The year 2017 seems to have flown by. In a mere four months, it will be 2018. Businesses need to be on their game when it comes to brand awareness and marketing to the new customer. Social media trends that were commonplace will fall by the way, and they will give way to new trends.

It’s important to stay ahead of the competition and know what to expect when it comes to marketing in the new year. Advertising sure isn’t the same as it was ten years ago. If you don’t keep up, you will certainly fall behind. Falling behind can give your opponent a leg up on the customers that could come your way.

Out With The Old and In With The New

To reach your audience, you need to distribute your content on an even basis. Building a following around your brand will give you a wealth of possibilities. You must go where the audience lives to engage them. Using built-in analytics, you can track and improve your efforts.

Additionally, numerous social media tools can make it easier to get an active presence. Looking ahead to the new year, you must strengthen your social strategy. Learning to keep a pulse on the trends is advantageous. To help you in your venture, here are five social-media trends that you should be prepared for, and you must be able to hit the ground running for 2018.

Content Personalization

When browsing the internet, people are looking for content that is relevant to their needs. For instance, most people look for brands that they know and like. They don’t want generic content that doesn’t offer them anything unique.

Take for instance laundry detergent. Many people use the big-name brands and have little interest in newer brands that make bold promises. It’s because they have already connected with those brands and are closed minded to anything new. If the content isn’t relevant to the customers’ needs, then they will become frustrated.

How do you win over a crowd that has a mindset on their beloved products, you improve your personalization? Produce content that speaks to these people on a personal level.

Branch Out Into Other Social Media Platforms

Many people have accounts with Snapchat and Instagram. These platforms allow users to feature timed videos and visual content. Instagram Stories reach more people. Using an influencer can give up to a 10 percent increase in audience members.

Snapchat continues to rule among followers of younger demographics. Brands must be selective about what social media markets in which they invest. You must pick the platform that brings the best return for the demographics you seek. Don’t think Facebook and Twitter are the only markets out there worth your time and effort.

Videos Will Increase In Content Strategy

We learned that in 2017 videos became commonplace. However, while this trend is expected to extend into the next year, videos are only becoming more important. As the social algorithms keep updating, it’s important to flow with the trends. Try using video captioning services to make your videos more engaging. The goal is to have SEO-friendly, searchable videos that make the users choose yours over others.

Mobile Optimization

While it seems that the trend has been towards mobilization, it’s predicted that more than 59 percent of Facebook users are accessing through mobile exclusively. By the year 2020, researchers estimate that it will be more than 80 percent of users.

Unfortunately, Facebook was never designed for mobile platforms. However, Instagram and Snapchat were created for this purpose. Mobile optimization is no longer a choice; it’s a requirement. There are no more excuses for producing content that’s not optimized for mobile applications.

Invest In Chatbots For Better Customer Service

If you are not currently using chatbots, then you cost yourself a lot of time and money. This customer service tool gives you a way to interact with your viewers in a personal way. It allows you to customize your voice.

Did you know that there are more than 100,000 active bots on Facebook Messenger currently? Also, they are exchanging more than two billion messages between brand and audience members each month. In 2018, chatbots are going to increase and become a requirement.

There are so many opportunities for audiences to connect with brands through social media. You can create and distribute better content as well as building a following on these channels. However, you must understand the shifts and be able to stay ahead of the trends. You have four months to get ready for 2018, so let the planning begin.