We’ve talked about general marketing trends to expect and how blogging will continue to be as important as ever in the coming year. What about social media, though? Are some of the most popular techniques starting to lose steam? What new trends will take the place of the strategies that don’t get big results anymore?
Predicting the future is tough, but we can take a look at what’s already becoming popular and give a pretty good guess if we think that tactic will continue to be popular in 2018. So, what do we expect the social marketing trends to be in the New Year? Let’s take a look.
Overlapping Social Platforms
Marketers will still need to publish content to multiple platforms, depending on their target audience. There’s still not one single social platform that reaches all potential buyers. Instagram may be climbing up there with 800 million active users, but that could never compare to Facebook’s 2 billion monthly users. Beyond that, there is still a small but loyal group of holdouts hanging on to Snapchat, regardless of how popular Instagram has become.
How can you still reach everyone? By crafting messages for the various platforms your buyers are most likely to use. Just don’t make the mistake of overdoing your platform choices. There’s no need to use every single option available to you, especially if you won’t find many of your target buyer persona there.
It’s easy to set it and forget it when it comes to scheduling your social media posts. That doesn’t help you stay on top of what your buyers are looking for, though. Believe it or not, your customers are talking about you on social media. If you don’t hear the chatter, it’s because you’re not listening.
Take some time to seek out the posts about your business. In some cases, you’ll be tagged, and that makes the posts easier to find. Sometimes, however, you’ll be mentioned without a tag. You might have to get a little more creative with your searches in order to find these posts. Use keywords that include your industry, your products, and your company name to dig up all of them. There are also some tools that could help you get better at hearing the chatter about your brand.
Beyond learning what your current buyers say about you, you can also seek out potential future customers with social listening. Someone out there is looking for what you sell. If you’re paying attention to the questions, you can jump in with the answers before they find someone else to buy from.
Learn About Chat Bots
Chat bots sound so futuristic that it’s hard to wrap our heads around the possibilities available to us. It’s possible right now to let a chat bot handle many of the day-to-day questions you receive from your customers. With a little customization, the bot can answer FAQs, walk customers through billing issues, provide suggestions for products, and more.
There are actually some chat bots available to even the least tech savvy of us, but you might have to spend some time finding the right option for you. The easiest chat bots can be installed for Facebook messenger. These can be so simple as to let your visitors know that a message has been received and that you’ll respond as soon as possible. This helps to keep your message/answer rate high without running you ragged to answer messages at all hours of the day.
Facebook offers its own chat bot through its developer site. You can customize these to an extent so that your visitors get immediate engagement whenever they reach out. If you’d like to find something a little more substantial, BotFuel is another option that walks you through creating a customized bot. ManyChat is another popular option that can be installed by just about anyone.
Still other chat bots can be installed on your websites to conduct customer service activities in your stead. Some learn as they go, while others can be fully programmed before you launch. Just be sure you fully understand the chat bot before you set it loose on your business. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best, at least for now.
Some other trends will also start to make their way to the forefront, but these are the ones we expect to see the most of in the coming year. Of course, you’ll want to keep focusing on video marketing and influencer marketing, as these will likely continue to grow in popularity, especially on social platforms. Other trends from past year may continue to exit the building, such as Twitter, which hasn’t grown much lately.
If you need some help taking advantage of the trends 2018 will bring to social marketing, just give us a call. We’ll help you determine which of the available platforms are best for your business, learn how to listen on those social platforms, and even explore chat bots with you. Whatever you need, we’re here for you.