This post was originally published on November 2nd 2017, and was last updated on December 6th 2017.
Social media trends for 2018 have reached a whole new level of tech savvy ‘adulting’ with a much more potent than ever focus on slaying the dragon that is creating (and maintaining) consistent engagement.
Throw that dusty un-inspiring generic guide to social media in your recycle bin. Nay. Strap it to an ejector seat and torpedo it as far away as possible from your brand, because it will always do more harm than good, and the person who wrote it is probably a dinosaur who only recently worked out how to change their Facebook cover image.
There is A LOT of free information online which is, of course, amazing. But you have to seek social media tips and resources via reputable online sources, otherwise you very well may be wasting your time, my friend.
First things first. You do not need to be a technical expert to win at your business social media.
However, you do need to have an adequate amount of time to invest into your social media consistently every single week in order to cultivate a committed and pledged following.
How much time is enough?
That really depends per person. If you’re the type of writer who can effortlessly write dreamy content about your brand quickly with minimal intelligent wording, hoorah! You’re probably one in a million.
Content creation, scheduling and engaging with other users probably looks like, on average, a minimum of 4 hours per week.
I know, I know. What business owner, start up or established, has time to brush their hair or get dressed most days, let alone invest 4 hours into their social media?
Schedugram to the rescue!
Reclaim your evenings and weekends by using Schedugr.am to schedule your Instagram posts for you. No push notifications, buzzes or alarms. Just set it and forget it. Get started with a 7-day free trial today.
The good news is that another buzzword and social media trend for 2018 is (drumroll, please) outsourcing – the art of delegating the crap you don’t have the time to do efficiently to remote workers who are able to charge considerably less in return for the delight of being able to work from home in their pants.
Where do you find such unicorns? You may find a few diamonds in the rough on Upwork, but I personally find the quality of writers a lot higher on People Per Hour.
If you seriously have absolutely no budget for any kind of work delegation, and it’s not that you don’t want to or you’re being stingy with your money, your startup is just clearing you out – get familiar with platforms like Schedugram to help cut down the time you spend on your social media while still retaining a consistent brand online presence.
Schedugram is a lifesaver in terms of being one of the very few platforms actually enabling you to schedule Instagram posts way in advance, at peak times without any need for manual posting (while you don’t brush your hair…)
However, it’s vital to remember we’re dealing with Instagram imagery snobs now. The same way Facebook made everyone a potential politician, Instagram has turned its audience into a network of photography experts who’ve seen it all, continue to see it every day on their Instagram feed and are likely pretty bored of seeing the same old regurgitated iStock type imagery and basic ‘samey samey’ accompanying copy.
Every post has to be stunning or creative super high quality imagery along with thought-inspiring copy – it has to be awe-inspiring.
If you saw what your finger is about to hit post on pop up on your Instagram feed would you be 100% inspired to hit like and perhaps even leave a little comment because you loved what you saw so much? If the answer is no, scrap it. If you’re not inspired by it, no one else will be.
If your writing skills are less than outrageously engagingly awesome, seek inspiration from top brands who share a similar target market as you.
Now, enough of all that – let’s get to the juicy part of why you came to this blog.
9 Social Media Trends in 2018 That Will Set the World Alight
A Unique Brand Tone
If you don’t have an original brand tone evident across your social media now, finding it should be your sole focus for the remainder of 2017.
Creating highly engaging content your target market foam at the mouth for is the only way any of us are going to survive online in 2018 onwards.
The bar has been set high – seek urgent inspiration from brands that are nailing it and go forth with your own online onslaught worthy of generating hundreds of likes and comments on every post.
It’s the quality, not the quantity, of your content that will see you win the online war over your competitors.
Write down what your target market is interested in. Build a glossary of words and visuals they use relevant to your brand. Now build your social media marketing content around that in your own brand voice.
Get Ready for the Rise of Augmented Reality
Think Snapchat and Instagram users being able to take selfies seemingly next to A-list celebrities projected via augmented reality.
Now is the time to contemplate if and how your brand can tap into this new craze.
I’m predicting this to be as big in normal everyday social media life as over-eating on a daily basis is for me every day by 2019.
Although only 1-year-old, Instagram stories are already used by over 200 million users – which is 50 million more users than on the whole of Snapchat.
We all know the oldest sales trick in the book is creating a personal connection with potential customers in order to sell them a solution for a problem they have – savvy brands will be utilizing Instagram stories in 2018 for exactly that.
This will only get stronger in 2018 – nothing sells products or services faster than a trusted source that users have intentionally invited into their everyday lives for whatever reason.
If they trust these people with their beauty, fitness, health and everything else in between, they will trust them when they glowingly review and promote your product or service (IF you select the correct target market appropriate influencers)
They’re the new millennial group – today’s oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old.
Now that we feel sufficiently old and hopeless, let’s dust ourselves off and look at adapting our marketing activities accordingly to speak to the new kids on the block. FYI platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are now your new best friends.
Voice assistants and chatbots will enable brands to offer more personalized shopping experiences on messaging platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp and Kik
This is going to become an important part of all social media content plans in 2018.
Keep An Eye on Twitter
Twitter has fallen way behind other brands when it comes to user growth in recent months and years.
It will be interesting to see how Twitter HQ rethinks the platform in 2018 – I’m thinking a sell to private investors may be on the cards.
We may see Twitter become more advantageous for our businesses, or they could fall off the (online) grid completely and fall down the same bottomless pit Myspace did.
Either way, keep an eye out and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Live Video Group Hangouts
These platforms are a natural next iteration of the video trend – research Houseparty, a platform already used by over 1 million Gen Zers (those lucky youthful beasts with their whole 20’s ahead of them without one single wrinkle) as a video hangout platform and discover ways you can utilize this platform.
I know some of you may have skimmed your eye down this page because you’re already rushing to a meeting you’re running late for, so I thought I’d be extra nice and provide a summary for you of the social media trends for 2018.
With the announcement of the new iPhones soon to be released, augmented reality is projected to become the norm in everyday life in ways that were unimaginable to us perhaps only last year.
Targeting Gen Zers via platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Houseparty should become an absolute necessity you must include in your 2018 social media marketing plans if your product or service includes this age group.
If you aren’t possessed with basic photography and/or writing skills, outsource.
We can’t be an expert in every area of our lives, and that’s OK. That’s as unlikely as the prettiest cheerleaders in all of those teen movies being really nice people who are never mean to anyone.
We just need to learn to delegate our weaknesses so that we can focus on the areas we excel at.
If you are confident in your writing ability and your imagery, keep on top of the latest social media platforms that will help you become more time and cost efficient.
On a daily basis, I use Schedugram, Hootsuite, MailChimp and Instagram Insights to keep my disorganized chaos organized and make my life simpler.
You know, so that I have time to do other stuff now I’ve made it to social media guru status, like get dressed and brush my hair…
That’s all folks. Thanks for stopping by.
About the author
Sophie Bowman is the CEO of Brand Branding PR LLC. With a strong background in PR, social media and branding, Sophie has worked with some of the most exciting startups in addition to many of the most influential brands in the world. Recently nominated for a social media award, Sophie is now a highly sought after business blogger with a niche for guiding businesses on how to grow their online social media presence, brand reputation and sales via intelligent content and digital marketing campaigns.