Socializing with friends or advertising your brand, are no longer done how they used to be. Modern people live busy and complicated lives, so it comes naturally that they turn to technology in their desire to ease their existence.
Easy to obtain and share information, easy to stay in touch with friends or the people you admire, easy to spice up your life and so on, no wonder that social media got to the point of becoming a necessity, as it provides to you the possibility of being part of a modern group.
People’s interest in social media caught the attention of different businesses that acknowledged the immense potential they held and oriented their marketing strategies towards them.
Being social, even more, being active on social media platforms became a must in the struggle for survival in this dynamic and fast paced environment. While using such platforms won’t guarantee you success, it gives you the opportunity to rise above what, prior to social media, would have been impossible for some companies, but now with just a click, being able to reach billions worldwide.
Following that note, we are looking at how Social Media trends have evolved thus far.
1.Augmented reality is becoming very popular
What in the past was topic of SF movies, nowadays is reality. It did not reach its maximum potential, but as rapidly as the technology evolves, it is not excluded that soon we will live in the future presented in past SF movies. The future is already here, and people have embraced it.
Social Media is part of this future present and its highest potential is yet to be known. In the meantime, augmented reality is taking over our phones, because let’s face it they are part of our life, routine, they are in a way our best friend. As a best friend you need to be there for the needy and for the fun parts. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and other social platforms decided to spice up photos and videos with the help of augmented reality. We all know those adorable filters that transform your face into a cute little dog, bunny and many more, when using the camera. Next step will be for sure selfies with your idol or best friend using augmented reality.
2.Instagram Stories are trending
Though relatively new, Instagram stories became so loved by every instagramer, that it’s no surprise that businesses allocated people and time, to promote their brands on Instagram. This decision proved to be very successful for old and new brands, as they are reaching a higher number of people and it is much easier to attract their interest online rather than via a normal TV commercial. Let’s face it, social media is seen way more interesting than watching TV or reading a newspaper. Instagram Stories are expected to increase in popularity and developers will continue improving the platform for this trend to be possible.
3.Influencer marketing increase
It is no secret that some people are born to be in the spotlight, they have the ability to make other people love and appreciate them, in a way, they are true leaders with a loyal fan base. Does not matter if you are a well-known singer, actor or if you are a heath guru, if you know how to reach people’s interest, your will most certainly become an example for them and they will search directly or indirectly for your approval. Brands most certainly observed this behavior and began hiring influencers to promote their products by means of integrating those in the influencer’s life. Let’s face it, everybody wants to own what their idol has; it is a way of making that person seem closer to you.
Influencer marketing on social media is beginning to gain more and more terrain, and it may reach more people than normal advertising channels. What’s a more funny and personal way to make the general public aware of your brand than through influent and loved people. When you love that person, it is normal that you are more open and trustfully when you are presented with a new brand or product related to them.
4.Video/Live Streaming content in high demand
Images speak more than words, and a more direct approach to customers will always attract more people. Live streaming is a direct approach, as brands transmit live important events like launching a new product or campaigns, or something like the 10th anniversary party of the firm. Why would you do that? Well simple, people like to feel special and by reaching to them through live transmissions, you allow them to take a peek into your life and this makes them wanted and important.
Stay in contact regularly with your fans through social media, as there you are more likely to find them open and willing, allow them to see that you are doing everything you can to make them happy and allow them to reach you with comments and take them in consideration.
Besides businesses, live streaming is an easy way to reach your friends and family, without posting for everyone in particular. For example, if you go on vacation and you want to show them how you are enjoying yourself but at the same time tell them how much you miss them, you livestream from where you are and respond to their comments verbally in the transmission. The most used live streaming platform is Facebook.
For sure, live streaming will be more and more used and improvements added to it.
5.Chatbots integrated to social media
Like with everything, the way brands respond to customers via messages has changed. Chatbots, though relatively old, have gone through a process of modernization and been integrated into social media platforms, in order to respond to what today’s society needs.
When you are using a chatbot to make contact with a certain business, you are actually talking to a computer program, not a human being. These chatbots are developed in order to recognize words and phrases, and they respond using prewritten answers. A good example of the utility of chatbots is seen with Pizza Hut, that allows customers to order food through this channel. This has proven so far to be cost and time effective.
The future is set to use more artificial intelligence and less actual people and chatbots are here to support this trend.
6.Increase interest in Generation Z
Out with the old, in with the new. Times and interests change, people change, what is now important tomorrow maybe second choice, so it is the same thing with generations. Not so long-ago, Millennials where the central focus of everything due to the fact that they were the first generation to go through a big process in thinking and in living of detaching from the previous generations. Differences are always there when you compare generations, but in the case of millennials, these differences where bigger and more noticeable due to their new way of thinking, living and in great part due to increase of technology.
Millennials might be still important for brands, but Generation Z is coming at a wild pace and will soon lead and become the primary target for companies. They are young, at the beginning of their carrier so they are likely to spend more on products and services. Also, their interest into social media is so high that businesses that promote themselves on social platforms have all the chances in the world to catch their interest. It is expected for businesses to invest more in platforms loved by Generation Z.
7.Paid advertisement on social media platforms
By now companies understand the need of being socially active on media platforms, and a high percentage owns at least a Facebook account, if not more on different social platforms. While this is a positive thing, to own an account and keep in touch with clients or potential clients through it, this is not enough.
Brands have already embraced the idea of paying advertisements on the most used social platforms, like Facebook, which can be personalized based on available budget, targeted groups and period of times, all taken in consideration as for the social impact of the add to bring more awareness and clients for the brand. Paying ads have proved already to be a gold mine and the marketing teams are always working on how to make these ads even more efficient.
Probably in the near future, every business small or big, will allocate budget for this kind of advertising campaigns.
Every conversation that you have with you friends using social media platforms is listened by companies using special listening tools. Yes, you are reading this right. But what is the purpose of this intimacy trespassing? Well it is quite simple, companies gather information about customers likes, dislikes, what they want and don’t and more importantly they obtain a sincere opinion in regard to their brand/product.
The information gathered is really useful for the marketing departments that can adjust their campaigns based on the customer needs and also will help them target the proper audience for their services.
9.Increase of user-generated content
Have you heard of free advertising for your brand? Well that is possible and it is increasing in popularity. While people’s interest in social media platforms increased, their means of posting things about themselves and their doings have gone to a constant makeover.
People are inspired to use hashtags and photos, and post more about your brand or product on social media platforms. Repost their posts on your company’s profile as this will encourage others to post about you and also will make them feel heard and appreciated.
For example, it is very popular among Facebook users to post the company and coffee brand they like, also featuring photos of themselves enjoying the atmosphere and products. Repost this by showing to other customers and targeted audience, that whoever takes the time to visit your coffee shop enjoy everything to the fullest.
10.Governance policies are getting stronger
Reputation is as important to people and businesses as is to social media platforms. You need to offer transparency and to make people believe you by making yourself trustworthy.
The fact that social media is a very easy and useful way to get to the general public caught not also the attention of wannabe stars and businesses but also of governments and political groups. It was more than once that platforms as Facebook and Twitter were used for propaganda campaigns, but the most disturbing part is the usage of Facebook in advertising Russian meddling. Facebook even turned over some ads that were thought to be connected to Russian interference which put the problem on pause but as expected directed budget and personnel in developing new AI and human forms of surveillance.
Trust is everything and social platforms know this very well.
People are changing in time, trends are evolving thus it is just a matter of time before we will live the future we imagine today.