If I get these trends right, you will be sure to hear from me on Twitter. If I am wrong about some of these, this article will be more of a distant memory than the time I was rejected by a fashion design student on the lawns of my tertiary education institution in front of everyone at that very institution. Here are three trends we can expect in 2018:

1. Social platforms will carry on – except maybe Snapchat

There are 20 million Facebook users in South Africa, there are a wealth of audiences with different interests, and your brand can target these specific audiences. Facebook and Instagram will continue to murder its opposition. Snapchat will dwindle into the social platform landfill with Vine and Myspace.

People will still use Twitter. Brands shouldn’t focus on it. Twitter won’t die, it will just hang around the other social platforms like an inappropriate uncle at a funeral, 'just trying to make everyone laugh'. 

2. The rise of video

Video is going to play a starring role. Some might argue that it has always been. I would tell them that in a country where we’re more shy of data than a teenager at his first school dance, Wi-Fi is becoming more accessible, and the platforms that we love are pushing video more.

Video doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be good. When you find that balance, you can start to deliver really radical content. Virtual reality will start to play a role, but not a starring one yet.

3. The telling of brand stories

In 2018, brands who create content with no strategic purpose will fall behind the competition. Brands need to understand their audience and direct the conversations at these specific interest groups and engage with them. Your audience is not where you want them to be, they’re where they want to be.

Planning content and content strategy will increase the bond with your consumer as they buy emotionally into your brand story. This doesn’t happen when we shoot from the hip. The most important thing to remember about stories is they’re fun, so go out and experiment, engage, and learn. Most importantly, find your new normals.

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