Social media's not going away any time soon. And like anything in the digital world, it continues to evolve. Here are this year's best resources for helping you stay on top of the changes.
2018's Best Social Media Marketing Blogs
These blogs are consistent providers of top-notch social media content.
This blog has lots to say about the way emerging technologies are growing, changing, and improving social media marketing. If you want to hear about cutting-edge solutions to your social media problems, this blog is a great place to start.
Short, sweet news articles about everything that's happening in the social media world.
This blog covers social media news too, but its real gems come from a series of extremely actionable posts.
Actionable tips meet fresh angles to create some great, useful reads.
Here's a blog that's been a personal go-to for me for many years. Lots of info, tons of screenshots. A super-fun vibe I've always adored.
2018's Best Social Media Marketing Articles
From blogs and sites which aren't focused exclusively on social media.
Analyzing the Reasons for Your Facebook Ad Campaign Failure - Nobody wants to waste money on Facebook ads, which are expensive enough as it is. If something is broken, this article will tell you how to fix it.
Nothing to See Here? Social Media Marketing for Businesses That Aren't Photogenic - Social media offers huge advantages to businesses that can provide cool visuals, like resorts. But what about businesses that can't, which probably represent the greater percentage of the companies out there? If you're one of them, this post is for you.
Good Riddance to Social Media Mass Production - 2018 is bringing a lot of changes to social media marketing. Here's one of them, and what you should do about it.
6 Examples of Brands Using Twitter Effectively - You can get a lot out of watching companies do it right. This post is nice because it focuses on several different types of companies and strategies.
Should I Outsource My Social Media Marketing? - An important question for any business to answer. By the time you're done reading this article, you'll have it answered.
How to Know Your Audience to Master Your Marketing Campaigns - A lot of brands just jump on social media and start posting. Here's a vital step they (and you) may have missed.
6 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Social Media Audience Research - This post goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Actionable, insightful, providing a new pathway toward improving your campaigns.
2018's Best Paid Tools for Social Media Marketing
If there's any truism about social media marketing, it's this: there's a lot of tools out there. Here are some you should look into.
BufferApp - This is my absolute favorite social media scheduling tool. It now handles almost every platform you can think of. The business version, designed for marketing agencies, makes switching from account to account a snap. It's easy, intuitive, and even fun to use.
It's Alive - Customers want to reach out to you to ask questions on Facebook. You don't have time to answer, and can't hire someone to answer for you. Building a bot might be the answer, but you don't have to be a coder to do it. Not with this tool.
Social Report - This tool will also let you schedule posts, but it really shines as a resource for analytics and monitoring.
Followerwonk - A fantastic Twitter tool both for analyzing your followers, their influence, and new accounts it might be useful to follow. You can also see which posts caused follows and unfollows.
Awario - This tool lets you monitor your brand, but it also has some unique solutions for social selling. They've got some pretty cool customer care solutions, too.
2018's Top Social Media Marketing Experts
These social media mavens will keep you in the loop on the latest, greatest, and most useful.
Rebekah Radice - She's all about using social media to grow revenue, a task many companies struggle with. If you're one of them, follow her at @RebekahRadice.
Mari Smith - Known as the "Queen of Facebook," a designation even Facebook backs. She's all about teaching social media mastery, and offers lots of resources to make it happen.
Ben Fisher - Ben Fisher is an expert in the field of Social SEO, a technique which bridges the gap between social media and local SEO. Follow him at @TheSocialDude.
Shane Barker - Influencer marketing is a hot topic in social media marketing, and Shane Barker is the expert to turn to if you want to learn more about it.
Jan Gordon - CEO of Curatti, a company specializing in social media, content services, and B2B lead generation. She watches changes in social media and technology and helps other business owners navigate them with aplomb.
2018's Best Social Media Marketing Ebooks, Whitepapers, and Other Resources
Use these resources when you're ready to get deeper in the weeds.
Social Media Marketing Industry Report - Social Media Examiner has been putting out this report for ten years now. This year, it's a 44-page analysis of 5700+ marketers, with 70 useful charts and a whole host of insights for you to sink your teeth into. And it's free, though you'll have to join the mailing list.
Transparency on Social Media in 2018: What Consumers Want - An on-demand webinar which covers ways to help you present your brand as altruistic and trustworthy. Hopefully it already is, and implementing this information will just be a matter of helping you demonstrate it.
The Science of Social Media - Has officially entered The Guinness Book of World Records as the largest online marketing seminar ever. And while bigger isn't always better, those who are tired of guessing their way through social media will love the data-backed best practices approach taught therein.
11 Social Media Metrics You Need to Master: Get More from Your Analytics - If you've ever struggled to quantify what you're actually doing on social media and how it's helping your company, this Adweek on-demand webinar is for you.
20 Free Ebooks for Social Media Marketers - A plethora of ebooks covering all sorts of topics. Using Facebook Live for building your business. Building audiences and brands. And much more. If you're looking for a whole lot of in-depth information in one place, head over here, and start downloading.
Did I miss a resource you love, or that blew your mind this year? Please let us know in the comments below!