I know am like a week late but still Happy New Year. 2017 was quite an eventful in the world of business and social world: Influencer marketing started to gain popularity, we saw many people become gain massive popularity through social media channels, and yes we faced recession, but we made it to 2018.

There are 8 trends that we are likely to see dominate our social space and it would be wise to take advantage of them as a business owner.

1. Whatsapp Business will be released

Facebook is going to attempt to monetize Whatsapp. They are soon to release the Whatsapp Business Account, there businesses would be given verified and a different type of account, where they can talk to customers directly.

The platform will be first rolled out in Brazil, Indonesia and India before it reaches other parts of the world, but I predict that before September this year, it would’ve been out in Nigeria.

Whatsapp Business would include various features that business owners would be able to take advantage of like automated responses, and the ability to use a landline number, and other features.

So keep following this blog, to stay updates about it.

2. Video Content will be King

If your are not creating video content for your brand yet, you are on a long thing. Video content holds more weight on social media platforms, and on an average is given more exposure than images.

Furthermore, video content has the ability to make your audience more emotionally attached to your brand, than images, and in the age that we live in this is the true currency.

3. Further Integration of Facebook and Whatsapp

Facebook is going to find more ways to Integrate directly with Whatsapp

a. Customers will be able to talk to businesses on whatsapp, through the business’ Facebook page

b. Facebook ads will have a Whatsapp call to action, which will be able to send customers directly to your business’ whatsapp account to chat. This would be very awesome.

4. Lots more Whatsapp Status Channels

Whatsapp status channels are channels created by brands to inform or entertain their viewers through their status updates on Whatsapp.

And I believe a lot more status channels are going to crop up in different niches: Fashion, Sports, Politics, etc.

5. A possibility of Sponsored Whatsapp Status Updates

Facebook might attempt to monetize Whatsapp through its status feature, and business owners would be able to reach new customers through Sponsored Status Updates.

If this does happen it might be in the latter parts of the year or next year, when they Whatsapp Business platform as become highly adopted.

6. The Release of WhatsappPay

This feature should have been released last December in India, it seems that whatsapp is still testing the feature.

Whatsapp Pay is a platform that allows Whatsapp users to send and receive money directly on through the platform.

I believe it would be an amazing fit for the Nigerian market also, due to the fact that, there is already a large chunk of business conversations are carried out on the platform.

7. Increased Cost of Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising costs are might go up this year. A few months ago, Facebook announced that it had run out of places for ads on the News Feed, so had to find a way to integrate ads into it’s Messenger platform.

And with more and more people adopting Facebook advertising, it has lead me to believe that its ad prices will go up and competition will be stiffer.

One of my recommendation would be to start focusing more on video ads on the platform, Nigerian businesses hardly use them so the competition would be much less and you would inevitably pay less for them.

8. The Rise of Micro-Influencer Marketing

Our society has changed over the years, from the age when people only knew other people in their immediate society (thankfully, I wasn’t born in that age), to business having thousands of followers on Instagram.

Up until now it’s been all about Width, Width, Width, how many followers do I have or how many friends do I have but what I believe is that due to the rise of platforms like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Whatsapp Status, things will change.

And it’s going to be all about Depth, Depth, Depth, how well do I know this person, how deep is our relationship?

And business would need to capitalize on that concept this year: instead of hiring someone that has a 100,000 followers that don’t really care about him, to hiring 10 people who have a following of 10k people who really care about him.

I wrote a more in-depth piece about it here.

Conclusion

Your brand can win big this year, if and only if it can take calculated risks and opportunities others do not. Do not be afraid, you can do it.

If you’d still want to talk more about social media marketing in Nigeria, or you’d like to see how we can work together to move your brand forward, you can talk to me here.

Thank you for taking out time to read this article. Have an smashing 2018.