2018 Social Media Trend Forecast: What Should Marketers Capitalize on This Year?
Posted on January 20, 2018 | By Christina Fakhry

Curious to find out which social media trends are likely to dominate the digital world in 2018? Make sure to read our handpicked forecast of this year’s most promising trends.

Marketers Turn to Untraditional Ad Strategies

This trend is characterized by a continued investment in influencer marketing, which flourished to unprecedented heights last year and only seems to be going stronger, notably in light of recent studies highlighting the substantial impact of this non-traditional online advertising strategy. A recent study by influencer marketing platform gen.video, for instance, reported that 90 percent of surveyed social media users are influenced to make a purchase after seeing content on social media while 33 percent cited online influencers are their most trusted source of shopping advice.

Instagram Stories Witness an Upsurge in Popularity

Instagram has managed to grow its active user-base by almost 160 percent since the launch of Stories. The expiring feature that kicked off in August 2016 currently boasts over 300 million daily users and is expected to become even more popular in 2018, echoing the unprecedented rise in disappearing online content, which figured among last year’s biggest social media trends and remains in full swing to date.

Brands Seek out Innovative Approaches to Promoting Content

In order to counter brand/social media fatigue, an emerging digital phenomenon by which consumers are becoming increasingly immune to sponsored online content, marketers are expected to up their game by seeking out new/innovative approaches to promoting content and investing more effort in ‘personalizing’ their relationship with consumers.

Standardized Content is Replaced with Local/Personal Stories

In line with the above trend, researchers have detected a tendency towards more local/personal stories as opposed to standardized/general content. This calls for marketers to narrow down instead of scaling up i.e. turn to more specific content themes/types that reflect the culture/interest of their intended audience and tailor their messages to clearly identifiable audience parameters.

Live Streaming Surge Set to Become Bigger

It is no secret that live streaming has become markedly popular in recent years, notably after popular social networks like Facebook and Instagram introduced their own successful live stream features. The trend is said to become even bigger this year, notably with the parallel rise in digital hangouts (on video chat apps like Houseparty), which are essentially built around collective live video experiences.

Gamification & VR Inspire New Social Media Experiences

VR has been one of the top digital trends to watch in 2017 and its impact only promises to grow wider this year, as gamification and VR technologies begin to further shape the online world through inspiring a whole new range of customized/immersive social media experiences.

Gen Z Steals the Spotlight

After years of focusing on millennials (Gen Y), marketers in 2018 are expected to shift their focus (and budget) towards the younger generation (Gen Z), which essentially grew up with social media, have always lived in a perpetually connected world and are starting to gain purchasing power.

Social Networks Instigate Stricter Governance Policies

Last but not least, social media experts estimate that big social networks will take time this year to review their governance policies and impose stricter codes of conduct amid rising privacy concerns and ongoing user/media criticism.