The New Year will bring challenges to business owners, and the continued digital marketing revolution will be there to help—or hurt.

Just like last year, we expect plenty of changes to impact your business’ social media channels. Here are some of the top trends we’re predicting:

Shrinkage. You probably noticed last year that the number of people you could reach without paying for it decreased dramatically. That reduction in organic reach will continue in 2018. In fact, this year might see the complete elimination of free exposure, due to changing algorithms on platforms like Facebook. There is also the impact of the reversal of the Net Neutrality protections to take into account—the way that shakes out will determine how many people can reach the Internet, at all, or at least the portions your business is popular on. Expect to pay to increase your reach, and budget accordingly.

Blink and you’ll miss it. With the evolution of sites like Snapchat and Instagram, as well as the fear of old content never going away (how many times have you heard the phrase: “That tweet didn’t age well?”), there will be more short-lived, or ephemeral content. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; there’s a presumption that that kind of here-and-gone content is more authentic, and it drives more and more people to their social media feeds more often for fearing missing the next big viral video. You might want to look into one of those channels, if you haven’t already, or try Facebook’s Messenger Day.

Skynet is born. Okay, so comparing the advancement of chat bots to the origin of the evil machine empire in the Terminator movie franchise might be a bit of a stretch. Still, we expect to see more automated features like automatic messengers and replies gain popularity. These can be good things, because they can reduce the amount of time required to spend on social media (or at least, in the form of automatic replies, give you a chance to think up some responses). They can also be off-putting, as anyone who has sent out an automatic reply email can attest. Use them sparingly, and only to foster more personal relationships.

More ad transparency. Facebook’s announcement last year of its advertising principles was a bit of a curious decision because nobody was directly asking for it. Let’s face it, though, we live in suspicious times and more and more people will want to know what kinds of decisions go into the advertising policies on social media networks. That means it’s a good idea to come up with a quick one of your own.

Virtual reality. As social media channels develop more and more in-depth content, expect some kind of virtual reality to come into play during 2018.  It’s a natural progression because social media channels have attempted to be more and more engaging, to offer a more complete experience. What could be more complete than that?

Those are a few of our predictions. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!

 

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