What should small businesses expect to budget for in 2018?

1. Video will continue to grow in importance

If you’re not already using video in 2017 then it’s really important to incorporate them into your strategy in 2018.  They are a great tool for increasing engagement plus they are currently favoured by social algorithms.

Consider using one or more of these trends in 2018…

  • Instagram Stories is only one year old and over 200 million people already use it.  50 million more than on Snapchat.  With similar story mechanisms added to Facebook in 2017, this is only likely to get bigger.
  • Live Streaming – Social Media Today found that users will watch a live video for an average of 3 times the length that they would a similar prerecorded video. Try using Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Twitter Periscope to live broadcast an event or a behind the scenes snapshot.
  • Explainer videos – these are very popular, short videos that show the audience how to make or do something.  Double speed videos that can showcase anything from recipes to training.  It’s a way of sharing your expertise in a simple and engaging way.

And don’t forget that 85% of video views happen with the sound turned off so include captions in your videos where possible.

If you can successfully convince your audience to like, share, and follow your video content, your chances of making a sale will increase.

2. Advertising

The general consensus is that organic (free) reach on social media is becoming more and more elusive due to constant algorithm changes.  If you’re finding your engagement has been decreasing, you are not alone.  Adding some advertising budget (it doesn’t have to be a huge amount) to your 2018 strategy is now a necessity if you want to continue gaining more followers, engagement and sales, especially on Facebook and Instagram.

3. Influencer Marketing

This is one area that only requires a time budget.  Influencer Marketing is simply the practice of building relationships with the people who have the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others.  You may have come across this, for example, with celebrities or bloggers promoting different brands.  They are usually compensated for doing so.  However, when done right, it doesn’t need to involve financial compensation.  True influencers will speak about your products because they think it provides value to their audience.

How do you connect with your influencers?

First identify the influencers for your business to target in 2018.  Look for people with a large, active and engaged following who are relevant to your business.  Secondly, get on their radar through engagement and great content creation. This can take time but with patience you can build up a great relationship that will benefit your business.

We will continue to add more advice and tips throughout the year as social media keeps changing.  Why not follow this blog or check us out on Twitter.  Need any help with the above?  Get in touch – we can help.

What tips are you going to try out in 2018?

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