With the ushering in of a new year, we hear at Ruby Shore are excited to see where the web design and social media marketing industries go. The concept and style of these two services have definitely changed dramatically even over the past year. We want to look at where these things are headed and what new trends will settle in as we progress through 2018. So if you are looking for some helpful tips and hints to get your website or social media channels going in the right direction, stick with us.
THE LANDSCAPE FROM LAST YEAR
Last year was an interesting time for web design industry and social media marketing. We saw some methods come into play that has really stuck around and made their mark. Social media, in particular, has exploded into this weird, unique place for true connection and interaction. Whether that interaction is huge breaking news, heated debates, or just simple communication. Each platform has its own unique style of letting users connect, and it is becoming a huge platform for marketers to really expose their products.
Social media is becoming the place to market your products.
“70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere” – Salesforce
People are on their phones communicating, buying and consuming all the time now. You can just about buy a car with your phone now and that speaks volumes for where technology has come from. But what does that say about social media? It says that the technology for consumers is there, now you have to just catch up. Promoting on social media is not a new thing. But how you go about is still being discussed.
The easy way to get started in social media was to set it and forget it. Automation is not a bad thing but in terms of social interaction, treating your customers like humans instead of a number seems to be the surfacing trend. Many companies have a whole team dedicated to their social media and making sure it is delivered and handled correctly.
In web design, we have seen some big name web builders release new and exciting extensions to give the user even more freedom. The WordPress community is always innovating and producing plugins and themes that allow your website to be built with ease and flexibility. Some important plugins and themes that WordPress has produced, that are still widely used today, have really taken the spotlight this last year. Some of these are:
Yoast: Yoast is currently considered the most comprehensive search engine optimization software available for WordPress users, with its developers responsible for over 10% of WordPress releases.
Backup Buddy: is a commercial plugin that allows you to perform both database and complete site backups (including all plugin and theme files).
Divi: Divi is a WordPress theme that is powered by the Divi Builder, an insanely fast and incredibly intuitive front-end editor like nothing you have seen before. It will change the way you build websites forever.
These plugins are a must have for your business website in our opinion. They make building, working with and optimizing your site easy and efficient. Along with WordPress, Webflow has really come a long way fast (check our interview with one of their Customer Success Specialists). Webflow is another web builder that is super user-friendly It has all the tools to really give you the freedom to make your website great without having to know how to code.
This past year Webflow released Interactions 2.0. This is a huge step in user-friendliness in that it lets you create new and stunning animations with ease. You can turn your static website into a visual playground as users scroll through it and interact with it. It has certainly raised the bar with how web builders give power to the users.
WEB DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018
For the new year, we have some styles and designs that we think will really take over the industry. We have found a few concepts that we think you should definitely consider when planning out your new website, or revamping the one you already have.
White Space: Sometimes less is more. In this case, having more white space and less content is a good thing. It lets your content breathe and provides a very simple yet sleek look to your site. It also makes navigating through your site seem user-friendly, letting the user consume the data in a steady flow. Instead of huge clumps.
Animations: We talked about it above in regards to Webflow implementing an easy way for users to put animation in their sites. But this will continue to grow in popularity. Whether it be a simple image parallax or a complex scrolling animation. Animations on websites is a great way to allow user interaction and even more emphasis on easy navigation. It creates a certain pattern of cycling through information in a noticeable way. This lets the user know “Hey! We are moving on from this section and now we are going to this section” in an entertaining and very visual way.
Large Typography: A good way to keep someone on your website is to grab their attention immediately. A good way to do this is to create a visually pleasing heading and tagline. I expect more and more designers to lean towards this direction going forward. You can really get creative on how the font looks, sits on the page and just simply how big it is. Expect to start landing on pages that have a very bold, large look to it.
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS FOR 2018
Social media has, without a doubt, just skyrocketed in terms of businesses jumping on board to promote their business. The different platforms have done a good job at keeping up with the times and catering to businesses. You can literally run your business through Facebook now, as they offer an online store, a robust business page layout, and much more. In this new year, there are some elements that will definitely be at the forefront of how you run your social media.
What are they you ask? Let’s jump into it.
Video: This is not something that is brand new to social media, but now businesses are catching on to the idea. Here is an interesting stat for you:
“Online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.” – Social Media Today
You can bet your bottom dollar that more and more business will want to tap into that eighty percent as time goes on. Consumers like watching videos instead of maybe reading a long Facebook post or looking at an image. With a video, you can add in more value/content for the consumer to absorb in a short amount of time.
Live Streaming: What better way to showcase your product, or behind the scenes of your company? Livestream. It has become shockingly easy to set up a live stream for anyone, so much so that businesses have started to take advantage. Live streaming is a great way to do a couple of things: put your face in front of your customers, interact with your audience in real time, and create interesting and unique content. Do you want to show off a product? Do you want to hold a workshop? Do you want to simply hold a Q&A with your customers? Live streaming is a great way to do it. Expect to see more and more business dive into this year.
As for Ruby Shore, we are doing a number of things behind the scenes. We have some really cool things planned for 2018 going forward. We have recently expanded our services to help businesses with all of the things above. We want to help businesses get into online reputation management for this new world. We believe that having a good presence on the internet can do wonders for your business. We now offer that as a service.
We can’t wait to see what this new year holds, and what it has in store for us. We hope it is your best year ever. Let’s do this together.