Prediction #4: Facebook begins favoring “advocacy” content
Facebook has been making a big move toward creating a more “community-based” platform. Through this, they are encouraging “word of mouth” types of content. Things like reviews, employee involvement and engagement, collaboration with partners, and even support from family and friends will be highly useful moving forward in 2018.
Prediction #5: Downfall of organic reach on Facebook
Since this is already happening to an extent, this prediction isn’t incredibly bold. However, we’ll go a step farther: in 2018, we at least need to prepare for the end of organic reach on Facebook altogether. The pay-to-play future we wrote about recently will arrive sooner than we think.
Twitter and Instagram may be somewhat more immune to this than Facebook, since users use things like hashtags to search outside of their “bubble” on those platforms. But, on Facebook, there needs to be a complete change in perspective.
For more than a decade, companies have seen social media as a golden ticket to cheap advertising and customer connection. Now, brands will have to rely more on thought-out strategies and large, comprehensive budgets to drive social campaigns forward.
Prediction #6: Chatbots may turn out to be a short-lived trend
This one is a bit out there. Chatbots on websites are experiencing a renaissance of sorts at the moment. It makes sense: they’re a good convenience for businesses to offer, as instant replies / info are beneficial to customers.
However, it’s possible that people will eventually tire of them, the same way consumers have tired of recorded voice / robot answering systems over the years. After a while, customers are catching on that chatbots are really just an easy way to send an email to the company; whether or not they get a quick response is hit-or-miss, which in turn lowers their trust in other chatbot systems.
People still want an actual person to take care of their needs somehow. To bridge this gap, Facebook will likely implement ways to make instant replies sound more original and organic. Right now, companies have the ability to create their own instant reply messages, but we’d expect it to go beyond that in the future.