Digital marketing has trouble standing still—especially when it comes to social media. Stay ahead of the curve and feed your audience what they crave with these top social media marketing trends of 2018.

1. You Snooze You Lose Content

As a brand, it might feel anticlimactic to put hours of work into crafting an Instagram Story only to have it disappear 24-hours later. However, audiences love this medium. Also known as ephemeral content, these short-lived posts on Instagram, Snapchat, and other channels get a lot of engagement. Utilize ephemeral posts to stay top-of-mind without dominating the feeds of your customers and annoying them…or worse, unfollowing you.

2. Video, Video, and More Video

Okay, so video has been one of the BIG social media marketing trends for several years now. That’s not going to change in the foreseeable future. In the next two years, video is projected to account for 80 percent of all consumer traffic! Because customers are nearly twice as likely to buy your product after watching a video, it’s important to start working it into your marketing strategy. Start small with videos made with your smartphone and DIY lighting equipment. Once you feel comfortable, invest in a legitimate studio.

3. Micro Influencers

The Influencer industry is huge. By 2019, it’s estimated to be valued at over $2 billion. However, one of the biggest social media marketing trends has to do with the littlest influencers. Also called micro influencers (1,000–50,000~ followers), these personalities have smaller yet very engaged and loyal followings. They’re also much more affordable than giants with 500,000+ followers—hundreds of dollars per post versus thousands.

When looking for an influencer to partner with, choose “real” people. Often the most successful accounts are non-celebrities who use their authenticity to attract a following. Don’t get caught up in the numbers here either. Think percentages instead. According to Adage, social media accounts with less than 1,000 followers get an eight percent engagement rate with likes, compared to 2~ percent for influencers with 10,000–100,000 followers.

4. Live Content

People love live content because it’s genuine, raw, and unique. Marketers love it too—especially for platforms like Facebook that now requires you to pay to play. Utilize Facebook Live (users spend 100 million hours consuming video on this platform every day!), live video on Instagram (200 million active users regularly engage with stories), and real-time streaming on other social channels to resonate with your audience, appease algorithms, and increase your reach.

5. Designed Content

The average American has a seventh to eighth-grade reading level.  That may be why visuals resonate better than blocks of copy. According to Hubspot, the odds of users sharing visual content is 40 percent higher than text alone. Consider making at least one-third of all your content visual—and add color! Xerox found that people are 80 percent more likely to read something if it contains pleasing hues.

color is the new black: social media marketing trends and tips

6. Gen Z Customers

Bye-bye, Millennials. Brands are moving onto Generations Z-ers because of their growing spending power and presence on social media. While the segmented millennial market and Boomers are obviously still targets, a shift to this up-and-coming audience is changing the way brands communicate via social. If you want to appeal to this young demographic, you’ll need the latest technology like augmented reality, virtual reality, and chatbots to offer customer service 24/7.

Adapting, evolving, anticipating, and are necessary skills in social media marketing—and content marketing in general. While some of these social media marketing trends are bound to stick around in 2019 and 2020, stay on your toes for new ones! Want to learn more about digital marketing? Check out our blog.