Social media was a dominant business tool in 2017, with ad revenue totaling $41 billion dollars (Statistia). In this entry, we’ll cover some trends throughout the social media landscape that businesses can take advantage of to attract new customers.
According to eMarketer, digital ad spending is projected to reach $72 billion in 2018, surpassing television for the first time in history.
People are spending more time on social networks than ever before. Can you blame them? Live streaming video with their best friends, messaging apps that double as bank accounts, and unforgettable virtual reality experiences that immerse you in far-away worlds—why wouldn’t you want to spend more time on them?
Another demographic taking advantage of these trends? Businesses. Here are 2018’s biggest social media trends for business and how to use them to your advantage:
Customer Service via Messenger Apps
Hubspot’s research shows that messaging apps have over 4 billion users worldwide. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat are more than just ways for kids to chat with each other. In fact, they are revolutionizing customer service. Nobody wants to wait on hold, especially millennials. A chatbot can handle the repetitive queries and drastically reduce overhead spending. Messaging is 15 times more cost-effective than calling.
What your business should do: Instead of making it a one-way street where you wait for customers to ask questions, why not flip the script and use your messaging app to make sales suggestions—for example, a cable company can use messenger to suggest packages based on a user’s recent posts.
Facebook Watch Parties
Facebook claims that its Live Videos get six times more engagement than regular ones. In 2018, Facebook’s new video feature, Watch Party, will gain steam and become a powerful business tool. A Watch Party is when users watch the same video (live or not) in a private “room” with their friends. They can chat about the video, comment, and have a great time. It’s a prime opportunity for businesses to showcase products or services. As a business, you should aim to take advantage of this by incorporating more video overall into your strategy, not just Watch Parties.
What your business should do: Live video product launches, live video demonstrations, exclusive Watch Parties, and even live Q&A sessions!
Monetization Will Become More Difficult
Facebook, Twitter, and Google (via YouTube) were heavily criticized for how they handled the extreme content created regarding the 2016 U.S. presidential election. YouTube answered by making it more difficult to monetize their content. You now need 4,000 hours of watch time over the past year in addition to 1,000 channel subscribers. This will make it more difficult for brands to become visible; however, it will also chase out much of the competition. As a business, you should continue honing in your advertising strategy and creating quality content.
As social media evolves, businesses must adapt. Learning how to effectively use these new features to reach your audience will give you a major edge over your competition. If a team of expert social media managers with eyes on the future sounds like something you’d be interested in, let BlueHat Marketing know.