The way we communicate and interact is definitively impacted by the use of technology and social media. The most recent figures for Belgium show how digital and social networks are spreading through all categories of age (source We are social - January 2018).
So, what can we expect in 2018?
Trend #1: More and more social
Social networks are still growing with the Facebook group ahead of all networks, in terms of active users.
The previous Intranet (with very frustrating identification processes, flat and text content) is also becoming social thanks to engagement and internal com' platforms like Sociabble. The word of mouth is now digital..and it is exponential! Not considering social for internal and external communication are certainly missed opportunities but also a risk of being part of these conversations.
Trend #2: Seamless
You start reading an article on you computer at your office? You'll have the opportunity to continue to read it on you mobile or listen to the audio version in your car. Content is now consumed in a seamless way.
Trend #3: Visual
With the attention span declining and the zapping generations, it is essential to drive attention though visual communication: visual social networks (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest,..), visual storytelling, infographics, illustrations, graphic harvesting. Have a look at the web design trends spotted by Hubspot.
Trend #4: Personnalisation
Personnalisation which started in emailing campaigns in 2017 will move forward with a more and more personalised customer journey (personalised communication, personalised experience, personalised offer).
Trend #5: New realities
The combination of virtual reality and augmented reality open a world of possibilities in terms of customer experience.
Trend #6: Real time
Thanks to social networks, everyone and every organisation is now a media. Combined with real time capacities, like Facebook live, those networks offer strong possibilities to interact, demo and broadcast events or announcements.
Trend #7: Chatbots
Chatbots offer new possibilities for a 24/24 availability in communciation and customer service. Bots are also evolving to personal assistant and enter the business units; HR Bots, Support bots etc.
Trend #8: GDPR
The new data privacy protection obligations are not a trend but will change the way companies communicate. If most large organisations are ready or near, smaller ones are not. GDPR is offering opportunities for SME's which will be able to seize them ..and will probably cost lots of time, money and missed opportunities for those who won't.
Most business owners probably consider these trends are for the big boys and not for small and medium enterprises. But these trends are communication opportunities and offer better customer experience for a low budget. In a few words: thanks to digital transformation, small businesses can now afford to communicate like big corporation. Will you seize the opportunity ?
Aurélie Couvreur, Strategy Wizard, Digitaly