Welcome to the Get Savvy on Social series. Throughout this series across the next eight months myself Sophie Vevers and Glenn Clarke will guide you through all things Social Media. From the latest B2B tactics , brand successes, fails, updates from the big tech players and regional focuses to help you improve your knowledge and enhance your social strategy.

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2018: Roller coaster year

From Facebook's data breach where nearly 50 million accounts were made vulnerable to attack from hackers, to internal emails, videos and memos being leaked to the public.

But it's not been all doom and gloom...

We saw Twitter crack down on bot accounts, removing over 9 million fake users, while LinkedIn released their new campaign manager interface (which suspiciously looks like Facebook's, but that is another article in itself).

On the up

Whilst we have the big three players in the B2B social game, we have seen an increase in the usage on Instagram from B2B companies. 66% of marketers now use Insta, up from 54% in 2017. 

Numerous reports are expecting the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to continue to rise above the ranks, especially with video continuing to be a tactic that marketers are investing in.

Digital advertising spend has always been in the millions, but the global advertising spend in social media increased from 2017 to 18 by 23.5%, as more organisations are realising the importance of including social media in their marketing plans. Despite Facebook's blunder with data protection, it is predicted that social spend will pass the amount spend on TV within the next two years.

Now for the big question... is it worth it? Well the proof is in the pudding... 78% of marketers who have used social media for two years or more report increased traffic to their websites. 

How did paid social change in 2018?

As the requirements from brands change, ad platforms need to adapt. This year we saw 18! New product updates and releases from LinkedIn alone, including:

  • Sponsored content video ads: The native videos allow a more engaging level of content promotion to your target audience
  • Sponsored content impressions measurement: for an impression to be counted, the ad needs to be in at least 50% view for at least one second
  • Automated bidding for sponsored content: Using a combination of machine learning and algorithms, LinkedIn will find the right bid for sponsored content ads.

At Kingpin, we run many social campaigns so we have had first hand experience with the majority of the new releases. One thing I was not impressed with was the automated bidding; you end up paying more than you need to for a click on most occasions. Using the manual bidding means you can set how much you are willing to spend for one click. Unless you have unlimited budgets - be careful of this one!

What does 2019 have in store?

Focus on the visuals 

Video continued to rise throughout 2018 and it’s not going to go away in 2019. There is going to be a big drive for visual first, with video leading the way. Marcus Sheridan an online marketing expert believes that 80% of what we consume online will be video content. But, don’t stop at video -  engage with your audience with insightful infographics, cool creative and don’t forget a clear CTA for your activity to enhance the performance of your campaign.

In social we trust?

As we know, data breaches, data privacy and hacks have hit the headlines throughout 2018 all for the wrong reasons. Facebook being the biggest culprit for numerous reasons (our very own Joe Bucknor highlights their downfalls here). Users are also showing more concern around Facebook and understanding how their data could be abused – the infographic here illustrates users privacy concerns. 

I won’t dwell on this one, but as you and I both know the hack and data leaks are inevitable, so expect 2019 to showcase more of these. However, as marketers we need to be one step ahead on what these can mean for business – data hack? Up your cyber security software!

Target me, not the target market.

2019 will be the year of personalisation… so they say. Eva Taylor, Senior Manager for Social Marketing at Hootsuite, argues that a key trend for 2019 is personalisation of customer experience. This boils right down to that target account list you are working on. Thinking of an ABM strategy for 2019? Then personalisation needs to be at the forefront of your planning and this isn’t just for Social. 

At Kingpin we have been enhancing our in-house management and intelligence tool “Argus”, to identify target accounts, their content consumption and how this relates to their purchasing decisions. Combining all these elements to give you one picture of customer behaviour will lead you to a winning formula (we think).

We have loads to look forward to next year with new releases, advanced targeting and no doubt more social scandals! Cant wait!

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Tune in next month where Glenn discusses how to use social successfully within the B2B space