2017 was the year when Twitter finally gave us the long-awaited promise of 280 characters, Snapchat gave us superstalker-ish Snap Maps, Instagram let us go “live” with friends, which went down much better than its algorithm changes, and Facebook, well that let us go live too, however we’re yet to know anyone really make a splash with this function… You?!

So what’s in store for 2018? The Social Lights has released its list of social media predictions for the next year, and if you are a marketier looking to maintain an edge over the competition, keep these trends in mind for 2018!

Social CRM: As the adoption of social commerce practices grows, look for CRM-like touchpoint and retargeting strategies to build momentum. These strategies will help brands better track consumers’ interactions with posts, landing pages, advertisements, and more.

Live Content Series: In 2018, more brands will develop recurring, Live video content. These recurring episodes give fans a reason to return and stay for much longer than traditional video. For reference, live videos already average watch times triple that of regular videos. We’ve seen a lot of content series on YouTube (hey, recipe and beauty brands), but this will be the year brands adopt this practice on Facebook and Instagram.

Native Content Creation: Platforms know that “made for social” content outperforms a TV ad that is cut and pasted into a post. While marketers will start to recognize this, platforms will get ahead of the curve by introducing tools within the app to streamline this process. Additionally, these tools could help attract high-value users, as the better content UI’s will attract creators and influencers.

Visual Search + Targeting: Pinterest led the way in image recognition and visual search in 2017, with Snapchat opening the technology to advertisers to close out the year. While keyword-based search and targeting are today’s gold mines, the future is visual.

Virtual & Augmented Reality: Snapchat’s October announcement of AR advertising opportunities opened an untapped world of opportunity for marketers. Who will shine using the technology in 2018?

Hardware Push: Snap Inc. opened this conversation nearing its IPO, branding as a camera company. With that tagline, as well as Facebook’s successes in AI, could we see social media’s equivalent of Alexa, Google Home, and more in 2018?

As quickly as technology evolves, social media is never far behind in applying the latest and greatest! For a full slideshare deck on The Social Lights predictions, head on over here!

Our consumer online and digital PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Wellbeing and Fitness PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.