Top ten trends - with answers!

I love all the trends and Top 10s that come along like the 'Stones of Moses' - to be obeyed and feared. But wouldn't it be nice if someone actually explained them?

Here is 2018's top ten from Buffer Social, but with some context and answers!

1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
Most of your customers, if not all, are using social media, so you can't afford to ignore it any more.

2. Social media is going mobile
Social media on mobile is all about content optimisation, making sure your video is upright or square, with text (presuming it's watched in silent), and most importantly short, sharp, content that's easily 'grazable'.

3. Social messaging overtook social media
Messaging apps now have more followers/users than social platforms, so you have to be careful when advertising on these channels as users see them as more private. Sometimes a brand stumbling their way in can be viewed as negative so it's always worth testing and learning.

4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
It's a channel to have conversations with customers and help them one to one.

5. Chatbot's are becoming the norm
These are automated systems that can at a basic level answer simple questions. Some Chatbots with AI can have complex conversations even at 4am when your customer service team is asleep!

6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
Customers will use social platforms to complain, allowing them to comment and engage. Learn what you are doing wrong and fix it - turning complaints into customers.

7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
If I was to be cynical, the networks need funding, so they want you to buy more adverting. But don't presume big is best - test and learn.

8. Video is still the most popular content type
If you are not producing video you are really out of the loop! It's not all about 4k: the best video I saw on social last week was shot on an iPhone by an 18 year old apprentice.

9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
Engagement is content gold. Encourage users to send/post material and reuse it, boost it and engage with it! Recently, one of our clients got amazing reach from a video taken at a stag do playing a piano: 40k views and featured on Irish news!!

10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads
It's getting busy as business throws money at social spend, but the winners are the ones that look for the opportunities, the engaging content and the fun competitions.

Hopefully that has put some context to one of these great lists we all stare at in awe but don't know what to do with!

Gavin W H Anderson | Head of Strategy


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