Love it or loathe it, social media is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger, or is it? In this article, we take a look at how the main social channels have fared in 2017 and the outlook for 2018.
Most social media platforms are seeing steady or rapid growth but alarmingly reports are showing that Twitter has failed to grow its user base remaining on 328 million users worldwide for much of 2017. In an attempt to give much needed resuscitation to its reach though, the platform recently expanded its traditional 140 character count to 280 characters but success of their effort is yet to be seen. We do know however, that some users voiced their irritation at what they believed was a differentiator for the platform is now gone and using under 140 characters forced individuals and brands to be exact and concise in their ideas and musings. No-one can argue that creating a tweet wasn’t challenging but it’s now more akin to Facebook or LinkedIn in how many characters it allows. The jury is out at whether the platform will suffer because of it.
Another change for Twitter in 2017 was its heavy focus on user acquisition rather than on making improvements to its advertising platform. As a result, marketers can be seen investing in other platforms to reach their audiences and if this trend continues in 2018, we could see Twitter fall of its perch altogether.
Whilst it may be a bleak picture for Twitter, professional networking site LinkedIn has made a number of improvements to its advertising platform in 2017 and presented a refreshed user interface for its 500 million users around the globe. These changes offer new opportunities for B2B and B2C brands to get in front of their audience and achieve their objectives.
Instagram continues to be the success story of social media and it’s continued to grow at an incredible rate in 2017 having recently announced that approximately 800 million people now use the platform each month. Their latest tool, Instagram Stories, has become more popular than Snapchat just one year after going live and it’s expected that more people will continue to migrate over from Snapchat in 2018. Many B2C brands report seeing better engagement on Instagram than any other social platform so the future is looking particularly rosy for Insta’ – could it become the go-to channel for social media marketing in 2018?
And lastly, Facebook. Well, it’s Facebook isn’t it? What’s to say? It’s the biggie with over 2.07 billion monthly active users worldwide reported in quarter three 2017 and this is an impressive 16 percent increase year on year. We’re still seeing a lot of algorithm changes from Facebook and recent reports are now saying that it’s probably only about a 6.5% organic reach with every post now, considerably down from the 15-20% that it used to be. A challenge for marketers that’s for sure but we’re sure they’ll persevere with the platform.
So, what does this mean for you and your business? Statistically, social media is just too big for you to ignore and just in case you had any lingering doubts, 89% of B2B decision makers now start their buying process online so if you’ve not jumped on the social bandwagon yet or are just dipping your toe in the water, now really is the time to take the plunge before your competition takes all the spoils.