Projected Social Media Trends for 2018, by Generation

Social media is not a fad that will be going away any time soon. In fact, over 2.8 billion people were using social media in the beginning of 2017. That’s over a 21% from the previous year! Social media is even our current Commander in Chief’s preferred communication channel, who has sent over 2,500 tweets since the 2016 election.

Some other interesting social media statistics: 

  • Over 60 hours of video footage is uploaded to Youtube every single minute.
  • 81% of Pinterest users are woman.
  • 95 million photos and videos are uploaded every day.

So with social media becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday lives, what’s in store for 2018?

As a marketer, your job is to stay on top of important social media trends. This allows you to adjust and change your marketing strategy as needed so you can continue to meet and engage with customers on the sites and platforms they use most. A solid understanding of the ever-changing social media landscape and who its affecting will also positively influence how you engage with users.

Where and how often a customer or potential customer interacts on social media widely depends on their age. Baby boomers. Generation X. Millennials. Generation Z—each generation has a different communication style and preference when it comes to using social media. For example, did you know that Generation Z prefers to see real people in their digital ads instead of celebrities? Knowing the difference will help you create stronger, more strategic campaigns and boost your overall engagement.

Data published by Personal Money Service provided some surprising, yet helpful information on social media use based on age.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers (aged 50-65) spend a whopping 27 hours online each week, which is two hours more than those aged between 16 and 34. 60% are currently active on Facebook and are more likely to share political content than any other generation. A staggering 13% have a presence on LinkedIn, solidifying the long-held belief that Baby Boomers are very career focused. However, this generation is less likely to use other platforms like Twitter or Instagram.

Generation X

Gen Xers (individuals aged 36-49 in 2017) have Facebook user rate of 80%. The same is true of Twitter, but less than half of Generation X users have active accounts. As a group, this generation has over $200 billion dollars in buying power! Want to use that number to your benefit? Then remember that over 68% of Gen X makes buying decisions based on reviews.

Millennials (Generation Y)

Millennials (aged 20-35) most widely use Facebook, with a 70% user rate. This group is more interested in their financial future than any of the other generations and their most preferred method of brand communication is through email. On average, this group spends almost 8 hours online every day, so it shouldn’t be too challenging to find them!

Generation Z

Gez Z is the youngest generation walking the earth today and these 13-19 years make up 22% if the United States population. Their short attention span is your greatest marketing obstacle: You have an average of 8 seconds to capture their attention and get them to take notice of your brand. Only 26% of this group spend time on Facebook, but you can catch over half of their generation on Instagram.

Trends for 2018

According to Digital Donut, there are three social media trends likely to make a huge impact on 2018. This includes ephemeral content, influencer marketing, and augmented reality.

Ephemeral content is short-lived content like a Snapchat story that typically lasts for no more than 24 hours. Clips and videos on this platform and others are successful because they cultivate a fear of missing out (FOMO) and encourage users to take immediate action.

Have you ever looked at a coat on an online store and then that same coat seemed to follow you to every other website you visited for the next several weeks? That’s influencer marketing, and it works. In fact, 40% of people have admitted to making online purchases after seeing the same item being promoted on multiple channels.

Finally, augmented reality is what you would call the numerous selfie filters that became so wildly popular on Snapchat in 2016. They’re so popular, many other platforms are looking at ways to incorporate their own AR filters and it’s a trend that’s likely to continue in 2018. Not only does AR help users create content that is fun to share, it gives major brands the opportunity to put their name and products in users’ photos.

Even though it might not make sense for your business to use all of these different social media trends, it’s important to try new things and include some of these tactics in your existing marketing plans. Capitalizing on some of these tactics will help keep your brand relevant to users and increase the likelihood of creating memorable customer experience.