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5 social media trends to watch out for in 2018 and 2019

Ever since the world went digital two decades ago, businesses are still trying to figure out how best to leverage the power of social networks in the cyber world to engage with their customers.

In an ongoing experiment of sorts in establishing brand value and getting customers to positively review their brand, businesses are trying different things. Here’s a roundup of 5 social media trends to watch out for 2018 and 2019.

What you will learn from this article:

  1. Learn how businesses are leveraging the power of social media.
  2. How technology meets social media to better customer experience.
  3. Importance of customer engagement by speaking out as a responsible and responsive business.

Reading time: 4 – 7 minutes

1. Bye-bye billboard advertising. Hello digital world!

Just because something has been done something for the last 30 years doesn’t mean that businesses should continue to pump resources into ineffective marketing techniques, especially when better options are available.

With a greater focus on engaging with audiences in the digital world, marketing teams are under pressure to review their existing basket of marketing levers and the ROI generated from them.

With the buzzword being, ‘’targeted marketing’’ broad-based, mass marketing techniques like billboards and, in some cases, radio advertising may soon fall out of favour.

2. Social Listening is gathering steam

Social listening is about picking up on what customers are saying about a particular product or a brand. It’s not about if they are saying nice things or bad things about the company. It’s about understanding their expectations and disappointments and looping it back while creating the next product or changing certain aspects of brand positioning to better appeal to customer tastes.

Social listening is not only meant to help businesses collect inputs for their next project but it also helps in content creation by understanding the exact words and phrases used by target audiences. Content created to drive traffic and conversions by tapping into the exact vocabulary used (in real time monitoring) by customers is the next leap forward for online marketing.

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3. Chatbots are getting smarter and ubiquitous

When bombarded by similar questions (that sometimes run into the thousands) on a daily basis, how do you handle it? Chatbots are an intelligent answer for most B2C companies that interact with customers on a regular basis. They help customer service staff by relieving part of their work burden by acting as the first line of defense for customer queries and complaints.

Chatbots have been deployed in a range of sectors like fintech companies looking to help people keep a tab on their expenses, investments and creditworthiness to online medical counseling to help people combat loneliness and depression.

Although there is a long way to go before they can completely replace frontline staff in online customer service, they are getting smarter and more ubiquitous by the year.

4. Influencer marketing: The verdict is that it works.

Well established brands have bigger marketing budgets, a greater degree of visibility and brand attraction in the social media sphere that makes it easy for them to connect with audiences, run marketing campaigns and connect better with prospects and existing customers.

But what if you’re a newbie on the block? Well, the truth is, it doesn’t matter so long as you have some money to spend. When endorsed by the right person, your business could receive all the retweets, likes and shares it needs – to be seen, heard and remembered by customers. It’s important that the person who endorses your brand shares the same values as your business does.

Tip: An athlete endorsing a fast food brand is a bad idea.

5. Taking a stance and making it known to the public

50 years ago businesses could brush aside allegations of having lax environmental standards,

Unsafe working environment or claims of employment discrimination. Times have changed. People want to be associated with companies that reflect their own values and this has led to businesses proactively responding to the social environment in which they operate—that means taking a firm public stance and speaking out when wrongs are committed.

These are some of the broad trends that were witnessed this year and most experts expect them to continue well into 2019. Taking a cue from these trends, your business can pick and choose any of these methods to help you better your marketing and branding exercise. But remember, nothing happens until you choose!

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