The Top 4 Social Media Platforms of 2018
It's almost September which means it's almost the 4th quarter of 2018...time flies when you're having fun and building a business!
The question on my mind (which has really been on my mind since the beginning of the year) is: What's next?
It's been a long time since we've had a serious contender for the new "it" social media platform. The last really unique challenger was Snapchat. But unfortunately Snapchat has failed to significantly innovate in the wake of Instagram's copycat moves and its future relevancy currently hangs in the balance.
So what else is there? Is there anything else? Or has social media become like cable TV, stagnant with your choice of Terrible Customer Service Company 1, 2, or 3?
I don't know. I don't have an answer for that. But I do feel that this space is ripe for disruption, if a truly unique product comes along with some serious financial backing. Maybe Elon Musk or Richard Branson will get into the social media game in 2019 and shake things up.
Or maybe not.
If the answer truly is that we may NOT see a new power player on the field, then that means you need to double-down on your Tier One social networks, before they get any more complex than they already are. The days of throwing a picture on Facebook and getting 100 likes for it are gone.
So without further ado, here are my picks for the top social media platforms of 2018!
I have been loving LinkedIn since the beginning of the year. Ever since an agent I worked with mentioned how much more reach and comments the same post we did got on LinkedIn vs Facebook, I have been all in on LinkedIn.
It's so much easier to get your content seen by the people you care about and I get equally as many leads for my own business on LinkedIn as I do through Facebook. And on LinkedIn, I tend to find people give more thoughtful comments.
LinkedIn has also been doing a ton of innovating this year and introducing lots and lots of new features. They know they have a chance to claim some of the spoils of war from Facebook and they are not sleeping on it.
If you have a network of contacts that aren't in the same industry as you (or could build one) LinkedIn needs to be on your radar. And don't forget, they have their own ad product that allows you to target prospects by job title, industry, etc!
I'm not the first marketer to call Youtube more of a search engine than a social network. But since most people think of it as a social network, I'm awarding it the #3 spot on the list because Youtube is freakishly powerful. I currently have a video that I recorded last August that has over 10,000 views on it. It's the top video result for its exact term on Youtube and Google. Now, imagine that's your video! About your business!
If that's not crazy results, I don't know what is.
And with the increased pressure to share video content on social media, Youtube gives you a place to at least house the full-length version of the video. If you take a little bit of time to strategize your video content, research how to write titles and descriptions that will get your video found, and apply the proper keywords, you could reap the benefits of your videos included on a massive search platform.
I have such a crush on Instagram.
I've recently been doing a challenge to break up with my iPhone so I've been tracking my phone usage and how much time I spend on each app. Which means I've discovered I spend an embarrassing amount of time on Instagram each day. Embarrassing.
Can you blame me though? I'm a social media manager AND I freakin' love this app.
And I'm not alone. Even with the increased placement of ads on the feed and in stories, most people I know are a) on Instagram and b) spending inordinate amounts of time on the platform every day.
Stories were a game-changer for Instagram and really cemented the decline of Snapchat. If you're still trying to get into stories and aren't sure what to post, be sure to check out my recent blog on stories and grab my free download that will give you ideas of things you can share.
So if you're trying to position your brand where the people are, you need to look to Instagram.
Even though I am loving on Instagram, I can't award it the #1 spot when its parent company is the one hosting the complete suite of ad tools!
So, despite everything Facebook has put us marketers through this year, I'm still giving Facebook the #1 spot. I have may have grumbled about them more times than I care to admit in recent months, but the tools that are available on Facebook (especially on the paid advertising side) are too powerful to be ignored.
And I hear you.
Organic reach is HORRIBLE on Facebook.
Ads are more expensive than they've ever.
That algorithm is an annoying four-letter word.
People even 3-4 years younger than myself have fled Facebook in droves for Instagram.
But I firmly believe that paid ads on the Facebook platform are about the cheapest and best you can buy. Leads may be harder to grab, but if you get one, they're less likely to be a junk lead...after all, someone left their Facebook browsing experience to come to your site and opt-in or buy something. Don't dismiss that. That's a huge deal!
And compared to other ad products out there, Facebook ads when done right can yield enormous returns. Truly. I pulled up ad results for a client I did recently and we got about 12,000 page views for less than $300. Not clicks to the website, actual landing page views. Depending on your industry, those could be game-changing numbers.
Of course, I can't end this blog on the top 4 social media platforms of 2018 without a reminder to NEVER put all your eggs in one basket. Love Instagram? Cool. Make sure you're mastering at least one other social network. If the changes on Facebook have taught us anything this year it's that we shouldn't build our businesses on rented land. Make sure your contingency plans have contingency plans, invest in your website, build an email list, and diversify your social media platforms.
What did you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? Leave me a comment below!