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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 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

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

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The Ultimate Blogging Checklist

We know that 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. If your business does not have a blog, it's unlikely that you will be successful on these platforms.

I have written many times that your blog is 'your headquarters for content. It where you set ground rules, showcase your brand, establish your reputation, share your knowledge, and show your expertise.' It is from this blog that you will be able to build your online empire. [Read How Creating Content (And Sharing On Social Media) Leads To Sales]

I've often wished I had a simplified version of everything you need to do to become a blogger in one place. When I found this post, I wanted to share it with you. Pauline Cabrera has put together everything she's learnt about building an effective blog in this useful blogging checklist.

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 Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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25 Simple Ways To Recycle Your Blog Posts

Great blog posts are created with content that reflects your brand's core message. Your readers follow you because of this and they will read posts that reinforce this again and again. 

These posts are characterised by ideas that are nurtured with research and percolated over time. Bloggers need patience and the ability to pay attention to details to create these posts.

Writing more posts is not always better. While it is important to post regularly and to create new content, research shows that timeless posts are often more appealing than frequent, timely posts that are simply written for the sake of writing them. [Read Refreshing the evergreen to find out how recycled content never gets old]

One of the ways to take the pressure off yourself as a blogger is to look at the popular posts your followers have enjoyed and to find ways to re-purpose them. You may need to update the post itself, or to write a response to the original post. You will also find older posts that many of your new followers will not have seen. 

'Recycling your blog post is not about being lazy and spinning your old content. It’s about re-visiting a topic that matters with added value and to continue the dialogue,' says Jerry Low, the founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. 

In the list below, Marko Saric, founder of HowToMakeMyBlog! has come up with 25 ways to re-purpose old content in new and different formats.

Why don't you try some of these tips to take the pressure off your blogging schedule?

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 Pinterest,  Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  LinkedIn, and  Twitter.

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Are You Serious About Blogging?

Welcome to #SocialMediaMonday at Writers Write. We try to post an article about blogging and social media every Monday. 

This week, we want to share this useful infographic from Copyblogger about business blogging trends. We believe that blogging regularly with a plan is important. [Read 27 Blogging Tips To Grow Your Business]

Are you following these trends?

Source: Copyblogger

If you enjoyed this post, read
  1. The 9 Essential Social Media Platforms
  2. The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral
  3. A Really Useful Blog Post Template
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The 9 Essential Social Media Platforms


A while ago, I wrote a series called Social Media 101. If you missed it, I have written this post so that you can access the links in one post. 

I start with the basics of what you need to know about blogs, and then discuss the major social media platforms in more detail. Each post explains what the platform is about, why it is important, how to set up your page, how to use it, and how to succeed.

I believe that the secret to succeeding in social media is blogging. If you only have a static website, you will find it almost impossible to make an impression on social media platforms. Starting a Facebook page and linking back to the same boring website will chase followers away. 

A constantly updated blog gives you something new to share on social media. This makes you, or your company, interesting and relevant. People will start noticing you and, if they like what you have to say, they will follow you.

Here are the nine platforms you should consider:
  1. Social Media 101 - What is a Blog?
  2. Social Media 101 - What is Facebook?
  3. Social Media 101 - What is Pinterest?
  4. Social Media 101: What is Instagram?
  5. Social Media 101 - What is YouTube?
  6. Social Media 101 - What is Twitter?
  7. Social Media 101 - What is Google+?
  8. Social Media 101 - What is Tumblr?
  9. Social Media 101 - What is LinkedIn?

I hope this series inspires you to start blogging and to decide which platforms will best suit you or your business.

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. Please send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for details.

The 18 Responses You Need For Content To Go Viral


Content that elicits extreme positive or negative emotions gets your audience's attention. Once you have their attention, it is easier to get them to share.

According to an article in Inc. there is a way to create content that goes viral. Devra Prywes, from Unruly, an ad tech company that gets videos watched, tracked and shared, says that these are the 18 emotional responses you should aim for, remembering that the positive responses encourage people to share more on social media than the negative emotions. 

These are the 18 you need to elicit:
  1. amazement
  2. anger
  3. arousal
  4. confusion
  5. contempt
  6. disgust
  7. exhilaration
  8. fear
  9. happiness
  10. hilarity
  11. inspiration
  12. knowledge
  13. nostalgia
  14. pride
  15. sadness
  16. shock
  17. surprise
  18. warmth 
Remember that people share on social media to connect with friends. We share content we believe could be useful, for example, a post that alerts others about an event they may want to attend. We share with others with the same interests.

We are more likely to share if we believe a post is genuine. We like to promote good causes or raise awareness, especially if we are the first to share something that is trending. We also share to start conversations and to make friends with similar interests. The content we share shows the world who we are and what we care about. It makes us feel less alone to know that other people are interested in the same things as us.

Many people will not share posts with truly appalling grammar and spelling mistakes. Most of us will not share things that make us look stupid or silly. 

If you are writing a business blog, you may want to get your readers to subscribe, or to buy an ebook, or to take a course.  If you can create content that presents a problem by eliciting a response, and then show your audience how to solve it in an inspiring way, you will get the response you need. 

Five Practical Tips For Making Content Go Viral 
  1. Use Images: I still cannot believe the number of blogs that do not have appropriate images for sharing across various platforms. I cannot pin text on to Pinterest. A post that converts into an ugly link without a picture on Facebook is not worth sharing. [Read 11 Reasons Why I Won't Be Returning To Your Blog]
  2. Keep It Short And Simple: Remember that this post is about viral content and the majority of this type of content is short. Viral videos range from 30 seconds to one minute. A post of ours that went viral is a list: 45 Ways To Avoid Using The Word 'Very'
  3. Use Interactive Tools: Create a quick quiz or a poll. [Read 7 Trends Bloggers Can't Afford To Ignore In 2016]
  4. Use Lists: People love posts that give them ‘10 ways to do…’ or ‘50 examples of…’ or 12 ‘things to avoid when…’ We do not get tired of these lists. 
  5. Create The Best Headline You Can: Catch people’s attention. Give them a perceived benefit. Make them curious. [Read How To Write Headlines That Make Your Readers Happy]
If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course. Please send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for details.

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

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A Really Useful Blog Post Template

Everyone's blogging - or so it seems. If you have access to the Internet and you're passionate about a subject, you probably follow blogs that give you information about the topic. They probably also entertain you. But why do we return to some blogs and not to others? What makes us click on a link?  

If you click on the blogging tag on our website, you will find many helpful articles on the subject. This template from ByRegina.Com  is useful to remind you of what works in a blog post.

If you're new blogging, we suggest you read Social Media 101 - What is a blog? There is also some useful information about setting up a blog in this post: Blogging for Writers.

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join us for  The Complete Blogging and Social Media Course. Please send an email to news@writerswrite.co.za for details.

If you enjoyed this post read:

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

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

How To Write Headlines That Make Your Readers Happy


Made you click, didn’t I? That’s because I have a cool new tool that helps me write click-worthy headlines.

I have been stuck in the blogging doldrums these last few weeks, not because I don’t have blog post ideas, it’s because my headlines suck and I can’t seem to fix them.

Headlines are make or break for a post. As a rule, you should spend the same amount of time crafting your headline as you do writing your post. Doesn’t happen, right?  Usually I am so excited about my post that I just slap any old thing on the top and hit post. Not great.

Although I might think my headline is good enough, I won’t know until I have put the post up and then it’s usually too late. I have always wished for a way to check my headlines. My fairy godmother heard my sobs and answered by gifting me with this headline analyser.


It checks for common and uncommon words, emotional words and powerful words and gives you a score. Heaven. But before you start trying out headlines you have work to do. Try this method:
  1. Find an idea that excites you and that is valuable to your audience.
  2. Research if necessary.
  3. Write the post.
  4. Read, edit and rewrite if necessary.
  5. Take a blank page, fold it in half and write a heading with as many variations of that heading as you can. Fill the page.
  6. Turn over and fill the back.
  7. Only once you have filled both columns on both sides do you choose your favourite.
  8. Analyse the headline at CoSchedule
  9. Pick the strongest headline.
  10. Post. 
Happy analysing and get blogging

If you want to learn how to blog and write for social media, join our blogging and social media course in Johannesburg.

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. An Effortless 10-Point Plan To Move Your Business Into The Social Media Arena
  2. Your Book Is A Business – You Need To Invest In It
  3. Are These The 4 Most Neglected Pages On Your Blog?

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