Automated Reality: 5 Social Media Trends in 2018

If 2017 was the year of disappearing content (thanks to the continued success of Snapchat and the rise of Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories), 2018 might very well be the year of the robots. Yes, automated technology is here to stay, and today’s savvy marketers can no longer ignore it, especially on social media. Here’s a look at some of the biggest trends in social automation and how to wield them to your advantage.

1. Artificial Intelligence 
It may sound super futuristic, but the fact is, artificial intelligence, or AI as it is referred, is already here. In a survey by Oracle, 48% of marketers overseas are already using automation technologies and another 40% plan to implement automation by 2020. Does AI make sense for your brand? That depends. Are you an expert on something? Do your customers have questions? Do they need answers ASAP? If the answer is yes to any of these, then AI is for you.

2. Super-human Targeting

Think social advertising on steroids. That’s the idea behind new optimization tools that allow you to easily create and test hundreds of Facebook and Instagram ads in just minutes. Gone are the days of A/B testing creative. Now, brands can A/Z test not only creative, but headlines, CTAs, audiences, time of day and more. Automation quickly selects the top performing ad or ads. You can even automate spend based on pre-set performance triggers.

3Digital Assistance 

Look out world, Facebook is about to enter the growing and ever-popular home-device market. According to several sources, the leading social network is introducing Portal, a device that will not only tell you the weather and play music, movies and shows via voice command, but will feature a wide-angle lens that is capable of recognizing individual faces and associating them with their Facebook accounts. The goal is for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features. Portal is expected to be available sometime later this year. How exactly brands will be able to tap into this new device has not been revealed, but we can only assume there will be plenty of opportunities to get your message in front of target households, whether you are ordering something or learning how to do a new skill.      

2018 in social icons

4. Social Integration
Social provides marketers with a ton of useful information that can help them better market to their customers. Now that data is being used to help you customize and personalize messages to people you email and direct message with. Consider this scenario: Jim is in your LinkedIn Network. He recently got a promotion, but you missed the notification. Don’t worry. In the coming months, Microsoft Outlook will give you the heads up—or at the very least provide one-click access to his most recent accomplishments and things that may be important to note as you prepare to email him.

5. Sequential Advertising

By now you’ve heard all the statistics on the popularity of video on social media. Cisco recently forecasted that 82% of all consumer Internet traffic this year will be video. On the flip side, we know video does some things really well and other things not as well. For instance, video is a great awareness generator, but isn’t always the best traffic driver. As a marketer, you want your cake and you want to eat it, too. With Facebook retargeting, you can parlay that initial awareness generated by your video into web traffic by re-targeting to build relationships and frequency with those who watched it. By following up with traffic-optimized creative, you can generate a higher click-through rate than video. We call this sequential advertising and the goal is to turn awareness into action.

Interested in the latest social media tools and techniques? Check out our case study for the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development to see how we used Facebook Canvas to create the ultimate interactive road trip. Or, feel free to contact us for advice on your next big social campaign.  

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