The year 2018 was a big one for social media.
Live streaming video became one of the most valuable social media tools for businesses in 2018. From product launches and live broadcasting of events, to employee training and engagement, some other aspects of social media that really took off last year are:
Instagram Stories. Instagram stories skyrocketed in 2018 — they are viewed/used by over 400 million people a day now, making it a great platform for mobile advertising.
Augmented Reality. One word: FILTERS. Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook — almost all the social media platforms — have augmented-reality features in the form of interactive filters, games, polls or even shopping. Businesses use these for mobile advertising as well.
Social Listening. The outrageous growth of social media over the past several years has finally made companies start caring enough to listen on social networks. They've begun monitoring what their customers (and competitors) like and don’t like, what they pay attention to and react to on social platforms.
Brand Call-Outs. Consumers are using social media as a platform to “call out” brands on the good, the bad and the ugly. Social forums give consumers a voice to complain about, or sing praise about, their experience with different brands, products and services.
So what does the future of social media have in store for us? Here are some of our predictions for 2019:
Live streaming and video content will become even more popular. About 80% of audiences said they would rather watch a video on a product than read about it. Did you know that video live streaming was already a $30.29 billion industry in 2016? By 2021, it's predicted to grow to $70.05 billion. Video and live streaming are where it's at, people. These areas have been growing and they will continue to grow. If you aren't utilizing video for your business, you need to start NOW.
Micro-influencers will be the new macro-influencers. Macro-influencers are celebrities or other famous people who have tens of thousands (or millions) of followers and use their social media presence to promote brand names for companies. Kylie Jenner is a good example of a macro-influencer. In 2019, we're starting to think smaller — smaller, but more real: enter micro-influencers. Those are regular, everyday people who are not famous but have lots of followers (under 10,000) on social media platforms. Micro-influencers are more relatable because they are "normal" people, and we're all more likely to take advice and product recommendations from a friend or peer who we can relate to rather than from a celebrity.
Chatbots will take over all things digital. Chatbots are interactive software platforms apps for live chat, email, etc. that respond and interact with customers in a human manner. In a survey by Oracle, 80% of respondents said their businesses already are, or will be, using chatbots by 2020 for marketing, sales, customer service, etc. Chatbots are beneficial to businesses because, unlike human employees, they are: available any time, able to handle multiple interactions at one time, cheaper because you don't have to pay them a salary, and they are never going to quit and leave you in need of hiring/training a new employee.
No matter what happens with social media in the future, there's one thing that's certain; it's quickly adapting to suit the needs of businesses all over the world.
If you need some help managing your social media, reach out to us.