The social media landscape is constantly evolving. What’s hot today may be old news tomorrow. That’s why keeping up with the latest trends and developments in social media is essential.
Social listening on a particular social media trend is more than a fad. As the world becomes more connected, social media platforms are becoming increasingly powerful tools for marketing and customer service.
Here are some top social media trends that you should be aware of.
Social Listening Tools And User-Generated Content Will Become Even More Important
As social media platforms become more crowded, it will become even more important to use social listening tools to track what people say about your brand. User-generated content will also become more important to stand out from the competition.
Social media listening tools like Hootsuite Insights and Brandwatch help you track online conversations to respond quickly to negative sentiment or take advantage of positive buzz.
Major brands are already adopting this trend. For example, Coca-Cola has been using social listening to track online conversations and identify new marketing opportunities.
Increased Video Content
Video is quickly becoming the most popular type of content on the internet. And it’s no surprise that social media platforms are following suit by increasing their video offerings.
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat invest heavily in video content and features. We expect to see more video content in our feeds in the coming year. Short-form video content will continue to grow in popularity as well.
Short-form videos on social media sites like Vine and Instagram are especially popular with younger audiences. But even longer-form videos are being consumed more and more on social media.
More Live Streaming
Live streaming is another trend that is on the rise. Facebook Live, Periscope, and Meerkat are just a few platforms allowing users to live stream video. And with the upcoming release of live streaming on Instagram, we can expect to see even more people using this feature.
This is one of those important social media trends that businesses need to be aware of. Live streaming can be used for product announcements, Q&A sessions, live events, and more.
Augmented reality is another upcoming trend that will take social media by storm. Snapchat was one of the first platforms to experiment with augmented reality with its filters. But we can expect to see this technology used in even more creative ways in the future.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a trend that is still in its early stages.
Social channels, like Facebook Messenger, are being used more and more for customer service. And chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for handling customer queries and support.
Chatbots are artificial intelligence programs that can mimic human conversation. Businesses are already using them to provide customer support and answer questions. And we can expect to see more chat bots being used on social media platforms.
Social commerce is a type of e-commerce that takes place on social media platforms. We’ve already seen some platforms like Pinterest and Instagram offer features that allow users to make purchases without leaving the app.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on using influential people to promote a product or service. It’s an effective way to reach a large audience, and we expect to see more businesses using influencer marketing on social media in the coming year.
Social media users will continue to see an increase in video content, live streaming, and augmented reality in the coming year.
What’s The Best Way To Spot Emerging Trends?
To understand the best way to spot emerging trends, it’s critical to know why some trends emerge while others fade away.
A Rising Need Being Met By A New Solution
Trends are created when a gap in the marketplace is identified and filled by a new product or service. Consider the growing popularity of health and wellness-related content in social media.
It’s not that people suddenly became more interested in health and fitness. This rising interest is being driven by better information and tools now available online – tools that make it easier than ever to create healthier living habits.
A Negative Trend Is Being Addressed With A Better Solution
Trends also emerge when a gap in the marketplace is identified and filled by a new product or service. Still, instead of filling the need with a positive solution, the product or service addresses the problem with a solution designed to prevent the bad thing from happening in the first place.
But instead of filling this rising need with positive solutions that address the need for social connection, the privacy-focused social media being used today are filling this increasing need with solutions that prevent the wrong thing from happening in the first place.
A Positive Trend Being Amplified By New Technology
Trends also emerge when a gap in the marketplace is identified and filled by a new product or service. Instead of filling the need with a solution that addresses the rising demand, the product or service amplifies the positive trend.
This is the case with the growing popularity of live-streaming and social media. The rising interest in live-streaming is being driven by better information and tools now available online – tools that make it easier than ever to create more interactive social content.
But instead of filling this rising need with solutions that make it easier to create more interactive content, the live-streaming being used today amplifies social media’s positive trend to create more engaging experiences for the viewer.
Stay On Top Of Platform Developments
One of the best ways to spot changing trends is to stay on top of developments in the social media space. This includes keeping an eye on the competition and paying attention to platform-level changes and new features.
You don’t want to wait for a new feature to gain widespread adoption before you take note of it. Instead, keep an eye out for new features as they emerge and identify how they may affect your social media strategy.
So make sure you’re continuously paying attention to platform developments like this so you can identify trends early and stay ahead of the change.
Look For Patterns In Ad Effectiveness
Another way to spot changing trends is to keep an eye on the ads being delivered on your social media channels. This includes monitoring which ads perform best, which ones perform worst and what kind of engagement each ad type receives.
As you monitor the ads served on your channels, you’ll start seeing patterns emerge. You’ll see which ad types perform best and which don’t get any clicks.
You’ll see which types of ads draw the most attention and engage with your audience the most. This can be a great way to spot emerging trends and determine which ad types are likely to perform best in the future.
Keep An Eye On User Behavior
Another way to spot changing trends is to monitor how your audience uses social media.
What time of day are people posting? Which days of the week are they publishing the most? How long are people staying on each platform?
You can use this information to spot emerging trends and determine which trends will continue. For example, you may notice people posting more on weekends and less during the week.
This can help you determine that weekend social media use is growing and Monday through Friday use is decreasing. This can help you spot the next big trend before it goes mainstream.
Pay Close Attention To Competitor Behavior
Another way to spot changing trends is to keep an eye on how your competitors use social media. Monitoring your own social media usage can help you spot emerging trends. It can also help you determine which trends are likely to fade away.
Be A Member Of The Audience You’re Marketing To
Another way to spot changing trends is to do what social media marketers are often advised: Be a member of your target audience.
This means engaging with social media content, participating in social media discussions, and immersing yourself in the social media experience.
This can help you spot emerging trends because you’ll be tuned in to what’s happening on social media. You’ll be able to identify new ideas and ways of engaging with your audience before most people even realize they exist.
Use Data To Help Identify Emerging Opportunities
Finally, another way to spot emerging trends is to use data to identify emerging opportunities. This can help you spot the next big trend before it goes mainstream and determines which trends will likely fade away.
Ensure you have a social media analytics tool set up and configured properly. This will help you track your social media metrics and identify trends in social media engagement.
Social media trends are constantly changing. As a social media marketer, it’s crucial to stay on top of these changes to adapt your strategy accordingly.
Keep these upcoming trends in mind as you plan your social media strategy for the new year. By staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure that your business is using the latest and greatest tools and technologies to reach its target audience.