From a bunch of online platforms that started off merely so that people could remain connected, social media has evolved into an industry of endless possibilities that was worth over 28 Billion Euros in 2017. But for one of the fastest growing industries today, social media is still quite the game of cat and mouse with trends that change every year and businesses trying to latch on to these trends at the right moment.
So with 2017 tagged and bagged, what does the year look like on the social media space. Here are five trends I am certain will be hot in India in 2018!
#1 Resurgence of independent content creators and bloggers
Branded content became mainstream on social in 2016 but 2017 saw the social media space literally exploding with it. Easing off the branded content fatigue this year, bloggers and micro-publishers will be a huge trend and a much-needed relief to say so. With average engagement rates almost thrice as much as branded content, bloggers and micro influencers are creating content that is certainly at par with content agencies and publishers, and this is certainly the year of their resurgence.
2 The year of volatile content
In just a year of its launch in August 2016, Instagram stories had over 200 million daily active users, and we already know how popular Snapchat is. Adding to the trove of volatile content, Facebook recently announced that they are inches away from launching desktop uploads for their stories. Sum all of this up and one thing is certain; 2018 is the year of volatile content and why not. After all, variety is the spice of life isn’t it!
#3 VR – finally!
Virtual Reality has been touted as the next big thing for a while now but 2018 is the year that brands will be able to leverage its power and connect to users on an experiential level. Social media platforms have already proven how useful they are for content driven campaigns and VR takes the content experience to the next level altogether. For example; reading about how a university’s new campus makes it THE place to be is a great way to connect with prospective students but giving them a VR tour of the campus on their Facebook timeline immerses them in the experience you actually want to provide.
#4 Social is LIVE
As the focus of social moves from millennials to Gen Z, a generation notorious for their low attention spans, live streams have become a rage. Besides, with brands investing a lot in video capabilities, live streaming and HERE & NOW content will become one of the most definitive trends on social media this year. What’s really making live content a big rage is the fact that it gives brands a better insight into their audience engagement since it’s highly likely that an audience is paying attention to your content if they are willing to spare time and watch it when it’s live.
#5 Gamification and leaderboards
Rewarding participatory behaviour from audiences is a trend that has been around for a long time and now it’s taking the world of social media by storm. The trend of rewarding positive brand interactions and getting audiences to compete for top honours has led brands to social media success in 2017, a trend that’s only going to get bigger in 2018. Besides with the advent of connected apps on social media and communities of engaged audiences, gamification and leader boards will be immensely popular in 2018.
As the social media industry is poised for yet another year of staggering growth, 2018 promises to be a year of content in motion, with video leading the way. Indeed, we have a come a long way from the kitten video rage started by 9gag back in the day!