There is a lot to keep up with in social media marketing.

There’s ever-changing algorithms and new features on every platforms (check our never ending Facebook Updates and Instagram Updates posts), you also have to keep up with new best practices, buzzwords, and cutting-edge strategies provided by an endless number of blogs.

That’s a lot, especially creating and managing campaigns is pretty much a full-time job, to begin with.

There is a lot of great information out there that can help with this, but who has time to try to hunt it down?

Well, it turns out that I did, and we wanted to share what I’d found with you.

In this post, we’re going to look at fifteen of the best social media marketing blog posts of 2017 so you can get ready for 2018 as it looms just around the corner.

There’s so much digital and social media marketing advice out there, it’s hard to know which tips to follow. Luckily, The Social Ms created an epic roundup of marketing “best practices” that address some of these supposed “best practices” which are ultimately myths that could hurt your business if you follow them.

social media best practices

If you’re spinning your wheels but seeing little ROI from your marketing efforts, you might have fallen for one of these 23 myths. Check out this post for ideas to creatively shake up your marketing–and build your business in the process.

Overwhelmed by the information overload surrounding keyword research? This handy guide from Moz will help you hack your way to a better understanding of keyword strategy–complete with killer visuals–in just half an hour.

Use these hacks to get a leg up on the competition and help your business (and your clients’) gain more traction with an effective keyword strategy without getting overwhelmed.

This excellent post from The Story Engine focuses on the convergence of the Hero’s Journey (based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces) and the often-referenced marketing concept of the Buyer’s Journey.

The Crossroads of the Hero’s Journey and the Buyer’s Journey

This post asserts that the blending of the two journeys is what ultimately grows our business by positioning the hero as the protagonist and the buyer as the customer–then takes us step-by-step through each stage of the journey, demonstrating how marketers might position themselves to reach the same crossroads in their own business practices.

Content is a BEACH–at least, according to Kim Garst. In this post, Kim outlines how to create content so irresistible that your audience will have to share it. 

How To Create Insanely Sharable Content

If you want an easy-to-follow, 5-step formula designed to make your content highly shareable, this is it. Kim walks us through how to attract more fans, leverage our audience’s emotions, align our personal brand with causes we believe in, add value, and benefit our readers through top-notch content.

Engaging visual branding had grown increasingly important in digital marketing as the market expands–and it’s only going to continue picking up speed. Rebekah Radice shows us 6 essential elements of distinctive, eye-catching visual branding in this post.   
6 Ingredients To A Strong Visual Brand On Social MediaYour visual content can either make or break your brand, and it means the difference between blending into the noise online or making your mark with a strong, instantly recognizable presence. Make sure you check out Color Emotion Guide within this post; it helps you choose your brand colors based on the emotions you want to evoke in your audience.

Having trouble converting visitors to your landing page?

Jeff Bullas shares 5 of the top mistakes marketers make on their landing pages that cause them to miss out on valuable conversions–plus the corrections we can make to our own pages in order to draw in more customers. When it comes to landing pages that convert, the name of the game is simplicity, confidence, and a clear call to action.

Having trouble getting engagement with your blog posts? You might not need an in-depth, drastic rewrite!

Instead, your posts might just need a few quick tweaks to make them stronger and more shareable.

This post from Problogger outlines 10 quick and easy ideas for improving your blog posts and boosting your audience engagement.

Looking for fresh, outside-the-box ideas for getting the word out about your business online?

Neil Patel digs deep to share 3 insightful ways you can get people talking about you and your brand in this post. If you’re ready to go above and beyond industry best practices to wow your audience with compelling content, this post is for you.

These days, we’re surrounded by multiple screens, 24/7. Heidi Cohen says we do this to maximize our efficiency, both in everyday life and in our marketing. And she goes a step further in this infographic by breaking down 5 of the ways we consumed content in 2017, and what that means for doing business digitally.

How We Consume Content Now (and What it Means for Your Marketing)The more we know about how our audiences consume content, the better we’ll be at delivering content they’ll actually want to consume. And that knowledge will make all the difference as we move into 2018.

As always, Peg Fitzpatrick is a master of visual marketing. In this post, Peg simplifies the visual branding process and shares easy ways you can get started not only building a visual brand for your business, but also create beautifully-designed images yourself.

How To Use Visual Marketing To Leave Your Competition In The Dust

Oh, and the tools round-up, where Peg shares a ton of free tools that make the visual branding process relatively quick and painless? That list alone is worth making this list. 

Instagram is a hot marketing tool, but it’s often used as a repository of photos rather than a strategically-branded space for your visual marketing. Visual consistency isn’t always something we think about when we’re posting to Instagram, but it’s just as essential as consistency in our content.

Specific Ways To Add More Branding To Your Instagram

In this post, Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman shows us some specific ways to refine our Instagram accounts to catch more eyes and grow a larger following.

Obviously, I can’t leave out AdEspresso’s 2017 guide to branded content. Industry best practices change from one year to the next (and often, more frequently than that!), so it’s critical to stay ahead of the curve with the latest information as you take your business into the new year.

 The Updated Guide to Branded Content – 2017 Edition

This guide walks you some strategic and technical tips to branding your content. It also shares valuable tips for how to utilize that branded content in your social media marketing.

Influencer marketing is beneficial for both influencers and the brands they’re sponsoring, but in a world where anyone can (and many do) call themselves influencers, knowing what’s going on in that particular marketing niche is exceptionally valuable.

Michelle Krasniak provides a ton of up-to-date data on what’s happening in the influencer marketing sphere and how it will be affecting brands and influencers will into 2018. If you’re considering reaching out to a few influencers, check this post out before you do.

Personalization was one of the biggest marketing topics in 2017, and that’s not going to be changing anytime soon; instead, we’re just going to see personalization become more important as the technology to deliver this to customers becomes more available and more accurate.

There are, fortunately, a few easy ways to add more personalization strategies to your marketing campaigns right now. This blog post from Digital Marketing Institute discusses 5 of these methods in-depth in their post with great, actionable information.

Get ready for the new year with Hootsuite’s insights into our industry’s trajectory in 2018. This is Hootsuite’s third annual trends report, chock-full of insights–not just bright, shiny new toys–that will help you propel your business forward in the new year.

Top 5 Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018

To compile the report, Hootsuite more than 300 marketers, 38 experts, and compiled analysis reports from multiple industry heavy-hitters. If you want an early look at where the industry is headed–plus the key challenges businesses will be facing in the new year–download your copy today.

Final Thoughts

With 2018 looming just around the corner, it’s important to make sure you’re up to speed with all the best marketing strategies.

This list will help you be fully prepared for the new year and everything it will be bringing with it, setting you up for your best year yet.

What do you think? How did you feel about our list? Do you think I missed any of the best social media marketing blog posts of 2017? If so, share your favorites in the comments below!