Social Media Trends of 2018

Social media trends are forever changing. While this comes as no shock to businesses that use these platforms every day, what those changes mean for your business may be a bit surprising. This year we may see an unexpected shift with businesses moving away from the popular social media outlet Facebook and towards other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. But why the change now? After years of companies relying on Facebook to get their brands out in front of a large audience, Facebook has announced some more significant changes to its algorithms that will affect the way companies use this platform, one of which is by cracking down on how you engage with your followers.

To promote a more "family and friends" based platform, as Facebook was initially intended to be, the founder of the little blue app has announced that in 2018 he intends on using a new algorithm to allow posts from friends and family to be seen before business posts. Just how does he plan to do this? By focusing on and penalizing pages that use what is called click bait. The tactic known as click bait is what marketers sometimes use to promote engagement on their pages. In the past, the more engagement the page gets, the more Facebook would show your page in your follower’s news feeds. Because of this, a good chunk of pages started using various types of click bait tactics

There are several different types of click bait.

  • Vote Baiting aims to get people to interact with a post by asking them to chose thumbs up, heart, mad face, or another emoji to place their vote on a subject.
  • React Baiting are posts that use sayings such as "like" if you’re a Libra or "love" if you’re a Gemini to get the reader to engage with a reaction.
  • Share Baiting are posts that promote sharing for a chance to win something. It may say "like" our page and "share" this post for your chance to win!
  • Tag Baiting are posts that suggest for a reader to "tag" a friend to help the reader gain something.
  • Comment Baiting typically asks the reader to type yes or no in the comment section for that post to receive more interaction.

In hopes of creating more authentic engagement, Facebook has developed a new algorithm to review and categorize thousands of Facebook pages and has announced that they will now start using strict demotions for pages that use these baiting tactics. What does that mean for marketers? It means that if you use these tactics on your page, your posts will show up less in your follower’s news feeds which will drastically reduce your page views and engagement. However, companies that have been building their following organically, but haven’t been seeing a large following or interaction with their posts, may be able to get them out in front of their target audience a little better now that they won’t have to compete with click bait advertisements. This new policy will start being enforced over the next few weeks and then will become stricter as the year progresses to catch repeat offenders. Does that mean marketers will move to Instagram?

Instagram has been gaining traction over the last year with over 8 million businesses now using the app as of late 2017. After introducing the story feature last year, Instagram now allows you to add stories to your profile that will remain static instead of disappearing as they previously did. This means we could see companies producing higher quality stories now that the risk for a short-lived viewing is gone. But with the new features and steadily growing following on Instagram, businesses are seeing a higher cost to advertise with the popular platform as well as almost constant changes to its algorithms. The running joke nowadays seems to be just when you think you have it down; you don’t.

Instagram is following suit with Facebook in that they are focusing on bringing its users only the content they believe followers are interested in seeing. What this means is that when you make a post, it is most likely only going out to 10% of your followers. The current theory is if you post something and it gets enough engagement right off the bat, then Instagram will release it to the other 90%. This could explain why some posts receive less than a quarter of the engagement that other posts might have. Another change in algorithms is the way we interact with other Instagrammers. If you are not commenting on posts or responding to comments on your own posts promptly, then the new algorithm will show your page and posts less in others feeds. This could also be bad for companies that use bots to comment and respond as well as artificial intelligence generated comments no longer count. Being authentic is the 2018 trend for Instagram so plan ahead now.

Because of the new algorithms and rising costs of advertising on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter may be stepping back into the spotlight in 2018. Twitter currently holds a highly engaged audience of over 330 million that many businesses have ignored over the past few years. These followers want everything fast, so with the proper engagement, clicks could be easily obtained. Another way Twitter is upping the stakes this year is by introducing image recognition triggered ads. It was first outlined late last year and has since been kept rather quiet. With these triggered ads, Twitter aims to reward its users if they do things such as take a photo of a billboard and then tweet it. Once it is tweeted, Twitter’s A.I. would then recognize the image and respond with a reward for the tweet. While this fast and interactive advertising seems to fit well with Twitter’s fast-paced style, what kind of rewards Twitter users will receive is yet to be seen. When you combine all these new changes along with the crackdown on fake accounts, we could see larger Twitter use in 2018 as more companies move away from Facebook and Instagram.

At InDigiMar, our marketing team works hard to stay current on all the new social media marketing trends to ensure that we provide the best social media marketing strategies available. Call us at 757-809-3959 today to speak with one of our experts to discuss your social media marketing needs.


About The Blog

For over 20 years, the team at InDigiMar, Inc. have been helping Hampton Roads businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, and institutions of higher learning create successful marketing campaigns that reach their targeted audiences. IDM offers a full spectrum of digital marketing solutions including online inbound marketing, business strategy, website design and development, content generation, and more.

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