately.
Not only does interacting with negative feedback help build trust between the brand and consumers, it can also help save a sale. Being responsive might decrease a marketing disaster, and if the consumer sees the company is responding in a timely manner it might improve the brand in that consumer’s view. By using social media listening and tracking certain key words, you can also see who is calling out your competitor’s. Swooping in and interacting with customers who are experiencing bad customer service with your competitor’s, you can prove why that customer should consider the company that you represent instead.
Staying up to date on the newest trends in your industry can help you stay at the top of your game. Offering your clients top-notch service will help you stay ahead of your competitor’s and keep your customers happy.