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Social media trends in 2018: AI, mobile and the rise of micro-infuencers

Social & Digital

Social media trends in 2018: AI, mobile and the rise of micro-infuencers

AI will drive customer service, mobile optimisation will continue to be key and ‘fake news’ will influence social strategy.
Social media management platform Hootsuite released its 2018 ‘Social Trends Report’, zeroing in on key trends in social media for businesses and marketers to watch out for. Based on a survey of over 300 social marketing practitioners and qualitative interviews with over 35 industry specialists, Report, now in its third year, reveals five distinct trends which will drive social media activity in 2018 as well as three key challenges:

The five key trends:

  1. The rise of AI: According to the report, while it’s still unclear whether customers will value these human-machine engagements, brands will increasingly use AI strategies to prioritise personalisation at scale. It is, however, imperative for marketers to understand the far-reaching changes AI will bring to social marketing such as predictive analytics and more. 
  2. Trust declines, peer influence rises: ‘Fake news’ has eroded public’s trust in the mainstream media. Consumers are moving away from trusting institutions, vanity metrics, and mega-influencer celebrities, and moving towards smaller and authentic real customer communities.
  3. The evolution of social ROI: 56% of those surveyed said that not being able to prove the ROI of social media made it challenging for their organisations to be successful with their social media strategies. In 2018, the alignment between business goals and social measurement will be more critical than ever.
  4. Mobile fuels the growth of social TV: TV-style content will be king and brands will need to consider how they can become mobile optimised broadcasters as traditional TV viewership continues to fall.
  5. The promise (and reality) of social data: Social listening has always been a valuable tool however organisations will need to recalculate the effort and resources they’ll need to invest to turn social data into a true source of customer insights that can be used across the business.

Three key challenges facing marketers:

  1. Sustainable solutions to declining organic reach: There is an ongoing decrease in organic reach and marketers will have to fight for budget to ensure their campaigns have the reach and connect with their target audiences.
  2. Saturation of social videos: Video creation is no longer just an advantage; it is now a minimum requirement for campaigns. Metrics need to reflect business value and ROI, not network-specific metrics based on the features and ad formats suggested by social networks.
  3. Brands fatigue from new tools and tactics: As one of the most common complaints for consumers and businesses, the report found there is a fatigue with the endless list of new tactics, tools and content formats. Marketers will need to be selective and strategic about where they invest their time and budgets to create impact.



Image copyright: Mirko Vitali/ 123RF.com


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