Stay updated and increase your visibility by testing out these four social media strategies in 2018.

As a digital marketer, you have to know the latest trends in social media marketing. Stay up-to-date with current and upcoming trends.

Keep in mind that one social media marketing strategy won’t be as effective this year as it was last year.

Even just a month can make a difference in your digital marketing tactics, with the recent changes to Facebook being a big example of this. Because of Facebook’s historical share in the social media world, their changes affect the industry.

A quick summary of Facebook’s changes:

  • Facebook news feed algorithms will now deprioritize public content (publisher, media, advertising)
  • Deprioritization will also focus on passive content (videos, ads, memes, and gifs that don’t actively engage user response)
  • Facebook news feed algorithms will now prioritize posts that elicit “meaningful conversation”
  • Long comments and posts with many comments will be more visible and valuable than likes and shares
  • Explicit calls for engagement will be deprioritized

The entire world wide web will have to respond to these changes. Now, more than ever, creating quality, original content with unique research will be a baseline for good ROI in content marketing.

Of course, even after you learn these changes, research and be aware of the reasons why one trend has weakened. Go further and understand why another remains stronger than ever.

Throughout the digital (and physical) world, change is the only constant. Change comes in two forms. The first is instantaneous change like world events, family tragedies, or just finding out that your favorite flavor slushie has been discontinued.

The other type, slow progression, is a much more subtle form of change. Examples include the slow conversion of entertainment from cable-based media to streaming sites and pirate downloads.

In the modern day, a social media platform can unexpectedly shut down, or another can suddenly appear in the blink of an eye. However, it’s more common for certain social media platforms to slowly fall out of favor like the infamous Bebo, the immortal and irrelevant MySpace, or the unfortunate Vine.

With the current digital age of advertising, you never know what’s going to happen next. That’s why it’s important to be ahead of the curve when it comes to planning digital marketing strategies of the future.

Take a Look at These 4 Social Media Strategies to Test out in 2018:

1. Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays, artificial intelligence is not a concept confined solely to science-fiction. All you have to do is Face ID your iPhone X or hire an automated lawyer to see that AI is more present than ever.

There is also a litany of different forms of AI tearing through every social media platform. These platforms are a wealth of information that AI needs to learn. It’s important to dispel the mystery and use automation to make the most of your own strategies.

Below are two of the most important applications of AI for social media marketing.

Data Interpreters

This is one of the most important forms of AI on the internet today. These AI collect, interpret and analyze data from different social media platforms to provide information on customers’ behaviors.

Compared to other tech types, marketers expect AI use will increase by 53% over the next two years.

marketers expect AI use will increase by 53% over the next two years.Click To Tweet

The crowded spaces, the noise, and the cat memes sometimes make social media a hard place to reach the right people. With the help of AI, it’s easier than ever to find your target audience. Their constant consideration of social data helps you determine user opinions and thoughts.

As Kate Kay of AdAge writes: “For marketing purposes, AI typically manifests as software that serves up the most optimized version of a display ad, predicts the best time to cold-call a sales prospect or bestows human-like conversational skills on chatbots.

Google Analytics has a number of tools you can see to track how your audience is interacting with your web pages.

Data interpreters are comprised of crawlers, compilers, and other algorithms. Together, they create monitoring tools that keep track of what people think about your brand. With the given data, you will be able to design your social media marketing strategy more effectively around your target audience.

Buffer Analytics Dashboard
Buffer.com

For social media specifically, check out social media management tools Buffer and Hootsuite.

Content Optimizers

AI programs can also help in optimizing content. For example, intelligent bots can use story engagement data to decide which story among hundreds of stories deserve attention and money.

Some larger publications including AP and The Washington Post are even using AI to create more simple content like financial reports.

Quill Natural Science
Quill | Natural Science

Newspapers use other AI programs to sift through data. This includes the ever-growing group of stories about lost neighborhood cats, little league tournaments, and city council decisions. Algorithms are well-trained enough to find the highest quality stories with the most potential for increased readership.

These AI programs are here to help you perform tasks easier and more accurately so that you can focus on the more important things.

As this software progresses, it will become more important than ever to use AI to optimize your research and marketing techniques to their highest standards.

2. Customer Service

Tying in with AI, customer service has also seen some major changes in recent years thanks to automated systems.

The most vital development in the use of AI in customer service is chatbots. Instead of humans, these chatbots often converse with customers through texts or recorded audio systems.

Chatbots for Microsoft Dynamics 365 announced at Microsoft Ignite 2017
Microsoft | www.microsoft.com

By performing automated tasks, customer service becomes far more simplified and causes overhead costs to plummet. Chatbots provide a way for businesses to increase the number of people they can cater to with a much smaller workforce. However, these systems still have a number of issues and many customers find them irritating so it’s important to not rely on them too heavily.

Customer service is one of the most critical aspects of a business. Every year, its demand keeps growing and it’s expected to grow even more in the future.

For every business or company, customers expect fast responses even if business hours are over. In an oversaturated market of services and products, it’s becoming more common than ever for customers to become dissatisfied. This causes them to jump ship over to your competitors.

Thanks to social media, every customer complaint and conversation is made public. Even the premise that “the customer is always right” has evolved. You have to please the customer as well as the people reading your conversation.

Companies also assume personalities on social media to appear relatable and engaging. Thanks to the humor-focused nature of social media, it’s now more common for these accounts to not always agree with the customer.

The best example of this sassy and humor based approach to customer service is the Twitter account for Wendy’s: a gold mine of borderline abusive customer service.

An example of Wendy's Twitter persona
Wendy’s | Twitter

In general, however, most social media marketers aim to go viral in a positive way while encouraging replies that highlight the company’s personality. In this approach, it’s always good to be a bit experimental with your social media posts. Just make sure you know what you’re doing.

3. Organic Social Media Reach

Compared to the others, organic social media reach is not as inspiring and can be much more difficult on most platforms. Ad spending on social media is at an all-time high and make sure that your social media budget reflects this.

reddit front page
Red number key: 1. Number of upvotes (downvotes are in the negatives) 2. Example of a pay-for-promotion post 3. (A) indicates an administrator user, speaking on behalf of Reddit | Reddit Homepage | Reddit.com

However, the new changes to Facebook’s algorithms will cause a huge stir in this area. As we mentioned, Facebook announced that they were pivoting the focus of their company from time spent on their site to time spent actively engaging with content during sessions.

This means that it’s no longer enough for ads to be visually engaging, they also have to invite a response and some form of engagement from the user.

This is a huge change for Facebook’s approach and is going to alter the way most companies promote and advertise their projects online.

As Instagram is owned by Facebook, it’s likely that we will eventually see algorithm changes there too in the near future.

To get the best idea on how to deal with these changes, read up on our full guide here.

It’s also important to diversify your platforms in this regard. Don’t spend all your time on one social media site and, instead, split your budget and time among as many popular platforms as possible.

4. Live Videos

Part of the Facebook Shift we’ve been talking about concerns video content. We’ve talked about it before: video is king of content.

Yet, Facebook sees videos as passive content. It is often short and interesting but not enough to elicit comments and meaningful engagement. Instead, people typically just like or share videos. Facebook will start deprioritizing these videos.

Never fear! Facebook also turned the focus toward live videos and live streaming. Inviting users into a candid experience can trigger conversation and truly engage them.

Videos are the overwhelming majority of content on most social media sites. In 2017 alone, video marketing has become the central form of advertising on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram–the four horsemen of the social media world.

With 1,200% more shares than other media forms, videos are dominating the social media world. By 2019, it’s estimated that 80% of internet traffic will come from videos.

80% of #internet #content will be #video by next year.Click To Tweet

No matter what your product is, you will certainly lose out if you do not have a video marketing strategy.

Already, YouTube is getting less daily minutes watched than Facebook, which shows the gradual but massive change which is happening online at the moment.

Videos are getting shorter than ever, and it’s important that your message is as impactful as possible in the shortest amount of time.

In 2018, it’s time to integrate videos (and live videos in particular) into your content more than ever. Although text and image posts can be impactful, the potential of video content is far too large to ignore.

Above all, make sure you emphasize quality over quantity in these videos. One impactful video is worth a million boring posts that miss the mark.

Tying it all Together

An effective social media marketing strategy doesn’t mean implementing one, two, or all of the above tips. To really remain successful in the social media world, you must cover these bases and constantly look for new trends.

Although it’s one of the most turbulent forms of advertising out there, social media is also the best form of marketing. It will bring you exposure, popularity, and return on investment.

Social media marketing is an endless test of strategies. What’s more, social media strategies are never written in stone. Yet, there are plenty of signs to show you the way.

Utilizing AI programs and experimenting with your customer service techniques is the best start you can give your social media platforms. Use this base to post as many high-quality videos as you can.

This should be the goal of all of your content: starting a meaningful conversation with and between users.

2018 will certainly be an important year in digital marketing as platforms begin to promote user engagement and interaction rather than just the number of views or time spent on a video. Get ahead of this trend.

Do you have any other tips and tricks when it comes to digital marketing? What do you see as the “next big thing” in online trends?

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