5 Social Media Trends to Consider For Your 2018 Strategy

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

5 Social Media Trends to Consider For Your 2018 Strategy

Last year, there was no shortage of surprises, new features and time in the national spotlight when it came to social media’s influence in politics. Cough, Russia. In 2018, we can expect to see the social media relationship between brands and consumers continue to evolve and affect the way we connect and engage with one another. Here are 5 social media trends to consider for your strategy in 2018:

Shifting Demographics

Brands need to be mindful of shifting demographics and behaviors among Millennials and Gen Z. At least 40% of Millennials already have children, and that rate will continue to climb throughout 2018. These monumental milestones mean major lifestyle changes for Millennials and major sales category shifts and opportunities for brands. We break down how to communicate with Millennial parents here.

As for Gen Z, according to a recent Goldman Sachs study, the young, influential generation is predicted to be a driving force both organizationally and economically. In fact, the oldest Gen Zers are now 22 years old and are beginning to enter the workforce, which in turn will increase their purchase power. As true digital natives, Gen Zers heavily rely on connectedness and communication through platforms including SnapChat, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. While 47% of Gen Zers say they love SnapChat, don’t throw all your resources into one platform. Gen Zers, much like Millennials respectively, gravitate towards authenticity and relevancy and prefer communicating on other platforms such as Instagram or email. More on communicating with Gen Z here.

AR/VR Advances

As AR and VR technology continues to advance and become more accessible, brands may consider adopting the technology into their social media strategy and overall marketing plans. While only a mere 8-11% of marketing professionals are utilizing the technology, up to 26% of marketers say they would like to incorporate the technology into their marketing strategy over the next few years, according to Business Insider.

Regulations and Governance

After a series of controversial discoveries of Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential election, both Facebook and Twitter have adopted new policies governing conduct on their platforms.

Just last month, Facebook announced that it intends to change the filter of the News Feed to emphasize more meaningful social interactions between friends and family—not publishers. As a result, users will see less public content, including news, video and posts from brands.

Additionally, Facebook will take a series of steps to bring Facebook ads to a higher level of transparency by allowing users to view ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger — whether or not the person viewing is in the intended target audience for the ad, as well as increased requirements for authenticity from advertisers, particularly political advertisers.

Twitter announced it intends to launch an advertising transparency center that discloses information about all ads running on its platform. Additionally, it would ban Kremlin-funded, English-language media outlets RT and Sputnik from advertising on Twitter.

Chatbots

This year we can expect more brands to invest in chatbots, as well as AI and voice assistants. Chatbots will continue to enable brands to offer real-time assistance via messenger apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Kik, in addition to providing a more personalized shopping experience on site. Gartner predicts that chatbots may handle 85% of all customer interactions by the year 2020.

Live Streaming

Considering Facebook’s recent News Feed announcement, brands will have to look to creative alternatives for organic page content such as live streaming. Good news for brands, according to Live Stream, 82% of audiences prefer live video to traditional, written posts. Additionally, users are likely to spend three times longer watching live video as opposed to pre-recorded. 

Can You Afford Not to Have a Crisis Management Plan?

The Blog

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Can You Afford Not to Have a Crisis Management Plan?

Crisis Management Plan

Property insurance, product liability insurance, business interruption insurance… you probably have policies in place to help with those risks, but what about protecting your brand during and after a crisis?

A crisis is defined as a time of intense trouble or difficulty. Every company can have a crisis any day of the week, no matter its size or industry. In other words, bad stuff happens in a blink of an eye.

Internal operations related to product recall or plant injuries can cause a crisis. So can external factors such as misinformation being distributed about your company or a disruption caused by a natural disaster.

How you handle a crisis or emergency will define your brand for a very long time.

Rumors, customer requests, social and traditional media reports… they come so rapidly that it can be overwhelming.

Are you prepared? How will you respond? What kind of actions will you need to take? How do you fight back when inaccuracies are being reported? Who do you talk to first? And who does the talking? How much do you tell the media and when? It seems like so much to think about when you’re in the line of fire – but you can do most of this critical thinking ahead of time to be most efficient in a crisis.

Manage and Communicate

Some PR firms call for a crisis communication plan, but it is really a crisis management plan. It is not only about communication but also about prevention, strategic planning, evaluation, honesty, media, etc.

Every moment that is wasted will have far-reaching implications as judgments about your brand, organization and leadership are made without your comments or actions. And yet, the absolute worst thing you can do is to respond without thinking through the consequences.

With so much at stake with your employees, your customers and the public, can you afford not to have a plan of action?

You need a plan to relay accurate information, relieve tensions and direct activities that can mitigate damages and continue or restore business operations.

Whether you are writing a crisis management plan internally from scratch or evaluating a current crisis communications plan already in tact, be sure you are committing the appropriate time and resources necessary. Your plan should be honest and realistic. Establish weaknesses or potential pitfalls ahead of time. It will be much easier to deal with address troublesome issues and critics if you are prepared for and acknowledge the worst scenarios.

We can help.

Geile/Leon’s experienced PR team helps companies to design and executive crisis management plans, and can answer additional questions that you have. The best defense for any crisis is to have a plan that hopefully you will never need. If and when you do, it will be invaluable.

Download our crisis management plan checklist to evaluate your current plan or to assist you in building a new one. Building or improving a plan takes time and resources, allow us to help. Let’s talk about your potential risks and crises scenarios and build your plan now to save you time and resources later.

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