The social media is a phenomenon of the new millennium. Its numbers have crossed more than 3 billion users worldwide, becoming a primary means for businesses, politicians and decision-makers to reach their audiences. And there is a lot more to the social media story than Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, as indicated by the evolving trends in social media.

Rise of Private Groups

Facebook Groups took off in 2018 as a means for brands to connect directly with fans. Facebook Groups allow a company to participate as a Business Page, post Live videos and facilitate social learning. These groups are meant for engaging with a large audience and garnering the necessary feedback.

Emergence of Chatbots

Internet chatbots date back to the days of AOL messenger. Chatbots have evolved considerably since those times and are now being integrated with social media. Businesses are using chatbots to establish social connection with the customers on social media. In an indication of things to come, the new Facebook Messenger platform saw the number of chatbots soaring to more than one lakh in the very first year of its inception.

Stories Everywhere

The social media platforms have metamorphosed into story-telling platform, which is good for brand building. Instagram Stories have received a major boost due to AR filters, Facebook has added Stories to personal accounts, Pages and Groups, while WhatsApp and YouTube have also invested in Story-like features. The evolution from basic features to branded storytelling snippets and integration with shopping features will only jump further.

Thriving Live Video

Live video content is making huge waves and is set to become a crucial part of marketing strategy. Consumers love video content, with estimates suggesting that 2/3rd of the audiences prefer watching live video as opposed to reading social media blogs.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing makes use of micro influencers to drive traffic and sales. Companies hire the services of Instagrammers and Snapchatters to promote their brand and manage their social media profile. Micro influencers are people who have a strong following on social media channels, with numbers typically ranging between 1,000 and 90,000.

Paid Advertisements

Businesses need an active presence on the social media and they know it. They build profiles on multiple platforms and update these on a regular basis. Companies pay for advertisements in order to take their social media strategies to the next level. Facebook alone has more than six million advertisers and Instagram has more than two million monthly paid advertisers.

Social Listening

Social platforms are listening to the conversations taking place on their platforms. If you are discussing something with friends and see a related advertisement on the social media, you can attribute it to the ears of the social platforms.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality takes the real and modifies it. The Pokemon Go gaming app is an example of Augmented Reality. The app accesses the user’s camera and adds fictional elements to the screen. Social media channels are implementing augmented reality on their platforms to provide and enhance the customer experience, with Snapchat’s face filters being a case in point.