Okay, it’s the first of November, 2017, I might be jumping the gun publishing a 2018 trends post so early, but at least I’ll be ahead of the crowd. The truth is it’s August 28th as I write this, which leads to two points 1.) It feels strange and bizarre to write 2018 and 2.) I hope that there isn’t too much change between now and the first of November. So, what will the social media marketing best practices look like for 2018?

What About Twitter?

Immediately after I wrote the subhead above, I sighed, because I love Twitter, or maybe that should be I loved Twitter. It’s changed, (what doesn’t?) but it hasn’t changed for the better. In 2018 social marketers will put more emphasis, time, and effort in other networks and less in The Twitter. That doesn’t mean Twitter will be abandoned it just means some of the time marketers have spent on twitter will be used elsewhere. Even with scheduling, Twitter is time intensive. Marketers will use networks that do a better job of reaching their target audience whether it’s Instagram and Snapchat for B2C or Facebook and LinkedIn for B2B.

Where is Content Headed?

Where is content headed? It’s headed away from PR like, AP style, corporate voiced publications. There’s a lot of competition for the public’s attention, “Users produce about 76.3 million new posts and 42.7 million new comments each month.” — WordPress. And that’s only blogs, not video, white papers, eBooks, etc.

Readers want real. They want to read and hear human voices. People want to be inspired, they want stories, and they want to laugh. If you want to capture readers attention do all of the above and solve problems, answer questions, and share how to tutorials.

Too often when I talk about web content, people assume I mean blog copy. Blogs are important, I feel so strongly about blogging I wrote a book about business blogging, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. But SMM (Social Media Marketing) content is more than a blog. It’s video, photos, case studies, eBooks and more. Successful marketers in 2018 will realize this and consistently share content in multiple forms.

The Live Experience

Let me ask you a question, if it were your birthday and I was considering buying you a present would you prefer an experience, like tickets to an event, or a material gift, a thing? If you’re like me you’ll choose the experience, and many in your audience are the same. For example, live video on Facebook, “Live is the best way to interact with viewers in real time. Field their burning questions, hear what’s on their mind and check out their Live Reactions to gauge how your broadcast is going.” – Go Live on Facebook. Yes, that’s an excerpt from a Facebook marketing piece, but I wouldn’t argue with them, would you?

The experience of virtual reality is finding a niche in marketing, for example, Augmented Reality in Print.

Content that includes the audience in the experience engages them. Polls, calls to action for shared experiences, and asking for feedback all make visitors part of the content, part of the experience.

Searching for SEO

I had lunch with a friend last Saturday; she was on her way to new marketing position out of state. We eventually got around to talking shop, and she told me her new company posted beautifully written blogs, but… there was no, nada, zero SEO plan, and although the corporation had several social media accounts, the published posts weren’t promoted on social media networks. I replied it should make her job easy. She’ll be a hero. Remember the stats in the third paragraph, 46 million new posts a month. In 2018 following SEO best practices is a must not an option. In the least, every blog should use and follow Yoast SEO recommendations.

2018 and Beyond

In a lot of ways, 2018 won’t be much different from 2017 or even 2016 when it comes to SMM. Those who have success will post consistently, share and interact on multiple social networks, and publish interesting content through multiple mediums. What’s your best advice for SMM managers in 2018?

Photo Credit — Fotografie Link ID: bb483dc1992643405e Provider: Pixabay