Avocado Social’s Top Social Media Trends for 2018

Published on 9th February 2018

2017 was a big year for the internet.

Just under a quarter of a billion new internet users came online for the first time last year.

As of January 2018, over 4 billion people in the world use the internet. That’s over half of the world’s population.

The African continent alone has seen internet use grow by 20% year on year.

That’s a lot of people, and a lot of those people are using social media.

In fact, in 2017, 81% of internet users in the US had at least one social media profile and there were 2.13 billion monthly active Facebook users.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Weibo, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, SnapChat, the list goes on and on, and each platform offers an opportunity for businesses to reach their audiences in new and exciting ways.

Social media is important for the digital space; so social media is important to Footprint Digital. We wanted to get a little more insight into social media from the experts, so this week we headed to a talk by Avocado Social hosted by General Assembly, called ‘Hot Social Media Trends of 2018’. Here’s what they had to say…

Passive Social Media Use

Alison Battisby, founder of Avocado Social, began by stating that one of the main trends for social media this year is passivity. This makes complete sense really, social media is not necessarily exciting and new anymore – a lot of us have been using it for a decade or more, and it’s lost its shine. We simply scroll for scrolling’s sake, and because it’s habit to wake up and, bleary eyed, check our feeds.

If checking social media has become a passive, rather than an active, activity, then how effective is it as a way for brands to reach their audiences?

Count Impressions, Not Just Clicks

Alison noted that because behaviour has changed on social media platforms, it is important to adjust our expectations. People do not like to click on things much anymore- they prefer to stay within the platform that they are on rather than heading off onto other websites. This means that we need to concentrate less on clicks, and more on impressions.

Social media has become much more about branding and brand awareness – creating brand visibility rather than getting people to click through. It’s still important to have a presence on social media and in social media advertising for brands, but they cannot expect to get the kinds of clicks that they used to.

Power to the People

Facebook in particular has faced a few problems over the last year. Promoting propaganda (stats show that 45% of American adults get their daily news intake from Facebook), hosting unethical or illegal content, and causing anxiety and depression in children and teens are just some of them. Mark Zuckerberg made a statement on 12th January explaining how Facebook is going to give the power back to the people.

We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us…recently we’ve gotten feedback that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more … we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being… On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos may not be as good… Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.’

Consequently, the newsfeed on Facebook is now giving more space to groups and messages rather than branded posts and businesses. The power is being given back to people’s interactions and is being taken away from brands.

New Features in 2018

Alison said that in 2018, there will be even more new social media features for personal use, but that can also be adopted by brands to interact with consumers.

These features, such as Instagram Stories, are perfect for enhancing brand personality and creating ever more innovative and creative content.

She said that brands shouldn’t afraid to be creative and really get stuck in to making content that their consumers will relate to and enjoy.

Create Real Life Experiences

It’s important not to get too bogged down in the digital space and forget that consumers are real people in the real world.

Whilst it’s good to interact with them on social media platforms, it’s just as important (perhaps even more so) to engage with them in person.

Brands need to create real world experiences, such as pop ups, exhibits and conferences, for their consumers that people can then enhance through social media by tweeting, leaving Facebook comments, sharing photos on Instagram or creating videos on YouTube.

 

By Alexandra Eade, Content Manager