Right now, it seems as if social media is in turmoil. We’re hearing a lot about politics, data theft, and professional chaos. But it won’t always be this way. Social media is an ever-changing marketing tool, and here are just a few of the big changes we’re seeing right now in the world of social media—and a few tips on how you can still use social media to help your business flourish this year!

Facebook Changes Things Up—Again

We all know that Facebook is always tinkering with their algorithms. Sometimes we see more of our friends’ and families’ posts, and other times we see more ads and promoted posts. This year, however, Zuckerberg has committed to making Facebook more about friends and real connections.

This January, he announced Facebook would take the emphasis away from business content and place it on friends and family. The change actually saw Facebook users spending less time on the platform, which Zuckerberg said was the point. He says it’s a development he sees as healthy, for both businesses and society.

However, another reason Facebook is seeing people spend less time on their site is because younger people are moving to other social networks altogether. They don’t want to socialize with Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Sue, and…well, you get the picture. Facebook is skewing to an older crowd, and young people are moving to networks like Snapchat and Instagram.

Twitter Cracks Down

Recently, Twitter faced criticism for how easily spammers and bots used the platform to push political and hate group agendas. They’ve decided that they will no longer allow third-party apps and users to post the same post to multiple accounts. They’ve also banned the creation of auto-engagements at scale, so accounts can’t retweet posts in mass, or ‘like’ them in mass.

Less Social Sharing on Social

Recently, Buzzsumo, a social media metrics company, conducted a study which shows social sharing is on the decline. In fact, social sharing declined by 50 percent in 2017 compared to 2015. It seems we’re reading content, but no longer passing it along. Perhaps users aren’t finding anything meaningful enough to put their personal stamp of approval on to share, or are afraid of ‘spamming’ their friends’ walls?

It could also be that users are sharing content via ‘dark social’ where it can’t be tracked. No, no, ‘dark social’ isn’t anything like the dark web. It’s not scary or illegal; when we refer to dark media we’re referring to online social sharing and activity that occurs outside of public social media platforms. This could be users emailing content to one another, sending them via private message, or just talking about interesting posts or content they saw online. It’s simply called ‘dark’ because it’s hidden, and can’t be tracked or measured; which means campaigns don’t always know just how successful they are. This form of social sharing is on the rise, too.

What Happens to Social Media Marketing Now?

What happens now? We adapt! Just like with everything in history, you adapt or you get left behind. It’s important to know what platform your users are on. Identify your target audience and go there. See what works best for you. It could be email, social posts, or even long-form blogs on LinkedIn. Paid is no longer an option; it’s essential that you recognize the algorithms will work for you on social sites, and it’s important to pay for your promotions to get the most bang for your buck. Become more engaging, and less clickable. Provide your customers, and potential customers, with information they want.

And if you can’t do this, consider hiring someone who can do it for you. Again, more bang for your buck!

Good luck out there!