2018 Social Media Marketing Report Overview

How are marketers using social media to grow their business? We break down the key findings from the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report to find out.

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Earlier this month Social Media Examiner released their 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report where they surveyed over 5,700 markets to gain an understanding of how social media is being used to help grow business. The full 44 page report includes some really interesting statistics and helpful pointers that you can use to mould your social media marketing activity for the next 12 months.

Here’s my highlights and a summary of key takeaways that you can implement into your social media marketing strategy.

What is the most commonly used social media platform?

Unsurprisingly Facebook tops the list of most commonly used social media platforms – by a long way as well with 94% of the marketers surveyed using the social network. The more interesting and surprising statistics come as you start to look further down the list. In second place is Instagram, which is used by 66% of marketers, a 12% rise from 2017, which has seen it leapfrog Twitter and become the second most popular social platform amongst businesses. Taking the final spot in the top three is Twitter, which has actually seen a decrease in popularity, falling from 68% to 62%.

Social media marketing: Commonly used social media platforms

The report further looks at what marketers perceive to be their most important social platform, for this they were only allowed to select one answer. Once again Facebook is the standout front runner with over two thirds (67%) stating that it’s most important, however, the second and third spots once again reveal a few surprises. In second place is LinkedIn at 12% (a drop from 17% in 2017) and in third is Instagram increasing from 7% in 2017 to 10% in 2018. This once again shows that Facebook is still the primary platform for marketers but Instagram is growing and one to consider adding to your social media strategy in the future.

What is the best type of content to share on social media?

Finding interesting and engaging content to share across social media can be a difficult task. Plus you have to make sure you are sharing the right type of content on each platform. When asked to select the most commonly used types of content for their business, most marketers chose visual images (32%), with blogging in second place (27%), and video in third (24%).

Social media marketing: Commonly used types of content

We know the importance of video content has been rising massively, and it appears that it isn’t going to slow down any time soon. When asked about what type of content they are going to focus on over the next 12 months over three quarters (77%) of respondents stated that they would be putting in more effort to increase their use of video content. In addition to this, live video content ranked third with 63% saying they will be increasing their use of live video. As with traditional video content, live video is becoming extremely popular on most social platforms and could become a very useful tool for social media marketers.

The future of social media marketing

In addition to looking at current social media use, this report takes a deeper looking at the areas that marketers are planning to focus on in the next 12 months.

  • Facebook – As is the case with most other sections of this report, Facebook once again displays why it is the most popular social media platform. In the past 12 months 50% of marketers have increased their Facebook activity and in the next 12 months, only 8% of respondents plan on reducing their Facebook usage or not using the platform at all.
  • Instagram – Again proving that it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, Instagram is going to be a leading role in many marketers’ social media strategy in the future. Over the past year just under half (48%) of marketers have increased their Instagram activity, while 66% plan to increase their usage over the next 12 months (more than any other platform).
  • Snapchat – Potentially the most surprising findings from the whole report are around Snapchat activity stats. A large majority (82%) state that they aren’t currently using Snapchat and 75% don’t plan on using it or are planning to reduce their use over the next 12 months. One reason behind this could be the popularity of Instagram stories; Snapchat’s biggest competition.

Key takeaways

Facebook continues to dominate

If you are one of the minority who isn’t currently using Facebook as part of your social media strategy, then it might be time you started. Facebook once again has proved its dominance in the world of social media and cemented its position as the biggest platform around. With nearly every marketer surveyed (94%) using the platform and 67% stating that is their most important platform, it’s clear that Facebook has its place  in pretty much every social media strategy.

Instagram’s rise in popularity

Again this probably isn’t the most surprising of statistics, but the rapid growth of Instagram shows that it’s highly likely it will become the go-to network for many marketers. Over the past 12 months, Instagram has overtaken Twitter to become the second most commonly used platform for marketers, and with a large portion looking to increase their Instagram activity over the next 12 months the growth of the platform looks set to continue.

Could we see Instagram rival Facebook for the top spot in the near future?

It’s time to start using video

The rise of video content is a topic that has been discussed a lot recently and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. With video now being stated as the second most common type of content shared and over three quarters of respondents planning to increase video use over the next 12 months, it seems that this trend is going to continue.

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