Social media has come a long way in recent years, and using these channels to engage with prospects and customer is an obvious way to boost your business. In order to stay ahead of the curve (and your competition), you need to know what the future of social media is so you can change your approach today. Here are 4 social media marketing trends that are hot this summer and will come in handy when you’re creating your social media marketing plan.

1) Ephemeral Content is on the rise

Ephemeral content is content that lasts a very short amount of time — 24 hours to be specific. When this was first introduced by Snapchat in 2011 with Instagram and Facebook on hot on its heals, marketers were not on board. After all, isn’t content you’ve invested your time and hard work into supposed to stay and not disappear after a short while? Wasn’t it supposed to keep driving traffic and conversions to your website for months to come?

But the reality is far different. Ephemeral content is becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst millennials and generation z.  With Snapchat stories reaching 250 billion daily views, it’s clear that this type of content is here to stay.

“So why is ephemeral content such a hit?!” you ponder. For starters, time-limited content creates a real sense of urgency, causing the audience to take fast action. For example, when your favorite handbag designer posts an Instagram story advertising their new limited-time sale, you’re more likely to click it because you know the option won’t be available to you later on.

FOMO (fear of missing out) is very real and is no longer reserved for the new episode of American Idol you almost missed last evening. In addition to that, ephemeral content makes your brand appear more authentic as they receive a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on. Sell wedding cakes? Give your audience a peek behind the curtains at the baking process! Offer a service? Show all the work your team is putting in to deliver results for your clients!

2) Live Streaming is Powerful

Did you know that the live streaming industry is expected to reach 70.05 billion users by 2021? Or that 80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog? These impressive statistics can be attributed to major social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, supporting the format. The appeal of live streaming is the excitement, immediacy, and connection it offers to the audience.

As brands are discovering that live streaming is a great way to engage with their customers and drive revenue, it is expected to become even more commonplace in 2018. It’s better to go live sooner rather than later!

3) Chatbots are gaining momentum

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots blew up in 2017, and 2018 will be an even bigger year. What’s a chatbot? It’s a platform that is designed to understand, learn and converse just like a real human by answering user queries in real-time! The cool thing about chatbots is that they can improve with continual learning algorithms, so they may even sound like a real person before we know it!

In fact, by 2020, 80% of brands will use chatbots for customer interactions. Chatbots have grown into the preferred platform for user interaction and have been adopted by a number of the major tech players as many consumers are becoming more accustomed to them.

Want to get your chatbots up and running? You’ll need some technical magic. Our developers are happy to help!

4) Personalization goes to the next level

This summer, content resonance will matter A LOT. The 3 hottest letters in the B2B marketing universe are “ABM” and it seems like you should have been doing it yesterday. Account Based Marketing allows you to send the right message at the right time to the right people. One of the key tactics to optimize your ABM efforts is remarketing or retargeting. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you have certainly seen retargeting ads before. They are the ads you see on your newsfeed featuring the awesome pair of jeans you almost bought last week – but didn’t. Retargeting allows brands to draw customers back to the pages or products they have previously shown interest in.

The best remarketing strategies require proper segmentation to effectively manage, optimize, and analyze remarketing campaigns. Lucky for you, a lot of brands are making retargeting less complicated. Google came out with RLSA, or Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, a few years back, but this is still relevant today. RLSA is a  unique form of audience retargeting which is available to eCommerce business owners using Google Shopping or anyone selling services online. You may also want to leverage the Facebook Custom Audience feature to really tailor your ads to your prospects.

Conclusion

In today’s world, social media is changing faster than the blink of an eye. It’s more important than ever to step back and ask yourself if your business and your social media marketing strategy are going in the right direction. Are you prepared for this change?  Want help implementing the latest social media trends & rocking your social strategy? Let’s chat!

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