Social Trends in 2018: Communication Changes
Social media is transforming the communications business. Companies large and small are investing heavily in social platforms and content curation as the industry keeps a close eye on the emerging trends that have the potential to change the landscape completely. Here at Tunheim, we are doing the same. We believe digital strategy and social know-how require up-to-date knowledge of the evolving trends that are constantly changing the world of social. In this short series we have captured some of the simple, yet influential social trends that your business should be implementing in 2018.
In this article, we take a look at how social media and digital strategy are transforming communications.
As we head into 2018, we all know that communication is changing. From the way we discuss politics to the way millennials are communicating at work, online mediums have brought us into the digital age. Social media has changed the way we share and engage with content, and understanding these trends will ensure that your business can embrace and utilize these techniques to reach your intended audiences.
- Prospecting Tool: As millennials become the predominate generation in the work force, work place communication is shifting to online social. LinkedIn has become a trusted source for finding networking connections and in 2018 social channels will become even more engrained in communications initiatives. Twitter lists can be used to follow and engage with both employees and clients, company Facebook groups are created by cultural development teams and LinkedIn articles from top level executives can provide more direct, personal conversations with employees.
- Echo Chamber Effect: As 2017 comes to a close, we are all too aware of how America is politically polarized. This is demonstrated especially through conversations taking place online. As we move into 2018, this trend will only increase. The echo chamber effect has taken hold of social media platforms, and people will continue to surround themselves with news that reaffirms their personal thoughts and values, while removing any conflicting or oppositional views. As a business, it is important to remain open and tolerant on social platforms. Not everyone will like your content, and some may even leave negative comments. Unless the comment includes vulgar language or content, refrain from deleting negative feedback. Opposition and personal opinions are important and necessary, and a response acknowledging the negativity and asking how to improve the experience can go a long way. Be the brand that takes the time to right the situation, not the brand that descends into the echo chamber.
- Nonverbals: Nearly three years ago, Facebook revealed the reaction option, which allows users to share different emotions on a post. As a result, communication has become more instantaneous and less involved. Due to this change, you may expect to see less engagement on your content. While other platforms are developing a similar reaction feature, it is important to understand and anticipate a possible dip in online engagement as the average attention span becomes shorter. To combat this, make online content short and sweet on the platforms that offer instantaneous updates. However, this doesn’t mean that businesses should abandon all long-form content. Engaged consumers care about the quality of content and will follow through until the end if it is both interesting and important knowledge.
- Automation: Did you know that messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat have more users than Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? This is a largely untapped opportunity for brands to leverage when it comes to customer service. You may have heard about Chatbots and the use of automated systems to provide faster, easier customer service. This has the ability to be either very helpful for your business by providing personalized, fast service or the ability to be detrimental to your business through impersonal online connections. As more businesses begin to utilize these systems in 2018, it’s important to make sure customer service is automated to the degree of providing efficient assistance but not to the point of leaving the customer feeling brushed off by the brand. When customers contact an automated service, they are hoping to quickly and efficiently reach their destination for resolution. It is important to ensure that preloaded responses actually address the needs or issues of the client, so that they walk away from the experience feeling as if their request has been fulfilled.
Social media offers a whole new medium to reach and engage with your most important stakeholders. Communication is changing and social trends provide a multitude of ways to change how we interact. Invest in simple innovations for your business to ensure you are taking advantage of all that social media has to offer. Interested in learning about other social trends that are transforming industry landscape? Check out the two other articles in this series; Social Trends in 2018: Thought Leadership and Social Trends in 2018: Content Formatting to learn more.