What to Consider In 2018
The Social Media landscape continues to shift and grow at an amazing pace. While there is some debate about who first coined the term “social media,” it was first used at some point in the mid to late 1990s. Yet for many marketers, considering a social media strategy as part of the comprehensive marketing plan was not considered until much later.
The statistics are mind-boggling. Facebook users in the United States are expected to grow to over 207 million in 2018. In the second quarter of 2017, data shows that worldwide over 2 billion users accessed the network. The revenue numbers are even more impressive. Driven largely by advertisers in third quarter 2017, the social network posted revenue of over $10.33 billion, exceeding the expectations of $9.84 billion – representing a year over year growth rate of 47 percent. Recent reports reflect that Facebook is
facing challenges as the ads that can be shown in the newsfeed is reaching its limit.
Facebook has expanded its advertising offerings with messenger and video ads. This offering presents a huge opportunity to advertisers. With an estimated 117.2 million Messenger users in the U.S., Facebook offers an effective tool to reach your audience on mobile devices.
The power of video! Video is unmatched with motion, emotion, sight and sound. You can leverage your video ads to promote video views, brand awareness, reach a larger audience, foster engagement, lead generation and more. With a smartphone and a little ingenuity, you can produce an effective social media video in minutes. (See the URLs in this article for tips.)
Consider these Facebook options and contemplate how you might leverage for your brand. With the limits in the newsfeed advertising, messenger and video promotion may be a sound consideration for your paid Facebook promotion in 2018.
Since its launch, Instagram Stories, with an estimated 300 million active daily users, has soared past Snapchat and its estimated 166 million active daily users. eMarketer indicates that Instagram Stories advertising revenue will grow to $5 billion in 2018.
Why allocate resources to Instagram Stories? Results. According to Instagram, “of the 300 million accounts using Instagram Stories, one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.”
If your business already has an Instagram account, and you are not utilizing Instagram Stories, create a structured plan and implement. Carefully consider your goals and create stories that promote your brand’s voice in a way that will resonate best with your target audience.
Augmented Reality marketing is projected to grow in 2018 and beyond. Now that Apple has entered the game with the AR capabilities on phones with IOs 11, anyone with an iPhone 6 or more recent can enjoy AR from their phone. Additionally, Google’s ARCore goal is to expand and become a core feature on Android phones over the course of the next few years.
AR offers brands the opportunity to present content in a compelling, interactive and immersive format which significantly increases engagement. Some major brands have readily embraced AR. A recent Acura campaign generated an audience of 500,000 people that tuned in live to watch an hour-long race. The Denver Broncos launched their own AR experience with the “Come to Life” campaign and achieved their goal of engaging their fans in downloading an app. It’s clear that AR is changing the marketing landscape with energy and excitement.
Live streaming is shaping the way we consume our news and events. NASA provided a live stream experience for the 2017 Solar Eclipse and estimated that they garnered 12.1 million unique views on its live eclipse page during the event, and a total of 90 million page views on its main website and special eclipse subsite.
In the United States, there are nearly 221 million digital video viewers. Research and Markets forecast that the global streaming market will grow from $30.29 billion in 2016 to $70.05 billion by 2021.
2018 Social Media Planning
Begin the process by outlining your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These might be to increase Instagram followers, Facebook followers, improve engagement metrics or increase social shares. Be specific in your goals and identify how you are going to measure.
Develop a specific strategy for each platform to achieve optimal results. Detail your strategy into two segments – organic and paid. Determine budget allocation for resources such as creative, time invested and advertising expenditures.
Commit your plan to paper and develop an editorial calendar. Implement your plan with consistency and measure results frequently. Lastly, research, research, research. Stay abreast of the ever-evolving trends and adjust your plan accordingly.
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Sandra Rodenas is a marketing professional with over 26 years industry experience. Her education includes both an undergraduate (UNF) and an MBA (WU) in marketing (graduating with honors in both). She is owner of Your Own Marketing Department offering customized marketing services for businesses in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.