Sahail Ashraf posted on 31 January 2018
It’s always good to look to the future.
You can predict what may happen, or you can hide your head in the sand a little and just hope to carry on with what you’re doing (whether it’s working or not).
We thought we’d take a look at things a good and successful brand will be doing differently on social media in 2018.
Your jobs aren’t going anywhere, but be prepared for more automation on social media.
No one knows exactly what is going to happen yet, but we do know that a lot of the content that you’re reading in the financial arena is completed entirely by computers.
It’s machine learning, and you can bet a lot of what happens around you right now (where you’re sitting) has used machine learning to some degree.
Does it matter yet? Well, knowing you’re reading content a computer wrote shouldn’t matter too much when you’re reading a stock report. But if you’re reading an article on a magazine lifestyle site? It’s a little creepy.
Twizoo is curating content and spreading it across social media networks. It’s not creating content, but it is finding content an audience likes and then sharing it. It’s one step away from making the content by itself.
Okay, forgive us for the slightly James Cameron subheading there, but we know that chatbots are starting to look very attractive to brands around the world.
This is most often found to be the case in customer service, where chatbots can happily deal with customer problems and direct them to a solution.
Marriott International, the hotel giant, has debuted Chatbotlr, a bot that can be contacted by hotel guests by text message, and can deal with a lot of the problems guests usually ring down to Front Desk for. It’s also pretty popular, and proving to be very effective at helping people.
It’s not a new metric, but brands are starting to understand the value of identifying and using sentiment.
Knowing if an audience or a segment of an audience is positive towards your brand or negative (or perhaps worse, in-between) can make a huge difference on the progress a brand makes.
It may mean the use of a number of metrics, or a single feature in a metrics suite, but reading sentiment accurately helps you to know what is working and what isn’t. It’s the closest thing to standing in front of the audience.
This year, if your clients aren’t giving their audiences short and speedy content then there is a problem.
Sure, we know longer video is starting to pay off for some brands, but those brands tend to be huge, and are only shooting longer videos because they haven’t quite got the time to make a blockbuster movie. Short is where it’s at.
It doesn’t have to be short video either. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to create short video that is effective. But a GIF? Now, that’s something any brand can do. And any brand can do it well too.
Take this example here. We know this brand isn’t a tiny two-person start-up, but its ideas here are easily transferable to other industries and brand sizes. This year more and more brands will be looking at this kind of short, buzzy content.
This is something all brands can do, it is within every brand’s reach. Gathering content from an audience has never been easier, and this leaves brands with no excuse in 2018.
If you want to see it done really well, take a look at this. It’s a great example of high quality UGC and it ticks all the boxes that will make it work.
Aerie focused on key aspects that their audience would respond to, such as the problems with body image and self-esteem that airbrushing and altering of photos on Instagram (for one platform) cause.
It’s a great example of UGC because it didn’t do anything other than connect with the audience, and then ask them to connect back. The best brands in 2018 will be taking UGC to the max.
And when we say ‘bigger’ we mean better. It’s not hard (really, it isn’t) to get going on Instagram Stories, and to, well, tell a story. You don’t need flashy effects, or even a script. All you need is a message, and a visual way of sharing that message.
We’ve looked at lots of Stories over the past year, but one we saw from Beyond Yoga that literally showed a woman who worked out just wearing their gear.
It worked because it doesn’t need anything other than a simple, easy to follow process. And it told a story (admittedly of someone working out) that the brand could use to market their clothing.
With the huge upsurge in live video and live video chats we can expect to see a number of brands upping their game in 2018.
Let’s be honest, live video is perhaps not the easiest thing to do. And unless you’re famous, it’s almost impossible to do it without some preparation beforehand. But it will be done more, and brands that can do it will make a big deal of it.
The best experience we’ve seen recently comes via Experian. Supported by a hashtag (#CreditChat), the live weekly video chats on Wednesdays helps Experian connect to an audience. Check out this promo on the chat (obviously we can’t link to a live one) and you’ll see the dynamic behind a chat experience that is really helping the audience.
Take note of these things that the best brands will do. It’s going to happen in 2018, so the more prepared you are, the better. And if your brands start seeing the results from these slight ‘left turns’, you’re in a better place.
If you’d like to have some of the best metrics data available on your social media campaigns, try Locowise, free, for a full seven days. Get it now and you’ll be set for the year ahead.