Sometimes, the best way to “review” a year is to look ahead. Many of the predictions forecast for 2018 are based off things we saw in 2017. Are you ready to dial up your time machine? It may help your future business plans!
Oh, All the Places We Have Been! And Will Go!
In her Social Media Examiner article “17+ Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2018 From the Pros,” Lisa D. Jenkins looks at many expert predictions for this current year. While this article is filled with great narrative and multiple examples, the brief highlights of this article (only containing a handful of predictions) are netted down below.
Pinterest ad targeting (expert Kate Ahl): Connecting even more to their users, targeted ads (based on searches) will resonate more with visitors. Marketers will also likely be learning what video pins work best as this media is used more.
YouTube lead gen (expert Sunny Lenarduzzi): Since Facebook ads can be pricy, YouTube can be a good source of lead generation, especially since customers are looking for solutions, which may be your business.
LinkedIn may take off (expert Azriel Ratz): With some recent upgrades on the LinkedIn platform (personal account videos, messaging improvements, geofilter tests and upcoming video ad rollout), this professional platform may experience impressive growth soon.
Facebook becomes a video leader (expert Michael Stelzner): Piggy-backing off the Facebook Watch in 2017 for a few outlets, everyone should have access to this soon. Facebook may also introduce other changes in the video space, enhancing exposure for businesses, and may go even bigger than we are anticipating. Stay tuned here.
Ad costs continue to rise (expert Loren Bartley): Social media investment certainly pays off, but it’s likely to rise in cost from here on out. If the price is right at this moment in time, invest while you can afford it.
Facebook reviews matter (expert Logan Young): Now, positive Facebook reviews can be boosted, posing a huge opportunity for local businesses. Manage these reviews strategically, especially if you are looking to attract new customers through your existing base that trust real word of mouth.
Snapchat stories may be on the move (expert Carlos Gil): Since Snapchat is behind Instagram in terms of innovation, this expert thinks Snapchat videos will need to be viewed outside of the app to keep up with advertisers, brands, and consumer preferences.
Twitter reenergizes (expert Mark Schaefer): Twitter has cheaper advertising than some big players (i.e. Facebook) and it has a big audience that experts believe have been untapped by brands. With some new growth behind it, this may be making a big comeback.
Instagram is a fan favorite (expert: Brooke B. Sellas): Instagram surpassed its 2017 mobile ad sales prediction of $2.81 billion at an impressive $4 billion. Right now, everyone loves Instagram, and it’s in a sweet spot for continued success.
CEOs go social (expert Samantha Kelly): People now want to see the human side of CEOs, raising the bar. CEOs will need to use social media (like Twitter in the B2B space) to form these real connections in a public way.
Social media video is everything (expert Carmen Collins): Simply, you need video in all your channels to exist in the online world. If you don’t have it, consumers will scroll right by you.
Highlight your Insta story (expert Melanie Deziel): Instagram stories (which can also be static collections of story posts) are opportunities for brands to get creative and to stand out. Now that these stories have longer lives, the bar on production value is about to be raised.
#HashtagWIN (expert Dustin W. Stout): In addition to the “swipe up” feature, Instagram now lets people follow hashtags. This is a big deal for brands in the space to discover the right hashtags that their target audience is looking for, and to become a leader in this niche. More importantly, it will be even more important to be first on the scene.
AI stays (expert Viveka von Rosen): While the battle between artificial intelligence and the human touch continues, there is still a fundamental need of customers that cannot be ignored. Customers need a positive brand experience to come back. While there are beliefs that AI can “dehumanize” the process, smart AI can effectively strengthen the customer experience if used correctly.
Storytelling stays at the helm (expert Kathy Klotz-Guest): Customers in today’s world expect more from brands. They not only want authentic stories that they connect with, they also want to be a part of the story. The collaboration between companies, employees, and fans will continue to be the unique shining factor of the brand story.
Don’t be fake news (Becky Roth): It’s never been so vitally critical to be REAL as it is right now. Everything you put out there needs to be authentic. Your photography needs to look real (candid goes a long way), your videos should feel real, and your story needs to sound real. If you have even an ounce of “fake news” vibes, people will flee and never come back.
The (Near-Term) Future of Social Media
It is so important to take the lessons we have learned in previous years to design our future roadmap. Did this dual combination of a 2017 look back and the 2018 look ahead further shape some goals you have for the upcoming year? We’d love to hear about it!
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