Ten Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2018

The year 2017 was a big one for social media, and there’s still three months left. Facebook came up with Instagram Stories to compete with Snapchat and their copycat approach worked as Instagram users have surpassed Snapchat users. The United States got a new president who routinely uses social media to share official policy positions. Twitter shocked the world when they announced that they were doubling their character limit to 280, flying in the face of everything Twitter stands for. The year 2018 has the potential to be just as big for social media. Here are ten social media marketing trends we expect to see in the coming year.

The emergence of augmented reality

When Apple announced their smartphone lineup for the coming year, one of the most exciting features was a more advanced processor that is fast enough to allow users to enjoy augmented reality experiences within apps. In their on-stage demo they showed this off with gaming but the technology could also have implications for social media as well. Expect social media platforms to integrate AR features in 2018.

Instagram Stories users will increase dramatically

Instagram Stories just turned one year old, but it already has 200 million monthly users (50 million more than Snapchat which has been around for 6 years). If that growth rate continues–and we predict it will–half of all Instagram users will be using Instagram Stories by the end of 2018. That’s approximately 400 million monthly users. Brands that master Instagram Stories will have a huge advantage in 2018.

Brands will invest more in influencer marketing

One thing 2017 has taught the world of social media marketing is that traditional advertising doesn’t seem to work as well with this particular channel. People don’t like self-promotion from brands on social media. Enter influencer marketing. Brands can build relationships with influencers who can promote those brands instead in a way that feels more authentic.

Generation Z will become the most important target audience

For many years now, millennials have been the primary target audience for social media marketing campaigns. That has begun to shift already in 2017 and by the end of 2018, Generation Z will undoubtedly be the most important audience for social media marketers as more and more enter the workforce and their purchasing power grows.

Brands will interact more with customers through messaging platforms

More than two-and-a-half billion people use some kind of messaging platform outside of the standard SMS protocol. The growing popularity of these social media messaging platforms combined with the advanced features that you can’t get with SMS will translate to brands making more of an effort to connect with customers through these platforms. Expect to see a big increase in chatbot spending in 2018 since brands can automate much of the communication on these platforms with chatbots.

Livestreams will become a major part of brands’ content strategy

Live streaming was just a novel gimmick at first but major brands as well as smaller ones have discovered that there’s a demand for livestream content on social media. Expect brands to incorporating livestreams into their content strategy in 2018.

Twitter will make more big changes

Twitter was one of the few social media platforms that didn’t gain as many users as they were projected to in 2017. Because the platform has stagnated, they shook things up by experimenting with doubling the 140 character limit that has defined the social media platform all these years. But they won’t stop there. Some possible changes in 2018 include selling to private investors, experimenting with a subscription-based model, and revamping advertising options.

Digital hangouts will become mainstream

Houseparty is a new video hangout platform that has already amassed one million daily users in 2017. It’s a mixture between video chat and conference calling where people can hangout digitally in the form of a group video calling. A major platform like Facebook may buy out Houseparty and make it mainstream or platforms may create their own version of the video hangout platform.

Facebook Spaces will become mainstream

Facebook Spaces is a project the social media giant has been working on for a while now. It takes the concept of digital hangouts one step further and allows friends to hang out in a virtual reality setting. Facebook already owns Oculus, the current leader in VR headsets, so they have all the pieces to take Facebook Spaces mainstream in 2018.

Social media platforms will be rethinking governance policies

Facebook made headlines last week when they announced that they would be turning over thousands of ads that were suspected of being connected to Russian meddling in the presidential election so that they could be investigated by government intelligence agencies. While some praised the move others saw potential for a misuse of power and violations of privacy. Expect social media platforms to rethink the way they handle misconduct on their platforms and expect to see a more hands on approach to dealing with misconduct.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.com/article/300813#

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Three Things You Need to Know Before Deploying Your First Chatbot

Chatbots are the big trend in customer service today and many experts predict that they’ll completely alter the way that people and brands interact going forward. Chatbots can not only ease the burden on customer service agents but they can in eliminate the need for costly mobile apps that many smaller businesses can’t afford. But before you invest time and money in developing and deploying a chatbot for your small business, here are three things you need to know first.

Who is your audience?

Your chatbot can’t interact effectively with your customer base if it doesn’t understand who they are and what makes them tick. And the only way your chatbot can be programmed to know your audience is if you already know them and make the effort to program your bot with that same knowledge. Some obvious places to start is with obvious demographics. Are they primarily male or female or an even mix? Are they younger or older or does their age vary widely? Do they come from wealthier or poorer backgrounds? Do they lean conservative or liberal? Chances are your customers will usually divide along these lines. Another thing to consider about your customer base is where they usually turn for customer service help. To they go to your website, call a customer service line or do they turn to social media for help?

What is your goal and how can you achieve it?

You need to have well-defined goals for your chatbot or it will be a complete failure. A surprising number of companies are just programming chatbots just to do it because everyone else is. To improve the customer service experience is a given but how specifically do you want to improve it? Are you trying to reduce wait times? If so, how can your chatbot help you accomplish that? Also recognize that your chatbot won’t be an overnight success. Chatbots learn by making mistakes. You will almost certainly need to go in and make adjustments to make it more effective and achieving the goals you’ve set for your bot.

How will you get customers to use it?

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating a useful chatbot, it will all be a waste if your customers don’t know about it or don’t wish to use it. Revisit the question of audience and where they turn to for customer assistance. If you have a customer service line they usually call, maybe you can provide instructions for reaching out to your chatbot in the automated phone answering system you use so customers waiting for a live agent might hang up and go to your chatbot. If they go to your website, you might have your chatbot initiate a conversation when it seems your customers are stuck on a webpage. You can use existing marketing channels whether that’s email, SMS, or something else to tell your frequent customers about your newest customer service agent. Give it a catchy name that people will remember and be excited about.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: smallbiztrends.com/2017/08/chatbots-for-customer-service.html

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When Will Chatbots be Able to Pass the Turing Test?

Alan Turing was a renowned computer scientist and mathematician and a pioneer of artificial intelligence and machine learning research. It was Turing who proposed a test for distinguishing between “true” artificial intelligence and the machines that can kind of replicate it.

The Turing Test

The Turing Test is rather simple: a human converses with a machine (either verbally written) without seeing it. If the human cannot tell whether the machine is human or not, it is said to has passed the Turing Test. Artificial intelligence and machine learning research has come a long way since Alan Turing’s death in 1954 but we still haven’t been able to create a machine capable of tricking a human into thinking it’s human. For a good example of how far we’ve come and how far we have to go, look no further than the growing popularity of chatbots.

What are chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that can be deployed on SMS or other messaging platforms to communicate textually with humans. They’re a perfect real-world example of the Turing Test in action. The problem is that it doesn’t take humans very long to realize that the entity they’re chatting with online isn’t human.

What chatbots can and can’t do

Most chatbots are designed to do one or two simple tasks that humans ask of them or they might be programmed to select the appropriate response to a predetermined set of frequently asked questions. More advanced programs like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri have been programmed to respond to a wider number of questions but they still fall short of passing the Turing Test because they aren’t actually able to think as humans do. They have access to vast amounts of information that they can draw from to answer questions or perform certain tasks. What they can’t do is infer meaning from language. They can select an appropriate response to a question when certain keywords are used or when it’s worded in a way they’re programmed to recognize. But they can’t parse language as humans and take into account the context of when it was said and by whom and with what tone to know what the person is meaning.

What are they good for

More intelligent chatbots that can fool humans and pass the infamously difficult Turing Test may yet be developed but in the meantime, the chatbots that are being developed serve a purpose. They automate customer service and free up human resources by fielding the easy questions and handling the more mundane parts of the job that require less critical thinking. And many consumers prefer dealing with chatbots than having to get on the phone and be put on hold.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/when-will-alexa-google-assistant-and-other-chatbots-finally-talk-us-real-people

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How to Create a Great Chatbot

Chatbots are powerful marketing tools that utilize artificial intelligence to more effectively reach your target audience whether it’s by pushing promotions or answering customers’ questions. Contrary to popular, relief, creating a chatbot doesn’t have to be expensive and time consuming. Here are a few tips for creating a great chatbot.

Use a chatbot making platform

These platforms greatly simplify the process of creating a chatbot and they do all the heavy lifting. You don’t have to know the intricacies of programming a chatbot because the builder does that for you. Another advantage to chatbot making platforms is that they integrate seamlessly with messaging platforms like Facebook messenger and with most major payment systems.

Master one task

When it comes to chatbots, quality is far more important than quantity. It’s better to have a chatbot that can do one task very well than a chatbot that can do several things poorly. So especially if you’re new to using chatbots in your marketing strategy, focus on creating a chatbot that can perform one or two tasks very well.

Come up with a good name

Chatbots are quickly growing in popularity. As more and more businesses get into the chatbot making game, it’s important that yours isn’t lost in the shuffle. Come up with a creative name that’s easy to remember. It will make your chatbot much easier to find since your customers will remember the name and be able to find it with a quick search.

Don’t wait for customers to approach your chatbot

Since chatbots are a relatively new marketing strategy, many of your customers will be completely unfamiliar with them and how they work. Don’t wait for them to make the first move because they never will. You need to create an effective greeting message and let your chatbot introduce itself so they can have a positive interaction right off the bat.

Facilitate conversation

There’s value in getting straight to the point but chatbots are most effective when they are conversing with customers and getting valuable information out of the tiny details that customers share with them. So in your quest for clarity and conciseness, make sure your chatbot is still very conversational.

Regularly evaluate and optimize your chatbot

New chatbot features are constantly being developed. Never be satisfied with the current state of your chatbot, always be evaluating it and recognizing how it can be better. Keep in mind your marketing goals and consider ways to make your chatbot more effective at helping you achieve those goals.

Pay close attention to your competition

Study chatbots for companies that offer a similar product or service. Pay attention to things you like and especially pay attention to mistakes it makes so you can be sure to avoid them and make your own company stand out.

Mobile Technology News brought to you by biztexter.com

Source: entrepreneur.com/article/293320

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