The Rise And Fall - 13 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2017


Don't panic. Social media is not going anywhere. Last year I looked at blogging trends for 2016. I believe that most of these will hold for 2017. This year, I want to look at some social media trends that are rising and others that are falling.

Money spent on social media marketing grew 55% to $10.9 billion between 2014 and 2015. It is estimated that it will reach $14 billion in 2018. (Source: Mediakix) This is not surprising with the number of people using social media.

How Many People Are On Social Media In 2017?

The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are: 
  • 3.42 billion internet users, equalling 46% global penetration
  • 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration
  • 3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration
  • 1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration
Source: We Are Social: Digital In 2016. Visit this site to see how social media is growing across the globe.

The Rise And Fall - 13 Social Media Trends in 2017

When asked to choose only one social media platform, most businesses chose Facebook.

  1. Social media giants will rise. It is impossible to do business online without filtering your information through these sites first. The giants of 2017 for business are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Your content has to be brilliant so that the platform’s filters share it and followers see it. Facebook especially will become even more powerful. It is the most important platform and more than 60% of businesses have plans to increase their exposure on Facebook and YouTube. Source: Social Media Examiner from Social Media Marketing Industry Report. (Download a version here)

  2. Twitter will continue to struggle. Twitter is trying to reinvent itself as the number one source for news. 'Twitter has refocused. It’s no longer a social network, it’s a news product.' (Source) For this to become more successful, it will have to solve harassment issues and deal with fake news. Twitter fatigue is real. (Source)

  3. Video will rise. Video has become essential. 60% of marketers use video and 73% plan to increase their use of video, including live video. A YouTube channel becomes even more attractive when you know that YouTube has paid out $2 billion to users as of July 2016 (YouTube). 

  4. Content marketing will continue to rise. Information in the form of well-written articles using storytelling techniques becomes more important each year. (Source) Social media sites will try to encourage people to blog directly on the platform. This may seem like a good idea, but I think it is better to keep your options open. Post on the site, but link to your content as well. Have you ever been blocked by Facebook? You need to have some control over your content. [Read 5 Things You Need To Know About Content Marketing]

  5. Organic social media growth will fall. Being there is the first step. Now that you're there, you have to have a plan to stay in the limelight. These 6 studies show why this is happening. Use targeted marketing social media tools on the big platforms to reach your audience. You will also have to budget for paid reach.

  6. Social media advertising will rise. You will have to budget for advertising on social media. Identify the platform you want to use and find out how to do this. Facebook is the best place to start. 86% of social marketers regularly use Facebook ads, while only 18% use Twitter ads. Facebook advertising is easy to use if you are a beginner. Facebook has over three million active advertisers, and more than 70% of these are from outside America. (Facebook). 

  7. Fake news will fall. It may be too late for some, but the fight back is beginning. After Oxford dictionary decided that ‘post-truth’ was its word of the year, we knew we had reached rock bottom. Facebook is putting measures in place to filter the nonsense people are presenting as facts.Twitter will have to find a way to combat this as well. In South Africa, we need to stop abusive trolls that other users call 'Paid Twitter'. Google will have to look at its algorithm as fake news sites benefit from the sheer volume of traffic they create.

  8. The importance of trustworthiness will rise. You will have to make triple sure that your facts are correct. People are getting tired of lies and it could be bad for business if you inadvertently slip up. This means you need to verify what you are sharing. It also means that you must research anything you write in a blog post. Earning this trust will be the key to selling your products. 

  9. Social messaging will rise. WhatsApp, an SMS replacement app recently crossed the one billion user mark. Businesses will be able to use these messaging apps to interact with some customers, especially the younger generation. Use this for customer queries and complaints. Doctors in Brazil use WhatsApp to contact patients. (Source for graph: Dreamgrow)

  10. Marketing posts will fall. People will become more averse to content that is designed to sell. Search engines will also become more intolerant of this. Do not try to disguise an advertisement or a press release as information.  Invest in learning how to create proper content, or in employing somebody to do it for you. [Read 40 Types Of Content That Will Make Blogging Easier For You]

  11. Email newsletters will rise. The effectiveness of email marketing increased in 2016. Email newsletters became more interactive and setting up of email lists became more user-friendly. Use an email marketing service such as Mailchimp to create your newsletters and maintain your mailing list. Email newsletters will become even more targeted and personalised in 2017. (Source: Business2Community

  12. Push advertising will continue to fall. More people than ever are using ad blockers to prevent unwanted advertising. Don't force banners, pop-ups, paid ads, and pop-unders on your audience when they visit your blog.

  13. The power of social media influencers will continue to rise. Your goal on social media is to get people to notice you and to talk about you. You have to be everywhere. Jeff Bullas says 'As the noise increases online... , the influencer and thought leaders who have built reach globally are the new niche gatekeepers. Brands are now paying to reach their admirers and devotees.' 

Which of these trends do you think will change our world in 2017?

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If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting 

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The Top 3 Emotional Responses That Make People Share On Social Media

If you blog, you want people to share your content. You want to reach as many people as possible. Having an informative, vivid, accessible presence on the internet is crucial for the success of your business in 2017. 

Last year I wrote about The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral. Your audience shares content when it affects them in a certain way and they are more likely to share positive than negative content.

BuzzSumo narrowed it down even further. They analysed the social share counts of more than 100 million articles to find out why people share. This is what they learnt.

After looking at the top 10 000 most shared articles across the web, they mapped each one to an emotion, such as joy, sadness, anger, and amusement. This is what the breakdown of emotional responses looked like:

The three most popular emotional reasons for sharing were:
  1. Awe (25%)
  2. Laughter (17%)
  3. Amusement (15%)

They say: 'The differences between laughter and amusement were blurry at times, but we define amusement as being entertained, and not laugh out loud funny.'

The least popular were sadness and anger, which made up 7%.

In summary, they came up with these 10 criteria if you want to create viral content. You should:

  1. Inspire awe, laughter, or amusement.
  2. Appeal to people’s narcissistic side (BuzzFeed quizzes are an example).
  3. Provide long-form content because it has less competition, and more shares on average.
  4. Use list posts and infographics as they are more likely to be shared.
  5. Make sure your article inspires trust. Have a byline and a biography. Make sure you have a professional logo and design as well.
  6. Mix text with visually appealing elements.
  7. Implement social metadata such as the Facebook preview image.
  8. Reach out to influencers before you write your content.
  9. Promote your article for a week after it’s been published.
  10. Post on a Tuesday. It is the best day to publish and promote content. 

Their findings are interesting and it is well worth reading the full article: What Analysing 100 Million Articles Taught Us

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

January 2017 - Course Timetable

Course

Description

Jan ‘17

Feb ‘17

March ‘17

Writers Write

How to write a book

 

4,11,18,25

4,11,18,25

Writers Write

How to write a book

 

20-23

27-30

The Plain Language Programme

Advanced business writing

 

7-8

 

Blogging and Social Media Course

Write for the web

28-29

14-15

14-15

Short Cuts

How to write a short story

 

 12

kids etc.

How to write for children

 

 

 19


Please email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

The Next 5 Months In Writing

Course

Description

Nov ‘16

Dec ‘16

Jan ‘17

Feb ‘17

March ‘17

Writers Write

How to write a book

5,12,19,26

 

 

4,11,18,25

4.11.18,25

Writers Write

How to write a book

7-10

5-8

 

20-23

27-30

The Plain Language Programme

Advanced business writing

15-16

 

 

7-8

 

Blogging and Social Media Course

Write for the web

22-23

 

28-29

14-15

14-15

Short Cuts

How to write a short story


 

 

 12


kids etc.

How to write for children

27

 

 

 

 19

Email news@writerswrite.co.za for more information.

Gift Vouchers

Are you looking for a life-changing gift for a relative, friend, or work colleague who wants to write? Why not buy a gift voucher for one of our writing courses? Click here to find out how it works.

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The Simplest Way To Use Social Media To Drive Traffic To Your Blog


Obviously, you cannot update your company website every day. Certain information on this platform is static, and needs to continue to be there in its original form. Creating a blog is the perfect platform to balance this. 

In our blogging and social media course we emphasise how bloggers can tell the on-going story of their brands without waiting for other people to write about them. Blogging allows us to establish ourselves as experts in our fields and to build a body of work. 

We use our blog posts to show what we know by offering free information, and by offering support for our readers. This new content is excellent for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), because Google loves new content. And, most importantly, blogging gives us fresh content to share on social media.

So, how do you do this? 
  1. Upload your new post to your blog, using appropriate formatting, tags, links, and images.
  2. Share this new content to your social media profiles. [Read The 9 Essential Social Media Platforms]
  3. Readers will click on the link, which will bring them back to your blog.
Image: The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

An example of how we could use our Writers Write blog content to promote something on social media

If we wanted to promote a children's writing course, we could write a post that relates to writing for children. This may be something simple, such as Writing Children's Books - A Cheat Sheet, or something more in depth, such as 7 Things To Avoid When You Write For Children

What do we hope to achieve? 
  1. We give free, valuable information.
  2. We inform, inspire, and entertain our readers.
  3. We bring potential customers back to our site, by getting the attention of people who are interested in reading and writing memoirs. 
  4. In this way, we are able to offer our course as an option for them at the end of the post.
Note: The majority of our posts are not driven by wanting to sell something. They are there as part of our ongoing conversation with our readers. We are building a long-term relationship.

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

5 Things You Need To Know About Content Marketing


"The idea central to content marketing is that a brand must give something valuable to get something valuable in return. Instead of the commercial, be the show. Instead of the banner ad, be the feature story." ~ James O'Brian, from an article on Mashable.

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing focuses on creating online content for a targeted audience. Businesses use it to promote their brands in a subtle way that allows them to avoid traditional advertising. Great content marketing informs or entertains - or both. The content must be valuable, relevant, and posted on unpaid platforms.

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, says, 'If you pay for placement, it’s advertising. If you pay for placement of valuable, relevant content in a format similar to the third-party site, it’s native advertising. If you don’t pay for placement, the content is not advertising.'

5 Things You Need To Know About Content Marketing

Because most of our business is online, it is difficult, if not impossible, to market without creating content. 

Great content encourages people to want to find out more about you. It should encourage your followers to click through to your website. We need it for:
  1. Social media. If you don't have fresh, relevant content to share, your social media strategy will fail. 
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Search engines like Google promote blogs and websites that regularly produce and publish quality content.
  3. Inbound marketing. The content you create drives traffic to your site. Most of us sell our products and services from our websites. If we can't get people to our sites, we can't do business. 
  4. Public relations. Creating content allows you to talk about subjects your audience cares about. A good content writer will inspire, inform, and entertain. This allows your audience to connect with your business on an emotional and intellectual level and to learn to trust it.
  5. PPC (Pay-per-click). If you want an advertiser to pay you, the website owner, when an ad is clicked, you have to provide good content to back it up.

12 Common Types Of Content Marketing
  1. Blog posts - are many things. Read our comprehensive post on blogging: 40 Types Of Content That Will Make Blogging Easier For You.
  2. Editorials - are articles where the editor or publisher of the website expresses his or her opinion.
  3. Webinars - are live online presentations where viewers submit questions and comments.
  4. How-to guides - tell your audience how to do something, for example, How To Write A Case Study In 3 Easy Steps.
  5. Surveys - are questionnaires that your target audience completes over the Internet. 
  6. Infographics - are used to share information in an easy-to-read format.
  7. Ebooks - as giveaways, are unique because they don’t seem like marketing at all. 
  8. Interviews - our series, The Writers Write Interview, features famous authors from our guest speaker events.
  9. Videos - are an engaging storytelling platform to connect with your followers.
  10. Podcasts - are digital audio files for downloading to a computer or portable media player. (Listen to this podcast of an interview on social media and blogging)
  11. White Papers - are persuasive documents that describe problems and ways to solve them.
  12. Quizzes - can be created on platforms like playbuzz and quzzr.
The Mixology Of Content Marketing (Infographic)

The JBH blog wanted to produce a viral-worthy infographic on their favourite topic – content marketing. The Infographic below uses cocktails to illustrate the parts you need to mix into each type of content discussed. 

They say, 'Using classic cocktails, we were able to break down key points about different kinds of content and their benefits in an engaging and original way.'

This is a great example of content marketing. It informs and entertains and it tells you where to go if you want to create a great infographic.

Source: JBH

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting

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Social Media Superheroes For Live Events

"It's almost impossible to run a successful business today without a strong online presence. It's even more difficult to be noticed in the ever-changing social media landscape." - Amanda Patterson, Writers Write.

In our blogging and social media course, we go into detail about the different platforms [Read Social Media 101] and how you can use them. If you have to plan large-scale events, social media is not an option, it is a necessity.

With this in mind, Maximillion created an Infographic of how to use the different powers of the various social media platforms to market live events.

Source: Maximillion

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

9 Practical Tips For New Bloggers


Starting a blog can be overwhelming. Too much technical terminology and lots of unnecessary social media statistics may put you off forever. I've put together some practical tips for beginner bloggers. Don't be afraid. Be sensible.
  1. Forget about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in the beginning. When you start blogging, search engines will not notice you. You have to build your presence on the Internet by creating lots of quality content. Once you do this and establish your credibility, Google will notice you.
  2. Don’t worry about word counts.  There are many statistics about how long the ideal blog post is, but I think that when you are finished saying what you want to say, stop. 
  3. Use the news. Look at items in the news. How can you incorporate what is happening into a blog post without it sounding forced? For example, if you are a fiction writer and you are interested in the US elections, you might consider using Donald Trump as an example for creating a narcissistic character.
  4. Twist a post. If you love somebody else’s blog post, and feel you have something to add, write a new post in response to it. Tell your readers where you read it, linking to the post, why you liked it and then carry on writing your own post.
  5. Read bloggers you admire. Think about why you like reading them. Did they inform? Entertain? Change your mind? Try to work out ways that you can do the same. Some of our favourite blogs are Writers Helping WritersWriter Unboxed, and Helping Writers Become Authors.
  6. Avoid ads and pop-up windows. Don't use these unless you have a good reason to do so. I think about how I feel when I visit a site that uses them and consider if I find it intrusive. How do they make you feel?
  7. Don’t use misleading blog titles. Unless you have sensational, mind-blowing content that delivers on the promise of the title, it’s a good idea to avoid doing this. Readers will be annoyed. They will stop trusting you and may even consider not following you. You can still create titles that are catchy with the content you have.
  8. Images matter. Blog posts without images are a waste of time. Spend some time searching for one that suits your content or create one like we have for this post. Look at Unsplash and Pixabay for free images. You need the image when you're sharing on social media. [Read The 9 Essential Social Media Platforms]
  9. Don’t clutter your posts. Keep it simple.  Use one image per blog. Use lists. Make sure you have lots of white space. Use bullet points. Write in a user-friendly format.
Happy blogging!

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

Source for gif

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

5 Weak Words To Avoid & What To Use Instead

In this Infographic, Jennifer Frost talks about padding words, weak verbs and nouns, and how to avoid them. She even includes and references our famous post, 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word 'Very' in the Infographic.

One way to weaken your writing is to add modifiers and qualifiers, as well as unnecessary adverbs and adjectives. There are times when they may necessary, effective, and appropriate. However, they mostly support weak nouns and verbs.Choose strong, appropriate nouns and verbs instead. [Read 10 Ways To Tell If You Are Writing With Confidence]

Another is to write in the passive voice. [Read From Passive Voice To Active Voice - How To Spot It & How To Change It]

Source: Grammar Check

If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme. If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg. 

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.

23 Interesting Blog Post Ideas For Creative People


Two weeks ago I wrote a post about ideas for blogging content. This week I put together a selection of styles and formats for posts that I hope will appeal to creative people.

If you're looking for a way to flex your creative muscles, try one of these formats for your next blog post:
  1. Create a fake job advert. For example: Writing Assistant Needed
  2. Create a fake resume. For example: The Perfect Novelist
  3. Draw something and share it.
  4. Write a post by hand, then photograph and share it.
  5. Make a list of things that start with the same letter. For example: My 5 Favourite Books Whose Titles Begin With A ‘C’
  6. Make an alphabetical list of 26 items starting with each letter of the alphabet. For example: The A-Z of Writing Tips. (Make sure you can find one for each letter of the alphabet.)
  7. Put together a list of your favourite blogs. Write a sentence or two about why you love them.
  8. Put together a list of your favourite Facebook pages. Tell us why you follow them.
  9. Put together a list of your favourite Pinterest boards. Tell us what you like about them. 
  10. Put together a list of your favourite Instagram accounts. 
  11. Tell a story with gifs or photographs. Or both.
  12. Write a blog as a ransom note.
  13. Write a blog as a wanted poster.
  14. Write a post as a press release.
  15. Write a post as if you are writing a commercial.
  16. Write a blog using a fairy-tale format. Start with ‘Once upon a time…’ and end with ‘And they all lived happily ever after.’
  17. Write a minimalist post in the form of a haiku. Ask readers to share their haikus in the comments section.
  18. Write a post in the form of a rhyming poem.
  19. Write a list of instructions.
  20. Write a post as a shopping list.
  21. Write a post in a recipe format. For example: To write this book, you will need the following ingredients…
  22. Write a post as a letter.
  23. Write an obituary for something that seems to have disappeared, or something you miss. For example: A typewriter.
Happy Blogging.

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course

 by Amanda Patterson. Follow her on  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Pinterest,  Google+,  LinkedIn,  and on Twitter:  @amandaonwriting

If you enjoyed this post read:

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Writers Write offers the best writing courses in South Africa. Writers Write - Write to communicate.