Jan
14
2018

Social Media Trends for 2018

One reason why social media marketing is such an exciting field is that things are always changing. We like to keep our eye on new trends, so that we can pair the latest social media ideas with our data-driven strategy to help you reach your marketing goals. Here’s a few of the things we’re excited for in 2018:

Chatbots

For decades, science fiction authors and movie directors have imagined how humanity would utilize Artificial Intelligence. They probably had no idea that we’d mostly be using it to answer questions on Facebook!

Today’s customer expects to get an answer whenever they message a business on Facebook, and for small-to-medium businesses, that can be a difficult thing to live up to. Not everyone can afford 24/7 social media support. To that end, Facebook chatbots are a great way to answer your most Frequently Asked Questions, and let customers know when they can expect a response to those issues that need a human touch.

It can take some time to set up a bot, but it’s worth it in the end to take the pressure off of your marketing department or customer service team.

Want to get an idea of what a chat bot can do for you? This list of 30 of the Best Facebook Chatbots direct links to start chatting and put the AI through its paces.

Rise of the Micro-Influencer

Influencer marketing has been hot for the past couple of years, but it’s not without its drawbacks. For one thing, the FTC has started cracking down on businesses and influencers that aren’t properly disclosing their sponsorship relationships. For another thing, many audience members are disillusioned by accounts that post too much sponsored content and give glowing recommendations for sub-par products.

Not only that, but for smaller companies or those with a niche product or service, the sponsorship fees requested by mega-influencers may be too far out of reach.

With all of this in mind, businesses and customers alike are turning their attention to micro-influencers. These bloggers, vloggers, and Instagram stars have a smaller audience, perhaps a more refined focus, and a better reputation for integrity.

Forbes has 15 Reasons to Add Influencer Marketing to Your Business Strategy (#7 is specifically about micro-influencers).

Employee Advocacy

What if you could find micro-influencers right within your own office?

Word-of-mouth advertising has long been one of the most powerful methods of marketing, and it remains so in the digital age. Many people trust a personal recommendation over an online review.

No one knows your work better than your own employees. Empower them to serve as brand ambassadors. Consider setting up a discount code that they can share with friends and family, or giving them time to do things like answer questions about your products on platforms like Amazon or your Facebook fan page.

Of course, this only works if your employees are happy and believe in what you’re doing, so now may also be a good time to check in on workplace satisfaction, and to poll your employees on how they use your products or services in their daily life, and where they see room for improvement.

LinkedIn’s blog has a great article titled “What Is Employee Advocacy?” which can serve as a great overview of how to think about a structured and quantifiable campaign to integrate your whole workforce into your marketing plan.

There’s so much more!

These are just three of the trends we’ve got our eyes on. Stay tuned for future blog posts where we get into more depth on some other exciting new things to try (for instance, should your business have its own Facebook group in addition to a fan page? We’ve got opinions).

If you need help setting up your chat bot, identifying micro-influencers in your community, or establishing an employee ambassador program, contact us today. We’d love to help you capitalize on 2018’s hottest social media trends.

Image credit: Pexels / kaboompics.com

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