Seven social media resolutions for 2018

As we step, bleary-eyed, into the cold light of January, it’s time to engage in the age-old ritual of setting unrealistic targets of self-growth and self-gain. “I will own my home before February!”, “I will run three marathons this year!” … “I will FIX Facebook’s fake news and outside interference problems!”.

I say, no more! Let’s be realistic and focus on something more easily improved – mainly, our social media performance. Because, in keeping with the general vibe of 2017, some social media blunders by brands (and world leaders alike!) were truly stinky.

Follow these seven social resolutions, and 2018 will be a whole different story.

1. Remember it’s 2018, not 1918.
It seems no one told Virgin Trains that patronising pet names were phased out with the steam train. See the below example of them using a term of endearment in a way that would make even Yer Da cringe.

Let’s work to avoid patronising customer service in the new year and as a general rule of thumb, I’d recommend avoiding responding to a complaint about sexism with more sexism.

Remember, however comfortable you feel engaging with fans, you’re still a brand talking to a person you’ve probably never met. So, like my nan always says: tweet as you’d like to be tweeted to.

2. Everything with moderation
If you’re reading this, then you’re obviously all about living your best life in 2018, and we love you for that. However, that’s not everyone’s vibe – unfortunately, even in 2018, trolls still gonna troll.

The National Lottery found this out the hard way when they asked fans to tweet their names, for the chance to be automatically added to a personalised response from a Team GB athlete. Cue a slew of inappropriate and offensive messages that were uploaded to pre-recorded videos with the likes of Greg Rutherford and Nicola Adams.

Our advice is, this year, don’t make it easy for the trolls. If you’re planning on inviting responses from your community, always employ a heavy dose of moderation. Take your team through a ‘what’s the worst that could happen??!’ brainstorm before launch because, left in the hands of the internet, it will.

3. Proof, check THEN pub(lish)
Sure, we’ve all been there – it’s five to six, you’ve been staring at the screen all day, and the pub is a-calling. You’ll check that tweet tomorrow morning before it goes out, right?

WRONG.

That’s just the kind of thinking that (probably) led McDonald’s to post a placeholder on Black Friday last year.

There’s nothing like posting and deleting because of a copy error to make you look and feel a little bit amateurish.

Ronald and his team actually pulled it back with a follow up tweet about forgetting to pour themselves a cup of their own brand coffee.

But not everyone has the caffeinated beverage get-out card. Even deletion is futile as there’s always someone lying in wait to screenshot and go viral at your expense. So check, check and check again. And then check it again.

4. Thou shalt not worship false savoury pastry snacks
Coming out of your shell and bringing your funny side with you is a great resolution for us Regular Joes, but for brands, showing off your sense of humour is a precarious business. Greggs found that out when they swapped baby Jesus with a sausage roll in a nativity scene, as part of a campaign to promote their 2017 advent calendar.

With social, it’s easy to misfire and come off at best, unfunny, and worst, obnoxious or offensive. Always ask yourself: “Am I attacking something that people hold very dearly? Will I be offending large swathes of the population?”.

If yes, it’s probably best to aim your banter bazooka elsewhere.

The bakers were accused of showing a lack of respect for Christianity, while simultaneously tainting the glory that was a savoury snack calendar.

5. Keep your #s in check
This one comes out every year – the social media resolution equivalent of promising to eat less and exercising more. When will we learn to check our innocent campaign hashtags don’t in fact sound like something far ruder?

2017’s version of the #susanalbumparty came from Dorothy Perkins. In a bid to get fans to celebrate new purchases with a picture on Instagram, they told us to post with the unfortunate “#LoveDP.” We’re all for trying new things, but steady on Dotty P.

Celebrities were caught in the crossfire, Dorothy Perkins came off as a wee bit naive – all of which could have been prevented with a quick google beforehand, just not on the office WiFi.

6. Say what you meme
There’s something a bit disconcerting about brands using memes. Like seeing your mum on Snapchat – How did she get here? And why is she here? 🤔?

While internet culture might sometimes look superficial and vacuous, there are layers of complexity that a) help make it very funny, but b) can trip you up very easily. So do your research, or better yet, stick to what you know.

Fast-food chain Wendy’s clearly didn’t know the controversy surrounding Pepe the Frog, and its appropriation by far-right groups, when they tweeted out a version in January 2017.

The hamburger chain just wanted to get involved in the internet lols but ended up being criticised for posting and then criticised again for deleting, by alt-right tweeters.

7. Check your sources (#fakenews)
Never has someone so utterly idiotic been capable of teaching us so much …

While covfefe-gate was strange but mildly amusing, Trump’s retweeting of entirely falsified anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader of a British far-right group was inflammatory, and reminds us to keep a watchful eye on who we engage with and what we share.

Your rogue share might not create an international situation and bring about condemnation from figures including the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it will undermine your reputation in the same way.

So in summary: don’t be sexist, NEVER trust the internet, proof check before pub, (pas)try not to blaspheme, avoid anal (in the workplace), research ur memez, don’t be Donald Trump.

Want advice on your social? Talktous@wearesocial.net

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EE20/20 Takeaways: The Hovering Boss, How Micromanagement Kills a Positive Culture

97th Floor CEO and Founder Chris Bennett did an interview with Employee Experience 2020, presented by Zenefits. These are the takeaways. We’re really worried about clocking in and clocking out when things aren’t seeming to work. We just throw more policies on top of policies instead of going back to the beginning and seeing how […]

The post EE20/20 Takeaways: The Hovering Boss, How Micromanagement Kills a Positive Culture appeared first on 97th Floor.

This Week: Facebook Feed Changes, 2018 Design Trends You Have to Use, and Keeping Your Momentum from the Holiday

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

This week in internet marketing, we’re covering Facebook’s news feed announcement, Google changes in the pipeline for 2018, and bold design trends you need to be aware of this year. We also look at ways to bounce back from a content fail and how to keep your marketing campaigns running during a slow period.

Facebook Feed Changes – What Businesses Can Do Next

This Week in Internet Marketing

In case you missed it, Facebook recently announced changes to the company’s news feed. In a move to inspire conversations between friends and family, Facebook will focus on content that will spur discussions and engagement. The goal of the algorithm is to predict which posts users may want to interact with their friends and family about, ultimately creating meaningful interactions between people. What does this mean for your marketing strategy? In a nutshell, if you’re not creating content for Facebook that will trigger comments and discussions, your reach is going to suffer with these changes.

High-Level Search Marketing: How To Keep Your Momentum From The Holiday Season Going

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Most of us are experiencing slow months in January and February, but don’t let the momentum you gained during the holiday season stop now. Instead, continue with your marketing efforts and consider changing up tactics to cater to the current environment. As Amanda DiSilvestro from Search Engine Journal writes, “The success of a holiday campaign should continue well into the new year. Keep these things in mind during your slow months and you’ll keep the momentum up to prepare you for spring and busier selling seasons.” Now is a good time to target the “new year, new me” mentality. During these two months, your customers are likely focusing on self-improvement, so keep your campaigns running (whether email marketing or paid ads) but change up the narrative to meet their needs and create value.

SEO Trends and Google Changes to Expect in 2018

This Week in Internet Marketing

Pratik Dholakiya from Search Engine Land explores the search industry landscape to see where it could be headed this year. He predicts the continued growth of voice search and featured snippets, the crackdown on intrusive mobile ads, and algorithm updates to tackle the issue of trustworthy search results and to weed out false information. The most interesting prediction is the obsolescence of sites that fail to work on mobile devices. With Google potentially launching a mobile-first index this year, any website that is not mobile friendly could see changes in their ranking.

Design Trends You Have to Use in 2018

design-trends-2018-lead

Big, bold, and eye-catching is how design can be described for 2018. Alan Smith from UsabilityGeek  tells us to expect bold colours, geometric patterns, handwritten fonts, colour gradients, and an even more minimalist approach to web design with the removal of content menus. It seems that this year is one of risk taking, but before you start rethinking your brand, take into account that all these trends amount to grabbing a user’s attention. Start with incorporating basic elements such as the use of customized graphics, a trend that sees brands moving away from stock photos. Users want original, engaging images so it’s predicted that brands will focus on better branded images using user-generated content and photos.

What to Do When Your Content Falls Flat: 6 Ways to Recover

What to Do When Your Latest Content Piece Falls Flat

You can do everything to set your content up for success, however, there is no guarantee that your posts will be successful. If you’ve built up solid relationships with key influencers in your market, a good way to recover from a content fail, according to Aaron Agius from HubSpot, is to reach out to them and call in a favour. If you’ve consistently been sharing their content, they’re more likely to share your post with their audience. Other ways to bounce back include looking at your metrics to determine the best time to post your content, making it easier to share, and re-purposing it in new visual ways.

Check out these additional articles for more internet marketing news!

9 Predictions for SEO in 2018

How to Generate B2B Leads with Instagram Stories

How to Manage Multiple Marketing Channels in Today’s Dynamic Landscape

The post This Week: Facebook Feed Changes, 2018 Design Trends You Have to Use, and Keeping Your Momentum from the Holiday appeared first on The TechWyse ‘Rise to the Top’ Internet Marketing Blog.

Vice May Risk Losing Cool Cachet With Brands Over Sexism Concerns


Vice could be at risk of going from cool to creepy for brands concerned with the alleged sexist culture at the gonzo publisher’s offices.

This month, at least one major marketer, Ally Financial, is meeting with the Brooklyn-based media outlet to discuss concerns over allegations of sexism and sexual misconduct at Vice, first reported in a New York Times story published in late December. The article detailed multiple complaints and settlements with women over sexual misconduct by executives, along with a widespread culture of sexism within Vice’s “boys’ club” borders.

Other brands are paying close attention to the company’s response to the allegationsparticularly an internal investigation announced Jan. 2before deciding if they will continue to work with Vice, according to several brands and ad executives.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

CES 2018: Looking Ahead To What’s Next

After last year’s CES, I wrote a blog post about the growing popularity of digital assistants, home hubs and the cord cutting phenomenon. My impression from this year’s event is that many companies invested more time and resources developing products and features ahead of the demand curve. As the Guardian pointed out in its article, “CES 2018: less ‘whoa’, more ‘no!’,” too much of the showcase was focused on either gadgets (self-driving suitcases), or gimmicks (phone apps that turn on my shower) – although I have to say Samsung’s “The Wall” did get rave reviews from my colleagues who saw it.

Where I saw the real innovation at this CES was not so much in the technology itself, but in the way a major technology brand is describing itself and what that signals for the future. For the last year or so, Intel, whose CEO gave the opening keynote at CES, has been re-positioning itself as a data company. In his introduction of speaker and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, cited the “fundamental transformation” Intel had undergone under Brian’s leadership “from a PC-centric company to a data-centric company.”

So, what does he mean by a data-centric company exactly? In his keynote presentation titled, “Experience the Power of Data,” Krzanich cited the opportunities driven by a single factor, the explosion of data, and outlined the need for all that data to be processed and structured. It’s perhaps not a big leap for Intel – known for its processors, the ingredient “inside” that make PCs run – to shift its strategy in this way. With the array of opportunities this data deluge offers, and with investments in artificial intelligence, drones, virtual reality and autonomous driving (even flying), Intel is betting that all end devices generating data will need a chip and memory inside, and the company will continue to support end device producers similar to how it supported PC manufacturers in the past.

So, besides the stunning and visually appealing forecasts Krzanich made changing the worlds of entertainment and transportation, announcing partnerships with both Ferrari and Paramount, what makes this innovative? Intel’s repositioning is a clear signal that many more companies, well-known brands as well as new players, are starting to define themselves primarily through their relationship with data, and that the term “data company” is not one-size-fits-all.

A data company has been defined as a company that has data as its core competency. By that definition, many now consider Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook to be data companies. With almost every company touching data in some way, and leveraging it to generate value for stakeholders and consumers, more and more enterprises from healthcare to financial services will all soon need to redefine who they are and what they do in direct relation to data.

Many talk about data being the oil of the 21st Century, since without it “progress [in the digital economy] would halt.” However, what is misleading about this comparison is the fact that oil is, was, and always will be a finite resource. While many new industries were created around this resource – drilling, refinery, combustion and distribution, among others – the key difference is that data is, was, and always will be an unlimited resource that’s expanding exponentially. It is a resource that has no limits, which is already transforming our lives, and it holds many infinite possibilities for how it can be harnessed to create valuable products, services and experiences for all (while remembering to always keep data ethics at the forefront).

Like the story of the blind men and an elephant, where each man conceptualizes what the elephant is based on his own experience with the creature, each company’s relationship with data can be perceived and defined in so many unexpected ways; but unlike the physical elephant in this parable, there can never be one definition, one concept of what data is – it is an ever-evolving, ever-changing resource that has quickly become the life blood of our economy.  And if you want to see what this means for our future, just check out this video of a prototype flying taxi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #383

Facebook makes shock change to news feed to prioritise well-being
Mark Zuckerberg has made his new year’s resolution to fix Facebook, and his first step is to change the news feed algorithm to prioritise posts which spark comments between users. This, he admits, will mean a decrease in airtime for news outlets and ads from brands and will almost certainly lead to spending less time on Facebook (but the time users do spend will be of a higher quality). See our view on it in more detail here.

Facebook tests local news section
Facebook is trialling a section on the social network, Today In, which focuses on news, events and announcements from your local area. At the moment it’s running in just six cities in the US: New Orleans, Little Rock, Billings, Peoria, Olympia, and Binghamton. Users will only see the local news if they list themselves as living in that area and local news publishers who appear there will all be approved and vetted by the company’s News Partnerships team.

RIP M
Poor M. She was the hybrid human/artificial digital assistant which Facebook launched in 2015 to take on Siri. She started in Beta, and in Beta she will now stay. All she wanted to do was help you shop for baby gifts, or find you a dinner reservation, was that so bad? She’s now been demoted. New title? Head of sticker recommendations.

Facebook’s new video calling device to be called Portal
Facebook is said to be developing a new hardware product called Portal to take on the likes of the Amazon Echo Show. It’s predicted to hit the shelves in the second half of 2018 and retail for $498. Portal will be the first hardware device to come from Facebook’s hardware arm Building 8, with critics already claiming it will be hard for it catch up with rivals with little to no experience in this field.

The post We Are Social’s Monday Mashup #383 appeared first on We Are Social UK.

CHURCHILL TAKES THE STING OUT OF VANDALISM IN ‘SHAMEFUL TATTOO’

Today sees the launch of our new TV advert ‘Shameful Tattoo’, promoting Churchill’s new Motor Insurance offer – Churchill’s Vandalism Cover, where its customers no claim discount is protected if they claim after their car is vandalised*. Directed by Joseph Mann, the ad is the latest in Churchill’s ‘Objects’ series and features Churchie comforting a […]

Marketing Trends 2018

It’s a natural time of the year to create plans, and to take a broader look at the factors that are likely to affect our businesses in the coming year. In this piece, we set out some of the likely marketing trends in 2018 that either will or could – and in many cases, should – fundamentally change how marketing is delivered. To this end, we have trawled the internet to see what a wide variety of marketing experts across the globe are predicting to be the most disruptive influences in the coming year.

A word of warning. Not all of the following activities are going to suit every business, and we are of course looking at some game changing opportunities that come with a high cost attached, as well as perhaps only providing marginal gains for some organisations. The most important thing to bear in mind is to look at where you are in terms of your marketing plan, and to invest in the right strategies for your business. For instance, before you do anything else, you might need to focus on your brand proposition, or on making sure your website and essential sales support tools (such as your corporate presentation, brochures, videos etc.) are up to spec. That being said, whilst this “first things first” approach is important to bear in mind, it never hurts to have an overview of the broader picture, perhaps as part of – say – a three-year marketing vision whose aim is to transform your business into a key market player by 2020.

Technological developments in marketing

As in so many fields, the overriding trend in technological developments in marketing is the increasing use of software tools to automate tasks and processes that were previously handled by people (or which never existed in the first place because it was too complex and time-consuming to do so). Thanks to the internet and its numerous digital spin-offs, marketing is now going through its own version of the mechanisation previously experienced in manufacturing. And because of the nature of the world of IT, change is happening at a much greater speed. This year, words like ‘dynamic’ and ‘agile’ are key front-of-mind motivators for forward-thinking marketers. In short, developments in marketing technology have led to a significant move forward in the holy grail of marketing – one-to-one relationships with customers at every stage in the sales cycle, from ‘target suspect’ to ‘loyal ambassador’.

Therefore, it is no exaggeration to suggest that the digital revolution has led to a transformative revolution in thinking. Not long ago, mass marketing was undertaken on the rough principle that if you broadcast a message often enough to as wide an audience as possible, some people, sometimes, were bound to respond. Marketing can now be far more targeted and personal, with a far greater chance of receiving a positive outcome – assuming that your customer/prospect data has sufficient depth and quality and that you have the processes in place to communicate appropriately at every step in the cycle (think AIDA – create awareness, establish interest, emote desire, provoke action). Rather than the aim being the completion of a successful transaction – moving customers from the top to the bottom of a notional sales funnel – the approach now for a growing number of businesses is to examine the relationship between seller and customer at every stage in the process. The first sale is merely one point on a continuum (with the sales funnel re-rendered by what we refer to as the bow-tie marketing model) where, having been converted from prospects to customers, deeper relationships are built, with some customers becoming advocates and influencers over a period of time. 2018 will see more companies adopting Customer Lifetime Value as the key benchmark by which the success of their marketing is measured, and Customer Experience Marketing (which 68% of marketers say is the basis of their current marketing plans) as the strategy for maximising it.

This is true for B2B marketing too, where Account-Based Marketing works on a company-by company basis. As well as creating marketing collateral specific to key accounts, a growth in Hyperlocal Focus is anticipated. Thanks to the democratising effect of the web, small companies can now compete with the big boys on a more level playing field. Expect the big boys to fight back, though – data-crunching and marketing automation gives them the ability to target customers by micro-region as much as by any other parameter.

This is perhaps a moment to consider the value of data. You may well have heard about Big Data. Well, the truth is that many businesses can benefit their bottom line or corporate value simply by putting systems in place that enable them to capture raw data today so that they can build highly successful marketing automation platforms in future. In fact, the value of data-rich organisations can be so significant that it is definitely worth bearing in mind if you have an exit strategy in place for a few years from now.

Implicit within the concept of creating long term relationships with customers is the delivery of a service genuinely attuned to the customers’ needs, along with the establishment of trust. This in turn requires sellers to be transparent, which in any event makes sense in a world where customers soon raise red flags on social media in response to poor service or insincere practice. As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos puts it “It used to be that if you made a customer happy, they would tell five friends. Now with the megaphone of the internet, whether online customer reviews or social media, they can tell 5,000 friends.” In fact, it is just as realistic to suggest that it will be seen by 5,000,000 people in certain circumstances. Whatever the number, the inference is obvious. Like it or not, everyone has an opinion these days, no matter how ill-informed it might be, and there are many channels by which people can and will express it (often emotionally rather than rationally). To this end, a strategic brand proposition may be required that is understood, admired and adhered to by all members of staff. We cannot emphasise highly enough how much competitive advantage can be gained by forward-thinking organisations that are driven by a genuine philosophy of wishing to deliver an ethical proposition based upon a vision and values of real merit and worth. Just as negative feedback can hurt a company, so can positive commentary help it.

Mobile First is fast becoming an established principle, which more and more companies will adopt as an essential part of the website development process in the coming year. Increasingly, mobile devices are becoming the main route to access information online, and mobile apps far exceed websites in delivering that access, accounting for an astonishing 89% of mobile media time. It makes sense that businesses plan their communications with this trend firmly in mind. Web designers are now using Progressive Web Apps that are optimised for viewing with any browser and on any device – but first and foremost on mobiles. Push Notifications and Chatbots – automated online assistants which assist website visitors through audio or text dialogues – are also set to become more familiar as developments in Artificial Intelligence increasingly move out of the world of science and into the commercial arena. (If you’ve yet to come across a chatbot, check out Skyscanner’s, which helps visitors find live flight prices and destination ideas.)

Augmented Reality (AR), where virtual information is merged with the real world, is also tipped to grow. While some early examples enjoyed limited success (e.g. Google Glass), the speed with which the Pokemon Go craze took off showed how quickly people can engage with it. In a more traditional commercial setting, Ikea Place is an AR app that allows users to see how furniture will look in their own homes. Expect many more companies to develop their own equivalents in 2018.

Voice Command is also growing fast – it’s predicted that, in just a few years, the majority of online searches will be carried out using voice, aimed at personal virtual assistants (Amazon’s Alexa is selling fast) as well as Google and other search engines. In fact, savvy companies are already developing Alexa-specific apps, collectively known as Alexa Skills, including Ask Purina, which helps consumers discover which dog breed best fits their lifestyle.

Content marketing strategy

Besides being technically innovative, Ask Purina illustrates another vital element of successful marketing strategies, which isn’t new but which will become ever more important: content marketing strategy. Consumers want useful information that helps them to make better-informed decisions, and they show strong loyalty to brands that supply it consistently and engagingly through storytelling – building a coherent narrative around a brand and its purpose. Apple walked off with the accolade of top storytelling brand in the UK for the fifth year in a row because of its consistent narrative, which projects core values of simplicity, creativity and ease of use. Apple builds excitement in their storytelling by continually launching new products, keeping the brand front of mind and encouraging anticipation amongst their fans.

If storytelling is the principle, the fastest-growing means for delivering it is video – five billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. Not only can we expect to see quality and invention to rise across the board in 2018, we also strongly suspect that more videos will be delivered live. Research suggests consumers prefer live streaming to any other form of receiving information about products, and there seems to us to be genuine substance to this claim. Land Rover staked an early position in the field by being the first UK car manufacturer to stream live test drives (and its One Life page also has great storytelling going on). Live video is of course not just about the video itself. Social media can be used to build up real anticipation beforehand, and to spread the messages conveyed in the video afterwards. This also provides long-term SEO benefits too.

Even with all the new options available, email is still cited by many marketers as the most productive component of their content marketing strategies. Thanks to data becoming ever more granular, and with the growth of marketing automation, we already have the ability to create different messages to engage with different recipients, and automatically generate responses when recipients engage with your business. Don’t forget, though, that GDPR comes into being in May 2018 and applies new rigour to how data is obtained and handled. We will be talking more about GDPR in one of our upcoming blogs, as it is crucial to every business to understand their obligations when it comes to collecting data from about now onwards…

Content marketing is huge – research by the Content Marketing Institute found 8 out of 10 marketers believe it is key to success. Yet the same research found that only 3 out of 10 of them have a content marketing strategy in place. The conclusion is clear – having a content marketing strategy in place will give any company a significant advantage over many of its competitors. Perhaps a reason for some organisations not having a content marketing strategy in place is that they lack the resources to produce a steady flow of great content internally. This is no excuse. Companies in this situation should consider outsourcing and automation (it’s estimated around 20% of business content in 2018 will be machine-generated). Whatever way content is produced, it should be relevant and interesting, informative as opposed to salesy, and provoke the appropriate emotional response (laughter, empathy, sadness, happiness, security, etc.).

Social media marketing

It’s still a big thing of course, but the nature of social media marketing has been shifting. That being said, talk of Twitter’s impending demise is a ridiculous distortion of the truth. And Facebook, in conjunction with Instagram, is going to remain a key player in 2018. We will also see LinkedIn grow. Content repositories like YouTube, SlideShare and Google + are also going to remain important social media tools, with huge SEO benefits for those businesses that use them effectively.

Ever improving information about how people engage with businesses’ social media activity also means better metrics. Vanity metrics – likes, followers, etc. – are distorted by the number of accounts actually operated as bots, and the old maxim ‘All publicity is good publicity’ doesn’t necessarily apply in the social media world. Marketers will use more sophisticated metrics that indicate overall sentiment based on reviews, click-throughs to website, time spent on site, newsletter sign-ups, sales conversions, and so on.

The rise of Social Influencers will continue – consumers trust their independent reviews and advocacy of favourite brands. While interacting with influencers can lead to some of the most powerful marketing a business can get, it only works if the influencers themselves continue to be genuinely independent. We’ve all seen news stories reporting how quickly an influencer loses credibility if they are perceived by their followers to be in the pockets of the brands they recommend – it’s back to trust and transparency again. And it isn’t only those influencers that have huge numbers of followers who are useful – micro-bloggers can carry significant sway in specialist niches. Influencer marketing is going to be huge in 2018. One thing that nobody talks about is that business owners and senior managers can also become influencers. In fact, anyone can. If you are knowledgeable and passionate about what you do, then you are better placed than anyone to become an influencer. We see forward-thinking individuals who wish to improve their Klout score proving this prediction in 2018. Klout is a measure of your personal influence in the online space, with the lovely strapline, “Be known for what you love”.

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn’s importance looks likely to grow substantially this year. LinkedIn has developed features (e.g. InMail Analytics) with the deliberate aim of making it the clear platform of choice for engaging with other companies.

Whether B2B or B2C, the companies that enjoy the greatest success with social media will be those where its use is embedded across their organisation. Its reach will be wider and deeper the more touchpoints there are between employees and customers.

Other marketing media

Do not forget that many other forms of marketing media will of course continue to play their part in 2018 – SEO and paid search, in particular, come to mind. But so will traditional forms of media, such as advertising, events, sales promotion, PR and channel incentives. Trends indicate change opportunities and disruptive growth, but they may not be right for your organisation, so it is important to take a rational view across the board when creating your sales and marketing plans for the year ahead

However, we believe the areas discussed in this article will unquestionably see the fastest evolution and most disruptive game changing activity during 2018. In other words, this is potentially where more planning and strategic resource need to be allocated to ensure that you are making the best use of the range of tools and techniques available.

Glossary

Here is a glossary explaining some of the key items mentioned in this article in a bit more detail. If you would like to know more, just copy and paste each phrase into a search engine like Google.

Account-Based Marketing: a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organisation considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

Artificial Intelligence: where a device perceives its environment, and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal, mimicking human intelligence.

Augmented Reality: superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

Big Data: extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.

Chatbots: an automated program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.

Customer Experience Marketing: puts the customer at the centre of marketing. Information the customer wants is provided – not sales talk.

Customer Lifetime Value: a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.

Hyperlocal Focus: marketing targeted at a certain region, such as shoppers in a certain city or within a certain distance from a business. 

Mobile First: where designing a website for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices takes priority over desktop web design. 

Progressive Web Apps: regular web pages or websites that can appear to the user like traditional mobile apps. They combine features offered by most browsers with the benefits of mobile experience. 

Push Notifications: a message that pops up on a mobile device at any time; users don’t have to be in the app or using their devices to receive them.

Social Influencers: a user on social media with established credibility in a specific field, has access to a large audience, and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

Voice Command: where devices are controlled by means of the human voice, as opposed to buttons, dials and switches.