2018 Social Media Trends, Updates and Tips
OhEmGee! There have been so so so SO many updates to the different social media platforms since January 2018, so I thought I’d put together a quick blog on the different social media trends, updates and tips that business owners need to know in 2018! I’ve tried to list at least a couple of items for every social media platform, however most of the info is in regards to Facebook and Instagram, as those are the two platforms that have undergone the most amount of change in the past 6 months.
2018 Social Media Trends:
Before we get started, I just wanted to take a quick moment to talk about engagement on social media platforms in 2018. Many of the updates to social platforms that I am going to list here are related to engagement, as that is the direction that social media is heading in. Engagement doesn’t just mean clicking on an link, hitting the like button or tagging someone in the comments, it means meaningful conversations – and the more your social media content encourages and facilitates meaningful conversations, the better it will perform.
Ok, let’s get into it!
Facebook Trends, Updates and Tips:
- News Feed: One of the biggest updates that everyone is talking about are the changes to the Facebook news feed. Personal profile updates and content are going up, up, up and branded business posts are going down, down, down.
- Pay to Play: It is going to be harder and harder to send people off the Facebook platform (to your website, blog or another social platform) without paying for the privilege. If you are posting links to your blog or website pages on the regular and rely on this strategy as a major traffic driver for your website then you are going to need to consider allocating some budget to boost those posts.
- See First: There is a tool that your loyal followers can use to make sure that you don’t disappear from their news feeds. It’s called the ‘see first’ feature, and it enables users to tell Facebook that they WANT to see your content.
- Facebook Live: Facebook Live is a huge driver of engagement plus Facebook loves it when you use their tools, so I predict that this is going to be a major trend in 2018 and we’ll be seeing heaps of brands finding creative ways to work this into their social media strategies.
- Facebook Events: HOT TIP! I’ve heard a few whispers from some social media gurus hinting that Facebook Events might be a great way to keep your engagement levels up, because users tend to have a lot of conversations on event pages. So if this is a feature that you can work into your Facey strategy then I recommend you get on it!
Instagram Trends, Updates and Tips:
- Hashtag Research: I know that this is a no-brainer, but seriously guys – if you are just plucking 30 random #hashies out of the air every time you post, you are not making the most of this platform!
- Use Niche Hashtags: Following on from that last #HotTip, I’d like to recommend using niche hashtags. Not so niche that no one is following them, but niche enough that your post won’t get lost in the clutter. Not sure where to start? Try geo-tagging your really broad hashtags – swap #Foodie for #BrisbaneFoodie, #Marketing for #BrisbaneMarketing and #Florist for #BrisbaneFlorist.
- Encourage Engagement: Throw that ‘follow/unfollow’ strategy out the window. It was rubbish before, and in 2018, that rubbish has started decomposing! Opt instead for a smaller-but-engaged audience that you can have one-on-one conversations with in the comments area of your posts. Engage with their content and they’ll engage with your content. Make friends not followers!
- Follow Community Hashtags: Find some really super-duper awesome community-based hashtags (like #BuinessChicks, #LMBDW, #BrisbaneBusinessOwner etc) and follow them! THIS.IS.THE.CONTENT.YOU.SHOULD.BE.ENGAGING.WITH!
- Stories: If you aren’t using Instagram Stories for your brand yet, then you should get on that asap! Did you know you can also add up to 10 hashtags to your stories, to make sure that people outside of your follower-base can find them?
The biggest tip I have for Twitter users is to make sure you are using the Advanced Search feature to follow relevant conversations in your area or community. You can search for certain keywords within a geographical area and then follow that content stream. So a great example here would be a florist following keywords likes ‘florist’, ‘flowers’, ‘gifts’ within a 10km radius of their flower shop. Any post or Twitter convo that meets that criteria will show up in their feed and they can jump in and answer questions, provide advice and let the locals know that they exist!
- Content Lifespan: The biggest thing that you need to know about YouTube is that it is a content library. Other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are all about providing current news and events, but YouTube is a large library of content, and anything that you post on this platform is going to have a much longer lifespan that on other platforms. This is something to consider when thinking about how much time or other resources to invest in the content that you create for this platform.
- Content Optimisation: Another hot tip would be to reverse engineer your content; rather than making a video and then slapping a title and description on it, research a good title and craft an amazing description that are sure to rank well. Then create your content to suit.
Backlinks: Pintrest is an interesting platform that has the potential to be a huge driver of referral traffic to your website. This is an interesting thought to consider, especially for anyone who is noticing a drop in Facebook referral traffic due to the news feed changes mentioned above.
Mindframe: This is a tip that can probably be applied to all social media platforms, but when you are creating content for LinkedIn, it is important to think about the mind frame that people are in when they are using this platform. It is a professional platform that people use to increase their professional networks, read business articles and start conversations with like-minded professionals. A post about your fast flower delivery service probably isn’t going to garner too much attention or interest on this platform, but a professionally worded article about the health and mood benefits that having fresh flowers in your office has would likely perform much better.
BONUS SOCIAL BADDIES:
A couple of bonus tips of things to avoid on social media platforms in 2018:
- Click Bait: keeping hold of your organic referral traffic from social platforms is going to be difficult, and trying to ‘trick’ users into visiting your site is only going to make things worse.
- Comment Goading: Facebook is cutting down on comment goading; this means that if you specifically ask your users to comment, like or share your posts in your caption, then your posts will not perform well. You need to create great quality content that encourages organic engagement.
- Competitions: competitions don’t necessarily need to be avoided, we just need to re-think how we run them, and their goals. The standard ‘like, follow and share’ concept is not going to work in Facebook for much longer, and the other social media platforms won’t take long to follow this trend.
- Follow-Unfollow or Follow-for-Follow: Most users have caught onto the whole ‘follow/unfollow’ concept by now and they don’t like it. So if you are one of those annoying pages relying on this method to grow your audience, you will actually be damaging your brand reputation, which isn’t worth it.
- Frequent Posting: think quality over quantity. Brands don’t need to post 3 or 4 times a day anymore; one single post every day or couple of days has the potential to get much better results if it is thoughtfully crafted and encourages genuine engagement and conversations between users.
- Huge Audience Sizes: The quantity of followers that you have on your page is no longer the biggest and best metric through which to judge the success of your social media activities. Large, multi-sentence comments are the new golden ticket, along with ‘watched minutes’ for video platforms and content.
Ok that is a preeeeeetty good overview of 2018’s social media trends and updates so far and I hope it gives you all a good base to get started on your own social journey! I’ll be fleshing out a few of these topics over the next few days/weeks, because I think that some of them deserve their own dedicated blog posts, so if there is a particular item you want more info on, let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the list!