There’s a New Gen in Town: Social Media Trends in 2018
While the social world is always changing, 2018 could hold changes we never imagined, like augmented reality and virtual hangs. If you’re a marketer trying to connect with your audience (or help clients connect with theirs) via social media, here are a few trends you should watch out for.
Gen Z Is In
Dear Millennials, there’s a new audience in town. While Millennials are now buying houses, having kids and taking over the workforce, Gen Z is 22 years old, graduating college, and entering the labor force. As they begin to work, they will soon be the generation with increased buying power.
So, while we’ve all spent a long time identifying what Millennials want, it’s time to shift our focus to a generation that is all digital. Brands should recognize this and begin to shift their social media strategies accordingly as they look to connect to Gen Z.
We already mentioned this when we talked about marketing trends, but it’s worth mentioning again. Instagram Stories is just one year old, and it’s already surpassed Snapchat by 50 million users. Clearly, they’re doing something right. From filters to content editing, Instagram has all the features of Snapchat and more (like live video and Boomerangs!). Brands that have been trying to connect with Instagram users and having poor luck should take the time master Instagram Stories. Instagram can provide a growing platform, a growing audience, and highly engaged users.
For a while, Facebook seemed to be a free for all when it came to ads, fake news, and sketchy clickbait. While it might not be possible to put a stop to all these things, since a series of controversial decisions during the 2016 presidential election, social media platforms are getting serious about governing their platforms.
Facebook just cut thousands of ads that appeared to be connected to Russia, and they’ve also invested in new AI and human forms of monitoring.
Moving forward, Facebook and other platforms will likely put stronger codes of conduct in place and enforce stronger governance to protect themselves from future criticism.
Since we’re marketing to Gen Z now, we need to consider where these twenty-somethings are hanging out. While Millennials were online all the time, Gen Z is taking online hangs to a whole new level and using virtual spaces to hang out with their friends. Platforms like Houseparty (a video hangout platform) and Facebook Spaces (still in production) are designed to let friends connect digitally.
Live video hangouts are a natural next step in the digital space, and the big platforms are going to be looking for ways to utilize this trend. Marketers should be aware of new opportunities to use these spaces to reach Gen Z.