Social media has become a necessary part of the way businesses interact with customers, whether it be reaching new ones or maintaining relationships with existing ones. While there are an endless possibility of applications, measuring the success of social media and the ROI is difficult.

Hootsuite’s Social Trends Report, now in its third year, take a deep dive into the social media landscape and what is expected to drive it in the future. It explores how “fake news” influences social strategies, how the continued evolution of AI will drive customer service and the role mobile plays in the growth of social TV. With that in mind, here are five trends that will drive social media in 2018.

1. Human, meet AI

The rise of machines continues to grow. Brands will increasingly use artificial intelligence strategies to prioritise personalisation at scale.

2. Trust declines, while peer influence rises

The trickle-down effect of “fake news” internationally and a continued erosion of public trust in mainstream media institutions means consumers are moving trust away from institutions and mega-influencers towards smaller and more authentic mirco-influencers. Real customer communities and “people like you” will take centre stage as consumer trust continues to decline.

3. The evolution of social ROI

More than half the survey respondents (56%) said that not being able to prove the ROI of social media made it difficult for their organisation to be successful with social media. Alignment between business goals and social measurement will be more critical than ever in 2018.

4. Mobile fuels the growth of social TV

In 2018, TV-style content will be king and brands will need to consider how they can become mobile optimised broadcasters as traditional TV viewership continues to fall.

5. The promise (and reality) of social data

Social listening has always been a valuable tool, however it’s now helping social teams gain new influence and recognition in the enterprise.

Article By Sarah Kimmorely