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Is your 2018 social media strategy on trend?

Chatbots, the mobile market, user demographics and influencer-friendly video. Here are four ways to ensure your social media strategy is up to scratch in 2018.

Social media advertising is expected to hit $50 billion by 2019 − that’s 20% of all internet advertising. In addition, ad agency Zenith expects social media advertising on sites such as Facebook and Snapchat to overtake newspaper ad revenues by 2020.

Facebook alone has an estimated market capitalisation of $434 billion.

As a result, an inspired social media strategy is no longer just a cute accessory – it’s a business fundamental.

“Social media gives your brand an incredible opportunity to attract attention to your brand, provided you do it right,” says Jonathan Long, founder of online marketing agency Market Domination Media. “You either take full advantage of the opportunity or your competitors will.”

Long identifies four significant social media trends that entrepreneurs need to leverage in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Learn how to master chatbots

Chatbots, computer programmes that use artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct human-like conversations, are revolutionising the customer service industry.

As such, they can be an invaluable and cost-effective way of enhancing a company’s social media marketing.

“Consumers demand instant replies to their questions and concerns, and they now turn to social media any time they want something,” confirms Long. “The sooner you can reply, the better, as you satisfy the desire for instant gratification.

“Chatbots allow you to interact instantly, which is why Facebook Messenger bots especially are becoming so popular.”

The future is mobile

Facebook makes 84% of its advertising revenue from mobile devices. Moreover, image apps Instagram and Snapchat are also mobile-focused social media platforms.

Therefore, social media campaigns must contain calls-to-action that have the mobile user in mind.

“The trend of mobile use dominating social media is only going to increase, so prepare yourself now,” advises Long.

Same difference

Can apps with similar features survive? Long thinks so, and again points to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as examples.

“From the outside looking in, they might seem similar enough to possibly eliminate one from the mix, but each platform has different reach abilities and different audiences,” Long explains.

“While the features might become more similar across different social platforms, you can’t eliminate a social media channel based on features alone,” he adds. “Doing so can possibly eliminate your ability to reach certain demographics and audiences.”

Make video part of your social media strategy

“When done right, there isn’t a bigger bang for your social media marketing dollar,” says Long of video content.

As a result, businesses should integrate video into their social media strategy, as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have done.

“Everyone knows that video content is hot right now, and Facebook ads that feature video are attracting more engagement, which then amplifies the organic exposure,” says Long.

“I can already see brands and entrepreneurs start to get more involved with Snapchat, myself included,” he continues. “They are becoming more influencer-friendly, which will contribute to introducing it to a much larger group of users outside of the younger demographic.”

To find out how technology is transforming the banking industry, check out the latest edition of Future Banking.

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