Home Column How to leverage the most important social media trends in 2018

How to leverage the most important social media trends in 2018

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michael gubertiWith 2018 arrived, let’s look at the most significant trends emerging in one of the fastest moving industries in the world: social media.

The dominant form of media consumption comes via your cellphone, demanding that you create mobile-friendly content. For anyone with a website not yet optimized for mobile viewing, please convert your formatting quickly. Swift implementation of high-performing tactics will crown the winners of social media in 2018.

So, which strategies should you implement?

  1. Leverage Stories (the new Posts) & Groups (the new Pages)

Stories are quickly becoming the new version of posts and groups are growing into what pages formerly were. This conversation centers around reach. Facebook and other social networks are continuing to reduce the number of people who see a business page’s organic posts. This development has been going on for years, annually prompting a flurry of articles touting something to the effect of, “Publishers See Another Decline in Reach On Facebook.”

If you want to engage more people, use the ephemeral nature of Stories. These videos and images expire after 24 hours, instilling a sense of urgency if your audience wants to view the content. Instagram, a member of Facebook’s family of apps, achieved so much success with Stories that its parent company decided to bring them into its platform.

Facebook Groups are the second piece of this strategy. Their organic reach far surpasses that of Facebook Pages. This shift occurred when social networks decided to increase their advertising business, a goal achieved by limiting the organic reach of regular content. Thus,business owners now need to pay more to reach a targeted audience.

Your mindset is important here. If you choose to see this as a detriment to your business, you’ll have a pessimistic view of social media. A high performer views this asan opportunity to learn how to profit from paid advertising.

You have access to the world’s most targeted ad platform. Now it’s about crafting creative material and follow-up sequences that convert the leads you’re paying for into clients. You might as well get used to this format as all social networks draw their primary source of revenue from advertising.

So what role do Groups play? They still allow you to reach your community members via high organic reach. To build a sense of community on Facebook, create a Group as opposed to a Business Page. Use the latter to advertise to cold audiences & engage people already on your subscriber list, which brings us to the second strategy.

  1. Use paid advertising to reach your ideal customer

Every major social network allows you to advertise on a level of specificity not previously seen in advertising. If you’re running a special, you can show a Facebook Ad featuring the deal to your email subscribers and individuals who match their demographic profiles. You show a promotion to both your current customers and people with characteristics precisely like them. The results from such a campaign can give you a wealth of insights into how your offer appeals to different audiences.

An ad format currently receiving stellar engagement comes via Facebook Messenger. As opposed to asking for an email address or other information, the ad format prompts users to start a conversation with a business. The Messenger Ad can have a “Learn more” or “Apply now” button that prompts the person receiving your ad to send a message to your business. One of the goals of any outreach or advertising effort is to build a quality relationship and start a conversation. This format encourages potential leads to send their questions and comments to your business, epitomizing the goal of modern marketing.

You can even build in a chatbot to respond to the lead as soon as they press “Send,” rewarding them with instant gratification. The message can read, “Thanks for contacting us! We’ll get back to you soon!”

  1. Publish videos, especially live ones

Cisco projects that 82 percent of consumer internet traffic will be video by 2020. Will they be watching your videos or those of your nearest competitor?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said, “Video is a megatrend, almost as big as mobile.” The content creators who consistently produce engaging, high-value videos will reap the benefits of this shift in consumer behavior.

If you invert the word “now,” you get “won.” Take action now by installing these strategies into your promotional plan so you can win on social media in 2018.

Michael Guberti is the founder of Smart Business People Services, a digital marketing agency that empowers entrepreneurs to grow their business, and co-founder of Guberti Giving Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports youth, single mothers and veterans. He can be reached at Michael@MichaelGuberti.com or at 914-722-6005.

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