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  • Under: Marketing & Communications Strategy

Social media trends are, in a word, ephemeral. Just when you think you’ve finally locked down how to properly use Snapchat filters, the platform changes.

Despite the ever-evolving landscape of social media, we took a look at the top five trends that will undoubtedly dominate the back half of 2018.

1. Video Content is King 

We’re confident that if you scroll through any of your social media feeds, you’ll swipe by a video (or five). Sharing your organization’s message through video is necessary in today’s fast-paced consumer culture. In 2017, 90% of all content shared by users on social media was video. Some predict that by 2020, video will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic.

The tricky part is cutting through the tumult of video content and grabbing your audience’s attention in the first few seconds. If you’re looking to step up your social media marketing strategy with video content, make sure its short, mobile-friendly and has captions.

2. Chatbots are the Future

Whether it’s assisting customers with a service or selling them a product, chatbots are evolving into one of the most effective methods for creating real-time engagement.

Take Facebook Messenger, a platform that uses more than 100,000 chatbots to gather information, provide customer support and take orders. As more customers turn to social media for customer service, utilizing chatbots that respond instantaneously to specific questions is essential.

Test out Sprout Social’s Bot Builder to easily create, preview and deploy chatbots for your Twitter or Facebook.

3. Going Live

Have you ever gotten a notification that one of your friends is going “live” on Instagram or Facebook, connecting to their friends in real time? Well, prepare to see more live content on social media in 2018.

Snapchat recently launched a live feature with one caveat—users can’t stream live from the platform themselves. Instead, Snapchat has chosen to transmit live TV to help users experience culturally relevant moments.

If you want to enhance your customers’ online experience with your organization, try broadcasting the next event or company culture activity.

4. Make it Mobile

We bet a majority of people are reading this blog on their phone—we’re mobile-friendly for a reason. When it comes to using popular social media apps, reading news articles or ordering food, most people use their smartphone.

Currently, 91% of users access social media platforms on their mobile devices. What does that mean for your organization? That anything posted online must be optimized for mobile devices.

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

As social media users, we’re constantly interacting with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and it’s revolutionizing the way we socialize online.

Last year, we saw Snapchat introduce a new AR feature that allowed users to create a Bitmoji and project their Bitmoji selves into the real world through the app’s camera.

With the launch of Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone X, which offer users a new AR experience, we’ll likely see even more social channels introduce new ways of integrating AR on their platforms.

Intrigued? We don’t blame you. AR features are an incredible way to interact with and engage users. If you plan to incorporate AR or VR, make sure it adds value for the user and is shareable.

One Last Thing...

While it didn’t make it to the top five, social media contests are also a popular tool used to elevate marketing campaigns and encourage user engagement. Take CHIEF’s Pic Your Park contest, an Instagram challenge that encourages users to post a selfie from a national park adventure, add the hashtag #PicYourParkContest and earn points, collect badges and win prizes.

What social media trends are you excited to try out this year? Share your thoughts on Twitter. We can’t wait to hear from you!