2018 in digital: What you need to know

By Stav Pisk

84 per cent of Australians access the internet every day – so it’s important to understand how they are engaging with our brands online.

 2017 has been a notable year for social and digital media. Instagram reigned  supreme over Snapchat in the case of ‘stories’, and Twitter doubled its character limit.

We can expect 2018 to be even bigger.

Welcome to the dark side…of social
Online users are increasingly sharing content on platforms that no one else can see, and we expect this trend will continue to grow in 2018.

The industry likes to refer to this as “dark social”, which is when a group or an individual share content on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, email, or via secure browsing.

So what does this mean for organisations?

Website referrals from dark social have significantly increased over the years, which indicates that while people might not be actively sharing your posts on their public platforms (such as their Facebook profile or Twitter feed), they are still interacting with your content, only in a different way.

The way you share, position, or advertise your digital content must adapt accordingly.

A large majority of internet users consume information from a device that fits in the palm of their hands. Google has reported that 96% of people use their smartphones to look up information or conduct research. This can include anything from finding out who discovered pi, to applying for a home loan, or reading a restaurant review.

We expect this trend will flourish in 2018, which means organisations must cater their online content and presence (or lack thereof) to something that will look good and function well on a mobile device. Not only should online content or platforms be mobile friendly, they must also be able to satisfy the users’ needs to have whatever they want, whenever they want it.


The death of organic
Have you noticed that your organic posts are not doing as well as they once did?

It is becoming increasingly harder for organisations to distribute organic content that people will see. Gone are the days of your social media feed displaying content in a chronological order. With constant changes to the algorithms of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, people are now seeing what social media platforms think they want to see. That is, content is only being seen if the algorithm thinks people want to see it.

This is coupled with the oversaturation of content shared on social media – there is simply too much content out there.

To combat this, organisations will need to increase their investment of time and money into strategic social media advertising and the use of influencer marketing.


The power of influencers
In a world with fake news and Instagram filters, authenticity is hard to come by. Now more than ever, people are looking to find their ‘community’ whose leader they can trust, whether that be a beauty blogger, a gaming vlogger, or an eating disorder advocate.

Enter: influencers.

While the use of influencers in marketing or public relations campaigns is nothing new, we predict an upswing in 2018.

We expect to see more companies and organisations looking to replace traditional marketing techniques with someone whose opinion the public feel they can genuinely rely upon.



Live streaming  
The surge of live streaming on social media platforms will continue in 2018.

Over the last few years, we have seen live streaming become embedded into the social media world, with platforms such as Instagram and Facebook jumping on the bandwagon.

With live streaming, users can see a more authentic side of the individuals and organisations they follow. It is a great way to engage with your followers on a different level, as you can instantaneously answer questions, raise an issue, or promote a product that you have just launched. 
Wells Haslem Mayhew now offers comprehensive digital and social services. Get in touch if you think we might be able to help you.