Every year, there are new features, trends, and changes in the major social networks that change a little bit how marketing works. Some of the changes have only a small impact since they don’t influence how the marketing process works. But some changes and features do have some major impact – and if you don’t react to them you can easily lose a lot of marketing power and in the end revenues.
Here are 5 changes and trends in digital marketing that you need to consider in 2018.
1. Twitter Character limit
Let’s start with a seemingly major change on Twitter. At the core of Twitter has always been the limit of 140 characters for a tweet. This limit was already weakened when Twitter took out links, images and account mentions so that they no longer counted as characters.
This fall, Twitter announced that they would double the character limit of a tweet to 280 characters.
While hardcore Twitter fans raged about this, others got creative and used the space to make their tweet more visible.
— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) November 8, 2017
What this means for your marketing:
Not much really. If you have something to say, you won’t need to press your creativity just that much, to shorten your sentence down by omitting punctuation, use abbreviations or symbols instead of letters. But other than that your Twitter strategy can remain intact.
2. Pinterest Hashtags
If you have tried to make Pinterest work for you as a traffic generation powerhouse that some bloggers use it for, you probably have read this in some way or other:
That Pinterest is not a social network but a search engine – and you should use keywords instead of Hashtags.
Source/Quote: Melyssa Griffin
Well, that changed in September 2017.
Now hashtags not only have a rightful purpose on Pinterest, they actually have a ton of marketing power. 4 hashtags are now shown directly below the pin in combination with the title of the pin. Up to 20 hashtags can be added to a pin description.
Clicking on a hashtag or searching for a hashtag will give you a feed of pins related to this hashtag.
What this means for your marketing
While a pin can still gain visibility on Pinterest without hashtags, the hashtags now give you a new opportunity to get your pin in front of a larger audience for instance in the hashtag feed.
This means you should consider adding some hashtags to a pin that you upload or share to Pinterest. When you create your pin, you can simply type „#“ followed by some letters: #blogg
Pinterest will then provide you with some suggestions for prominent hashtags. You should choose well-frequented hashtags – but don’t go too broad with the choice of your hashtags.
3. Facebook Video and Chatbots
For Facebook, the main trend remains the same as in 2017. (Live) video and chatbots are still the two trends to watch in 2018. And you may want to check both out and see how you can integrate them into your marketing strategy.
Engagement on Facebook is crucial for visibility and live videos still show high engagement rates. In addition, live videos allow you to directly connect with your audience and boost the relationship with your audience.
Image Source: Facebook
Relationships are also the key when you think about chatbots. Especially for customer service when the incoming questions center around similar topics a chatbot can be an awesome way to provide 24hour service and connect with your customers.
Simply keep in mind, your chatbot will never be perfect and it will never be able to handle all customer requests.
What this means for your marketing
If you are looking to build a connection and a relationship with your audience or customers, video AND chatbots provide you with awesome possibilities. And they are within reach for all of us.
4. Instagram killing black hat tools
Marketing is always about testing limits. If you want to see big results you figure out what works and then you scale it.
With social media, this often means that automation and tools are involved in the scaling process.
For Instagram, that is getting harder by the day, since I have not yet seen a social network that so consistently banned automation tools that perform fishy tasks or automate behavior that is seen as black hat.
(Jonathan has written a post about black hat social media tools last year. And of the three mentioned tools only one that focuses on Pinterest and not Instagram is still in service.)
What it means for your marketing
With Instagram, you simply have to do the work. The more tools you use to try to game the audience-building process the bigger your risk of getting caught and being banned. And finding a tool that Instagram has not yet on their radar seems to be getting harder.
But, don’t get frustrated – it is absolutely possible to build your audience on Instagram even without using shady methods and fishy tools.
5. SEO – focus on longtail
You can argue that this is nothing new. And right you are.
But this trend keeps getting more important by the year. It is not only that the huge keywords are already overloaded with content and long tail keywords still give you a chance to rank. In addition, all people search for more specific phrases.
The Internet is already full of content for each and every keyword or keyphrase. The more specific we search the bigger is our chance to find what we are looking for.
You should consider that when choosing your keywords – wham, you can still have that precious search traffic. And what is more: The better will your content fit what the people really searched for and the audience you find via search will be more targeted, more responsive and convert better.
Final words on digital marketing trends for 2018
I totally admit that the above selection of trends is inspired by my personal experience and what we have to consider in our marketing efforts for the coming year. I am totally aware that there are more trends and totally different trends that you may still have to take into account.
If you already know of a trend that we should consider: Please you let us know in the comments!