2018 Social Media Trends Report: 10 Key Insights Into the Present and Future of Social Media

Social media is changing at a rapid pace.

For example, the content format Stories was introduced on several major social media platforms slightly more than a year ago. Now, it’s one of the most popular content individuals are posting. More than 300 million people are sharing stories on Instagram and WhatsApp separately every day, and 70 million people were posting daily to Messenger Day just six months after its launch1.

Due to its popularity, many businesses are now posting stories regularly, too.

To succeed on social media, it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve and understand the latest social media trends. Together with our State of Social 2018 report, we put together a comprehensive social media trends report. In this report, you’ll learn about the top major trends to help you succeed on social media in 2018.

2018 Social Media Trends Report: 10 Major Trends to Know in 2018

Top 10 social media trends to know for 2018

This report is inspired by the annual Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Being one of the most anticipated reports every year, the Internet Trends report shares valuable insights and statistics about the technology industry. While our report is nowhere as comprehensive as the Internet Trends report, we hope to shed some light on the social media landscape.

Here’s a quick overview of the ten major social media trends happening right now:

  1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
  2. Social media is going mobile
  3. Social messaging overtook social media
  4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
  5. Chatbots are becoming the norm
  6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
  7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
  8. Video is still the most popular content type
  9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
  10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

We will dive into these ten major social media trends below. If you prefer to read a slide deck, here’s the full slide deck:

This report wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing studies, research, and data available. We’re very grateful to the companies and organizations that have collected and analyzed the data. You can find out more about their findings by clicking on the tiny blue squares throughout the report, such as this2.

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1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users

Social media is one of the best ways to reach your target audience because of its sheer size and the amount of data available.

According to Statista, there are 2.46 billion social media users in 2017, and this number is ever growing. It is predicted that there will be more than three billion social media users in 2021 – just three years from now3.

With social media, you can reach a massive amount of potential customers for free – through organic posts – or for a fee – through social media advertising. With ads targeting, you can reach very specific groups of audience based on their demographics, interests, past behavior, and more. There hasn’t been such a great opportunity to reach and engage your target audience before social media became popular. With this reason alone, I believe you can no longer ignore social media as part of running your business.

Here are the current user base of the six major social media platforms4:

  • Facebook: 2.07 billion monthly active users
  • Instagram: 800 million monthly active users
  • Twitter: 330 million monthly active users
  • LinkedIn: 500 million members
  • Pinterest: 200 million monthly active users
  • Snapchat: 178 million daily active users

You can see the growth of the respective social media platforms in the following few slides:

2. Social media is going mobile

We are becoming glued to our smartphones.

Facebook studied the behavior of 100 people while they were watching TV at home. 94 of them had their smartphone in their hands while watching TV. And one of the top reasons they look away from the TV is to use their smartphone.5

More and more people are also using social media on their smartphone. In fact, the majority of social media users are using the apps via their smartphone:

  • Facebook: 94 percent of its monthly active users6
  • Instagram: Because it’s a mobile-first app, I think it’s safe to assume most of its users use the app on mobile
  • Twitter: 82 percent of its monthly active users7
  • LinkedIn: 60 percent of its unique visitors access LinkedIn via a mobile device8
  • Pinterest: 80 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices9
  • Snapchat: Snapchat only has a mobile app and no web application yet.

On top of these statistics, comScore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report found that 78 percent of social media time is spent on mobile devices.

This trend increases the importance of creating mobile-friendly or mobile-first content. A few things you could do include creating images with the recommended size that will be displayed fully on mobile or creating square or vertical videos, which will take up more real estate on the phone screen than landscape videos when viewed vertically.

3. Social messaging overtook social media

Since the rise of social media in the last decade, the rise of social messaging is the next transformational shift that’s happening.

In fact, social messaging has already surpassed social media usage. According to Business Insider, there are 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)10. Facebook Messenger alone has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users11, and Instagram is officially testing a standalone messaging app, Direct12.

The growth in social messaging is not showing signs of slowing down. Despite having three years of double-digit growth, the number of mobile messaging users is still growing at a significant rate13.

If social media has been a great opportunity for businesses, then social messaging cannot be ignored. And it is already showing tremendous benefits for businesses.

4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses

People used to communicate with businesses via the phone, then emails, and then social media. Now, it’s social messaging.

Facebook studied the messaging behavior of 12,500 people across 14 markets to understand consumers’ growing preference for messaging businesses. They found that messaging is helping businesses connect with their customers more than ever. Consumers use messaging to ask businesses questions, make appointments and purchases, and provide feedback.

Here are some other findings14:

  • Fifty-six percent would rather message than call a business for customer service
  • Sixty-one percent likes receiving personalized messages from businesses
  • More than fifty percent prefers shopping with a business they can message

Facebook is also increasingly helping businesses reach their customers via messaging apps. In 2017, they introduced Click-to-Messenger ads, Click-to-WhatsApp ads, and a new Facebook objective, Messages.

Consumers’ preferred way of communicating with businesses has always been shifting. Now, they are shifting towards social messaging. Is your business ready to receive your customers’ messages?

5. Chatbots are becoming the norm

The rising tide of social messaging also lifted the chatbot boat.

As Facebook Messenger grew, the number of bots in Messenger also grew – from 33,000 to more than 100,000 in just a year15. There are also chatbots in WeChat, Slack, Viber, iMessage, and many other platforms.

A survey by Oracle found that 80 percent of senior marketing and sales executives around the world are already using chatbots for their business or plans to use them by 202016. It’s easy to understand why. Chatbots can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as marketing, payments, customer service, and more. They will allow businesses to automate and scale many manual processes and enjoy massive cost-savings. Juniper Research estimated that chatbots will help businesses save up to $8 billion every year by 202217.

According to Business Insider, chatbot adoption is also taking off on the consumer front. More than half of Americans between the age of 18 and 55 have used chatbots before18. And consumers seem to be enjoying their interactions with chatbots, too. A survey of 5,000 people by LivePerson found that 38 percent felt positive about their chatbot experiences while only 11 percent felt negative19.

If you want to start thinking about using chatbot for your business, Facebook Messenger might be a great place to stay. Here are some ideas on how your business can use Facebook Messenger bots.

6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service

Customer service used to be private conversations between a customer and a customer service representative. Social media has changed that entirely.

The public nature of social media platforms is giving these conversations more exposure. A survey of more than 1,000 people by Sprout Social found that 46 percent of the respondents have “called out” or complained about a business on social media20. Furthermore, with the ability to re-share a social media post, such complaints could be amplified and “go viral”.

Ignoring such social media posts can have dire repercussions for your business. Sprout Social discovered that, when shunned on social media, 30 percent of their respondents will go to a competitor and 26 percent will less likely use the company’s product or service. Such consequences help keep businesses accountable, and that’s why social media is now the top channel for customer service21.

On the other hand, responding to these social media posts can have several positive effects for businesses22:

  • 70 percent are more likely to use your product or service
  • 75 percent are likely to share the good experience on their own social media profile
  • 73 percent will share the positive interaction with their friends

At Buffer, we use Buffer Reply to listen to, engage, and help our customers on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting

In 2014, the organic reach on Facebook has fallen to six percent from 12 percent just the year before23. The organic reach on Facebook is likely even low now as Facebook introduced changes to its algorithm to prioritize posts from family and friends rather than Pages. Both Instagram and Twitter also have an algorithmic timeline, which affects organic reach. When we first wrote about this last year, many of our readers mentioned that they have also been experiencing such a fall.

Referral traffic from social media has also been falling as a result of lower organic reach. When fewer people see your social media posts, even fewer will click on your links and visit your website. According to Parse.ly, which monitors the referral traffic to more than 2,500 online media sites, referral traffic from Facebook – the top social referral source for many sites – has been almost halved in the past year24.

Facebook referral traffic trend 2017

This is in line with why we think organic social media is for engagement and brand building, not referral traffic or revenue. Social media is becoming an engagement channel.

While studies have shown that the average engagement on Facebook has fallen25, we were lucky to be able to increase our Facebook engagement by 50 percent year-on-year with some of these tactics.

8. Video is still the most popular content type

For the last two years, we (and many others) have been saying that video is the most popular content type. 2018 will be no different.

Buzzsumo’s research on 880 million Facebook posts in 2017 found that video posts have the highest average engagement and twice the level of engagement of other post types on average26. We have seen great results with our Facebook videos, too. Our Facebook video views increased by more than 900 percent year-on-year to 2.3 million in 2017 (with the help of a little Facebook promotion).

Buffer Facebook video views 2017

There are also many pieces of anecdotal evidence of the increasing popularity and importance of video. For example, Facebook and Instagram have been introducing many new video features over the recent years such as live videos and Stories. LinkedIn has also recently introduced native LinkedIn videos.

Marketers are also planning to spend more on video advertising in 2018. According to a survey by Animoto, more than 50 percent of marketers surveyed had planned to increase their spend on video ads on Facebook (63 percent), YouTube (60 percent), Twitter (52 percent), and Instagram (50 percent)27.

2018 will again be the year of video for social media. Here are some social video marketing tips for you.

9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement

With organic reach on social media falling, businesses are looking around for alternative ways to reach their audiences. One of which is user-generated content.

Many major brands such as BMW, Netflix, and Starbucks are reposting user-generated content as part of their content strategy, especially on Instagram28.

If you were to take a look at some statistics about user-generated content, it’ll be easy to understand why.

  • User-generated content featuring a brand drove seven times higher engagement than brand-generated Facebook posts29
  • Forty-five percent of the respondents of 4,500-people survey look at user-generated images for inspiration at least once a day30
  • Respondents of the same survey trust images from other consumers seven times more than ads31
  • Fifty-six percent of the respondents are more likely to buy a product after seeing a positive customer-generated post of it32

Instead of producing their own content all the time, businesses are tapping into the power of their audience (and influencers) and reposting user-generated content, which generates more engagement and trust. By reposting their customers’ social media posts, they are also encouraging more customers to post about their brands on social media, thereby increasing their brand reach.

If you are interested in getting started with such a content strategy in 2018, here’s our guide to running a user-generated content campaign.

10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

To combat falling organic reach and boost their social media marketing, businesses are also turning to social media advertising.

There are over six million Facebook advertisers and two million Instagram advertisers33. Instagram added the second million advertisers in just six months.

Social media ad spending has also been on the rise, growing more than 20 percent annually. eMarketer estimates that this high growth rate would continue until at least 2018 while Advertising agency Zenith Optimedia predicts that social media ad spending will overtake newspaper ad spending by 202034.

The high growth in the number of social media advertisers and social media ad spending is a great indication of the effectiveness (or necessity) of social media ads for businesses.

If you are just considering social media advertising and not sure which social media platform to start with, Facebook is the platform that produces the best ROI according to social media marketers around the world35. Here’s our Facebook advertising guide to help you get started.

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What other social media trends have you spotted?

As the major social media platforms continue to grow and introduce new features, the social media landscape will only get more exciting. We hope by sharing these ten current social media trends, you can stay ahead of the curve and succeed on social media.

  1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
  2. Social media is going mobile
  3. Social messaging overtook social media
  4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
  5. Chatbots are becoming the norm
  6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
  7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
  8. Video is still the most popular content type
  9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
  10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

Have you spotted any other social media trends that I’ve missed? It’ll be great to know about them!

The awesome featured image was taken from Unsplash.

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Your Annual Social Media Conferences Guide: 20+ Top Conferences to Attend in 2018

Social media conferences are one of the best ways to learn from top practitioners in the field, connect with fellow social media marketers, and be inspired to do more great things on social media.

But how do you know which one to attend?

We hope to make things easier for you with this go-to guide for social media conferences in 2018. This guide includes more than 20 top and biggest social media conferences throughout the year and their key details, such as date, location, and ticket price.

20+ Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2018 (Spreadsheet Included!)

20+ social media conferences to attend in 2018

Here’s a table of the top social media conferences, arranged chronologically, for the rest of 2018, including the dates, locations, and ticket prices. (If you prefer to view the full spreadsheet, check it out here.)

Feel free to use these links to jump to the summary of the respective conference:

  1. Social Media Online Summit (Jan 27 – Feb 4, online)
  2. The DigiComm Summit (Feb 22-23. Huntington Beach)
  3. Traffic & Conversion Summit (Feb 26-28, San Diego)
  4. Social Media Week conferences (Feb 26 – Mar 2, Multiple locations)
  5. Digital Marketing Innovation Summit (Feb 27-28, New York)
  6. Social Media Marketing World (Feb 28 – Mar 2, San Diego)
  7. Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications (Mar 14-16, Orlando)
  8. Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global (Apr 16-17, London)
  9. Social Media Strategies Summit (Apr 24-26, Chicago)
  10. Social Media Camp (May 2-3, Victoria, BC)
  11. Content Marketing Conference (May 2-4, Boston)
  12. The Social Shake-Up (May 7-9, Atlanta)
  13. Engage (May 16-18, Prague)
  14. Brand Marketing Summit (May 30-31, San Francisco)
  15. Social Media Summit (May, Dublin)
  16. Social Day (May 30 – Jun 1, London)
  17. VidCon (Jun 20-23, Anaheim)
  18. INBOUND (Sep 4-7, Boston)
  19. Content Marketing World (Sep 4-7, Cleveland)
  20. CMX Summit (Oct 1-3, Portland)
  21. Spredfast’s Smart Social Summit (Nov 5-7, Austin)
  22. Social Fresh Conference (Dec 5-7, Winter Park, Florida)

1. Social Media Online Summit

January 27 – February 4, online

Social Media Online Summit

(As this video couldn’t be embedded, I’ve linked the image above to the video.)

Date: January 27 – February 4, 2018

Location: Online

Price: Free

Social Media Online Summit 2018 is a free online conference bringing together more than 40 social media experts, influencers, and entrepreneurs to share their strategies for growing a business. The conference is broken into eight main sections: General social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

P.S. Our very talented digital marketing strategist, Brian Peters, will be sharing about social media trends in 2018 at this conference.

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2. The DigiComm Summit

February 22-23, Huntington Beach

The DigiComm Summit

Date: February 22-23, 2018

Location: Huntington Beach, California

Price: $2,090 to $2,190

The DigiComm Summit is a two-day conference by the PR News Group. You’ll hear real-world, tactical case studies on how to use social media for storytelling, communications, and PR by senior executives from companies like BuzzFeed, Disney, and The Onion.

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3. Traffic & Conversion Summit

February 26-28, San Diego

Date: February 26-28, 2018

Location: San Diego, California

Price: $1,995

Traffic & Conversion Summit will help you grow your business by teaching you how to get more, yes, traffic and conversions. While this conference isn’t just about social media, there are many social media sessions such as Selling Physical Products? Steal These 3 Proven Facebook Ad Campaigns31 Facebook Funnel Sequences You Can Build Right Now, and 5 Ways to Use Facebook Messenger Marketing to Grow Your Business.

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4. Social Media Week conferences

February 26 – March 2, multiple locations

Date: February 26 – March 2, 2018

Location: Austin, Bristol, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Lagos (and more)

Price: Varies depending on the location

Social Media Week and its partners organize more than 20 Social Media Week conferences all around the world throughout the year. The ones that are happening next in February and March are in Austin, Bristol, Copenhagen, Hamburg, and Lagos. Their flagship conference will be happening in April in New York. Check out the rest of the conference here. There might be one near you!

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5. Digital Marketing Innovation Summit

February 27-28, New York

Digital Marketing Innovation Summit

(As this video couldn’t be embedded, I’ve linked the image above to the video.)

Date: February 27-28, 2018

Location: New York

Price: $600 to $2,495

Digital Marketing Innovation Summit brings together senior digital and social marketers to share how to build a meaningful digital marketing strategy. A few of the key discussion points for the conference are social media, personalization, tracking & attribution, and audience engagement.

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6. Social Media Marketing World

February 28 – March 2, San Diego

Date: February 28 – March 2, 2018

Location: San Diego, California

Price: $297 to $1,597 (Virtual tickets are $697 each.)

Social Media Marketing World is one of the most anticipated social media conferences by one of the most knowledgeable teams in the social media space, Social Media Examiner. This year, up to 5,000 social media marketing professionals will hear from top names such as Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, and Jay Baer during the 120+ sessions. Check out some of the testimonials from the conference last year.

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7. Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications

March 14-16, Orlando

(This is a video they made for their 2016 conference.)

Date: March 14-16, 2018

Location: Orlando

Price: $1,495 to $1,995 (Live video webcast tickets are $1295)

Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications is exactly as its name suggests. Speakers from companies such as Amazon Web Services, Disney Parks, and Salesforce will be talking about best practices to boost buzz, build brand recognition, and engage employees. (This conference will be held at the Walt Disney World Resort!)

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8. Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global

April 16-17, London

Date: April 16-17, 2018

Location: London

Price: £89 to £999

Digital Marketing World Forum Expo Global (or #DMWF), attended by mostly managers, directors, and VP, seeks to explore the future of digital marketing and social media. There are two conference tracks: 1) Content and social media marketing and 2) Data, disruptive tech, and UX. #DMWF also has conferences in Amsterdam (September) and New York (November).

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9. Social Media Strategies Summit

April 24-26, Chicago

Date: April 24-26, 2018

Location: Chicago

Prices: $1,999 to $2,989

Social Media Strategies Summit, which takes place three times a year in San Francisco (February), Chicago (April), and New York (October), is a social media conference for senior-level corporate professionals who are working on social media marketing. The speakers for Social Media Strategies Summit (Chicago) include senior marketers of companies such as McDonald’s, Microsoft, and Kickstarter.

(We are proud to be a media partner for the Social Media Strategies Summit.)

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10. Social Media Camp

May 2-3, Victoria, British Columbia

Date: May 2-3, 2018

Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Price: $499

Social Media Camp is the largest social media conference in Canada. In 2018, they will be organizing their ninth Social Media Camp, which will bring together people from different sectors of the economy (small business, large business, government, education, and non-profit). They will go beyond marketing and discuss social media’s impact on politics, security, and safety.

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11. Content Marketing Conference

May 2-4, Boston

Date: May 2-4, 2018

Location: Boston

Price: $749 to $1,649

Content Marketing Conference will help you level up on the key areas of content marketing, from planning and creation to optimization and distribution. There’s a day allocated for comedy marketing, where you’ll learn to use humor to drive engagement, loyalty, and marketing performance.

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12. The Social Shake-Up

May 7-9, Atlanta

Date: May 7-9, 2018

Location: Atlanta

Price: $1,195 to $2,390

The Social Shake-Up is a three-day social media conference by PR News and Social Media Today to help you discover new ways to integrate social media into your overall business strategy. The speakers come from brands like Twitter, Google, Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Company, and more.

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13. Engage

May 16-18, Prague

Date: May 16-18, 2018

Location: Prague

Price: €449 to €1,199

Engage is a social media marketing conference by SocialBakers, a company which provides an AI-powered social media marketing suite. If Prague is a little far for you, Socialbakers is also organizing a social media summit in Bali in March.

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14. Brand Marketing Summit

May 30-31, San Francisco

Date: May 30-31, 2018

Location: San Francisco

Price: $1,645 to $3,095

Brand Marketing Summit is the marketing conference to go to if you want to hear from top marketing leaders from some of the biggest companies on how they run social and marketing. For example, you’ll get to hear from amazing people such as Jennifer Sey (CMO at Levi Strauss & Co), Jill Cress (CMO at National Geographic), and Niloy Sanyal (CMO at GE Digital).

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15. Social Media Summit

May, Dublin

Date: May (To be confirmed)

Location: Dublin

Price: To be confirmed

Based on its agenda last year, Social Media Summit seems like one not to be missed. There was a variety of speakers, from marketers from big companies like Airbnb, HubSpot, and Intercom to founders of boutiques and marketing agencies. Keep an eye out for more information when the conference is launched!

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16. Social Day

May 30 – June 1, London

Date: May 30 – June 1, 2018

Location: London

Price: £312 to £560

Social Day used to be a one-day event, and it has been lengthened to three days this year because past attendees wanted it to be longer. Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin will be speaking at this year’s Social Day so you might get insights there that you’ll never get elsewhere.

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17. VidCon

June 20-23, Anaheim

Date: June 20-23, 2018

Location: Anaheim, California

Price: $125 to $850

VidCon is a conference for people who love and make videos online. It has three tracks for attendees to choose from 1) Community, 2) Creator, and 3) Industry (which seems best for marketers and business owners).

Some of the talks sound really exciting, such as Features and Franchises: How BuzzFeed Takes ‘Viral’ and Creates A BrandHow to Produce TV Quality Programming on an Internet Video Budget, and Hacking the Facebook Algorithm – Inside Facebook’s Secret Promotional Code.

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18. INBOUND

September 4-7, Boston

Date: September 4-7, 2018

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Price: $599 to $2,199

INBOUND by HubSpot is probably the biggest marketing conference all year. In 2017, more than 20,000 marketers and salespeople attended INBOUND to learn the top marketing and sales practices and be inspired by keynote speakers such as Michelle Obama, Aziz Ansari, Seth Godin, Brené Brown, and Martha Stewart.

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19. Content Marketing World

September 4-7, Cleveland

Date: September 4-7, 2018

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Price: $999 to $2,499

With 225 speakers and more than 4,000 expected attendees, Content Marketing World is likely going to be the largest content marketing conference of the year. Last year, their featured speakers included Linda Boff, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Casey Neistat. Wow!

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20. CMX Summit

October 1-3, Portland

Date: October 1-3, 2018

Location: Portland, Oregon

Price: To be announced (Tickets were priced at $749 in 2017.)

As social media becomes more of an engagement channel, it has become ever more important to build your community and engage your fans. CMX Summit will show you practical ways to build your communities for business success.

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21. Spredfast’s Smart Social Summit

November 5-7, Austin

Date: November 5-7, 2018

Location: Austin

Price: $1,395

Smart Social Summit is an annual social media conference by Spredfast, a company which provides enterprise social media management software. Last year, their speakers included top executives of companies like GE, charity: water, Facebook, and more. Oh, and former First Lady, Michelle Obama! Spredfast has two more Smart Social events happening this year in New York City (April) and in London (June).

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22. Social Fresh Conference

December 5-7, Winter Park, Florida

Date: December 5-7, 2018

Location: Winter Park, Florida

Price: To be announced (Tickets were priced at $747 in 2017.)

Social Fresh Conference just wrapped up their 20th social media conference in 2017 and has announced their presale for 2018. This year’s conference will focus on increasing engagement, growing revenue, and what the future holds for social marketing. They will also be including Industry Training tracks for finance, higher education, hospitality, and nonprofits. Speakers will be announced starting in March.

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What’s your favorite social media conference?

These are just some of the most well-known, long-running social media conferences around. And there are likely many less well-known but awesome conferences that I have not included in this blog post. If you know of any, especially those happening in Asia, I would love for you to share them in the comments section below.

Also, if you have been to any of these conferences before, would you be up for sharing your experiences below? It’ll be very helpful to fellow readers who are considering to attend social media conferences this year.

Happy conferencing!

The awesome images in this blog post were from Unsplash and PR News Facebook Page.

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.