2017 Social Media Recap: The Year of Instagram [INFOGRAPHIC]

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In today’s economy, a digital presence is as much of a mandate as a business model. According to an independent survey of 1,000 entrepreneurs, nearly half increased their investment in digital marketing over the last two years, while only 4 percent said they decreased investments.

The study also showed that developing a digital content strategy is extremely important for entrepreneurs, with over three-quarters of those surveyed agreeing that a well-developed strategy helps their business stand out.

These services are increasingly popular on Fiverr, with orders in the social media marketing category growing at a 91 percent monthly increase in 2017, demonstrating the sheer power of social media for customer acquisition and business growth.

As a marketplace full of social media services, we have a unique opportunity to share some of our insights from the last year around the kind of services entrepreneurs are relying on. Below are some of the key social media trends that played out on the marketplace in 2017.

Fastest Growing Platforms

In today’s age, there are so many social networks to choose from and yet, as a small business owner, it can be difficult to manage being active on all of them. Based on business goals and target audience, it’s important for entrepreneurs to figure out which networks make the most sense for them to dedicate their time, money, and resource to.

Fiverr marketplace data shows that in 2017, it was Instagram that became the platform du jour for small businesses. The visual platform’s Gig purchases have more than quadrupled since the beginning of 2017, while Facebook and Twitter have also experienced strong gains.

Feel like you’re seeing more Insta ads than ever before? You’re not wrong.

As you can see in the #MadeOnFiverr infographic:

  • YouTube made up nearly half of all orders–48.3%
  • Facebook made up a quarter of all orders–25.5%
  • Instagram clocked in at just below 15%–14.8%

In addition to being a content-rich platform, Instagram is also permanent and “concrete” in terms of the lifespan of content posted there and the analytics generated, while also being more discoverable. Given Instagram’s elegant user interface, heavy use of hashtags on the platform, and its Stories feature, it’s easier for brands to grow a following, find their niche, discover influencers, and so on.

Data from beyond Fiverr backs up the trend. Forrester Research reports that Instagram brand engagement is currently 10 times higher than Facebook, and 84 times higher than Twitter.

Overall Importance for Entrepreneurs

Social media marketing helps to validate a brand. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers a brand is active and focused on driving a dialogue. This increasing value and importance of social media bears out through Fiverr’s marketplace search queries.

Three platforms have cracked the top 25 search terms on Fiverr over the last three months of 2017.

  • Instagram – 11 overall
  • YouTube – 16 overall
  • Facebook – 25 overall
  • Twitter – 66 overall
  • Snapchat – 306 overall

Ultimately, 2017 was without a doubt the year of Instagram for small businesses and brands. From taking a major step forward from a growth perspective to becoming the top-searched social platform on the Fiverr marketplace, the visual content app has gained a major foothold in the entrepreneurial community.

Looking towards 2018, here are a few tips to take your social game to the next level:

  • Focus on your voice.

Have a few common formats and themes that you can develop around and “own.” Make sure that these themes are aligned with your brand and audience. An example of some themes might be things like: Tips; Account-takeovers; certain meme formats; customer/ audience/ product features; contests; comics & trivia, etc. The goal here is to train your audience about what they can expect from you and to get them excited to consume your content throughout the week.   

  • Pick one channel, and do it right.

As an entrepreneur, you have limited resources. With the amount of content you need to create to effectively engage, there is simply too much noise and competition to try to win at all of them. Choose the platform or channel that aligns closest to your brand and go all in on that one. Create a base of followers you can build off before moving on and adapting your strategy to the next platform.

  • Be consistent, and play the long game.

This also plays into training your audience about what to expect from you, but it’s more about building up an organizational habit that will infuse social into more of your conversations. No brand wins with a single post, but rather a long, consistent cadence of content and positive engagements.

  • Don’t invest too much in any single piece of content.

It’s going to be more valuable on the balance if you consistently produce quality, on-brand content, but don’t go overboard with any one thing. It’s going to be a very rare occasion that you go viral with a piece of content if you don’t already have a substantial backlog.

  • Give much more than you take.

Make sure the content that you are sharing is focused on providing value for your community, audience and customer base. Whether it’s something that’s educational, fun, or just plain engaging, it’s going to yield better results rather than promoting your brand or your products. Place the priority on community-building rather than pushing promotions.

How did your social media strategy change in the past year? Did you buy an Instagram Gig? Telll us in the comments below! 

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Whit Walker
Category Manager at Fiverr. For work, I am focused on improving the Marketing & Tech Categories for both buyers and sellers. On my own, I love using the marketplace to pursue creative and side business pursuits.
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