According to research by Instagram based on its 800 million-strong community, social platforms are one of the key drivers of consumer engagement in 2018.
The photo app predicts that in 2018, social media will become a main station for commerce and drive direct sales through engagement. Indeed, 62% of Millennials are already saying that they are more likely to become loyal customers if a brand engages them on social media platforms. Instagram has been testing its Shopping feature in the US this year.
Although video is one of the core trends of 2017, it’s also a main focus for the future with mobile devices accounting for 72% of online viewing by 2019. Instagram expects more ephemeral formats to grow in importance – those Stories that disappear within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, messenger apps will likely lead a revolution in customer service with ever more people choosing to communicate with businesses that way. Indeed, 64% of consumers would prefer to message with business than call or email them.
Instagram predicts that this trend is going to continue to grow in 2018.
At the same time, the photo app expects smaller businesses to be at the forefront of marketing innovation. Given the ease and efficiency that social media advertising offers, big budget marketers are no longer leading when it comes to pushing the boundaries.
Social media allows people to interact globally. For brands that means they are able to converse with a highly engaged audience that is much easier to reach. In addition, niche communities are driving niche businesses advertising.
As brands are able to collect more detailed demographic and behavioural data of their audiences, they are able to create more effective, timely and suitable campaigns to drive their sales.
“Alongside the shift to mobile, we’ve seen people shift their preferred method of communication toward messaging – a communication style that is instant, direct, and personal,” explained Amy Cole, head of brand development EMEA at Instagram. “People increasingly want to communicate with businesses in the same quick, informal way they communicate with their friends.”
She adds that although social metrics such as likes and comments are a sign of success, sales and business actions matter more.
“With brands being given more detailed customer insights, they can pinpoint actionable information about who their followers are and what content resonate better than others.”