US shutdown: Senate fails to agree on new budget

The bill to fund the government until 16 February did not receive the 60 votes needed in the Senate.

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The State of Social 2018 Report: Your Guide to Latest Social Media Marketing Research [New Data]

What’s in store for the social media industry in 2018?

The way consumers use social media channels is constantly evolving and as marketers and entrepreneurs, we need to adapt to these changes.

To better understand these changes, plus what’s ahead for 2018 and beyond we teamed up with Social Media Week to collect data from over 1,700 marketers and create the State of Social Media 2018 report. The report shows us how marketers, from businesses of all sizes, are approaching social media marketing.

Ready to jump in?

A handy guide to navigating what’s coming up next in the social media world.

Contents:

3 Key social media takeaways to guide your marketing in 2018

1. There are huge opportunities in the messaging space (only 20 percent of marketers have used messaging apps for marketing)

Messaging platforms have grown at an incredible rate over the last couple of years. And there are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)1.

Despite this incredible growth, our State of Social 2018 survey found that just 20 percent of businesses have invested in marketing through messenger platforms:

After seeing such high user growth for the past few years, companies like Facebook will begin to focus on how they can monetize chat apps which will open up new advertising opportunities for marketers.

Right now, marketers still appear to be investing more time and resources into social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but as organic reach continues to decline (more on this below), we’ll see a greater number of marketers experiment with messaging apps as a way to connect with their audience.

2. Companies that invest in social media ads are more than twice as likely to say social media marketing is “very effective” for their business

When we asked respondents how effective social media marketing has been for their business 45 percent said “somewhat effective” and a further 29 percent believed that social media marketing had been “very effective”.

However, when we split these results based on whether or not the respondents had invested in ads, we found that businesses that have invested in social media ads are more than twice as likely to report that social media marketing is “very effective”.

Whereas businesses that have not invested in ads are more than twice as likely to report that the effectiveness of social media marketing for their business is “uncertain” or “very ineffective”.

3. Engagement is the #1 way to measure ROI from social media advertising

When we asked respondents how they measure the ROI of their social media advertising campaigns, 42 percent said engagement, followed by leads (17 percent) and sales (15 percent):

When we broke down the data by business size, engagement was still the #1 way both small and large businesses measure ROI from social media advertising:

This appears to be the continuation of a trend we noted in 2017, where social media is becoming more about engagement than driving traffic or making direct sales.

State of Social 2018: The full report

About the State of Social Media survey and data

For this report, we surveyed over 1,700 marketers (1,796 to be precise) from businesses of all sizes. You can view a more detailed breakdown on the data at the bottom of this post.

How marketers are using social media platforms: 7 insights you need to know

1. Facebook is still the leading platform for marketers (96 percent of businesses use Facebook)

Facebook is the leading platform for marketers with 96 percent saying their business is actively using it. Twitter was close behind with 89 percent of respondents saying they use the platform for their business.

2. Facebook organic reach continues to decline (only 21 percent of respondents haven’t noticed a decline in the past 12 months)

Facebook is constantly tweaking its News Feed algorithm and it appears that organic reach has once again declined over the past 12 months with just 21 percent of people “disagreeing” or “strongly disagreeing” with the below statement:

3. Video is a top priority for 2018 (85 percent of businesses would like to create more video content)

Video has been booming across social channels for the past couple of years and 85 percent of businesses are keen to create more video in 2018:

When we asked what’s currently holding businesses back from creating more video content lack of time and budget were the two main blockers:

4. Facebook is dominating the paid advertising space (94 percent of marketers have used Facebook Ads)

Facebook is the most popular platform for paid ads (94 percent), followed by Instagram (44 percent), with LinkedIn and Twitter tied in third place (26 percent):

Looking ahead, 67 percent of businesses are looking to increase their social media advertising budget in 2018:

5. Images are the most shared type of content (95 percent of businesses post images to social channels)

Ninty-five percent of respondents said their business posts images, with links (85 percent) being the second most shared content type:

6. The rise of stories (68 percent of marketers are planning on creating more stories in 2018)

Last year, only 29 percent of State of Social respondents had created stories on Instagram or Snapchat. This year 42 percent have created stories on Instagram (just 11 percent had created stories on Snapchat):

Further to this, 68 percent of respondents plan to create more stories content in 2018:

7. Live video hasn’t yet caught on (only 31 percent of marketers have broadcast live video)

In our last State of Social report, 26 percent of marketers said they had created live video content. In 2017, 31 percent of marketers said they had broadcast live content-just a 5 percent increase:

For those who have created live video, Facebook was the number one platform of choice, ahead of Instagram and Periscope (Twitter):

Live video could still present a huge opportunity in 2018, though. Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, recently revealed that live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. This could be especially valuable for Page owners as Facebook is making changes to their News Feed algorithm to give people more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.

Check out the full State of Social 2018 report below

The data: Who took part in the survey?

For this report, we surveyed over 1,700 marketers from businesses of all sizes. The majority of respondents work at companies who focus on both B2B and B2C customers (43 percent), while 33 percent work at purely B2B companies and 25 percent at B2C companies. 49 percent of our respondents work at businesses with 1-10 employees. At the other end of the scale, 7 percent of respondents work at companies with over 200 employees.

Company size

Just under half (49 percent) of the people who took our survey work at companies with fewer than 10 full-time staff. A further 21 percent work at companies with between 11-50 full-time team members. Here’s the full breakdown:

  • 49 percent: Fewer than 10 people
  • 13 percent: 11-25 people
  • 8 percent: 26-50 people
  • 8 percent: 1,001+ people
  • 7 percent: 51-100 people
  • 6 percent: 101-200 people
  • 5 percent: 201-500 people
  • 4 percent: 501-1,000 people

Marketing team size

The majority of respondents in our survey work closely with a small number of colleagues in their marketing teams or act as the sole marketer at their company:

  • 41 percent of respondents were the only marketer at their company
  • 38 percent of people worked in marketing teams of between 2-5 colleagues
  • 11 percent of people work in marketing teams larger than 11 people
  • 9 percent of people work in marketing teams of between 6-10

Industry breakdown

Twenty-three percent of those who took the survey work at organizations in the marketing, PR, and advertising space. Other industries include: Media and Publishing (11 percent); Non-Profit (10 percent); Education (8 percent);  Consumer Products (8 percent); IT & Services (6 percent);  Software (5 percent); E-commerce (3 percent); Medical & Healthcare (3 percent); Financial (3 percent); Travel & Tourism (2 percent); Financial Services (2 percent); Government (2 percent); Law & Legal Services (1 percent); Other (15 percent).

⬆ Back to the top.

Over to you

Thanks so much for checking out our State of Social 2018 report. We hope you enjoyed the data and discovered some useful takeaways for your business.

P.S. We’ve made the data open and available to anyone in this Google Sheet (feel free to make a copy and interrogate in any way you’d like – we’d love to hear what you might find). You can also download a copy of all the State of Social 2018 charts here.

Feature image via Jaelynn Castillo. 

Henry Bolton Spotted Having Intimate Dinner With Ex Jo Marney Just Days After Claiming Romance Is Over

Under-fire Ukip leader Henry Bolton had an intimate dinner with an ex-girlfriend who made racist and derogatory comments about Meghan Markle tonight – just days after claiming their relationship was over.

The anti-Brexit campaigner was seen giving kisses on the cheeks to Jo Marney while the pair dined in the exclusive National Liberal Club in the heart of Westminster.

In leaked text messages published by the Mail on Sunday, Marney reportedly said Markle would “taint” the Royal Family, that she had a “tiny brain” and that black people were ugly.

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As the pair left the club on Wednesday evening, Bolton launched a staunch defence of Marney, claiming she had been “exploited by my political enemies” and the controversy over her remarks was being to “fade away.”

One club member remarked it did not seem like the pair were no longer an item as they enjoyed a meal while overlooking the River Thames and taking in the view of the London Eye and the South Bank.

The pair left the club together just after 9.30pm, where HuffPost UK asked the Ukip leader whether the pair had rekindled their romance.

Bolton said: “I’ve just given an interview to somebody else today so just coordinating. Jo’s had some death threats against her today and so she wanted to speak to me about that. She’s now going back to Maidstone and I’m now going back home.”

The former soldier, who was only elected Ukip leader four months ago, vowed to stay on in his role, despite members of his party resigning their frontbench roles in protest at his leadership.

Bolton left his wife for Marney – a move which some claimed went against the ‘family man’ image he put forward in last year’s leadership contest.

When asked by HuffPost UK if even maintaining a friendship with Marney undermines his position as leader, Bolton replied: “I said very clearly what’s happened in the last weeks or so has actually starting to fade away now.

“There’s going to be more news coming out tomorrow in relation to how some of this information was obtained and the fact that some of it was doctored before it was published.

“These are facts that are going to out there in the coming hours so I’ve said very publicly that although the romantic side of our relationship is now over I’m supporting Jo and her family in trying to put things back together again – absolutely.

“What’s happened is that a young woman has been effectively exploited by my political enemies who feel they can’t challenge me in open political debate on my leadership and on my politics.

“What I’d say to them is: you want to challenge my leadership, you want to challenge my politics, do it in an open forum, do it openly, do not do it covertly and exploit anybody in doing so because to do so is explicable, particularly the way they’ve gone about it.”

20 Top Social Media Tools to Try in 2018

Now that 2018 is here and in full swing, you might be looking for new social media tools to add to your marketing stack.

According to Scott Brinker of the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog, there are now more than 5,000 tools in the marketing technology landscape1.

So where do you start?

As part of our State of Social Media 2018 campaign, we partnered with the team at Product Hunt to put together a list of the latest trending social media tools for marketers to try in 2018.

Keep reading to see the full list and learn how to use the tools, or click over to the Product Hunt collection with all of 2018’s best social media tools.

The 20 Best New Social Media Tools to Try in 2018 and How to Use Them

The 20 best new social media tools to try in 2018

Here’s an overview of all the 20 social media tools (not arranged in any order). Feel free to click on any that catches your eye to skip to it!

I’m sure I’m missing some of the great new social media tools out there. If you know of any, it’ll be great if you could share them in the comments section below.

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1. Crello

A simplified graphic design tool with 10,000 free templates

Price: Free (with some design elements at $0.99)

Description: Crello is a new, free graphic design tool for creating social media, web, and print images. It provides 10,000 free design templates and millions of stock images and free design elements.

How to use Crello:

You can either create a graphic from scratch or use one of Crello’s nicely-created templates. Using drag-and-drop, you can easily add, edit, and move design elements around on your graphic.

Here’s a quick video on how to create a graphic with Crello:

Now, you can even create animated designs with Crello!

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Crello review

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2. Fastory

Craft stunning Instagram stories, share them everywhere

Price: Free or enterprise pricing

Description: Fastory is like Canva for Stories, as a Product Hunter described it. It’s an online graphics editor that allows you to create animated or static stories easily.

How to use Fastory:

The Fastory editor will guide you through three simple steps to create an engaging story.

  1. Choose an animation for your text
  2. Choose or upload a video or photo
  3. Add your logo

When you “publish” your stories on Fastory, it will send the stories to your email. You can then download them on your mobile phone and upload onto Instagram or Snapchat.

Social media tool 2018: Fastory

Note: Stories created with the free version come with a Fastory branding in the lower-left corner.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Fastory review

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3. Storyheap

Manage your Snapchat & Instagram Stories

Price: $49 per month, $99 per month, or $199 per month (with a 7-day free trial)

Description: Storyheap might be the only tool around that lets you manage your Instagram and Snapchat Stories – create, schedule, and analyze your stories – from a single dashboard.

How to use Storyheap:

Storyheap works like most social media management tools, except that it focuses on stories only. To schedule a story, upload an image or video and select your posting time. Storyheap will then add that story to your queue.

Besides creating and scheduling stories, you can also see the performance of your stories (e.g. views and screenshots) and the growth of your accounts (e.g. followers, average views, and open rate).

Social media tools 2018: Storyheap

It might be good to note that some people are concerned about whether Storyheap is violating Instagram and Snapchat’s Terms of Service, though Storyheap seemed to have found a workaround that doesn’t violate the terms.

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Storyheap review

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4. Botletter

Send newsletters on Facebook Messenger

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/107800?v=1

Price: Free (for 1,000 messages every month), $23.50 per month, $53.60 per month, $85.50 per month, or custom pricing

Description: Facebook Messenger is growing as a promising marketing channel. With Botletter, you can grow your Messenger subscriber list, send your subscribers messages on Messenger (or botletters), and analyze your performance.

How to use Botletter:

Using Botletter is very similar to using most email marketing tools. The main difference is that while you send emails with email marketing tools, you send Messenger messages with Botletter.

Besides crafting your message, you can also add a Messenger card with an image, title, and call-to-action.

Social media tool 2018: Botletter

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Botletter review

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5. PixelMe

URL shortener for savvy marketers

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/113473?v=1

Price: $10 per month, $29 per month, $79 per month, or custom pricing (with a 7-day free trial)

Description: PixelMe is an URL shortener that allows you to include a retargeting pixel in a link. When people click on your PixelMe links, you’ll be able to retarget them with ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more.

How to use PixelMe:

All you have to do to set up your PixelMe account is to add the pixel IDs of the ad platforms you want to use. For example, for Facebook ads, that would be the Facebook Pixel.

Once you have done that, simply copy and paste your link into PixelMe and let it generate a shortened link for you. Now, share away! When enough people click on that link, you’ll be able to create a custom audience in the ad platforms and retarget them with a very relevant ad.

Social media tool 2018: PixelMe

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

PixelMe review

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6. Promo

The easiest way to create marketing videos, from Slidely

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/101193?v=1

Price: $49 per month, $99 per month, $199 per month, $359 per month, or enterprise pricing (You can try the editor for free and pay only when you want to download any videos.)

Description: Promo claims to be the easiest video maker on the market (and many Product Hunters agree with the ease of use). With a library of over 2.8 million premium video clips and licensed music, Promo can help you create high-quality videos in just a few minutes.

How to use Promo:

To get started, you can search and choose a video from Promo’s massive library or upload your own video clips. Promo’s videos come with nicely designed text placeholders so all you have to do next is enter your copy and logo. Promo would have even picked a music for you (though, you can change it if you want to).

Social media tools 2018: Promo

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Promo review

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7. Typito

Create stunning videos fast, easy, and online

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/109639?v=1

Price: Free, $5 per month, $30 per month, or enterprise pricing (with a 7-day free trial. You can pay $5 per video to remove the Typito watermark.)

Description: Typito has been described as “Canva for video”. Its drag-and-drop interface allows you to quickly create engaging videos with beautiful typography, images, and videos.

How to use Typito:

Once you upload your video clips and images to Typito, you can easily add text, icons, and music to your video. With its simple interface, you can change the text style, change the font, drag and move it around, and more.

In addition, you can convert your video into a landscape video, a square video, a letterbox video, or a vertical video with just a click. (We found that our square and letterbox videos receive the higher average engagements, views, and completion rate on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter than our landscape videos.)

Social media tools 2018: Typito

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Typito review

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8. Anchor Videos

Magically transform audio to video and share it anywhere

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/105506?v=1

Price: Free

Description: Anchor Videos is a new feature in Anchor, a popular audio network app, which allows you to turn your audio recordings into beautifully animated videos with your transcript.

How to use Anchor Videos: 

Once you have recorded your audio using the Anchor app, tap on the video button. Anchor will instantly transcript your audio and let you share an animated video of your audio and transcript to the various social media platforms. You’ll be able to check and edit the transcript before creating the video.

Here’s a quick video on how to do that:

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Anchor Videos review

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9. Adioma

Infographic maker based on visual language

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/74769?v=1

Price: $39 per month, $69 per month, $299 per month, or custom pricing from $10,000 per infographic onwards

Description: The people behind the popular Funders and Founders infographics created Adioma so that people can create similar awesome infographics easily.

How to use Adioma:

To create an infographic with Adioma, simply type the text you want to include. Adioma will do the design work for you – it’ll suggest relevant icons, automatically adapt the design to the amount of text you have, and more.

You can even upload all your text at once, and Adioma will generate the infographic! Here’s a quick walkthrough of Adioma:

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Adioma review

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10. Smartmockups 2.0

Create stunning product screenshots without using Photoshop

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/104913?v=1

Price: $69 (There’s a free trial where the mockups created will have a watermark.)

Description: Smartmockups lets you create photos of your product (digital, print, or apparel) in realistic backgrounds, without needing help from a designer.

How to use Smartmockups:

You can create an awesome-looking mockup of your product in just four steps:

  1. Select a mockup (such as a laptop, a business card, or a t-shirt)
  2. Upload your image (or grab a screenshot from a URL)
  3. Adjust your mockup (such as change the device color or add a background)
  4. Export your mockup in the size and quality you prefer

Here’s a quick GIF of how it looks like to create a mockup with Smartmockups:

Social media tools 2018: Smartmockups 2.0

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Smartmockups review

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11. ContentStudio

Data-driven content suite to grow your social accounts

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/110869?v=1

Price: Free, $15 per month, $47 per month, $97 per month, $197 per month, or enterprise pricing

Description: ContentStudio is a social media content curation tool that allows you to discover content, schedule posts, and automate campaigns.

How to use ContentStudio:

A main focus of ContentStudio, as its name might have suggested, is to help you find content quickly. Using its discovery feature, you can search for a particular topic, select content sources, and filter the content as you prefer.

Once you have found the content you want to share on your social media profiles, you can share it using ContentStudio’s composer, which will recommend images and hashtags for your post.

Social media tool 2018: ContentStudio

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

ContentStudio review

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12. Campsite

Turn a single bio link into unlimited

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/109699?v=1

Price: Free

Description: Campsite solves a problem that many Instagram marketers face – having only one link for the entire Instagram account – by creating a mobile-friendly page where you can list multiple links.

How to use Campsite:

To add a new link to your Campsite page, enter the link title and URL and toggle the “Enabled” switch.

If you want people to know that a link is associated with a particular Instagram post, you can select that Instagram post and the image would appear beside the link.

Social media tool 2018: Campsite

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Campsite review

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13. Tagwin

Instagram contests & giveaways made easy

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/103992?v=1

Price: Free, $19 per month, $29 per month, $49 per month, or $79 per month

Description: Running Instagram contests is a great way to drive engagement and reach on InstagramTagwin makes the process simple and easy.

How to use Tagwin:

It takes only a few minutes to set up your contest in Tagwin. You can set the entry conditions such as to follow your account and to like a post. Once you have set up the contest, you can track the contest entries on the Tagwin dashboard.

Social media tool 2018: Tagwin

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Tagwin review

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14. Insense

Facebook and Instagram ads on behalf of influencers

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/108469?v=1

Price: $299 for 25 creator deals per month, $999 for 50 creator deals per month, or enterprise pricing (Product Hunters get a discount)

Description: Influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular on social media. Insense is a platform that connects you with influencers and lets you manage and run sponsored influencer campaigns.

How to use Insense:

First, you have to create a campaign brief that’ll be read by the relevant influencers. Interested influencers will then respond to your campaign brief.

Once you have decided which influencers to work with, you can communicate with them through the Insense platform. When the sponsored post is published, you can even boost the influencers’ posts using Facebook Ads Manager.

Here’s a short walkthrough of creating an influencer campaign with Insense:

Here’s what a Product Hunter has to say:

Insense review

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15. Quuu Promote 3.0

Promote your content to influencers

http://cards.producthunt.com/cards/posts/99478?v=1

Price: $40 per month, $70 per month, $150 per month, $300 per month, or $500 per month (with a 14-day free trial)

Description: Quuu is a social media tool that suggests content for your social media sharing. Quuu Promote, on the other hand, lets you promote your content by suggesting it to the regular Quuu users.

How to use Quuu Promote:

To promote your content through Quuu Promote, you just have to create the social media post you want Quuu users to share, and select the interest group that your content belongs to. After your post is reviewed, it will be suggested to Quuu users who want content suggestions from that interest group, and then shared on social.

<img data-attachment-id="21558" data-permalink="https://blog.bufferapp.com/new-social-media-tools-2018/social-media-tools-2018-quuu-promote&quot; data-orig-file="http://blog.bufferapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-tools-2018-quuu-promote.png&quot; data-orig-size="1662,1027" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Social media tools 2018: Quuu Promote" data-image-description="" data-medium-file="http://blog.bufferapp.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-tools-2018-quuu-promote-300×185.png&quot; data-large-file="http://blog.bufferapp.com/wp-co

The State of Social 2018 Report: Your Guide to Latest Social Media Marketing Research [New Data]

What’s in store for the social media industry in 2018?

The way consumers use social media channels is constantly evolving and as marketers and entrepreneurs, we need to adapt to these changes.

To better understand these changes, plus what’s ahead for 2018 and beyond we teamed up with Social Media Week to collect data from over 1,700 marketers and create the State of Social Media 2018 report. The report shows us how marketers, from businesses of all sizes, are approaching social media marketing.

Ready to jump in?

A handy guide to navigating what’s coming up next in the social media world.

Contents:

3 Key social media takeaways to guide your marketing in 2018

1. There are huge opportunities in the messaging space (only 20 percent of marketers have used messaging apps for marketing)

Messaging platforms have grown at an incredible rate over the last couple of years. And there are now more people using the top four social messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, and Viber) than the top four social media apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)1.

Despite this incredible growth, our State of Social 2018 survey found that just 20 percent of businesses have invested in marketing through messenger platforms:

After seeing such high user growth for the past few years, companies like Facebook will begin to focus on how they can monetize chat apps which will open up new advertising opportunities for marketers.

Right now, marketers still appear to be investing more time and resources into social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but as organic reach continues to decline (more on this below), we’ll see a greater number of marketers experiment with messaging apps as a way to connect with their audience.

2. Companies that invest in social media ads are more than twice as likely to say social media marketing is “very effective” for their business

When we asked respondents how effective social media marketing has been for their business 45 percent said “somewhat effective” and a further 29 percent believed that social media marketing had been “very effective”.

However, when we split these results based on whether or not the respondents had invested in ads, we found that businesses that have invested in social media ads are more than twice as likely to report that social media marketing is “very effective”.

Whereas businesses that have not invested in ads are more than twice as likely to report that the effectiveness of social media marketing for their business is “uncertain” or “very ineffective”.

3. Engagement is the #1 way to measure ROI from social media advertising

When we asked respondents how they measure the ROI of their social media advertising campaigns, 42 percent said engagement, followed by leads (17 percent) and sales (15 percent):

When we broke down the data by business size, engagement was still the #1 way both small and large businesses measure ROI from social media advertising:

This appears to be the continuation of a trend we noted in 2017, where social media is becoming more about engagement than driving traffic or making direct sales.

State of Social 2018: The full report

About the State of Social Media survey and data

For this report, we surveyed over 1,700 marketers (1,796 to be precise) from businesses of all sizes. You can view a more detailed breakdown on the data at the bottom of this post.

How marketers are using social media platforms: 7 insights you need to know

1. Facebook is still the leading platform for marketers (96 percent of businesses use Facebook)

Facebook is the leading platform for marketers with 96 percent saying their business is actively using it. Twitter was close behind with 89 percent of respondents saying they use the platform for their business.

2. Facebook organic reach continues to decline (only 21 percent of respondents haven’t noticed a decline in the past 12 months)

Facebook is constantly tweaking its News Feed algorithm and it appears that organic reach has once again declined over the past 12 months with just 21 percent of people “disagreeing” or “strongly disagreeing” with the below statement:

3. Video is a top priority for 2018 (85 percent of businesses would like to create more video content)

Video has been booming across social channels for the past couple of years and 85 percent of businesses are keen to create more video in 2018:

When we asked what’s currently holding businesses back from creating more video content lack of time and budget were the two main blockers:

4. Facebook is dominating the paid advertising space (94 percent of marketers have used Facebook Ads)

Facebook is the most popular platform for paid ads (94 percent), followed by Instagram (44 percent), with LinkedIn and Twitter tied in third place (26 percent):

Looking ahead, 67 percent of businesses are looking to increase their social media advertising budget in 2018:

5. Images are the most shared type of content (95 percent of businesses post images to social channels)

Ninty-five percent of respondents said their business posts images, with links (85 percent) being the second most shared content type:

6. The rise of stories (68 percent of marketers are planning on creating more stories in 2018)

Last year, only 29 percent of State of Social respondents had created stories on Instagram or Snapchat. This year 42 percent have created stories on Instagram (just 11 percent had created stories on Snapchat):

Further to this, 68 percent of respondents plan to create more stories content in 2018:

7. Live video hasn’t yet caught on (only 31 percent of marketers have broadcast live video)

In our last State of Social report, 26 percent of marketers said they had created live video content. In 2017, 31 percent of marketers said they had broadcast live content-just a 5 percent increase:

For those who have created live video, Facebook was the number one platform of choice, ahead of Instagram and Periscope (Twitter):

Live video could still present a huge opportunity in 2018, though. Facebook’s Head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, recently revealed that live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. This could be especially valuable for Page owners as Facebook is making changes to their News Feed algorithm to give people more opportunities to interact with the people they care about.

Check out the full State of Social 2018 report below

The data: Who took part in the survey?

For this report, we surveyed over 1,700 marketers from businesses of all sizes. The majority of respondents work at companies who focus on both B2B and B2C customers (43 percent), while 33 percent work at purely B2B companies and 25 percent at B2C companies. 49 percent of our respondents work at businesses with 1-10 employees. At the other end of the scale, 7 percent of respondents work at companies with over 200 employees.

Company size

Just under half (49 percent) of the people who took our survey work at companies with fewer than 10 full-time staff. A further 21 percent work at companies with between 11-50 full-time team members. Here’s the full breakdown:

  • 49 percent: Fewer than 10 people
  • 13 percent: 11-25 people
  • 8 percent: 26-50 people
  • 8 percent: 1,001+ people
  • 7 percent: 51-100 people
  • 6 percent: 101-200 people
  • 5 percent: 201-500 people
  • 4 percent: 501-1,000 people

Marketing team size

The majority of respondents in our survey work closely with a small number of colleagues in their marketing teams or act as the sole marketer at their company:

  • 41 percent of respondents were the only marketer at their company
  • 38 percent of people worked in marketing teams of between 2-5 colleagues
  • 11 percent of people work in marketing teams larger than 11 people
  • 9 percent of people work in marketing teams of between 6-10

Industry breakdown

Twenty-three percent of those who took the survey work at organizations in the marketing, PR, and advertising space. Other industries include: Media and Publishing (11 percent); Non-Profit (10 percent); Education (8 percent);  Consumer Products (8 percent); IT & Services (6 percent);  Software (5 percent); E-commerce (3 percent); Medical & Healthcare (3 percent); Financial (3 percent); Travel & Tourism (2 percent); Financial Services (2 percent); Government (2 percent); Law & Legal Services (1 percent); Other (15 percent).

⬆ Back to the top.

Over to you

Thanks so much for checking out our State of Social 2018 report. We hope you enjoyed the data and discovered some useful takeaways for your business.

P.S. We’ve made the data open and available to anyone in this Google Sheet (feel free to make a copy and interrogate in any way you’d like – we’d love to hear what you might find). You can also download a copy of all the State of Social 2018 charts here.

Feature image via Jaelynn Castillo. 

10 Top Tips for Smarter Social Media Marketing with the Buffer Mobile App

How often do you read and share an article on your phone? Or how often do you snap, edit, and share a photo with your phone?

If you like creating and scheduling social media posts with your phone, we would love for you to try our mobile apps. They will make social media marketing on the go super easy and smooth for you.

In this post, you’ll learn more about the Buffer mobile apps (Android and iOS) and the top 10 features for smarter social media marketing.

Let’s get started!

Buffer for Android and iOS: 10 Top Features to Grow Your Social Media

Getting started with Buffer on mobile

If you don’t have our app installed on your phone already, you can download the Android version from Google Play or the iOS version from iTunes.

Adding your accounts

When you open up the app, select “I’m new to Buffer, let’s signup” if you are new to Buffer. You’ll be able to sign up with one of your social network accounts (Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn) or your email. Tap on your preferred signup option, and log in to give Buffer access to your account.

Buffer mobile app signup step 1Buffer mobile app signup step 2

Once you have signed up, you’ll be brought to your Buffer mobile dashboard. You can connect more social accounts by tapping on your profile image in the upper-left corner.

Connect social accounts

From here you’ll be taken to the relevant network to log in and give Buffer access to your account. Then you can choose which profile or page you want to add.

6 social network integrations

With our recent addition of Instagram, you can now connect social accounts from the six major social media platforms.

With the free Buffer account, you can connect up to three social profiles. For instance, you could connect three Twitter accounts or one Twitter account, one Facebook profile, and one Instagram profile.

Here are the 10 different social accounts you can add to your Buffer account:

  • Twitter profile
  • Facebook profile
  • Facebook Page
  • Facebook group
  • LinkedIn profile
  • LinkedIn Page
  • Google+ profile
  • Google+ Page
  • Instagram profile
  • Pinterest profile (only for Awesome or Buffer for Business account)

To upgrade to the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan, tap on your profile image and scroll to the bottom. Tap on “Upgrade to Awesome” to find out more about the Awesome and Small Business plans and purchase a subscription.

Upgrade to Awesome or Small Business plan

Using Buffer to manage your updates on the go

Setting up your schedule

First, it’ll be great to set up your schedule according to your preference. We would have set a default schedule for you, which you can keep or change.

To change your schedule, click on the settings gear icon in the lower-right corner and tap on “Posting Schedule”.

Schedule post 1 Schedule post 2 Schedule post 3

Here, you can select the days and times you want to have in your social media sharing schedule.

Sending your first update

Let’s add your first update from the mobile app!

Tap on the plus icon at the bottom and you’ll see the composer where you can type your update, attach photos or video, and select the accounts you’d like to share the update with.

Compose a new post

When you’re done, tap on the “Buffer” button to add the update to your queue, or tap “Share Now” to send it right away.

If you are on the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan, you’ll also have the option to schedule your post (Schedule Post) or add it to the top of your queue (Share Next).

Share options

Managing your queue

Tap on the Content tab to see your queued social media posts. You can tap on a post to edit it, or tap and hold with your finger to rearrange its position in the queue.

Edit or rearrange Buffer queue

10 top features to make the most of the Buffer mobile apps

Now that you’ve learned the basics of the Buffer mobile apps, let’s check out some of the more advanced, more powerful features.

1. Share from any app

Our app takes advantage of the built-in share menu that shows up in most apps, to let you add updates to Buffer from anywhere on your device. Once you have Buffer installed, just tap the share menu inside another app, such as your browser or Pocket, and tap on Buffer to send an update to your Buffer queue.

Here’s an example of how this looks when sharing from Safari on iOS:

Share from any app on mobile

For iOS, you’ll first have to turn on the extension. You can do so under “Settings” > “Set up Extension”, where you’ll see a set of short instructions.

2. Schedule native retweets

Here’s another cool thing you can share quickly via the mobile app – native retweets.

When you see a tweet you want to retweet or quote, tap on the menu arrow in the upper-right corner of the tweet, select “Share Tweet via…”, and tap on Buffer.

Buffer retweet

If you don’t add any message with the retweet, we’ll post it as a native retweet. If you do, it’ll become a quote tweet with your additional comment.

3. Get reminders for Instagram posts

Unlike most social media platforms, Instagram does not allow apps to post directly to Instagram. While Buffer cannot post to Instagram on your behalf, we would love to help you at every step.

Whether you add an Instagram post to your Buffer queue via the desktop or your mobile, the Buffer mobile app will send you a notification when it’s time for you to post. After you tap on the notification, Buffer will load your photo into Instagram and have your prewritten caption saved to your clipboard.

Buffer for Instagram notifications Buffer for Instagram Posting on Instagram

4. Drag and drop to copy posts across social accounts

Besides dragging and rearranging posts in your queue, you can also copy a post from one social account’s queue into another social account’s queue by dragging and dropping it into that other queue.

Drag and drop

With the multitasking feature in iOS, you can even drag and drop images to Buffer to start a draft in Buffer immediately.

5. Pause queue in times of emergency

There might be times when you want to pause your social media posting urgently because of any breaking news and events that have happened.

You likely have your smartphone with you more often than your laptop. And that’s why there’s a pause button in the mobile apps. Anytime you want to pause your Buffer queue, just whip out your phone and toggle the pause option in “Settings”.

Unpaused Buffer queuePaused Buffer queue

Pausing is done on a per social account basis. So if you have multiple social accounts that you’d like to pause posting for, you will need to pause each queue individually. You can read more about how pausing and unpausing work here.

The following few features are available in the Awesome or Buffer for Business plan. You can upgrade to either of these plans within the mobile apps or from the web dashboard.

6. Quick re-Buffer to boost your reach

One of our favorite social media tips is to re-use your top social media posts. While these posts have performed well previously, not all your followers might have seen them. Resharing them allows more followers (and even non-followers) to see them.

Here’s how to do that swiftly with the Buffer mobile app:

  • Tap on “Analytics”
  • Tap on “Recent” beside the date and select “Most Popular”
  • Find the post you want to share again
  • Tap on the tiny arrow in the upper-right corner and select “Rebuffer”
  • Edit the post as you like

You can then share the post immediately or schedule it for later.

Rebuffer top posts

7. Shuffle queue to mix things up

If you often share a few quotes from the same article or a few links from the same site in a row and want to mix them up, you will be happy to know that you can shuffle your Buffer queue.

The shuffle button is located just above your queue in the app. When you tap on “Shuffle”, you’ll see a confirmation message. Once you tap “Yes”, the posts in that queue will be shuffled randomly.

Shuffle Buffer queue

8. See how your posts are performing

We hope to make it easy for you to check your social media performance as and when you want. Just open up the mobile app and tap on “Analytics” at the bottom of the screen. Buffer for Business customers will get these three reports.

Posts Report: You’ll see a history of your published posts and each of their key engagement metrics. There is also a comparison with your average post performance from the past 30 days to help you instantly understand if the post is performing better than previous posts. (Read more about the Post Report here.)

Overview Report: This report gives you an overall view of your engagement levels, as opposed to the per-post basis that you would find in the Posts Report, for your Twitter account and Facebook Page. (Read more about the Overview Report here.)

Insights Report: You’ll find charts of engagement metrics, such as clicks and reach, over time in this report. If you tap on any of the points on the chart, you’ll see the absolute figure of that point.

Posts Report Overview Report Insights Report

9. Get a preview of your Instagram gallery

This is one of our most requested Instagram features – the Instagram Grid Preview.

With this preview, you can see how your upcoming posts will look like on your Instagram gallery, alongside the published posts. You can even drag and drop your scheduled posts in the preview to create your perfect Instagram gallery.

Buffer Instagram Grid Preview feature

10. Share articles from your Content Inbox

Curating content is a great way to provide your followers with valuable insights, establish your authority, and get more followers.

You can easily discover great content and immediately schedule them using the Content Inbox feature within the Buffer mobile app. The Content Inbox can be found in the Content tab, last from the left in the top navigation bar. (You might have to swipe the navigation bar to the left to find your Content Inbox.)

Once you have set up your RSS feeds, you’ll see all the new blog posts from the websites in your Content Inbox. You can then tap on the link to check out that blog post and tap on “Add” to Buffer that link.

Content Inbox

How can we improve our apps?

It’ll be great to hear from you. If you have tried our mobile apps, what do you like most about it? How can we make it better for you and your business?

If you have not tried our mobile apps, we would love for you to try them (Android or iOS) and experience better social media marketing on the go.

Image credit: Unsplash

This blog post was originally written by Belle Beth Cooper in 2013 and has been updated to reflect the improvements in our mobile apps.