2018 So­cial Me­dia Trend Fore­cast

Cu­ri­ous to find out which so­cial me­dia trends are likely to dom­i­nate the dig­i­tal world in 2018? Make sure to read our hand­picked fore­cast of this year’s most promis­ing trends.

ArabAd - - CONTENTS - By Christina Fakhry

MAR­KETERS TURN TO UNTRADITIONAL AD STRATE­GIES

This trend is char­ac­ter­ized by a con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing, which flour­ished to un­prece­dented heights last year and only seems to be go­ing stronger, no­tably in light of re­cent stud­ies high­light­ing the sub­stan­tial im­pact of this non-tra­di­tional on­line ad­ver­tis­ing strat­egy. A re­cent study by in­flu­encer mar­ket­ing plat­form gen.video, for in­stance, re­ported that 90 per­cent of sur­veyed so­cial me­dia users are in­flu­enced to make a pur­chase af­ter see­ing con­tent on so­cial me­dia while 33 per­cent cited on­line in­flu­encers are their most trusted source of shop­ping ad­vice.

IN­STA­GRAM STO­RIES WIT­NESS AN UPSURGE IN POPULARITY

In­sta­gram has man­aged to grow its ac­tive user-base by al­most 160 per­cent since the launch of Sto­ries. The ex­pir­ing fea­ture that kicked off in Au­gust 2016 cur­rently boasts over 300 mil­lion daily users and is ex­pected to be­come even more pop­u­lar in 2018, echo­ing the un­prece­dented rise in dis­ap­pear­ing on­line con­tent, which fig­ured among last year’s big­gest so­cial me­dia trends and re­mains in full swing to date.

BRANDS SEEK OUT IN­NO­VA­TIVE AP­PROACHES TO PRO­MOT­ING CON­TENT

In or­der to counter brand/so­cial me­dia fa­tigue, an emerg­ing dig­i­tal phe­nom­e­non by which con­sumers are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­mune to spon­sored on­line con­tent, mar­keters are ex­pected to up their game by seek­ing out new/in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to pro­mot­ing con­tent and in­vest­ing more ef­fort in ‘per­son­al­iz­ing’ their re­la­tion­ship with con­sumers.

STANDARDIZED CON­TENT IS RE­PLACED WITH LO­CAL/PER­SONAL STO­RIES

In line with the above trend, re­searchers have de­tected a ten­dency to­wards more lo­cal/ per­sonal sto­ries as op­posed to standardized/ gen­eral con­tent. This calls for mar­keters to nar­row down in­stead of scal­ing up i.e. turn to more spe­cific con­tent themes/types that re­flect the cul­ture/in­ter­est of their in­tended au­di­ence and tai­lor their mes­sages to clearly iden­ti­fi­able au­di­ence pa­ram­e­ters.

LIVE STREAM­ING SURGE SET TO BE­COME BIG­GER

It is no se­cret that live stream­ing has be­come markedly pop­u­lar in re­cent years, no­tably af­ter pop­u­lar so­cial net­works like Face­book and In­sta­gram in­tro­duced their own suc­cess­ful live stream fea­tures. The trend is said to be­come even big­ger this year, no­tably with the par­al­lel rise in dig­i­tal hang­outs (on video chat apps like Housep­a­rty), which are es­sen­tially built around col­lec­tive live video ex­pe­ri­ences.

GAMIFICATION & VR IN­SPIRE NEW SO­CIAL ME­DIA EX­PE­RI­ENCES

VR has been one of the top dig­i­tal trends to watch in 2017 and its im­pact only prom­ises to grow wider this year, as gamification and VR tech­nolo­gies be­gin to fur­ther shape the on­line world through in­spir­ing a whole new range of cus­tom­ized/im­mer­sive so­cial me­dia ex­pe­ri­ences.

GEN Z STEALS THE SPOT­LIGHT

Af­ter years of fo­cus­ing on mil­len­ni­als (Gen Y), mar­keters in 2018 are ex­pected to shift their fo­cus (and bud­get) to­wards the younger gen­er­a­tion (Gen Z), which es­sen­tially grew up with so­cial me­dia, have al­ways lived in a per­pet­u­ally con­nected world and are start­ing to gain pur­chas­ing power.

SO­CIAL NET­WORKS INSTIGATE STRICTER GOVERNANCE POLI­CIES

Last but not least, so­cial me­dia ex­perts es­ti­mate that big so­cial net­works will take time this year to re­view their governance poli­cies and im­pose stricter codes of con­duct amid ris­ing pri­vacy con­cerns and on­go­ing user/me­dia crit­i­cism.

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