2018 Social Media Forecast: Video, Video, Video

If there’s one thing we can say about 2017, it’s been a wild ride in terms of how we use and interact with social media. The past year saw Instagram making a major play for Snapchat’s piece of the social pie, Twitter expanded its limit to 280 characters, and chat bots helped transform everything from customer service to how we interact with our elected representatives.

While some of these changes may have been unexpected, they weren’t exactly surprising given the trajectory of social media over the past few years. So, as your attention goes to strategic planning for 2018, many of the strategies and tactics that made social media such a fundamental part of your marketing mix should carry you through the New Year, while others, well, let’s just say they’re best left to history.


Carry It Into 2018 – Video (Duh.)

If you’ve paid any attention to this blog – or, really, any other industry blog – this will come as absolutely no surprise. Video is here. Video is everywhere. And if you aren’t including it in your social media strategy, you’re doing it wrong.

From live video to produced pieces, it’s become a mainstay of any social timeline – and for good reason. From an engagement perspective alone, video distributed on social media garners 1,200% more shares than other content executions. The way we consume and retain information is changing, and the rise of video is both a driver and result of that.

Now’s the time to give video the prominent place it deserves in your content mix – mostly so we don’t have to include it in every other darn blog post.


Picking Up Steam – Influencer Marketing

One of the reasons social media has emerged as a viable marketing option is because people will always trust the opinions of the people they like and respect. That will never change. Influencer marketing is just the latest iteration of that truth.
As we’ve pointed out before, influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. Not only that, but a recent study by Twitter and Annalect showed that 40% of respondents purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube. And, while 73% of marketers said they had allocated budget for influencer marketing, the influencer landscape is growing more competitive meaning budget increases are necessary to maximize your ROI.

So expect an increase in brands embracing influencer-marketing executions over the course of the year.


On the Cusp – Twitter

Let’s be honest, Twitter didn’t have a great year in 2017. Cyber harassment issues, an executive team in constant flux, burning, and a general lack of direction – Twitter has lost the plot a bit.

Even with these issues in mind, we’re not ready to write off the platform completely.

With the recent increase in character limit, a move the company feels will result in more engagement, comes an increased opportunity for clever, effective, and even [exasperated sigh] viral executions that will only continue to evolve.

Personally, we’re just glad we can finally include multiple links in a tweet.


Bury It With 2017 – Organic Reach

It never ceases to amaze us that brands think they can still relay on organic engagement alone to carry their social media strategy.

Although you, as a consumer, may be able to access Facebook for free, the world’s largest social media network really runs on ad revenue – an outcome each algorithm tweak has been inching toward. With expected revenue of around $27 billion for 2017 – an increase of 40% over last year – higher user engagement for paid advertising is one of the reasons it has become one of the largest media companies in the world.

Compared to digital advertising, which has seen an increased cost of 12% year-over-year while reaching fewer customers, paid social media advertising still provides a cost-effective way to reach your audiences.


The bottom line is this: you can follow these social media strategies to a T and still not see any results if you’re not pushing out authentic content. As more marketers realize social is the place to be, the need for good, well-executed content becomes even more important.

With consumers no longer tied to traditional forms of media, they have an unprecedented amount of control over what they consume, when they consume it, and how they share it. It’s a paradigm shift, to be sure, but one with many exciting possibilities for you and your brand.

Also, seriously, do more video.



Like our social media forecast? Stay tuned for more trend alerts throughout the month of January in digital media, interactive and immersive technology, and SEO/PPC.

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