Hello 2018! What a year it’s going to be. While everyone’s trying to predict what will happen this year, Sotrender is doing the opposite. As in previous years we’ve asked marketing specialists and social media influencers a simple question: What will NOT happen in marketing in the upcoming year? The results, as usual, make for an insightful read. So without further ado here are the anti-trends for 2018!
Ian Anderson Gray, Confident Live Marketing Coach | Twitter
Twitter will not die in 2018 – it will evolve. There have been many soothsayers foreseeing the demise of Twitter. It was supposed to happen this year, or perhaps this year. Twitter has been in trouble for a few years and they’ve made many bad decisions. The platform is not dying, however, it’s evolving. Scratch under the surface of automation tools and bots, you’ve still got thriving communities of businesses and individuals having real conversations. I think Twitter is not going away and they’re not dying.
2018 is not the year to sit on your laurels and rely on what worked the year before. It might be all the recent changes and new features that we’ve seen happening to some of the major social networks. Or it could be that customer expectations are changing. One thing is for sure, though: social media marketing in 2018 requires in-depth strategizing and continuous optimisation. The best tool you have is your analytics: check them often and use them to understand what works and what doesn’t, so that you can optimize your campaigns as you go along.
2018 is not the year for… fluffy KPI’s like engagement, awareness, and traffic. It’s the year to measure social media success in dollars and cents instead of likes, shares, and comments. We can’t keep social media in a silo or on the sidelines, and we can forget about sharing content for content’s sake. We need to attach sales goals to everything we share on social media so that we know where to invest our time and what types of content drive our bottom line. With buyable pins, Facebook collection ads, and now shoppable posts on Instagram, 2018 presents new opportunities to connect the dots between social media campaigns and direct revenue.
Edyta Kowal, Content Manager & Editor, Prowly
Some time ago, another news stories on how “Facebook is fighting engagement bait” circulated around the internet. May I just remind you that first references to this subject were already made a few years back. Facebook was supposed to punish Pages for flagrantly asking for likes, comments, or shares, limit their reach and demote such posts. Is this project going to finally reach the ‘final cut’ stage? I don’t think so. But I’m pretty sure that other attempts to draw attention to our social media content-such as using memes and GIFs- will decline in value. The reason for this is simple: excess. Also, traditional influencer marketing will no longer work as it has before. Micro-influencers will promote your product much better than A-list celebrities with enormous follower counts. And they’ll do it for a reasonable price and more reliably.
Instead, the video content marketing trend has been booming in social media lately. 64% of marketers agree that video will soon dominate their content marketing strategies. However-despite all the forecasts repeated year after year-2018 will not be the year of video content in social media. The majority of brands are just starting to load up on budgets for this purpose, expand their competence within teams and, at most, play with small video forms on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook and try their hand at live streaming. All in all, including video content in the sales process and live streaming are definitely the two paths to follow.
Bartosz Majewski, CEO, Casbeg, LinkedIn
2018 is not the year to… know what you are actually talking about. This is a 100% year to get loud, double your content marketing and understand content distribution hacks instead of really knowing your craft (who cares if you’re a specialist or not?). Whatever it is, write about it. You will make a killing being a management expert who never actually hired anyone or a business coach who never actually run a business.
Marketers will stop being afraid of the term “artificial intelligence” as it relates to their marketing strategies. They’ll realize the value, efficiency and effectiveness in collaboration with their IT counterparts. Because of this targeted, personalized communications will be better than ever – and marketers will finally, once and for all, stop the “spray and pray” way of marketing.
Agata Młodawska, Marketing Manager, Divante
Machine-generated content won’t be the majority, but… We can see a shift in the market – more people are now on messenger apps than social media. That’s why chatbots became so popular. eCommerce Trends Report 2018 by Divante says that Conversational Commerce is one of Top 5 Investments in 2018. According to Gartner, 20% of business content could be machine-generated by 2018 – that’s not the majority, but the trend is growing.
2018 is not the year for macro influencer marketing. Sure, big names and self-glorified gurus and influencers may well amplify your reach to stratospheric levels, but are they really reaching the right audience for your brand? 2017 will be the last year that macro influencers can charge a premium for mediocre business results. Step forward micro-influencers – niche, hyper-engaged and all about results for brands of all sizes.
2018 is not the year for business ROI from Twitter…if you keep doing what you’ve always been doing. Twitter is saturated and has been for a while. For the average brand, being heard is harder than ever, sparking engagement is tougher than tough, and driving the right traffic requires small miracles. Will 2017 be the last year of Twitter being free-to-play? We’ll see. But for Twitter to deliver business value beyond vanity metrics, then you need to tweet smarter, engage more proactively, and spam content out via schedulers far less.”
2018 is not the year for click-bait headlines and competitions. We’ve had enough of this, right? The average person on social media can’t be bought so cheaply and easily anymore. Put some effort in when trying to get more fans, clickthroughs and engagements!
Magdalena Urbaniak, Global Communications Manager, Brand24
There is one trend that will be maintained by (less but still) many companies. What I’m thinking of is ignoring queries, comments, and opinions on brands in social media. People share it all: good and bad feelings, thoughts through many platforms waiting and expecting help, advice or solution. That’s nothing else than looking for a good customer service that might easily lead to sales. Huge opportunity, what’s more – easy to implement, will be probably wasted.
Forget about non-responsive websites. You may ask… so 2018 will be yet another mobile year? Yes that is correct. This time however Google may want to push harder for responsive design. You hard mobile-first index? And this is just the beginning.
And also forget about HTTP:// – Using non-ssl website is passé. So if you plan to go into startup business, blogging or anything else that involve new website remember to buy SSL cerificate. And if you already have a website, switch asap to SSL.
Jan Zając, CEO, Sotrender
2018 will not be the year of organic reach, especially on Facebook, but also on other social media channels. It will be much harder to efficiently reach your target audience without paying for and setting up ads. Which is nothing new. Many of us already experience significantly worse organic reach when it comes to our Facebook activities. Some of us probably already have various methods of improving organic reach, but let’s face the truth. It’ll only get worse. And soon, there might not even be a thing such as organic reach.
What’s also worth mentioning is the change in the Facebook newsfeed. It’s now only in the testing phase in few countries, so it’s not currently such a big deal for everyone. But we should be aware of it. This change is strongly affecting brands’ organic reach, as non-promoted posts from brands are removed from the main newsfeed (the newsfeed was generally reorganised).
So what does it all mean? It means that marketers have to prepare themselves, their budgets, and their marketing strategies. 2018 will be the year of coming up with new ideas, solutions, and tools. We might even have to change the social media channels we run or the agencies and people running our current ones.
2018 will definitely be a year to be flexible and ready for change. What works for you now (e.g. clickbait or posting funny memes) might not work very soon. And one of the reasons is that Facebook is trying to get rid of a few selected behaviours. Cooperating with influencers, taking advantage of groups, events or stories? We all have to face the problem and test various solutions to be ready for what is coming.
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