2017 Social Media Trends for Businesses (and What You Should Plan for 2018)
2017 has been a huge year for social media in both the creative side and the business side. We have seen massive changes, including the introduction of Instagram Stories and, most recently, Facebook changing its layout to mirror Instagram’s. The updates have not only helped with user experience, but are also serving to challenge businesses to get more creative with their posts.
In particular, Facebook has experienced the most updates with its Business Pages: the social media giant has rolled out videos for cover images and more dynamic services as well as shopping options to the page. If you missed these changes, perhaps it is time to revise your page before the year ends and get ready for what 2018 has in store — it’s going to be a big one.
Be prepared and you will see some amazing results
What you should update to ensure your Facebook Business Page is using all the exciting features Facebook has on offer:
- Produce a clever, creative video that represents your brand and service/products to use as your business cover video. Not only is this visually effective and catches the viewer’s much-needed attention, it can also give potential customers a quick introduction to your business — something that is always effective for marketing.
- If you are a service-based business, add your services to the page with a description, a high-resolution image and prices. This sits at the top of your page, making it easy for new customers to get an overview of your services. This will make your business more accessible and help the customer with his or her purchasing decision.
- If you are an e-commerce store, add your top ROI or selling products to Facebook Shop. Then when you post an image of the product in a lifestyle shot, you can add the product, allowing the consumer to quickly purchase the item.
- Start to create more video content for your Facebook page.
What you should update to ensure your page is using all the new features on Instagram:
- If you haven’t done this already, update your Instagram page to the Business version. Here, you will receive daily and weekly insights into impressions, best posts, and at which times your audience is looking at your content.
- Start creating Instagram Stories. These are quick and effective updates to show your followers new products or services you have on offer. This is also a great way to show your followers more personal content, such as what the team gets up to throughout the day and the fun things happening behind the scenes of your business.
- Create more videos for Instagram. Videos are 10 times more effective than images, and have proven to receive more consumer engagement. However, ensure they are 30 seconds or less (because people lose attention quickly!), have music (because who doesn’t love a good tune?) and incorporate subtitles (because many users view videos with the sound off).
What to plan for in 2018
Facebook has many new features starting next year; the most notable update being Facebook TV (similar to Netflix).
But what does this mean for you and your business?
- Videos will be more important for your social content strategy than ever before. Creating videos that showcase your services or products will help keep you up-to-date.
- Live videos are also important to capitalise on, such as Instagram live videos and Facebook Live. These videos are a perfect shift towards storytelling and connecting with your audience on a personal level. In 2017, video streaming contributed to around 75% of all internet traffic, and we can’t see it slowing down any time soon.
- Customer service is going to continue to grow on social media as we have seen it grow in 2017. More customers are turning to Facebook messaging to connect with a brand rather than direct emailing. Why? Here, customers expect to get a quicker response than via email, and so they continue to send through enquiries (and of course, complaints) via the platform. While on the subject, it is also important to jump on board with Chatbots — i.e. apps to help assist with customer service.
Will you be updating your social media platforms to keep up with the fast-moving world of digital marketing? It wouldn’t hurt. Overall, we highly recommend getting on board with video content and storytelling. This is a major shift in social media, and as such, it is important to start with your brand’s content now to ensure you are first in the battle for newsfeed dominance in 2018.