Social media is a powerful asset for any business. Leveraging current social media trends allows your brand or business the opportunity to boost online visibility, engage your target audience, and increase touch points that lead to conversions.

Are you still on the fence about the power of social media? Here are a few social statistics that are clear calls to action:

  • 81 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile
  • 91 percent of social users are doing so via mobile devices
  • Consumers spend up to 40 percent more money with brands that engage them on social media
  • 88 percent of businesses use social media (your competitors)

There are a number of social trends making the rounds in 2018, but a few are far more powerful than others. Artificially intelligent social chatbots, engaging creatives like videos, and mobile-friendliness are a few notable social media trends this year.

To have continued growth and success in a time consumers have more options than ever before, you have to stay on top of social media trends. This gives you a leg up on competitors and showcases the benefits and value of your products or services.

Let’s dive into the social media trends you absolutely need to leverage for success.

  1. Make Video Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Video content is trending in a big way. From Facebook to Snapchat, social media marketing strategies that have videos at the core will be far more successful. Why? Well, videos are more engaging and lean toward that personal feel consumers crave in 2018 and beyond.

For example, native Facebook videos had nearly a 50 percent higher engagement rate than YouTube videos. Native Facebook videos also had 67 percent higher reach than YouTube videos.

This makes the ROI on videos far better as well. In fact, businesses that capitalize on video in their social media strategy saw 27 percent higher CTR and 34 percent higher conversions via web.

What social channel should you start your video campaigns on? Facebook has the best engagement with video ads and Facebook Live making waves in 2018.

  1. AI Chatbots are a Must in 2018

Chatbots are artificially intelligent brand ambassadors, customer representatives, and social butterflies. They can make a big impact on your growth and success in 2018 by simply being available to engage with your customers at the drop of a hat.

Consumers want quick replies to their social comments or questions, and AI bots can make this happen. Facebook Messenger chatbots can interact with your audience, answer questions about products or services, and even push customers a little farther down your buying funnel.

For example, beauty company Sephora increased their bookings by 11 percent after launching the Sephora Reservation Assistant bot on Facebook Messenger. You can also build bots for messenger apps like Slack and Kik too.

The bot benefits are pretty clear, but how do you get an AI chatbot of your own? There are a variety of platforms to build your very own bot. Chatfuel, for example, can have a bot up and running for your business in 10 minutes, no coding required.

  1. Ensure Your Social Media Strategy is Mobile Focused

This may seem like an obvious one, but there are still a lot of brands and businesses not optimizing their social media posts for mobile users. Sure, people do visit social via desktop, but not much.

For example, Facebook nets 84 percent of their ad revenue from mobile. Think mobile for every post and forget desktop altogether for your next social campaign in 2018.

What does this mean? Well, be sure to have a very clear call to action that is mobile focused. This means serving content that triggers action, since they have their smartphone in hand.

  1. Think About Your Target Audience, But Don’t Forget About Other Social Channels

This may be slightly confusing on the surface, but can open you up to a whole new revenue stream. The first rule of social is to cater to your target audience. You don’t want to waste social media advertising dollars.

For example, if your target audience is female professionals making $50,000 per year or more, Pinterest is a safe bet for a greater ROI, according to recent Pinterest statistics.

Does tis mean you should be only focused on Pinterest? Not at all. In fact, you should spread out your social posts and cater to each in different ways.

For instance, for Facebook you can post native videos daily. Instagram and Snapchat can be great for your targeting the next generation of customers while also boosting your brand mentions among those who use social media daily.

The goal is to never count one social channel out just because it doesn’t fall into your target audience data. Each social media network has its own unique reach and abilities.

What’s Your Social Media Strategy in 2018?

There are a number of powerful ways to capitalize on current social media trends and increase your company’s visibility. Some are easier to implement than others, but with a little research, you can integrate all four of the above social trends by mid-year without issue.

You may be thinking, “What about my marketing budget?” Good point, but there are actually plenty of ways to affordably capitalize on current social media trends without impacting your business’ bottom line. Some social strategies can be done at little cost, while some can be easily achieved with some extra financing support.

The main goal is to increase your marketing ROI. The market is too competitive to not let yourself be creative and social. You can begin your video campaigns this week. You can build a chatbot in two, you can serve more content to all social channels by the end of the month, and you can make a mobile-focused call to action plan in two months or less. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get social!