Five Things We Learnt from Social Day 2018

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If you missed #SocialDayUK this year and you want the low-down on everything that happened, then you’re in the right place. Our social team headed down to London for the jam-packed conference to hear the latest from some of the industry’s top speakers and experts and have collated their key insights from Social Day 2018 and everything that any social media marketer needs to know.

The story of 2018 is stories

Instagram stories really are  a force to be reckoned with right now, and we can’t deny the impact it’s having in 2018. With over 300 million daily active users, the feature has seen staggering growth since its conception in 2016 and even Zuckerberg himself has  predicted that it won’t be long before stories content will overtake the traditional newsfeed.

Ian Edwards, Planning Director at Facebook, was there to unleash the power of not just Instagram alone, but stories specifically. According to Edwards, 40% of all stories content is video and 60% of users are watching with the sound on. So, if you want your message to be heard, then it’s time to get on the story hype.  


Social Day 2018



He highlighted that stories are the perfect tool for getting people to discover your brand, service or product, but they can also be used to drive engagement and of course sell. With  boomerangs, rewind videos, @mentions and a huge variety of stickers right at your fingertips, it’s time for all brands to show off their creative side to tap into people’s passions.


There’s real potential for businesses using Instagram

Edwards also emphasised the huge potential that Instagram holds in general for brands and businesses, due to the highly engaged audiences that reside on the platform. There are currently over 25 million business pages on Instagram, and around 80% of Instagram users are currently following at least one business page.




Instagram can not  be used just to take your audience through the entire sales funnel, but mainly to make the transition from discovery to purchase much smoother and create a more seamless customer journey.

From bringing in broad audiences who are looking to discover something new, to capturing intent and finally closing the gap to sales, various Instagram tactics like stories, influencers and lead generation ads can be used at the most relevant phases to help you make the most of your Instagram strategy.  

Although, we can use Instagram for all phases, Edwards stressed the importance of reach, awareness and discovery in particular (something we were all nodding in agreement with).

Considering that 70% of the 1 billion daily business profile views are from non-followers, Instagram is key for raising your brand awareness but is also integral to other parts of the funnel. And despite the huge number of brands on Instagram, only half of those have a website listed on their profile, showing that they’re instead using their profile to focus on awareness and are likely driving traffic using other Instagram methods such as  shopping tags or CTAs on stories.


It’s time to take influencer marketing more seriously

There are still too many businesses and even digital marketers not taking influencer marketing seriously enough, which is something that Harry Hugo from The Goat Agency picked up on in his talk, stating that it’s time we treated influencer marketing as a media channel in its own right rather than adding it onto the end of a campaign in the hope it will generate some sales.

When done correctly, influencer activity can generate 11x the ROI of traditional digital marketing, which isn’t a figure that brands can ignore for much longer. Influencer marketing isn’t necessarily anything brand new. Celebrities have been working with brands for decades, but 92% of people now trust influencers over celebrity endorsements as industry values have shifted over the last 5 years or so.


Social Media Day 2018


And if that’s not enough for you, 49% of people have even said that they rely solely on influencer recommendations when making purchase decisions, which suddenly puts a great amount of value on an influencer’s mention/approval of a product or service.     


The influencer marketing industry is changing, a lot

Social media is an industry that is always changing, but influencer marketing specifically has evolved greatly in the last 5 years. Harry Hugo joined us again for the influencer marketing panel, alongside influencer platform Zine, to discuss how much this area of marketing has changed and the biggest challenges faced by marketers working with influencers.

Here are the key 5 changes that were noted:

  1.  Influencers are becoming more business savvy – for a lot of influencers, not only is creating social media content their full-time job, but many influencers have become brands in their own right and are therefore much more in-tune with exactly how much their content is worth.
  2. The industry as a whole is more professional – brands are no longer adding influencer activity to the end of their campaigns, but many are centring lots of their campaigns around influencer activity.
  3. It’s about building relationships – many brands are seeing huge benefit in on-boarding influencers as brand ambassadors and establishing long-term relationships, rather than a one-off collaboration.
  4. Focus is no longer on vanity metrics – marketers are no longer swayed by quantity of followers but instead by the quality of content an influencer produces.
  5. You can’t get away with having no strategy – in order for your influencer marketing campaigns to work and to get the most value out of them , you need to have a full strategy in place before even starting.


Snapchat’s future is a huge debate

It appears there’s big debate among social media marketers regarding the future of Snapchat. While some feel it’s dying out or already forgotten, others believe the channel has a purpose and is, in fact, thriving. Looking at their 191 million daily active users however and compare this with the 300 million using Instagram stories, is it really a competition?

Nonetheless, there were some fantastic stats shared by Snapchat’s own Sam Bevan showing that advertisers may in fact still find valuable audiences here. Although considered a channel used only by Gen Z teens, over 80% of Snapchat’s user base in in fact over 18 and one in 3 of these adults are parents. The male and female split is almost even, with 55% of females using the channel, despite it perhaps being considered a more female dominated platform.


Social Day 2018

Final thoughts…

The entire conference was very much focused on using social media more creatively, showing the personal side to your brand or business and making the overall user journey and experience much more enjoyable in order to unlock the real impacts of social marketing.   

This is encapsulated by one of our favourite quotes of the day that came from Theresa Heath-Wareing, (who ran a fantastic Instagram story workshop) highlighting that social media “is neither B2B nor B2C, it’s H2H: human to human”. We couldn’t agree more.