It’s almost the end of 2018, time for all good internet marketing agencies, professional SEO services, and search engine optimization services to stop and think about the changing environment. This is a good idea in any business, but when you are involved in developing branding strategies, SEO techniques or digital marketing solutions, it is absolutely mandatory! These days, a 12-month-old branding strategy is more out-of-date than a 25-year-old airplane.
So, where does social media and social media marketing stand at the end of 2018? It is easy to get confused about this, because we sometimes confuse headline news with the real world. The general news and financial headlines tell us one story, while actual real world evidence says something different.
If you have been paying attention to news organizations like Fox News, CNN or the New York Times, it would be easy to get the idea that the Facebook ship has struck an iceberg and is sinking. Facebook executives have been called to testify before Congress, the market value of Facebook stock has declined by about 35% since hitting its July 2018, high and European governments are threatening to impose regulations on the giant social media platform. Discouraging, but the typical buyer of lipstick, plumbing supplies, dental care, legal advice, popular music or beer hardly seems to notice. If Facebook use has declined slightly in the past few months, those users have not turned away from social media; they are simply looking elsewhere.
Before you look elsewhere yourself, keep this in mind:
Social networks are now well established; there is a core group of them that does not change much from year-to-year, but they do seem to trade user time around. According to Alexa Internet (the internet data collection arm of Amazon) recently, Facebook and YouTube swapped places in the chart of most visited sites; YouTube’s web address (URL) is now being visited more times than the Facebook site.
The problem with that statistic is that, while many people use YouTube as a social media site, a lot of others go to YouTube only to watch news or entertainment. They never interact with it in the way Facebook viewers click around to find out what’s happening locally. Please do not misinterpret this. At Axiom, we believe very strongly in YouTube and video in general. We only want to point out that there is a lot of disagreement about what, exactly, is a social media site and what is not.
We reviewed a number of sources (Pew Research, Alexa Internet, Neilson, Forbes, etc.) before writing this article and found a lot of inconsistencies. Every one of those experts agree that Google is the most visited site in the world, and many of the newer sources list YouTube as the runner up with Facebook third. The difficulty is that some of the experts place platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Pinterest in the social media category while others totally ignore them. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are basically messaging services, both owned by Facebook. The WhatsApp platform started as an alternative to SMS and now supports sending and receiving a variety of media (text, photos, videos, etc.). It gets a Facebook wedge firmly into the mobile device (smart phone) sector.
Without going on for too long, here is what we think is the bottom line for our clients’ digital marketing solutions as well as those others involved in branding strategy and SEO techniques. First, these were the most popular social media sites in May 2018. Remember that numbers one and two may have swapped places recently, and that important names like Google, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay are not on this list as they are not considered social media.
Social Media Platforms Ranking
We left out the data about time spent on sites, visits per day per user, clicks per site, etc. There is so much data that it is just confusing to most people. However, all of this tells us that Facebook and YouTube are still (far and away) the dominate players in the social media game. Two of the other sites in the top five are Facebook appendages (WhatsApp Messenger and Facebook Messenger) and Facebook will find some way to get those users to circle back to ‘home.’
If your business, professional practice, service or non-profit wants to engage in social media marketing, then Facebook and YouTube are still the places to start! That is why Axiom is often involved in social media marketing efforts for its clients. Look at some of these examples:
Of course, Axiom has other interests and skills, but we know that branding strategy and SEO techniques are more and more directed at social media. If you are struggling to find digital marketing solutions that work and branding strategies that can reach your target markets, turn to Axiom. Your business needs more than a cheap web design, and Axiom is more than an internet marketing agency. Axiom Administrative Services has the professional skill and small business SEO skills needed to help your web presence penetrate your market. Our business marketing team can combine traditional marketing tools like direct mail advertising with local SEO services to build your branding strategy. Please visit Axiom’s small business services page or call Axiom at 800-888-6348.