When it comes to social media, 2017 was a year of change. Even if your business only dabbles in a few of the social media platforms available for businesses, it’s probably that you saw some changes throughout the year—both good and bad.
Here’s a breakdown of what happened in social media during a year that was, on many fronts, more tumultuous than any in recent history.
Search engines got smarter. Last year we predicted a few changes in search engine algorithms—and most of them came to pass. Google factored intent into searches in combination with keywords in recognition that most people now, rather than do simple searches, type a question into their search bars.
Search engines got harder to trick. Organic reach had traditionally been a way for businesses with minimal advertising budgets to get the word out about their brands—at least passively. Last year, simply having a web site. Blog or social media feed packed with keywords wasn’t enough to bring your business up in the top of the search engine rankings. Factors like how mobile your sites are, how they interact with others and how frequently they are updated came into play, too.
Everything old became new again. As people long for ‘the good old days,’ a new niche in marketing emerged—or at least gained popularity: nostalgia marketing. Current television ads called back old classics and many brands went back to their old logos and ad campaigns.
Facebook in particular made several changes to capitalize—or, in some cases, fight—on current trends. They changed their logarithm again, this time to increase the odds that the posts that users see will informative and entertaining. The change was designed to reduce the impact of people who post several times a day and unnecessarily clog up news feeds.
They also took steps to reduce the amount of “fake news” that appeared in news streams as a result of accusations that the spread of false information impacted the 2016 election.
A final change made by the largest social media platform was the implementation of split testing, which allowed marketers to test the same advertisement—or variations of it---in different markets at the same time.
It remained profitable. Facebook’s third quarter reports showed that, despite the controversy it faced at times during the year, the money continued to flow to the social media giant. Profits were up in each quarter, which means that the likelihood of paying for views or additional exposure remains high for 2018.
Those are some of the changes we noticed. Did you experience others? Let us know in the comments!