We’re well into 2018, you probably have your Social Media Strategy mapped out by now, and if you don’t then maybe we can help out.
This year started with a pretty big (and completely predictable) announcement by Facebook, some cool updates by Instagram, and a whole new bundle of possibilities for Google Analytics.
We saw some of these changes coming from the distance, but perhaps it’s time to take a closer look and see how these social media trends can help your own strategy.
It is 2018, after all, and trends in social media go by quicker than dog years.
- Facebook Newsfeed
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. We’re still not quite sure of every implication of this update for us, digital marketers, but we do know this may shift the way we use the platform for a more social approach. This could mean that going back to basics (a very 2018 trend) may be the most effective way to reach your audience by creating useful content that your followers will actually want to read and engage with, and steer away from just pushing a service or product too strongly.
Now, Facebook will put more value on what creates meaningful social interactions between people, not public content. If your page has a strong content strategy and an engaged fanbase, then the update will probably end up working for you. In the press release by Facebook, it was noted that some of the most engaging content were videos, and especially live streams, which brings us to our second trend for 2018.
The Takeaways: Work on a solid content strategy, do so by listening and understanding your fanbase, explore live streaming as a means of getting an engaged and loyal fanbase. People want to talk to other people, not a corporate name, and Facebook finally understood that.
- 6-second videos and Live Streams
It’s incredibly easy for anyone with a smartphone to publish a video and we love watching the results. We’re collectively creating more content than ever, messages are getting shorter and now digital marketers have about 6 seconds to make a point. Difficult? Maybe it’s time to re-think that whole storytelling technique, especially for short, digital formats.
On the other hand, live content is proving to be a great tool for digital marketing. There are many platforms out there that allow for live streaming as a new form of content creation, Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular with billions of monthly users. Instagram is implementing quite a few improvements this year, let’s talk about them.
The Takeaways: Do more videos that last fewer seconds, keep them between 6 and 10 seconds for better results. Try to start a live streaming strategy for your brand around topics that are interesting to your audience like a short webinar, simple tutorials, or live Q&A with an expert on a certain issue. Remember to keep the ball rolling, it’s all about engaging with your audience, and let them be the most important part of the conversation.
- Instagram Stories
Instagram has been growing non-stop since 2017, and we’ll be seeing more of that in 2018, especially with one of their most popular features: Stories. Because of their high engagement and more than 300 million daily active stories, many brands have started to invest in a Stories strategy for ephemeral content that lasts for a day and keeps users engaged.
Instagram recently launched a new feature called Highlights that allows users to retain their stories for over 24 hours, which could be incredibly useful for digital marketers who want to keep a certain message in the spotlight for longer.
Since January, you can follow hashtags on Instagram on a special hashtag feed. This makes digital marketing all the more specialized and engaging, with the right hashtag research you can increase the probability of appearing in more people’s feeds or encourage users to use your own hashtag and gain more User Generated Content (UGC).
A Hashtag Feed can also help you keep track of trends and what your competition has been up to, and measuring results is key to improving your digital strategy for 2018, which leads us to our next trend.
The Takeaways: Instagram’s rise as one of the favorite platforms for advertising means that brands need to upgrade their Instagram to include Stories strategies for quick and engaging content. Take the time to curate the hashtags that are relevant to your brand and start testing out the Hashtag feed.
- Google Analytics
Google updates their platforms so often, and it’s hard to keep track of every cool feature added! But it’s finally time to talk about how the new Google Analytics will help you understand your users.
Now you will have Users instead of Sessions. It’s simple, from now on, the platform shows how many users were redirected to your page from an ad or a post, making it easier for you to keep track and avoid getting lost in every weird session metric from Analytics.
Google finally added machine learning to Analytics with a new metric that calculates the conversion probability for every user, by comparing their behavior to other users that followed the conversion funnel. Not only that, but you can also create a remarketing list for the users with more conversion possibilities.
The Takeaways: Don’t be afraid to dive into Google Analytics and other analytics tools. In the end, these updates will help you understand your audience in order to make better strategic choices for your 2018 digital marketing plan, so take advantage of every free metric service you can find.
The overview of social media marketing has changed a lot in only a year, and some of our goals have certainly changed as well, but every update reviewed here leads to the creation of high-quality content for your right audience through the best channel.
The best part of digital marketing is its ability to shift and create a living strategy that will have to grow along with the trends. There’s no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to creating a digital marketing plan, the best you can do is to test (and keep testing) the trends that fit your brand and see what works for you.
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