The new year is well and truly here, so it’s time to look at the key social media trends you need to know about in 2018.

It might take a while for these changes to come about. However, if you’re aware of them now, you can prepare, and you won’t be rushed later. Result!

Should you be worried about new social media trends?

The short answer is no. New social media trends are nothing to worry about – they’re simply new opportunities for your business. Try to keep an eye on content marketing trends too, as they’re closely linked to how marketers use social media.

If you have a structured, organised and adaptable approach to social media, 2018’s trends are nothing to be concerned about. To get on top of them, create a social media calendar for the year ahead and mark out key dates for your company’s channels. This may change as the year progresses, but it’s good to start off on the right foot.

4 social media trends for SMEs to keep an eye on

Here’s a quick run-down of the social media trends that are most likely to affect small businesses. Have a think about them, and consider the steps you can take to improve your social media strategy.

1. Instagram and Facebook stories will increase in popularity

Over 200 million people use Instagram stories each month, and Facebook users are starting to catch on. This relatively new feature is like Snapchat stories, but at less than a year old, it’s a great opportunity for businesses.

Show the personal side your business with an innovative Instagram story. After all, social media images are great for engagement and hooking new audiences. Through your story, offer a little extra info to your followers and make them feel special.

2. Here comes Generation Z

Goldman Sachs’ latest study tells us to focus on Gen Z instead of Millennials. Obviously, it depends on your industry and your target market, but raising awareness among Gen Z is certainly not a bad thing.

Try to focus on the social media platforms that are popular with Gen Z. Snapchat and Instagram are the two leading forces, so perhaps invest in making sure your profile is in tip-top shape.

3. Live streaming is going to be big

Live streaming is not just a novelty, audiences are starting to give it their attention.

This is one of the easiest social media trends for businesses to embrace. All you need is a smartphone to send out great videos via Facebook Live. Here are just a few ideas on what you could do:

  • Product demonstrations
  • Explainer videos
  • Debates
  • Events
  • Behind-the-scenes shots

These types of video will help your brand seem much more real, and therefore boost your engagement rates as well as build relationships. Who can say no to that?

4. You’ll use more gadgets and gizmos

One thing we’re pretty sure about is that you’ll be using more online tools, automated software and analytics platforms this year.

It just makes sense! It will give you greater control of your output and it won’t eat up all of your time. Also, a lot of these gadgets are free, so you won’t have to worry about any extra costs!

There are huge benefits to using these tools. It would be silly to pass up the opportunity, especially as 2018 is the year that we’re all set to start using AI technology!

So, that’s it – a round-up of the top social media trends for the year. We hope it helped!