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I don’t know about you, but I am wondering how we are already at the end of January – wasn’t Christmas last week? Alas, we are well into 2018 and hopefully you have reviewed 2017 and are ready to make some tweaks and even some big changes when it comes to your content marketing and social media.

Social Media marketing and content marketing are very powerful tools for businesses. It is so imperative for businesses to be playing in this field as it is part of their consumers every day life! How many times have you checked your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc in the last 15 minutes? (The answer should be none since you are reading this article….)

What’s New in 2018

Before I even get into the known trends for 2018, I want to address the news coming from Facebook. I wanted to share the news, but I wasn’t sure how to tell my clients that “Hey, all that money you spend on social media marketing – well…..” At first glance you may think that Facebook is punishing businesses and plan on making it harder for them to reach their consumers. But I really don’t think it is that at all.

What it looks like from the outside, is that Facebook wants to make sure it is bringing better content to your newsfeed. I too, am tired of all the ads and business posts that take up my newsfeed (that I have not “liked” or interested in), meanwhile one of my friends got engaged, another had a baby but all I knew is that Gap had a sale and some overseas clothing company was selling fake goods……

Is Facebook going to really end the success that businesses have had on social media? Heck no! They make too much money from businesses. I think you will need to spend more money on advertising and ensure that your are sharing quality content instead of multiple posts kills the newsfeed. Does that make sense? Hopefully it does, but please remember this is my assumption.

Trends to Expect in 2018

Back to the reason I am here…..2018 trends.

Twitter really suffered in 2017 with little to no growth – don’t worry, it is still alive and breathing, but I think we will see some big changes with regards to this social media channel.

We have seen some notable changes from the other big guys like Facebook and Instagram. Some of the new players to keep your eye on will be LinkedIn (maybe it will be more than just a job recruiting site and those sharing all that they know). Snapchat will bring some competition to the market and they better put their best-game face on because they are evolving and growing so fast that they may not stop.

Some other things to watch and take into consideration while you are planning:

Less Organic Reach – businesses are going to be very selective of where they spend their advertising dollars and ensure they are on the right platforms for their business. (Again, this comes from the recent Facebook news…but please don’t panic yet.)

Videos – According to research done by Kenshoo, spending on social video increased 130%!!!  But keep in mind that now everyone wants to do video because of this trend and it will become saturated.  Relevant content and making sure you post it in the right social media platform must be considered.  Video is not cheap!

Instagram Stories – it is really going to take off in 2018.  And those who have over 10,000 followers are going to be able to put links in their post (which is a first for Instagram!).

Overall, I think the saying “Keep it simple, stupid”, will really ring true for 2018.  Getting back to the basics and not all that fancy stuff will also make for a successful marketing campaign.  You don’t have to do it all…just do it. Play in the sandbox and have fun!

– Julie
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2017 brought a lot of change in the world of social media. Although we can’t predict exactly what 2018 will bring, we can prepare your marketing plan and allow it to adapt to change.

social media trends 2018

BIGGEST CHANGES FROM 2017

The launch of the ‘Live Video’ has been an exciting way to interact with users in real time through Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter’s “Go Live” feature. We also saw new technology, like virtual and augmented reality, propelling us into the future of social media marketing.

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WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2018?

More live video.

Build a stronger brand personality and engage with their customers in real time! Live Video has now been built into all of the common social media networks. A study from Livestream found some very compelling reasons why brands should find ways to engage with their audiences through live video. Here’s what they found.

  • 80% of people would rather watch a live stream video from a brand they follow than read that brand’s blog.
  • 82% of people would rather watch a live stream video from a brand they follow than read a social media post.
  • People spend an average of 2.8 minutes watching standard videos, yet they spend 5 minutes on live streams.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has the potential become an exciting marketing tool and reinvent the way marketers share information, demo products, and engage audiences.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality now enables marketers to alter their customer’s real-life experiences. Snapchat was one of the first networks to adopt augmented reality into their platform. It started off organically with users seeing dancing hotdogs and their bitmojis dancing around. The most recent update allows brands to use the AR experience for paid lenses! Really the possibilities are endless but we see this being huge for events or in store use.

Disappearing Content

Vanishing content has a certain appeal to customers who fear missing out on special deals or exclusive content. Brands are now leveraging this type of content to drive urgency and action from their audience. Where do you see this now? Instagram stories! We love using stories for many of our clients when they have an event, sale, special or sneak peaks. This also adds more of that ‘real’ aspect which is the underlying message in all of the trends we are seeing for 2018.

Social Messaging Change

Your social message MUST provide value. There must be a point and some type of importance in EACH post you share. Keep it relevant & straight forward. Get to the point. You have less than 8 seconds to grab the attention of your viewer, make it count

Facebook live

PLAN FOR 2018

Before you plan your marketing you need to know the essentials:

Social Media Goals

Why does your business need a social presence? What are you hoping to achieve?

Here are some examples of common social media goals:

• Increase exposure and brand awareness
• Increase exposure and brand awareness
– How social can help: Impressions, Reach & Followers
• Increase brand engagement
– How social can help: Engage your audience with likes, comments & shares
• Generate new leads
• Drive web traffic
• Grow revenue

Organic Tactics

Using free tools provided by the social networks to share posts, respond to customers, and interact with your social community.

• Share events or sales to other local community pages, events or groups.
• Build your following by following influencers and accounts on Instagram & Twitter.
• Research and use key hashtags that your audience uses!
• Share blog posts.
• Reward your customers, run contests, sales or giveaways.
• Customer reviews.

Paid Tactics

• Reflect and audit your 2017 social content, try to identify your most effective content pieces.
• Think of ways you can retarget or update your content to ensure that what you share on social is reaching your target market through the right channels.
• Boost posts with minimal text that are performing well.
• Know your audience. If you want to reach a larger audience base you need to know and understand how your audience talks, what they like, where they live, where they play and times they are active so you can target the right audience in your paid ads.
• Target your existing customer base.
• Target people who have completed a specific CTA.
• Target recent customers or your most engaged audience.

 2018 is almost here, and it’s time to evaluate your social media approach and marketing strategy. Digital marketing trends are constantly changing, make sure you keep up with these trends to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

-Jess
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I don’t know how many times I am asked, “Can you measure ROI when it comes to social media?”.  Yes, and you should. We want to share with you a successful social media campaign we recently did for a golf course located outside of the GTA: Shelburne Golf & Country Club.

Shelburne website design

 

We were approached in February 2017 to plan and execute all social media for Shelburne Golf & Country Club.  Our client, Megan, didn’t have time or the expertise to take on the task of managing their social media.  One of the biggest things that we pride ourselves on, is that we are here as part of your team and to make your life more simple.  Not add to your already busy workload, nor make it complicated.  At all.

So, a couple of things were going on.  Their new website was phenomenal, but how were they going to get the word out and expand their clientele?  Newspaper ads weren’t working.  Radio wasn’t working particularly well.  They knew that they were not executing social media as they should be.  They were relying on automatic postings that also fed into their newsletter.

Goal: Brand Awareness = Sales = Growth

Simple?  Yes.  In less than a year, we have increased their brand awareness.  We focused on golf, weddings, catering and lessons.  We went from zero followers on Instagram to 269 followers.  Facebook’s reach was up 230% within the first month!  Their fans were listening and responding!

The best part?  Sales!  With every event, they have seen an increase in attendees.  Mother’s Day Brunch had a nearly 50% increase in bookings.  For Father’s Day we didn’t discount golf, we built a day package with lunch and a gift and they were booked solid!

Weddings?  Their goal going into 2018 was to at least book 4 weddings.  With some Facebook and Instagram ads alongwith a strong campaign on social media, we have already achieved that goal!  (so you better go book your 2018 wedding so you aren’t disappointed).

Next stage of Shelburne Golf & Country Club?  Update some things on the website, get their wedding marketing materials designed and printed and keep promoting this hidden gem.

Do you know why I say ‘we’ when I mention the successes?  Because it is reflective of what we are doing as a team with our client.  We are part of their team along this journey and we are darn proud to be!

We hope that when you measure your social media success do look beyond just the insights and really get into your sales $$ and how people are responding.  Engaged fans are the best fans.

– Julie
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So when is the best time to post on social media? The obvious answer, “The best times to post on social media are when the people you want to see the content are on the network.”

… So when is that? We have put together a general infographic to show the best times for each platform. Posting during the best times will help you get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.

Every business is different and the audience will vary so you should still take your own insights into consideration when determining the best times for YOU to post on social.

best times to post on social