4 Industries That Will Dominate Social Media in 2018

Opinion: All it takes is the right mix of attention, commitment and effort

More social media activity from four traditionally inactive industries?
monstArrr_/iStock

Once seen as purely a tool for entertainment, social media has become an indispensable marketing tool for many industries over the past few years, rivaled only by word of mouth.

According to a first-quarter-2017 report by 4C Insights, overall social media spend was up 60 percent compared with a similar period the previous year. CMO Survey predicted a 17 percent annual compound growth rate from 2016 through 2021 for social media spend. It estimates that the social media advertising investment will represent 25 percent of total online spend in 2018.

Yet, there are some who are not convinced that social media can generate revenue. Clearly, the success hasn’t been uniform across all industries—some are raking in billions of dollars, while some are barely active. But based on the recent trends, we’re likely to see more social media activity from some traditionally inactive industries.

Hospitality

Much like social media, the hospitality industry is a dynamic sector characterized by constant shifts and evolution. Its adoption of technology over the past couple of years has only added to the rapid change.

When it comes to social media, however, the industry’s usage is still in its infancy. We’re just now seeing prominent brands starting to utilize it to their advantage as they integrate marketing with services, such as bookings, into social media channels.

As chefs encourage their customers to post photos of their food on social media and reviews continue to influence buying decisions, mobile pay transactions are taking center stage in the industry. Reports show that 43 percent of restaurants will be adopting mobile pay by the end of the year. The mobile pay industry is expected to hit the trillion-dollar mark in a few years, meaning that hospitality will have no choice but to be part of it.

In order to quickly adapt to such changes and ensure their effective implementation, the industry needs to first catch up with the new ways of communication—social media being the dominant one.

As they try to learn about the behaviors and expectations of their tech-savvy customers, these companies will rely on social media.

Source: eMarketer

Manufacturing

Although most of the business-to-business world has been embracing social media, manufacturing has been lagging. This has been mostly due to the accepted assumption that the average customer doesn’t spend enough time on social media. But that’s in the past, and manufacturers have realized it.

“Now, most manufacturing companies have some kind of presence on social media,” says Raymond Sam of GearScope. “According to an annual report by the Content Marketing Institute, the average number of social media platforms used by manufacturing companies is five, and most manufacturers prefer the big five platforms in this order: YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. On the question of the most preferred paid content promotion methods, 85 percent of marketers say their organization uses social promotion.”

Source: Content Marketing Institute

Whether it’s educating customers, boosting brand awareness, enhancing B2B relationships or sourcing customer feedback, manufacturers can benefit from social media in many aspects of their businesses.

Emphasizing the importance of making use of social media, Michael Del Gigante, president of MDG Advertising, says, “Manufacturers have been slow to integrate social media into their marketing strategies, but it’s an essential tool for content promotion and lead generation. Manufacturers that don’t embrace it will find themselves falling behind their social-media-savvy competitors.”

Pharma

You can’t talk about compliance issues hindering the adoption of social media without mentioning pharma.

While the communication lines of pharma are highly regulated, the number of pharmaceutical companies using social media to reach and engage with their consumers, potential hires and other healthcare professionals has been steadily increasing.