Trending February 2024 # Top 6 Social Media Trends # Suggested March 2024 # Top 5 Popular

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How much has social media usage increased per app?

How much did COVID actually impact our social media consumption? Let’s look at how each social media app grew over the past year:

Facebook

Facebook is a tricky one, since most people who were going to make a Facebook account already have one. As such, the platform actually hasn’t seen a notable increase in users over the past year.

Don’t get us wrong – they’ve definitely seen more people join, with a total of 360 million people jumping on over the past year, but this falls into the the company’s normal trend – we don’t foresee a massive increase as the pandemic rages on.

Where they have seen increases is in the amount of time people spend on their site. People used to spend around five minutes looking through their Facebook each day, but that number has doubled as people spend an average of over ten minutes, probably arguing with their relatives about politics.

Instagram

Much like Facebook, Instagram was already a social media titan. However, they did definitely see a jump in users that was a bit more than their projected trend. A total of 19.3 million profiles were added to Instagram in 2023, culminating in a total of 132.8 million accounts.

As far as usage goes, the average ‘grammer spent 30 minutes a day on their platform, which is a 13.8% increase when looking at their figure from 2023 (26 minutes a day).

Keep in mind that, unlike Facebook, not all these accounts are potential customers. Some of these will be brands, blogs, or other accounts that might not be interested in following your brand.

Snapchat

Just like the titular snaps themselves, Snapchat is used for short bursts, with 46% of users opening the app multiple times a day. You don’t really browse Snapchat the same way you’d browse Twitter or Instagram, so usage is always brief.

However, they did see a climb in users throughout 2023 after a plateau/dip in 2023, breaking 240 million users in 2023.

Twitter

Some people think that Twitter peaked back in 2023, as it’s never since quite reached the heights of its 336 million users. That is to say, it hadn’t broken those numbers until 2023, when it pulled out of its dip in usage and broke 340 million users.

Since Twitter’s whole appeal is its brief messages, the average user didn’t spend more than around three and a half minutes scrolling down their feed – but that has more than doubled in the past year, with users spending nearly 11 minutes looking at their Twitter feed.

YouTube

YouTube saw a steady climb in users – indeed, they consistently gain 100 million users every year. While they’re not too open about their exact usage information, they tend to average a billion hours of content watched a day. You can guess that this number skyrocketed over the pandemic.

Pinterest

When you’re stuck at home, there are few better hobbies to keep you busy than home improvement. Pinterest is a perfect site for people to find cool home projects, and it very much flourished in 2023.

From a user base of 335 million people in 2023, all the way up to 442 million during 2023, Pinterest has definitely further established itself as a solid social media brand. People only tend to spend around 5 minutes on there, but that’s more than enough time to catch their eye.

TikTok

The freshest face on the social media scene, TikTok has exploded within the past year. Ever since Vine went down the drain, they left a big hole for a short video service, which TikTok swept in to fill.

There’s not much to compare it to before the pandemic, since it was already so new outside of China, but it’s worth noting that TikTok is home to 689 million monthly active users – with a global average of people spending an unbelievable 52 minutes on the app every day.

Reddit

Self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” Reddit is a website that congregates content from across the world wide web. They host a massive amount of content, and the pandemic only helped to strengthen their grip.

Reddit released a mercifully comprehensive rundown on its usage throughout 2023, and it shows how they’ve been raking in the users. Reddit experienced a 44% increase in users throughout the year, reaching 52 million, with over 300 million posts – over double what the site received in 2023.

LinkedIn

Finally we come to LinkedIn, the most professional social network out there. Rather than receiving any major boost, LinkedIn is steadily climbing – a trend which was healthy all the way through 2023.

Finishing up the year with over 720 million users, LinkedIn is a great way to get a campaign out there, as a million hours of content is watched on LinkedIn every week. It hasn’t exploded throughout the pandemic, but it’s still on a steady climb and definitely worth your attention, especially if your customer base is other businesses.

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Social Media Marketing Online Training Course

Social Media Marketing Learning Path Use a strategic, data-driven approach to improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing activities How will this Learning Path help me and my business?

This structured e-learning activity will help you or your team use a more structured approach to managing and optimizing social media as a strategic communications technique. Examples and benchmarks are discussed from the main social networks including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

What is a Learning Path?

Smart Insight’s Learning Paths are our unique interactive online training courses which explain concepts, give examples and test understanding.

We appreciate finding time for skills development is a challenge, and so Learning Paths enables training to be bite-sized, engaging and results orientated since they integrate with our templates to plan, manage and optimize your marketing.

Unlike many online e-learning courses, each module is self-contained, so you can rapidly/quickly access guidance to improve the effectiveness of the marketing activities you are working on right now. Common modules are shared between Learning Paths to avoid duplication of learning material. You can also complete the full Learning Path to earn a CPDSO certification.

As you work through each topic, we recommend and explain the most relevant member resources, so you can download templates to plan, manage and optimize improvements to your website.

Accredited learning activities with the Continuing Professional Development Standards Office (CPDSO)

Each Smart Insights Learning Path has been independently assessed and accredited by the CPD Standards Office, so you can be confident that the quality of the learning and assessment experience has been audited and recognized for its quality.

Development Objective

Members who successfully complete this Learning Path have the ability to manage and optimize the strategic implementation of social media platforms for marketing communications.

Once you have completed a Learning Path, send an email to [email protected] to request your CPD certificate.

Learning Objectives

Identify the benefits of a more planned approach to social media marketing then design and implement a social media plan.

Review the effectiveness of your social media marketing against benchmarks and other organizations then identify improvements to how your social media marketing is managed.

Structure a social media strategy to improve customer lifecycle communications that translates into practical actions and improves your goals.

Review the requirements and features of tools for social listening and put in place a reputation management process to respond to complaints or customer service requests.

Identify how to improve your approach to optimizing the effectiveness of your social platforms, both organic and paid, by reviewing your company page to enhance its effectiveness and defining methods to increase follower engagement through optimizing content for each social channel.

Understand different types of insights you can present in a monthly social media report including the business contribution of social media using reports available in Google Analytics including comparing the follower growth and engagement for your company pages on different social networks

How is the Learning Path structured?

The Learning Path is separated into these topics and modules:

Topic 1 – Discover social media opportunities

A planned approach to social media marketing

Audit social media marketing activities

Learn the latest social media developments

Set social media goals

Topic 2 – Planning and governance of social media

Create a social media strategy

Social listening

Customer service and success

Influencer marketing

Topic 3 – Practical social media marketing

Optimize your organic TikTok marketing

Optimize your organic Instagram marketing

Optimize your organic Facebook marketing

Optimize your organic LinkedIn marketing

Using social media to support a marketing campaign

Using social media to amplify linkbait

Optimizing paid social media activity

Reporting on social media effectiveness

Roles who will find this Learning Path useful

Company owners and directors working for smaller businesses

Digital marketing managers, marketing executives or specialists responsible for social media marketing

Consultants or agency account managers

Is This The Social Media Backlash?

We ask is social media marketing “Mostly a waste of time”?

Some marketers and PR professionals like Nicola Swankie from Society felt the need to respond to his video on behalf of Social Media Practitioners. She responded in a long post reminding him that

‘Social media has given us the new power that people have is vital to consider for any marketer, because it’s shifted marketing forever — it’s given us the control to personalize and choose the media we see and it’s given us a voice.’

She says that great marketing should engage – it shouldn’t be something people want to ignore. But Social, is the most honest of any media and so it’s where lazy, unengaging marketing is most in evidence. That is not a reason to ignore Social, it should be a challenge to us all to think about how to make our marketing more compelling and relevant.’ Well said!

Are marketers guilty of an infantile fantasy, as Bob Hoffman says?

Here’s another case where a respected marketer lays into social media marketing. Bob Hoffman a traditional ad man, you may know as author of the Ad Contrarian, has this withering quote delivered at Advertising Week Europe which featured in AdRants.

‘The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasm with their friends, and that their friends will share their enthusiasm with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy’

What do the research and analytics insights tell us ?

At Smart Insights we believe that the union of content and social media marketing has created a fantastic platform for creative businesses to engage audiences leading ultimately to increased reach, preference and ultimately sales.

When we look at  the analytics you do see a relatively low proportion of visits are driven by social in many sectors, particularly retail where you might expect it would be much higher if you believe the hype. For example benchmarks from SimilarWeb shows traffic sources in different sectors and here it shows that, indeed social is insignificant compared with search, direct and referrals from other sites.

How do active marketers rate social media in comparison with other media?

In our Managing Digital Marketing 2024 research in association with TFM&A 2024 event, we wanted to explore the perceptions of marketers at the ‘front line’ of digital engagement.

Gerraint Holliman, Director of Strategy and Head of Content Marketing at DIRECTIONGROUP acknowledges the potential value of social media but questions how social media is being used by companies, he believes that ’most marketers are willfully misusing it’. He puts this down to a misperception of how we use social media explaining:

Kieran Flanagan, HubSpot’s EMEA Marketing Director doesn’t feel there is any backlash against social media and says he sees the return if it’s measured and used properly. He feels it’s a victim of its own hype and expectations were unrealistic:

‘ I do think it was initially over hyped by marketers. Most people on social media are not in buying mode so how you market to them has to be different. It’s also becoming more competitive. When you have a lot more business in the market spending money for the same audiences attention, some of those businesses are not going to be happy with their results’.

‘It’s how the channels work together that’s important in my view, not which one is ‘best’. After all, what use is email without search, content and social media to get you subscribers in the first place? What about the ability of email to bootstrap blog views and social sharing, or to segment audiences for retargeting?’

For him last year, the ’emphasis seems to have been on integrating digital and traditional marketing. And while this is a great start, it’s all still very channel-centric. The focus is on which channel is the most effective.’

Deborah Lee, an international speaker and consultant focusing on social media says from her experiences on social media that many companies are struggling to use it, but are still seeing engagement on the major social platforms. She says:

What do you think?

5 Top Deep Learning Trends

Deep learning (DL) could be defined as a form of machine learning based on artificial neural networks which harness multiple processing layers in order to extract progressively better and more high-level insights from data. In essence it is simply a more sophisticated application of artificial intelligence (AI) platforms and machine learning (ML). 

Here are some of the top trends in deep learning: 

Model Scale Up 

A lot of the excitement in deep learning right now is centered around scaling up large, relatively general models (now being called foundation models). They are exhibiting surprising capabilities such as generating novel text, images from text, and video from text. Anything that scales up AI models adds yet more capabilities to deep learning. This is showing up in algorithms that go beyond simplistic responses to multi-faceted answers and actions that dig deeper into data, preferences, and potential actions. 

Scale Up Limitations

However, not everyone is convinced that the scaling up of neural networks is going to continue to bear fruit. Roadblocks may lie ahead. 

“There is some debate about how far we can get in terms of aspects of intelligence with scaling alone,” said Peter Stone, PhD, Executive Director, Sony AI America.

“Current models are limited in several ways, and some of the community is rushing to point those out. It will be interesting to see what capabilities can be achieved with neural networks alone, and what novel methods will be uncovered for combining neural networks with other AI paradigms.”  

AI and Model Training 

AI isn’t something you plug in and, presto, instant insights. It takes time for the deep learning platform to analyze data sets, spot patterns, and begin to derive conclusions that have broad applicability in the real world. The good news is that AI platforms are rapidly evolving to keep up with model training demands. 

“Organizations can enhance their AI platforms by combining open-source projects and commercial technologies,” said Bin Fan, VP Open Source and Founding Engineer at Alluxio.

“It is essential to consider skills, speed of deployment, the variety of algorithms supported, and the flexibility of the system while making decisions.”

“Containerization being the key, Kubernetes will aid cloud-native MLOps in integrating with more mature technologies,” said Fan.

Prescriptive Modeling over Predictive Modeling

Modeling has gone through many phases over the last many years. Initial attempts tried to predict trends from historical data. This had some value, but didn’t take into account factors such as context, sudden traffic spikes, and shifts in market forces. In particular, real-time data played no real part in early efforts at predictive modeling. 

As unstructured data became more important, organizations wanted to mine it to glean insight. Coupled with the rise in processing power, suddenly real time analysis rose to prominence. And the immense amounts of data generated by social media has only added to the need to address real time information. 

How does this relate to AI, deep learning, and automation?

“Many of the current and previous industry implementations of AI have relied on the AI to inform a human of some anticipated event, who then has the expert knowledge to know what action to take,” said Frans Cronje, CEO and Co-founder of DataProphet.

“Increasingly, providers are moving to AI that can anticipate a future event and take the correspondent action.” 

This opens the door to far more effective deep learning networks. With real time data being constantly used by multi-layered neural networks, AI can be utilized to take more and more of the workload away from humans. Instead of referring the decision to a human expert, deep learning can be used to prescribe predicted decisions based on historical, real-time, and analytical data. 

Social Media Aggregation Best Practices To Know

Influencers, news aggregators, industry authorities, and brands are all striving to be social media power users.

But knowing how to share today’s most topical and relevant web content with your own audience can seem like a laborious endeavor.

Here’s how you can efficiently collect, modify, and repost the best content the web has to offer – and keep your audience engaged with your brand.

Identify Your Sources Premium Sources

Think of premium sources as publications, companies, and news sources.

You’ll want to spend the most time with this list, making sure it’s big enough to create variety.

Not sure where to start? Tools like Buzzsumo offer a nice spread of published content and social engagement based on a simple keyword query.

Try not to rely too heavily on only a few premium publications, news sources, and companies that provide relevant content for your audience.

Think about having big buckets in which you can pick and choose curated content to share.

For example, if space exploration is your thing, NASA’s twitter account would be an obvious choice, but don’t forget to include accounts like Forbes Science and Tech column, which provides a steady stream of newsworthy content related to space travel.

To refine your bucket, use public Twitter lists to find active accounts related to the high-level sources you’ve already identified. Cut out the work that someone else has probably already done for you.

Niche Sources

Think of niche sources as influencers and people.

In the previous example, the NASA account is subscribed to several Twitter lists of astronauts, engineers, and scientists, including a very aptly named list labeled “astronauts in space now”.

Also, dig deeper into your news sources. Instead of just retweeting posts from Forbes Science News, use Twitter lists to identify writers and journalists that write about topics that are particularly interesting or relevant.

You’ll often find that following the individual contributor will provide more meaningful content to share, and may even open up an opportunity to publicly engage with a real person relevant to you and your audience.

Stage & Post

Now that you’ve identified your amazing list of contributing content sources, you’ll want to collect and stage your aggregated content in one place.

If you’re only using one social platform (e.g., Twitter or Facebook), then you can use Zapier to create an RSS feed of your sources and then hand pick the content you wish to post.

If you have multiple accounts to manage and you are short on time, consider an all-in-one tool like nTuitive.social that will aggregate, schedule, and post content in one environment.

Using nTuitive, you can scrape multiple accounts including RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, or Pinterest into specific content groups.

Using our previous example of NASA’s Twitter account, I’ve aggregated all of NASA’s relevant tweets below, deleted the unwanted ones, modified the posts, and scheduled each one over the next few weeks.

By tracking the performance of each content group, you’ll create an opportunity to better refine your list of sources over time.

Always look for new and exciting content sources, while also trimming away the sources that don’t seem to provide any value to your audience.

Best Practices

This method of aggregating and posting content remains a shared collection of posts produced by other people. We’re using for our own benefit with our individual audience.

Social platforms were built for sharing. So be sure to abide by a few practical rules to keep your output of content above board.

Qualify the Content

Once you discover how to source, stage, and automate the content of others, you may find yourself paying less attention to the content you share for the sake of volume.

Engagement is important, but always look for quality over quantity.

Put some thought into your audience, and stick to a meaningful strategy to cut out the noise.

Give Credit

When you take an existing post and share it with your audience, give credit where credit is due. This can often be done by simply tagging the handle or hashtag associated with the original author, account, or source. If you’re using hashtags, use the same tag for each source. This will help you track performance of content later on. For example, if I were to tag all of my NASA tweets with #NASAmazing, I can track performance, reach, and engagement of this particular group of posts. It also gives me a creative opportunity to properly credit the original post.

Appropriate Post Modifications

Never alter the content of an original post to change its meaning or value. Always maintain the integrity of the original content.

Summary

When done right, there is tremendous value in content syndication on social platforms.

Depending on your brand and your goals, there should be a consistent and appropriate split between posting original content versus the content others have already created. If you fail to provide enough original content, the value and recognition of your brand will inevitably become very thin.

Think of content syndication as a way to fill in the gaps and keep your audience engaged with topics you find important. With helpful tools like Buzzsumo, nTuitive.social, Twitter lists, and RSS feeds, you can turn this endeavor into an automated 10-minute task on your monthly to-do list.

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by Cynthia Johnson June 2023.

Social Media For Designers – Studio Hamid Hassanzadeh

This workshop has been postponed for two weeks due to some unexpected last-minute changes. It’s scheduled to take place on June 3rd-4th.

Why social media?

Why architects and designers should use social media?

Like all professions, architects are not exceptional in this. Internet and social media have changed the way architects and designers think about their projects. As much as we think this is wrong, getting more exposure on social media became a quality standard for offices and clients on a success of a project. By using social media, architects and designers were able to showcase their work, build their own brands, network with peers, engage with potential clients, and keep up with industry trends. Using the right strategy will result in increasing visibility, establishing credibility, building relationships, showcasing the brand, and staying up-to-date.

Introduction to the course:

This course aims to showcase the potential of using social media in establishing a credible and strong online presence on the internet. We will focus on the ways of choosing the right social media platforms, analyzing their data, and generating effective strategies that align with the target audience. The course will provide a solid understanding of producing presskits, creating engaging content, methods of making high-quality publications and interacting with their audience. By showcasing great examples the course will enhance the participant’s knowledge of the best curations on social media.

Project by: CHYBIK+KRISTOF (© Monolot Studio)

Channels:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Linkedin

Twitter

Pinterest

Reddit

Program:

Day 1: Saturday, June 3rd

Day 2: Sunday, June 4th

Important Notes:

This workshop is suitable for Small-sized Architecture Firms, Companies, Freelancers, and Social Media Departments.

Total sessions: 2 sessions.

Please be informed that we won’t be able to provide any license, invitation, or educational account, for any of the software that will be used during the workshop. Having the software with a proper license and installing them on the computer is the responsibility of the attendees.

Instructor: Hamid Hassanzadeh

Hamid Hassanzadeh is an Iranian architect, entrepreneur, researcher, and speaker. Since he graduated from architectural engineering in 2012, he has worked on multiple projects in Iran, Turkey, Russia, Kuwait, and the USA. Early in 2024, he established the ParametricArchitecture platform by starting it on Instagram. ParametricArchitecture, also known as PA, has become a globally recognized platform for parametric and computational design with more than a +1M audience across the globe. Hamid is also the founder of PAACADEMY, an educational organization powered by PA to spread the idea of computation in architecture and design. He aims to unfold the parametric world through thought-breaking design articles, interviews, workshops, podcasts, and conferences published and screened through various online mediums. Using his multiple social media channels with more than +2M audience, Hamid invites them to recognize and imbibe the techniques and algorithms used by architects, designers, and coders. He showcases prolific projects illustrated in powerful design software, tailored constructively to make the audience experience and raise awareness about these design practices and philosophies. He is the host of the PA Talks interview series with architects. During the past several years, He has conducted dozens of workshops, conferences, and events and interviewed many world-renowned architects about their works, methodologies, and their visions for the future.

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