User Habits And Business Demands Driving Social Media Trends In 2018

In the previous article, we discussed ways that technology is driving change in social media. This one will be about how changes in the way humans interact with this technology is likely to be experienced in 2018.

Awareness of the negative effects of social media

While the social media world holds a lot of promise and can be fun and convenient to use, it is important to realise that it may have some side effects, too. Some people suffer from addictions to their phones and cannot put them away while driving, which can be extremely dangerous.  There is also plenty of speculation that social media may have an adverse effect on people’s concentration, especially children’s, and that too much time sedentary and indoors may not be good for peoples’ health. Finally, the rise of fake news and greater awareness of cyberbullying and harassment online has people slowly becoming aware of how to combat these issues.

What this means for big social media brands is that they are employing more content moderators – people whose job it is to analyse whether content is abusive or inappropriate, and take it down.  However, there is an inherent conflict between social media companies, whose bottom lines benefit from the maximum amount of time their users spend on them, versus their users, whose health or safety may be at risk from excessive or inappropriate use. It is interesting to see how companies will respond to this conflict.

Companies’ interaction with their users

A current important way companies interact with their users is through responding to reviews – search “Social Buzzing Reviews” for an example. Something that is likely to continue to 2018 is a greater understanding that a company’s brand is affected by the extent to which customers and the public believe the companies share values with them.  Political neutrality and the avoidance of controversy may no longer be the most profitable stance any more.

Another viewpoint, put forward by Impact BND, is that customers are growing wary of the assortment of new techniques and formulae and tricks employed by advertisers, and that in order to shift with this, advertisers may have to use more transparent and direct methods.

A final trend worth discussing is the use of chatbots and AI. Intelligent use of chatbots will allow their use to be incredibly helpful in customer assistance, resolving simple problems or getting more detail about complex problems, However, unintelligent use of chatbots will alienate customers from companies – think how you feel when you are presented with an endless menu of options from automated call systems.


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