What’s the future of social media marketing?

All signs point to a surge of Facebook Messenger ads and video, as well as short-lived content.

If you’re still focused on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, don’t worry—these titanic platforms aren’t going anywhere.

If you’ve noticed waning engagement, however, it might be time to adjust your efforts. Here are three social media trends that are poised for huge growth in the coming years:

Facebook Messenger

More than 2 billion people are now regular Facebook users. This behemoth platform—Messenger in particular—will probably remain an important part of your marketing strategy for years to come.

More than 1 billion people use Facebook Messenger. It’s fertile ground for ads, video, chat bots and other marketing interactions. Some believe Messenger will become the new email.

Messenger ads work just like the ads that appear in your Facebook feed. You can choose the audience you’d like to reach according to location, age range, interests and activities. The big difference is that Messenger ads appear directly in recipients’ Messenger inboxes, which offers tremendous personalized marketing opportunities.

Disappearing content

Marketing on Snapchat is nothing new, but the power of the disappearing message is gaining steam. This technique carries a sense of urgency unlike any other advertising option.

The popularity of Snapchat has led to the rise of Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories and WhatsApp Status. These new platforms are driving an increase in targeted disappearing advertising.

Not sure which platform is right for you? Consider that Instagram Stories has already surpassed the number of Snapchat users, which may mean a wider audience for your marketing. However, Snapchat is still the channel of choice for Generation Z and millennials. Choose your outlet according to the people you’re trying to reach.

Social media video

YouTube still reigns supreme, but more marketers are looking to video on Facebook and Twitter. Nearly half (46 percent) of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their marketing strategy this year.

Before investing heavily in video content, however, keep a couple of factors in mind. Most important, our attention spans are shrinking. Facebook and YouTube both encourage marketers to create stories that resolve in six seconds or less. Longer video still has its place, but if you want to maximize engagement, keep those ads short.

Marketing trends are constantly changing. Today’s hot platform might be a ghost town this time next year. To maintain a close connection with your audience, your methods must evolve with their tastes and preferences.

A version of this post first appeared on Marketing Initiative Worx.


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