A word cloud using words related to "social media" and "marketing"
News and Trends

What to Focus On in 2018

Due to the Christmas holiday, this is going to be my last blog post until January. So I thought it fitting that I wrap up my series of posts on 2018 predictions and trends with some suggestions for 2018. Here’s what I think social media marketing will need to start doing or focus more on in the coming year.

Video dominates

Video has been a big thing for a while, but in 2017, 90% of all shared content on social media was video. If you aren’t already using video in your social marketing strategy, now is the time to start working on it. If you add nothing else to your social media strategy in 2018, add video.

Paid social

Due to algorithm changes, organic reach is declining across all networks. And with so many brands on social media, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out without paid advertising. If you haven’t been budgeting much for promoting yourself on social media, it’s time to start – I know I’ll be increasing my social spending in 2018.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing – creating a partnership with someone who already has an existing audience in your field – can have great engagement rates and get your message out to more people. But so many brands want to get on board with influencer marketing that the influencers have to be very picky about who they promote. Building relationships with influencers is key. And with so many influencers out there, people are more likely to turn to true experts than simply people who are popular – this insight should help drive your influencer marketing strategy in 2018.

Ephemeral content

I’ve already done an entire post about the rise of ephemeral content, but this is definitely something you should add to your marketing mix in the coming year.

Chatbots

Chatbots have become more and more popular through 2017, and this is only expected to increase in 2018. Using a chatbot to manage direct messages your audience sends you through social media is a great opportunity. It enables instant responses even when you’re not near your phone, and a well set-up chatbot can deliver exactly what your customer is looking for quickly and easily. They also make it easy to gather information about your audience. Read this post if you want more in-depth information about chatbots.

Takeaway

There’s lots of exciting things that will be happening in social media marketing in 2018. The key to getting ahead is to look at the trends, sit down, and get strategic about which trends you’re going to capitalize on. You don’t have to jump on every bandwagon at once. Determine what strategies are going to be most valuable for you and your brand before you get started.

Image of a phone showing multiple social media icons; the Snapchat icon has a red number above it indicating an unread message or notification.
News and Trends

Ephemeral Content: The Trend to Watch in 2018

I had to name one 2017 trend that is going to explode in 2018, it would be ephemeral content.

Ephemeral content is content that disappears after a certain amount of time. Snapchat is build on the concept of ephemeral content Рall pictures and videos posted on Snapchat are only available for 24 hours before disappearing permanently, and pictures and videos sent privately are only available to watch twice before disappearing. Instagram and Facebook have both launched similar features with Instagram Stories and Messenger Day.

Why do people like ephemeral content?

After Snapchat’s smashing success as a social network, other networks (like Facebook and Instagram) have tried to capitalize on that content strategy. And Instagram has actually done well at it – Instagram stories now have more daily users than Shapchat stories! (source) And for good reason – people love it.

The main reason consumers like ephemeral content is that it triggers their FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). If they don’t open Shapchat or Instagram to see the story within 24 hours, it’s gone and they will have missed it. It also creates a sense of excitement to be consuming content that is exclusively available now.

Why should marketers invest in ephemeral content?

At first glance, it may seem like a waste to invest time or money into content that’s only going to be available for 24 hours. But there are several reasons that it’s worth investing in:

  • Audiences are already operating on FOMO, making them more likely to act if you post a good deal or a strong call to action.
  • Temporary content can make a brand seem more trustworthy and genuine.
  • Ephemeral content has the highest engagement rates, especially among Millennials and Gen Z.

How do I capitalize on ephemeral content?

I will go more in-depth about how to maximize your presence on Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Messenger Day in 2018. But for now, here are a few ephemeral content ideas to consider adding to your social strategy in 2018.

  • Go behind the scenes. Tour your office or workspace, interview an employee, give a look at the nuts and bolts of your operation.
  • Live post an event you’re hosting or attending.
  • Promote flash sales or limited-time offers.
Facebook, News and Trends

Where Is Facebook Heading? An End-of-Year Reflection

It’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to do some predicting of the direction of social media marketing and what will be successful in 2018. All of my December blog posts are going to be focused on trends and predictions for the coming year. Starting today with a social media giant: Facebook.

Facebook has been launching a lot of new features recently. Some of them are logical, and some of them seem random. Here’s a short list of their biggest feature rollouts in the last year:

  • Marketplace – a Craigslist-like way for you to list your used goods for sale and browse things for sale in your area
  • Messenger Day – a Snapchat clone through the Facebook Messenger app that allows you to post pictures and short videos that your friends can view for 24 hours before they disappear
  • Sending money – you are able to send money to your friends or request money from them via Facebook Messenger
  • Ordering food – a new feature rolled out in October that combines several food-ordering sites to let you order your dinner through Facebook and have it delivered to your door

Some of these things make sense – a feature like Messenger Day doesn’t seem out of place with a social network. Others – like ordering food – don’t seem to fit at all. So what exactly is Facebook trying to accomplish here?

It all starts with WeChat

WeChat is a Chinese messaging app that is used by 95% of Chinese people over age 16 (source). That is a staggeringly high usage rate! The main reason for this high percentage of people using it is its ability to do everything. Far from just being a messaging app, WeChat also lets you check your bank account, order food, call a cab, and chat with colleagues, all from a single app.

More relevant to Facebook’s interests, WeChat’s wide variety of uses provides more potential revenue streams for the company. Facebook now seems to be attempting to copy this lucrative business model.

Facebook ads

Put simply, Facebook is running out of space to display ads. They’ve already maxed out the amount they can put in the newsfeed (at least without driving users away). They’ve started introducing mid-video ads to longer videos, selling ads inside Messenger, and even letting advertisers on its new Marketplace feature. But they’ve pretty much reached advertising saturation, and in order to keep seeing revenue growth, they have to expand to new uses in order to create new ad platforms.

The takeaway

If you want to advertise on Facebook in 2018, don’t limit yourself to just boosted posts. Facebook has been and is going to offer a lot of other places to put ads, and becoming an early adopter of one of the new ad spaces could help you stand out.

Also, if you use video in your marketing, consider longer videos. Since Facebook is now putting ads in the middle of videos, they’re prioritizing longer content. Creating longer videos (around 2 minutes) will help turn the Facebook algorithm in your favor. Just make sure it’s interesting enough that people will want to keep watching after the ad!