Social media has changed the way we talk and interact with others across the past couple of decades. In an age where technological evolution has seen us continue to adapt and evolve, there are likely to be more changes on the horizon. Let’s look at a handful of things to anticipate on social media heading into 2018.
1. Growing influence of Generation Z
Generation Z is the name given to “millennials”, who were born in roughly the mid-nineties. Having grown up at a time when technology had shaped the world around them, they naturally have more of an intrinsic tie to the social media platforms which dominate society.
With Adweek suggesting that most Gen-Zers will check social media 100 times a day, it stands to reason that social platforms will change to accommodate this specific demographic. That could mean more garish ad campaigns, or a totally new approach to content from leading brands on the likes of Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
2. More engagement between brands and customers
On that note, expect to see brands reaching out and engaging individually with consumers more regularly. With users already realising the benefits of direct messaging to a brand, this trend is likely to increase in the coming year.
Providing a personally tailored response to customers has proven successful for companies in the past, with organisations being able to both address accomplishments of consumers (in the process promoting themselves), as well as respond to criticism with a public solution.
3. Companies using messaging platforms
It certainly wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest people are becoming more reliant on social media platforms as their primary communication channel. Ding reports just 39% of people stay in touch via the phone, with the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook serving as most peoples’ first port of call.
Don’t be surprised to see companies evolving to match this trend, with contact numbers and emails replaced by dedicated and 24/7-manned social media accounts. Let’s face it, it would be a lot easier to open Facebook and directly message someone to get a quick fix.
4. Social listening tools
Companies are paying more attention to what other people are saying on social media. Using specific tools, they’re able to track the keywords which people are typing in their conversations.
Using this data, organisations will be able to concentrate their efforts on targeting certain terms or phrases by incorporating them into their advertising campaigns. Big Brother is watching you – but at least you’ll be able to find the new pair of shoes you want more easily.
5. Twitter needs to adapt
Twitter is slowly beginning to lag behind. While the likes of Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook continue to grow, the same can’t be said of Twitter. The Blue Bird Brand is the slowest growing of the leading names and is plummeting in value.
Reuters reported a net loss for the last quarter of 2017 of $167.1 million, while stocks fell by as much as 23 cents per share. Of all the leading social names, Twitter has arguably done the least to spice up their approach since their inception. Increasing character count from 140 to 280 is a start. Where will they go from here?
Be sure to watch out for some of these changes as we head further into 2018. The world keeps turning, so don’t expect your favourite social platforms to remain stationary forever.