Part Deux: Social Media Trends for 2018

Let's jump right in to what's trending for the new year!

Video, Video, Video and going LIVE

If you haven’t included Video in your digital strategy, now is the time. You’ve heard this over and over. Get on Facebook Live or post videos to your social platforms — and I’m not talking about long 5-minute videos either.

Everyone in small business should know that video content is popular and, therefore, important for brands. Why? Because it helps generate engagement and builds your following. I mentioned last month that social algorithms keep updating and showing the value of engagement, thus, video will only grow more valuable for your business.

Here’s what I’m seeing in my Sprout Social analytics, videos on Facebook receive higher engagement; I see more people commenting on them, and they get more likes and more shares. Ok, sure you don’t want to get on video… but sometimes you just have to do it. 2018 is the perfect time to start.

You can't deny how good video is at engaging audiences, even if it’s on your personal profile ——people tune in.

Thinking of another way to add video value to your digital strategy? Instagram's Stories feature and Snapchat's entire platform also gives you the chance to create video content and share it immediately.

With everything that is trending in digital strategy, video is only becoming more important. Having the ability to create that kind of content -- and the strategy to tie it to your written content for your blog and outside publications -- will be critical for 2018.

And another one...

Facebook is becoming almost entirely mobile; time to update your Business Page.

“It is predicted that 59 percent of U.S. users will access Facebook through mobile exclusively.” What does this mean for your business? 

Facebook was one of the last social media platforms that wasn't really designed from the beginning to be on mobile. Looking at popular apps like Instagram and Snapchat, we've seen the trend of mobile-only (or mostly mobile) social apps for a while.

You’re right, mobile optimization has been an industry best practice for savvy marketers  (like myself!) for a while. However, Facebook trends are pushing more and more businesses to create or distribute content that is optimized for a mobile device.

So, have you looked at your Business page from your mobile device? Are your services or products prominently displayed. Can your cover photo be read clearly?

A chatbot will make customer service easier for you

Instant connection, internet access and even Amazon Prime shipping have conditioned many to want things yesterday or, when that's not possible, in the next five minutes.

I know you’re guilty of thinking “Respond now or else” when you’re scheduling a meeting.

(side note: I’m awaiting a new connection to confirm a meeting with me and I’m writing this at the same time)

Unfortunately, I've seen this prompt a lot of small businesses to do one of two things: respond too quickly without proper thought OR ignore the message all together because they're not quite sure how to meet the demand. An ignored message can be detrimental to the long-term relationship a customer has with the business

That's part of what makes the new trend of chatbots -- especially through Facebook Messenger -- so valuable. Chatbots allow you to interact quickly with your audience in a way that feels comfortable. Also, you can customize your automated message OR send personalized content directly to users. In September, there were at least100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger. More evidence that businesses are exchanging messages with their audiences at an alarming rate.

 If you aren't already, 2018 might be the year to start using chatbots for your business. Even if it’s just to have a message that you’ll get back to them at a convenient time. Block out that time on your schedule to respond and make sure that’s clear in your message.

There are so many ways to connect with your audience, create & distribute better content, and build your business online. We're just about 30 days away from 2018, so what are you planning for?

Let's chat about your digital strategy!