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Statista found that there were  2.46 billion social media users in 2017, and this number is growing. According to estimates, the number of worldwide social media users reached 2.34 billion and is expected to grow to some 2.95 billion by 2020. It is no surprise that social media is a powerful tool and can affect business and evoke change. Before the 2018 year comes to a close, we decided to look at the trends that the year brought us. The good, the bad and the ugly. In 2018 we saw many social media trends. Wondering if you missed out, or hopped on too many bandwagons? Chances are it isn’t too late to get started on some before the year is over.

 

Influencer Marketing-

With social media, anyone has the chance to be famous. However annoying you may find it, brands and companies are cashing in, and so are the influencers. Reality stars can now extend that 15 minutes of fame and earn a living at the same time. In an article titled “After the Final Rose… You Make Money on Instagram” explains how long you last on the show can affect your potential earnings. While these celebs might cost you a pretty penny, micro-influencers are sometimes known for a more devout following. What exactly is a micro influencer? They are people on social media channels who have a strong following but don’t have a celebrity status. While there is no exact threshold, micro influencers typically have anywhere between 1,000 and 90,000 followers.

 

Instagram Story Highlights-

While they were released in 2017, this feature did not take off until 2018. This tool allowed you to create permanent collections of Instagram Stories that will live on your new Instagram profile. These stories can be carefully created and brands are loving them. They are great for business profiles because story highlights allow brands to easily curate and showcase the content they want users to see first. We already know that Instagram is the highlight reel, but now it really can be an intro to what your feed has to offer.  They’re a creative way to express yourself, show off products, showcase events, and customers, drive traffic, or brand your business!

 

Face Filters-

Snapchat pioneered face filters in 2016, and Instagram was quick to follow. What first started out as fun interactive edits to photos quickly became yet another marketing tool. In October of 2016,  Twentieth Century Fox became the first marketer to buy the app’s sponsored lens format to promote The Peanuts Movie.  The Gatorade Super Bowl Lens and Taco Bell’s Taco Shell Lens were the most popular filters to date. Many companies have found a way around these pricey filters by making sure there is a Geo-Tag that will appear a certain radius from their locations.

 

Messaging Platforms-

The popularity of messaging platforms is exploding. WhatsApp (1.3 billion monthly active users), WeChat (963 million MAUs), and Facebook Messenger (1.2 billion MAUs) are leading the charge. On average, 77% of users keep messaging notifications turned on so they never miss a thing. FOMO is a powerful motivator” Says Neil Patel, co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. Patel also says that messaging allows you to reach your audience at scale and on their preferred channel. 89% of consumers would like to use it to communicate with businesses, yet only 48% of businesses do so.

 

Live Video-

On Instagram, Facebook and Periscope we have the ability to go live and communicate with your viewers in real time. This feature has continued to grow and if done well, can have tremendous results. Consumers love it.  Research shows that 80% of audiences prefer watching live video from brands as opposed to reading a blog. And 82% of consumers say they would rather watch live videos than read social media posts.

 

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erin@getnsocial.com

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