Hi, folks. We are almost 20 days into the new year, and I am proud to report that my resolutions are all going…as well as anyone’s resolutions are going 20 days into the new year. In other words, I’ve already forgotten what they are.
Life came at us FAST as heck in 2017. Between POTUS 45, the fall of United Airlines, and Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi commercial, it was a year full of ups and (mostly) downs and many, many trends I’d like to see go the way of my resolutions.
So in the spirit of starting anew, I’m here to give you five strong suggestions for social media trends we should leave in 2017. Without further adieu…
Number One: Excessive Use of Influencer Marketing
I stopped watching The Bachelor after I realized it was essentially tryouts for the next SugarBearHair or HiSmile spokesperson. Ladies, I love you and I am not trying to knock your hustle, but can we PLEASE stop participating in this excessive and disingenuous use of influencer marketing?
We let it go when Scott Disick included the instructions in the caption of his sponsored influencer post back in 2016. We turned the other cheek when the women we rooted for as contestants on The Bachelor sold us out for big bucks from detox tea companies. But the buck stops here.
I have seen the potential of 2018 in one of my trippier meditation sessions, and the future is bright—or wait, is that the subtle glow of my HiSmile?
An intimate moment between Amanda and her face mask
How can we honestly trust a peer review that comes from someone who makes their living off of promoting products? Now I am in no way, shape, or form calling for the end of influencer marketing. It’s an effective marketing tool that can lead to meaningful conversions when done right. I’m simply suggesting that we ask more of our digital media professionals and no longer show love to sponsored posts that lack originality. Who’s with me?
Number Two: Engagement Baiting
I have mixed feelings about engagement baiting, but Facebook’s latest algorithm update is giving us no choice but to leave this practice in 2017. For those of you who may not know, engagement baiting is when a post asks users to take an action — “tag a friend!” or “vote using reactions!”— in order to rack up engagement.
While you may think you’re simply participating in the conversation, marketers are using your engagement to pull a fast one on Facebook’s algorithm and send their posts straight to the top. Facebook has decided to demote this type of content, which means you can still post it, but will see much lower results. If you’re a marketer looking for insight on engagement baiting, check out Grace’s commentary on the tactic from earlier this month.
Number Three: Unnecessary Use of Boomerang
Oh, Boomerang. You’ve brought so much joy to our lives since your debut back in October 2015. You’ve also brought much chaos. Movement is the key to shooting a Boomerang, and an inability to find the sweet spot for this element seems to be the crux of my complaint. If I see little Sally shoot one more Boomerang like she’s on a tilt-a-whirl, I might hurl.
Breaking news: not everything needs to be—or should be—turned into a Boomerang. Old-fashioned photos and short-form video still do the trick. IMHO, all Instagram users should be required to read this article from Refinery29 on perfecting your Boomerang technique before attempting this art form.
OMW to host a master class on Boomerang selfies.
If you find yourself nodding along to #3 on my list, I’ll let you in on a secret… With your Boomerang app open, tap your screen four times with four fingers. Welcome to the mainframe. You’re a hacker now. Just say no to bad Boomerangs in 2018.
Number Four: Food Instagrams
Gone are the days of uploading a simple flat-lay shot of your morning coffee to your personal Instagram profile, accompanied by #foodie or #foodporn. Now every Tom, Dick and Harry’s half-assed social sideshow is popping up in my suggested follows.
Yup, I’m talking about food Instagrams (also known as #foodstagrams). And If you hadn’t guessed by now, few things bother me more than a neglected account. If you’re going to go through the trouble of setting up an entirely new profile for your food photos, you’ve GOT to commit!
Give me iPhone X quality or give me DEATH!
I’m sorry, but I am not interested in poorly lit photos of your shrimp scampi that you started to indulge in before remembering that—gasp, wait!—you’re a food blogger now. My friends, please join me in swearing off of food Instagrams in 2018.
You didn’t even MAKE this!
Number Five: Not Taking Social Media Seriously as a Marketing Tool
How is it that we’re 15 years past the launch of MySpace and people are still not taking social media seriously as a legitimate marketing tool? In 2017, one in three people worldwide used a social network. Millions of people turn to social multiple times a day, offering brands dozens of opportunities to connect with consumers using hyper-specific messaging.
And direct access isn’t the only thing social offers marketers. With the right social strategy, any brand can position themselves to consumers as a confidant, a mother-figure, an aspirational friend or an advisor.
With platforms and audience perceptiveness continuously evolving, social media marketing tactics are forced to shift almost daily. It’s time for companies to properly invest in their presence online, instead of treating social media marketing as an afterthought to their print media buys. That means paying creators a fair price for content, investing cold hard cash in targeted advertising and accepting that social media professionals are just that: professionals. (Not just a bunch of interns.) Interested in taking your social content to the next level? Drop us a line.
So there you have it, dear reader. Social media had some major moments in 2017, but I am plenty glad that we’re getting a fresh start. Now that I’ve spoken my hopes for 2018 into existence, we can close the book on 2017 and continue into the new year free from the shackles of the most #tragic year in recent memory. Cheers to that!