Social Media Trends for 2018: what do these mean for photographers?

Bubble speech with cut out phrase social media in the paper.
Artur Marciniec / Alamy Stock Photo

The world of social media is a great place to market yourself as a photographer and grow a following for your work, but with the ‘done thing’ continuously changing it can be difficult to keep on top of the trends shaping the landscape of the different platforms.

There are many sites you can go to, to discover the trends that are set to be big for 2018 including this one from The Entrepreneur. In this blog we take a look at some of these trends from a photographer’s perspective and think about what they mean for you.

Trend 1: Augmented Reality

In recent years, millions of people worldwide have been exposed to some level of augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) realities from Snapchat filters, to Pokémon Go. But what does this trend mean for the world of photography? Photographer and entrepreneur Taylor Davidson has written a great article that I think sums it up pretty well. He states that while ‘we may not see AR, MR, and VR as “photography”, if they change how we create, use, and value visual imagery, they will have an impact on photography.’

The future relationship between AR and photography is a little blurry so it’s pretty tricky to provide tips on how to use this in your social media strategy, however with apps like Heavy AR being developed for artists and illustrators it’s only a matter of time before something of this kind is developed for photographers too.

Varna, Bulgaria - Jul 19, 2016: Nintendo Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile application game with Tentacool pokemon catching
Aleksey Boldin / Alamy Stock Photo

Trend 2: Growing popularity of Instagram Stories

At just one year old Instagram Stories have leapt ahead in the social media universe with 50 million more users than Snapchat. Instagram users love seeing the ‘real’ person/people behind an Instagram feed. With short 15 second videos that only last for 24 hours, stories have created a quick way for people to share this ‘reality’ with their followers.

As photographers, there are multiple ways you can use stories to connect with your audience. Some of these ideas include:

  • sneak peaks behind the scenes of your shoots
  • tips and tricks, you can share from your experiences
  • step by step of how you edit your images

Follow Alamy on Instagram to keep up to date with our most recent stories.

woman hands with camera working on laptop at table
Lev Dolgachov / Alamy Stock Photo

Trend 3: Live streaming

This is another fantastic way to engage and build a relationship with your audience, and with it being live there’s room for slightly more interaction than something like an Instagram story. Both Facebook and Instagram are leading the live streaming game, but other platforms also supporting live streaming include YouTube and Periscope.

Live Q&A sessions would be a great way to interact with your followers, they can send in questions and have them answered quickly within the session.

Check out these tips for live streaming to help you master the trend.

Trend 4: Twitter?

Over the past year Twitter has failed to grow users at the same rate as some other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn. With this in mind, they’re predicted to make some changes in the coming year in an attempt to up their game, so users should be prepared to see changes on the platform.

As a photographer, if you solely use Twitter to connect with your audience and build a following you may want to consider adding another couple of social media platforms to your strategy, to increase your visibility and reach.

WROCLAW, POLAND- OCTOBER 18th, 2016 : Samsung A5 with Twitter application laying on desk. Twitter is an online social networking
Daniel Krasoń / Alamy Stock Photo

Trend 5:  Investment in influencer marketing

The Entrepreneur predicts that during 2018 more brands will embrace influencer marketing as a way to connect with audiences. If you’ve built up or are building up a substantial following on social media platforms such as Instagram (check out these top tips on how to make the most out of Instagram), there might be opportunities here to supplement your income through things like sponsored posts on your feed.

It would be great to hear your take on these predicted trends and how you’re planning on incorporating them in your social media strategy, so let us know in the comments below.

Want to carry on reading? Check out this post all about how social media has changed photography.

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