However, these figures are expected to rise further still, as internet users were active on social media for roughly two hours each day in 2017, over 20 minutes longer than in 2015. The world of social media is constantly changing and businesses need to adapt to the latest trends to ensure success. Read on to find out what you can expect from social media in 2018:
LOTS MORE VIDEO
It has been predicted that video content will account for approximately 80 per cent of all internet content by 2020. Video marketing should therefore be a prime focus for social media campaigns in 2018. Video content allows you the opportunity to put a significant amount of information in a short, concise and engaging way, making production time worth it. According to Global Web Index, 56 per cent of internet users report watching videos on the four major social media platforms, up from 38 per cent in 2015. Interestingly, Facebook is receiving more daily minutes watched than YouTube, which is likely to be attributed to its new live recording feature. Within the industry, live video offers estate agents the ideal platform to record, upload and promote property tours.
RISE OF AUGMENTED REALITY
It’s likely that the first thing you think of when you hear the term Augmented Reality (AR) is Snapchat’s face filters, however there was a significant rise in the use of AR in various sectors in 2017. Using AR as a marketing tool should be integrated in your 2018 social media campaigns, for example, virtual AR show home experiences can be used to attract potential home buyers to the property and also to promote on social media. Using AR is an interesting and enticing way to attract new audiences and engage your current following, and with the expected increase in video content in 2018, especially on Facebook, it is not something to be missed. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself described Facebook’s AR features being in “phase one” of their progress, meaning we should expect more advances in this technology in 2018 and beyond.
PAY A LITTLE MORE FOR YOUR ADS
The days of free, organic reach have mostly come to an end for small businesses. In 2017, Facebook announced that they were testing the idea of a separate newsfeed which would shift non-promoted posts out of the main newsfeed. Although this change has not been rolled out yet, newsfeed visibility is becoming ever more competitive – one study found that from January to August 2017, Facebook page engagement declined a huge 20 per cent. To combat this, advertising spend is a must for 2018 social media campaigns in order that you reach your target audience. Paid advertising is already proving popular with estate agents, with adverts on Instagram being three times more memorable than adverts on websites, according to a study of 475 campaigns. Paying a little extra for your social media presence will go a long way to help boost your views and shares.
INSTAGRAM’S IMPACT AND THE RISE OF EPHEMERAL CONTENT
Instagram is set to have a significant impact on the way businesses use social media in 2018. Last year, Instagram introduced their story feature, allowing photos and videos to stay uploaded for 24 hours, known as ephemeral content. Consequently, this way of sharing up-to-date content became more successful than Snapchat, with 50 million more stories posted by over 200 million Instagram users throughout 2017. This trend has been adopted by a number of businesses, making it a great feature to act as both an engagement and sales platform. Ephemeral Instagram content is a great way for estate agents to interact with potential and active customers, from posting images of properties and tagging the interior designers, to creating more attractive posts, such as polls, for followers to directly engage with. You could also share informal glimpses into day-to-day work life so customers can get to know the faces behind the company. Moreover, content that is short-lived is said to increase people’s FOMO (fear of missing out), meaning audiences are likely to take action sooner. Therefore, we may find that other social media platforms such as Twitter, introduce ephemeral content in 2018.
Instagram’s story feature allows content to stay up for 24 hours, known as ephemeral content – it’s a great way to interact with potential clients.
2018 is set to be an exciting year for social media, with the focus moving towards more engaging content such as video, AR and ephemeral content. This is sure to shake up our newsfeeds and keep everyone competing to come up with more creative ideas.
Tara Dulake, The Oracle Group