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6 Trends you Need to Know About Social Media

Have you watched a 
Facebook live broadcast recently? Have you created an Instagramstory yet? Have you had a chat with Dominos Pizza on WhatsApp? Time for a quick update on what's happening in social media land.

  1. Most businesses now understand that if you want to reach an audience on Facebook you have to advertise. Facebook is the biggest social media network with over 1.6 billion active users every day. The potential that can be reached with very targeted advertising is astounding and it’s become a complete game-changer for many companies.
  2. The live streaming of video is very hot right now. You can now stream video broadcasts live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For example, you could follow the coverage of hurricane Irma live on Youtube. Live streaming of video turns you into a publisher and media companies are still struggling with how to deal with this. Facebook is very keen on people using Facebook live and they will reward you with reaching a bigger audience - without having to pay for it!
  3. Chatbots are on the rise. If you look at the top 3 social networks globally by monthly active users WhatsApp and Facebook messenger are numbers 2 and 3 (Statista.com). This means that more and more people are active in their messenger apps. To enable businesses to connect with these users Facebook messenger and WhatsApp have opened their apps for businesses. Chatbots enable companies to chat with people in messaging apps to sell products or offer services like tech support or news. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology makes these bots very advanced and although you're chatting with a machine, it feels like you talking to a human. Check out this KLM service to experience a chatbot in action.
  4. Augmented Reality is the future. Did you see the Apple iPhone announcements last week? On their new iPhone 8 and iPhone X you can now send an emoji which is based on your facial expression by using your phone's camera. During Facebook's f8 developers conference earlier this year, Facebook announced AR Studio. A platform where developers can create AR apps like the overlays on selfies that we see on Snapchat. The future of AR is phenomenal. Think about teaching, retail, gaming… and you don't need an expensive head set like you do in Virtual Reality applications. You can just use your phone and your camera to create an augmented world on your screen.
  5.  Social media goes SOLOMO. This stands for SOcial, LOcal , MObile. 80% of social media activity happens on mobile and more and more apps add local features to their service (Facebook Local Business, Snapchat Geofilters, Google Business). So if you're not taking advantage of these features you're missing out on engagement opportunities with your clients. Did you know that the most checked-in place in the UK is Old Trafford, the Manchester United stadium?
  6. And finally: Twitter. Is Trump keeping twitter alive? The fact is that Twitter is still making a loss and is not growing their user base as fast as other social networks. It doesn't mean Twitter will disappear in the near future but it does mean a proliferation in type of users. In my opinion Twitter will be more and more a news channel enabling you to get the latest news instantly. The sharing of content is moving to networks like Instagram and Pinterest which is more visual and gives businesses better access to the users.

So there you go. You are now up to date on what's happening in social media land. As you can see, there's a lot going on. And if I could summarise these changes in one word it would be: Personalisation. Everything is geared towards you, the user. Making your experience more individual. Whether you're talking to a friend or to a business. You are at the heart of it - and that's exactly where you should be!