Dan Dryfhout is an avid digital marketer from Ontario. Dan loves snowboarding, mountain biking and in some occasions, long walks on the beach. He moved out west to better serve these passions, especially the beach walking...

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Top Social Media Trends of 2018 – Video, Chatbots and Ad Sequencing

Social Media Marketing World 2018 is an annual social conference held in San Diego. It is considered to be the biggest social media conference out there, with over 5,000 social experts coming together to nerd-out over new techniques and features for the upcoming year. With so many experts involved, the conference was laid out into 3 specific tracks:

  • Social Media Marketing Professionals
  • Influencers, Bloggers, Podcasters and Creators
  • New to the Social World

While there was plenty of information, techniques, and formulas being exchanged by everyone, I wanted to share our top 3 takeaways from Social Media Marketing World with you today.

Video Is King of Content

Social Media Live Streaming and social video in general represent a large opportunity that businesses are not leveraging to its full potential. On average, live video posts receive 6 times more engagement compared to traditional video posts. This is the main reason why we see so many platforms introducing this feature.

At first, live video platforms like Twitch were the only contenders in the live video market, but now that the giant social players have seen the data behind live videos, each platform has developed its own integrations.

In 2018, you can now access Live Video on almost all major social platforms. Facebook has Live Video posts on their Newsfeed and Stories placements, Periscope, which is a standalone platform has integrations with its parent company Twitter, and even YouTube has implemented a feature for live streaming. If you’re not talking about live video with your marketing teams and agencies, you should be!

Now stepping aside from Live Video for a moment, regular video posts are still a massive opportunity for businesses. Users consume video now more than ever, and social platforms are favouring this format (even LinkedIn has video format now available). Let’s face it, most users are lazy now-a-days. They don’t want to read articles about your product, they want it fed to them in an easy to digest medium – Video.

Facebook and YouTube have also found video to be the most engaging type of content for their users. So much that they have heavily invested in their new tools called ‘Facebook Watch’ and ‘YouTube TV’. These are essentially merging the consumer made videos, and professional cut tv shows all in one platform. These new tools are still accessible from the main social apps, so the user experience is well integrated. They have also partnered with channels that are not accessible on most video platforms, like live sporting events and news channels like NBC, Fox, and CNN. These features are only available in the US at this moment, but expect them to hit Canada at the end of Q2, and prepare for your video viewing habits to change 😊

ChatBots Are Time Savers

Chatbots are a new tool that has hit the main stream in the last year. Chatbots are a business’ best friend due to their AI chat ability, but strangely, not many businesses have adopted them yet. So, why should businesses leverage chat bots? Open rates and CTRs are high on chat bots (even better than email), while also having the functionality to integrate transactions, provide customer service, and allows the consumer to provide valuable information right in the platform.

Another valuable aspect of chat bots is that they free up your employees to focus on more important/complex tasks as compared to having to answer simple and repetitive customer service queries. This can allow your company to focus on innovation, and driving the needle forward compared to having to be stuck in the weeds answering questions about store hours, product inquiries, etc.

Let’s face it, most companies now receive more social messages than their customer service phone does. This is due to major brands like Coca Cola and Facebook moving away from providing this information and relying on consumers to send them a message via their social platforms. With this shift in thinking from the Fortune 500 companies, we will see user experience trickle down to the medium and small businesses within a few years. I know I personally haven’t called a business in a few years. I always reach out via social media.

Most businesses fear chat bots as they seem like a complicated and daunting tool to implement. Good news! Chat bots have come a long way and are easier to setup and use than ever thanks to Chat Bot companies like ManyChat and Chatfuel. With the right training, a business can have their chat bot setup and running within one day. If you aren’t comfortable with setting these up, Vovia can also offer guidance.

Ad Sequencing Saves Sales

Ad Sequencing, and Facebook Ad Sequencing in particular, is another hot topic that has always been relevant, but it has now become more popular than ever to win over customers. To put it bluntly, you can’t go up to a random person and ask them on a date without introducing yourself and showing why you are a good candidate to go out on a date in the first place. This is the same in advertising, but most businesses miss this part of the user experience to try to drive short term performance through ‘salesy’ ads instead. An ad that is trying to sell products before introducing the brand can get you conversions for sure, but what about the 95% of customers that ignored your ad because they don’t know who you are? The potential is there! You must prove why they need your product or service.

Wondering what a sequence could look like? Let’s break it down:

Let’s say we have a new client that opened a clothing store in Calgary.

1st Ad – Create a video and explain the ‘why’ behind your brand. Don’t sell your product, but explain yourself and your story. People like authentic humans behind brands, not robots or pre-selected images. Stories and storytelling go a long way here. This style resonates with people and it keeps them engaged. The script could go something like:

“Hi, my name is Daniella, and I am the owner of Eco Clothing. When I was growing up in Calgary, there was never great selections of eco friendly clothing that could last in the outdoors. We would take green friendly clothing into the mountains and it would never stand up compared to the other performance clothing that causes environmental damage. I was at a stand still of what to do, and then my friend Michelle came up with a great idea and said “Jess, why don’t you create a eco-friendly line that CAN last outdoors?” and that’s when Eco Clothing was made!”

2nd Ad – Re-engage the users who have watched all (or part) of your video with an ad that talks about one of your most popular products. Explain the technology and the benefits that the user will receive.

3rd Ad – If a user hasn’t converted yet, don’t give up! You’ve only started talking to them, but most businesses think this is the end step. If they haven’t converted yet, ask yourself “What are the key things that are making people hesitant?” Store hours? Customer service worries? Returns? Shipping cost? This needs to be addressed in the next ad they see, and you could use this ad to specifically and preemptively address the resistance. For example, a call out Free Shipping for the next 72 hours.

As this is a simple sequencing example, we’ll leave it to a 3-step process, but I would also add in one final point of advice. Most businesses leave the purchasers alone after they bought an item; however, this is the perfect time to market them with an ad about similar products, or products that compliment what they bought. This would be considered a cross sell/ up sell tactic and is a other great way to provide additional value to the consumer while also driving more sales for your business.


With so many new features and platforms out there, hopefully we have helped clear the way of the top 3 things you should be focusing on in 2018. Social Media Marketing World attracts the top experts in the industry, and it was surprising to hear most marketers have the same top 3 things that businesses should be doing this year. If you have any questions about these tactics, please don’t hesitate to reach out or leave a comment!