3 SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2018

Let's look at 3 trends for 2018 that will help you organize your digital marketing goals for the new year.

 1. Robust Social Analytics

Social Media ROI is not strictly transactional but more about the relationships you build via your social media channels. With access to robust social analytics in 2018, it signals more opportunity for companies to personalize the content they are providing.

Nobody likes content that's irrelevant to the brand’s story. This is especially true when you're interacting with a brand you know and love -- the last thing you want is a piece of generic content. In fact, nearly 3 out of 4 of us get frustrated when content isn't relevant to our interests

Improved personalization for audiences is a major trend in content marketing, and it extends to social media, too. As social platforms evolve, their analytics tools and business-specific features will become more detailed and valuable to brands.

This kind of data means brands will have the insights to craft better and more personalized content for their audiences. It's past time for marketers to be distributing content that truly speaks to and engages audiences on a personal level; social media and analytics will help make that easier. Try out @SproutSocial (my referral link) to get access to robust analytics tools.

2. Multi-channel Overlap

Timed visual content is the main feature of Snapchat and Instagram - however, the main points of differentiation between these two platforms are audience and reach. Instagram Stories has a significantly wider reach and receives more engagement; especially with links and polls now being added to the Instastory features. Instagram influencers see up to 10 percent of their audience members open their Instagram Stories on a daily basis, which is more than can be said for Snapchat.

In addition, Snapchat dominates with younger generations.

Invest in the platforms that will benefit you. Take advantage of analytics and reporting features to identify which platforms could offer you the best return, and start there. (See above regarding social media analytics)

3. Social Listening

It is well-known amongst digital marketers that your brand is not what you say about your brand, but, what your audience is saying. This includes keeping an eye on your competitors and learning from them. You should already be tracking what kind of content your competition is posting on social media. But for 2018, make sure you monitor their mentions and what people are saying about them.

- Make a list of your competitors for monitoring and awareness
- Carve out a time each week to monitor what the industry is saying to stay ahead
- Speak from your heart

Social listening can give you valuable information about your competitors' performance and your own audience that you can use to your advantage in your content strategy.