Throughout 2017, we've seen some exciting new developments in the world of social media marketing.
Facebook started luring Snapchat users to Instagram, promoting features like Instagram Stories that mirror the functionalities that Snapchat pioneered.
Influencer marketing exploded in popularity, becoming one of the hottest and most talked-about marketing channels there is right now.
It's already fall, and 2018 is already just around the corner.
As you can imagine, the coming year will bring even more new developments and innovations that marketers can make the most of to reach new audiences.
Some of the rising trends right now are pretty straightforward.
Influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down, especially when it comes to niche micro-influencers.
Instagam Stories are another hot topic, as well as livestreaming.
These 2017 trends are expected to continue to grow.
But the future has other exciting things in store for us, too, some of which are just now beginning their ascendancy to widespread popularity.
A recent piece from Entrepreneur features four rising trends that brands need to know about for 2018 and beyond.
Rise of augmented reality.
At the first-ever event hosted in the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple announced the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X.
Both devices incorporate a new chip that allows the phones to provide users with extraordinary augmented reality experiences.
While augmented reality will have its initial impact on mobile gaming, it is likely that social media platforms will find ways to incorporate the new technology as well.
Similarly, brands could soon project their products into the homes of social media users through special filters.
Continued investment in influencer marketing.
Over 90 percent of marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy believe it is successful.
Companies like North Face, Hubspot and Rolex use social media–based influencer marketing strategies to connect with new audiences and improve engagement with existing audiences.
This year we saw that brands that opted for traditional advertising strategies struggled to connect to social media users.
Next year, it is likely that more brands will embrace influencer marketing as a way to connect with audiences who tend to ignore traditional strategies.
Focus on Generation Z.
A recent study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that Generation Z was more valuable to most organizations than millennials.
Today, the oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old. They are just beginning to enter the labor force, and will have increased buying power for some time.
Brands will begin to recognize this, and will shift their social media strategies accordingly.
Expect great investment in platforms loved by Gen Zers like Snapchat and Instagram.
Facebook Spaces goes mainstream.
Facebook isn’t just interested in live video streaming; they’ve been working on a project called Spaces that is designed to allow friends to connect in VR.
Given that Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company, it is no surprise that the social media giant is developing a platform to make use of this new technology.
Facebook is poised to scale Spaces in 2018. When they do, it is likely that it will be the first successful VR social media product at scale.
You can read about more rising social media marketing trends over at Entrepreneur.