Social media has taken the digital world by storm. Before talking about the social media trends in Pakistan in 2018, let us look back at history and see where we stand today. What started off as a platform for connecting with friends, family, and strangers, as well as sharing memorable photos and videos for fun, has now evolved into something much bigger. The journey of social media goes back to 1997, when the first social network Six Degrees was launched. The launch was followed by a glorious period of time that saw the birth of different social networks which have revolutionized the way people socialize. Today, a strong presence across all major social networks has become a necessity for all brands.
The potential of social media to uplift a brand’s worth and engagement is massive. Businesses all over the world are investing heavily in their social media strategies. Pakistani brands aren’t lagging behind either – just like all citizens of the globe, the average Pakistani enjoys engaging with their favorite brands from time to time. For this very reason, generating engaging content on a regular basis is necessary to stay ahead in the digital game. And if you really want to be on top of your digital game, you have got to make sure that you are keeping up with the major trends! So, without wasting any time, let us discuss the hottest social media trends in Pakistan in 2018.
Live Streaming & Videos Have Taken Over
The video is slowly and gradually taking over static content in the sphere of social media. In 2017, approximately 5 billion videos were being watched on YouTube every day. In Pakistan, brands are taking advantage of both recorded and live videos to boost engagement and awareness. A great example is this promotional video we made for our client, Fitness First Gym:
People tend to enjoy consuming dynamic content (video) more than static content (images, press releases, etc.) for both entertainment and informational purposes. Brands are cashing in on this preference by continuously working on videos and occasionally going live on Facebook and Instagram. Moreover, major influencers in the country, like Danish Ali, get sponsors for their videos and promote them in the most creative of ways. This video, sponsored by FINDMYADVENTURE, is a classic example:
Increased Focus on Social Listening
Knowing what people have to say about your brand on social media is a crucial aspect of brand management. Not only does this help with managing reputation, it also presents a golden opportunity to improve your business by working on weak areas. Referred to as social listening, businesses (including those in Pakistan) are focusing more and more on the trend of listening to what their consumers/followers are saying about their products, services, and campaigns in 2018 in order to gain valuable insights. Google Alerts is a fantastic tool to help you get started. Not only does it allow you to get alerts on specific keywords and phrases, it also lets you optimize the said alerts.
Social listening isn’t necessarily ONLY done for the purpose of tracking the feedback on a company’s own products/services. Before investing in a project that already exists, a company can take advantage of this practice to get useful insights. Before OLX announced its $89 million investment in CarFirst, it must have taken into account the views of the general public regarding the online marketplace for cars.
Influencers to the Rescue
As mentioned above, brands are taking advantage of Pakistani influencers and their creativity to boost their engagement. Danish Ali, one of the renowned Comedians and YouTubers in Pakistan, is famous for bluntly promoting his sponsors in every single one of his videos by using the power of humor. His sponsors vary immensely and range from FMCGs to players in the traveling & tourism businesses among others, proving that almost every industry is focusing on influencer marketing these days.
Among all businesses, restaurants and café are seen to be the ones relying heavily on the power of influencers. Food junkie Ramish Safa, who runs Bros Meet the World, channels his never-ending passion for food into creating vlogs and exploring different eateries in Karachi. Here is an example:
The Boom of Instagram Stories
Instagram stories were introduced in the year 2016 and have now become a notable feature of the social app. With the increased popularity of videos and engaging content, businesses are utilizing Instagram stories to engage with their followers with the intent of both, raising awareness and gaining insight.
Instagram stories disappear after 24 hours and allow users to spice up things using filters and stickers. The fact that Instagram is so user-friendly is the major reason why it’s gaining popularity among brands. You don’t have to be a tech- or social-savvy person to use Instagram stories.
Social Messaging – More Popular Than Ever
From all the social media trends in Pakistan in 2018, the one truly gaining traction is the increased use of social messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. According to Business Insider, all major social messaging apps now have more users than social networks. And with the sudden rise of chatbots, brands have acquired a swift and instant way of communicating directly with their existing and potential customers. If you head over to the Facebook page of a major brand right now, you are highly likely to receive an automated welcome message from a bot.
What All This Means
From shifting focus from traditional marketing to influencers and producing promotional videos every now and then among other things, there is a lot to be done in the contemporary Pakistani social media game. However, do keep in mind that it is the trendsetters who are remembered forever, not trend followers. So, it’s not necessary for you to incorporate all the platforms mentioned above into your social media strategy – focus on the ones which you feel will truly benefit your brand and start reaping the benefits of social media!