Social Trends to Keep up with in the 3rd and 4th Quarters
The social media landscape changes so rapidly that social media managers must study the trends every week – and sometimes every day – to keep up. The second half of the year is no exception.
In the last few years, social media platforms have made the headlines, making an impact in big stories spanning from social movements to politics and government. These developments have resulted in some shifts in the way people use and respond to social media, giving rise to personalized marketing approaches like influencers and less sway to large companies.
Now that social media platforms are in a state of flux, here are some pointers that will help you stay on top of the trends for the rest of 2018.
Use a Variety of Content Types
The type of content you use on social media often determines how well each post will perform, in step with the timing and frequency of your posts. The best content for many platforms often includes beautiful photos and branded graphics that are uploaded directly to the platform, along with a message or call-to-action. These images, combined with popular infographics, are the gold standard on social media, because they are eye-catching when users scroll down a webpage and they draw some of the best engagement.
The content types that are preferred on each social media platform do change, however. So, it’s important to monitor the developments on each social media channel. A variety of content may be the best way to reach a broad range of users, combining website links, plain text posts, attractive photos and videos. Last year, Facebook gave a higher weight to text-only posts for a time to give these posts more play, but they have recently given more weight to photos and graphics that are posted directly to the platform. Video also continues to draw high engagement, with emphasis on videos posted to Instagram and Facebook Stories, and live videos. These videos are getting snappier and shorter in length too, with the ideal video between 30 and 60 seconds.
Mind the Algorithms
Popular social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, have used computer algorithms to decide what content will be served to their users. The algorithms change frequently, but they often draw upon a combination of posting frequency, engagement levels and media types – such as photos or website links – to determine what content rises to the top.
The way people use social media is changing, and so too, are these algorithms. Stay on top of these fluctuations by reading daily, weekly or monthly blogs about what content is more favorable at a given time. On Instagram, remember that posts will not necessarily appear in chronological order, and plan according. On Facebook, it’s important to track the trends. With a push for more paid content, Facebook will also be reducing the reach brands have when posting organic content, which may justify more spending on digital advertising.
Be Aware of Fluctuations in User Preferences
Some social media channels may have hit their peak, and the dynamics will change a lot in 2019. Twitter has become more prevalent, because of the many social issues and political discussions happening on the platform, while Facebook is struggling to address decreases in engagement. Celebrity users like the Kardashians have predicted that SnapChat is going style. Meanwhile, we are already seeing other platforms make a rise in popularity. Still in beta testing mode, VERO may be a new social media channel to watch for brands in 2019.