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RNN DIGITAL: 5 Social media trends for 2018


As we rapidly approach 2018, there are a wealth of predictions being made about the type of social media content and functionality that we will be seeing on social platforms. 


I've outlined 5 of these predictions below:


  1. 1. Social media will grow as a platform for purchases

As it stands, social media is widely used as a platform for browsing brands and trends, moving forward, these platforms will begin to facilitate purchases from within an app, meaning that if a user is browsing on Instagram or Facebook, for example, it will be easier for them to complete a purchase within the platform. This will remove the barriers of having to leave an app, simplifying online shopping and resulting in quicker conversions for brands and products.


  1. 2. Live Video content is here to stay

Live video is on the increase and has gone from strength to strength since its inception on social media platforms. The perceived authentic nature of the content and the idea that it is real time resonates with users, capturing their attention and promoting engagement. The use of live video looks set to grow and develop moving forward, being used for anything from live event footage to broadcasting regular live ‘episodes’ and ‘programs’. It provides a great opportunity for brands and organisations to reach and engage a large audience.


  1. 3. Chatbots will make Customer Service quicker & more efficient

The need for quick and easy methods of communication with brands has seen an increase in online chat facilities for brand websites and social channels and that is set to increase. With the customer expectation for quick replies and support, many companies are turning to chatbots who can simulate human-like conversation, taking on the tone of your brand and addressing user needs providing a seamless customer service experience for your customers.


  1. 4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has been around for a while, but thanks to channels such as Snapchat and Instagram incorporating it into their functionality with selfie lenses and filters, it has become a more integral element of social media platforms.

Augmented reality can provide a great way for brands to enhance marketing experiences for its users. The use of lenses, filters, and 'stickers' on images and live video enables branding to be incorporated providing a more immersive experience and shareable content that increases reach and recognition for a brand.


5. Ephemeral content – capitalising on FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Snapchat made its name on ephemeral content – content which is only available for a limited time. For a user, the idea that content will only be available for a limited time (e.g. a matter of seconds on Snapchat, 24 hours on an Instagram story) creates a need to view the content immediately and providing opportunities for brands to leverage the FOMO and encourage fast responses for call-to-actions such as purchases and sign-ups.