Social Media for Business:
Are You Ready for 2018?
March 8, 2018
Keeping your company in the modern social media loop is not only important, it’s essential.
In one of our last blogs we discussed branding and why it is important. In this blog we are going to investigate the necessity for your business to be active on social media. It is a key tool in your marketing kit.
Here’s a rather startling statistic: over a quarter of the world’s population visits Facebook on a monthly basis. Now more than ever, businesses are only a few clicks away from reaching millions of members of their target audiences. Technology is moving rapidly.
Social media offers businesses a symbiotic relationship with their markets. Users naturally gravitate towards their proclivities on social media sites, leaving a trail of invaluable data in their wake. This, of course, is old news – however, the methods for exploiting these venues are constantly evolving.
The power of social media
First there were primitive stone tools and then obsidian blades made from sharp volcanic rock which changed the world as primitive man knew it. Just a few years ago, the birth of the Internet was upon us and now social media has ushered in a new era of the web and is changing the world as we know it.
In case you’re not convinced of the power of social media, these statistics might change your mind:
- As of 2017, 3.028 billion people were active on social media – that’s almost half of humanity.
- Even in 2014, 81% of small to medium-sized businesses were engaged in social media.
- In 2017, social media ad spending was forecasted to exceed $35B.
5 social media trends savvy business owners are exploiting in 2018
Chances are, even if your company isn’t engaging in social media, your competition is. Businesses need to stay on top of social media marketing trends to thrive. Here’s what’s on the horizon:
1). Believe it or not, more QR codes. While these extraterrestrial looking barcodes have been around about as long as social media, QR readers are only just now becoming standard features. As of last Fall, Apple’s iOS provides a native QR code reader integrated with camera operations. Thanks to this expanded convenience, expect more and more people to take advantage of simply aiming their phone at a QR for everything from logging onto WiFi to making purchases.
2). AI is here. With all the data, operations, and global competition, automated tools will become indispensable for business management. Artificial intelligence (AI) based software can keep pace with your target audiences in ways humans can’t match. Such programs can help with things like posting during optimal times for your audience, sharing relevant content, sending messages, and more. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions in retail will be managed by Artificial Intelligence.
3). A whole new era of video. If Cisco’s prediction proves accurate, 82 percent of consumer Internet traffic will be video in 2018. Branded video content, and Snapchat and Facebook video ads are expected to continue to surge, along with video technology. 360-degree cameras promise to further fuel the web’s appetite for video, granting immersive, self-directed, video experiences.
4). The rise of the chatbot. Chatbots simulate conversations with customers – and they’re getting better and better at it. Chatbots can improve response times and help streamline the customer relation process.
5). Social media and its use in B2B. The best way to take advantage of all social media has to offer, is by keeping in touch with which platforms are the most popular. In B2B marketing you should be active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook at the very least. Your goal should be to use these platforms to syndicate and publish valuable content, educate as well as communicate with your customers/prospects, and utilize these platforms for lead generation.
Embrace the Future
Social media is changing the way we do everything from keeping in touch to conducting business. The rapid rate of change can be intimidating but it’s worth learning to love. Social media is an amazing tool for business – the more it evolves the greater the return on investment it presents.
In the end, it’s all about communication. The Internet, social media, and smartphones – they’ve all tapped into our primal need to feel connected to our fellow citizens.