The Big SMM Shake-Up: What Brands Need to Be Aware Of


In the early days of SEO, directing organic traffic to your website was far simpler than it is today. Keyword-rich content that refused to discriminate between search engine crawlers or the person reading the page, those vast repositories of link and article directory submissions, indiscriminate guest blogging, even EMDs (exact match domains) sold like hotcakes.

The result? Arguably an unjustified, yet highly favourable search engine ranking.

This all contributed to what could have been user faith in search engines like Google being severely tested. However, search engines like Google wised up. Panda updates decimated countless websites, forcing website owners to go back to the drawing board.

For experienced digital marketers February 2011 is a date that will long be remembered, for it was then that Google released the very first Panda update, and with that fundamentally changed digital marketing practices.

Seven years on, many leading digital marketing professionals are predicting that we’re on the cusp of a similar experience – only this time in the social media world of 2018. The start of the year has already seen social media marketing in Dubai, and indeed the world, laid bare. Upheavals are expected across the entire social media landscape. This is the big SMM shake-up and here’s what brands need to be aware of.


News Feed Changes to Facebook

On January 11th 2018, Facebook CEO, Mark Zukerberg posted to his own Facebook account that the platform intends to change its news feed algorithm to prioritise content from family, friends and groups.

Citing that Facebook has a responsibility to make sure their services ‘aren’t just fun to use, but good for people’s well-being’ Zukerberg said users can expect to see less public content, like posts from businesses, brands and media.

Is this the end of a golden era for commercial Facebook marketing in Dubai, and indeed globally? In the long-term, no. Anything that nudges a Facebook experience back toward genuine engagement can only be positive. Providing that the relationship your brand has with customers is strong, your content valuable, brands needn’t be overly concerned with a lack of news feed content.

What the algorithm change will do is to encourage more meaningful interactions – something that will encourage brands to craft more creative content to appeal to customers on their Facebook page. Let’s not also forget, Facebook Ads will still offer your business enhanced exposure, reach and demographic targeting options.


The Authority of Certain Influencers

The decline of brand social posts saw the rise of social media influencers, who were viewed as a salvation of sorts to help brands get their names back on the lips of buyers. Trust and authority are vital selling attributes.

Need convincing? Just look at the influence of a YouTuber like Zoella. In April 2017, Zoella topped Forbes’ inaugural top global beauty, and lifestyle influencers. At just 27 years old, Zoella already has accumulated over 12 million YouTube subscribers, and 11 million followers on Instagram. Her success has seen her create her own best-selling line of candles, lotions and accessories with UK retailer, Superdrug.

However, it’s not just Zoella who has the power to shape what people buy. Brands clamour to get social media influencers to endorse their products or services. Huda Kattan, a make-up artist and beauty blogger who founded the cosmetics line, Huda Beauty. With 24 million Instagram followers and over 2 million YouTube subscribers, Kattan can reach a wide global demographic and promote her own products.

However, it’s not all rosy. Fake follower numbers and engagement have landed some social media influencers in hot water over the last 12 months – something that reflects poorly on brands. This is an ongoing problem, with some influencers so desperate to grow their own brands that they’re even willing to pay for followers to boost their profiles.

The good news for businesses is that digital marketers are growing more and more savvy by the day in spotting the lack of authority of certain social media influencers. If you want to grow your brands profile across social media channels and believe that influencer marketing is the right way to go, find an agency like 3Digital who understand influencer social media marketing in Dubai.

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Twitter’s Tweeting Automation

In February 2018, Twitter announced its intention to restrict how users and apps can automate tweets. This is to combat spam and political propaganda bots.

Twitter has said that these actions are ‘an important step in ensuring we stay ahead of malicious activity targeting the crucial conversations taking place on Twitter – including elections in the United States and around the world. Their intentions were alluded to at the start of 2018 when it was revealed that more than 50,000 Twitter accounts were directly linked to Russian propaganda efforts.

Developers are now banned from using a system that posts multiple tweets, retweets or follows accounts from different accounts simultaneously. According to reports, the changes will be in full effect as of July 2018, with third-party apps also not permitted to post to multiple accounts.

In addition, Twitter has announced that they are banning auto-engagements at scale, including mass liking or retweeting posts. Also removed will be the ability to schedule tweets over a prolonged period. It’s thought that this crackdown will result in the narrowing of a sphere of influence – especially of content that doesn’t reflect truth or accuracy.

What this means for brands is that if they wish to use Twitter as part of any social media marketing campaign in Dubai, they need to hire the services of an agency that understands how to engage followers on Twitter without, manipulating the system. 3Digital has a wealth of experience, not only with Facebook marketing in Dubai but, other social media platforms. It is our knowledge and experience that ensures we can give your brand the platform it deserves to attract attention and grow your client base.

3Digital is a multi-national full-service digital design agency located in the Business Bay in 905 Prime Tower, the agency is based on a collaboration of close siblings and deep friendships that have lasted more than three decades. Our CEO, Rashad Al-Safar is based in Dubai and has comprehensive skill base and unsurpassed customer commitment ethos.


New Trends like Cryptocurrencies

Being aware of the latest tech trends like Bitcoin can be a big plus. This guide to buying Bitcoin in Dubai will show you how. There are now many consumers who wish to pay with cryptocurrencies online. Therefore, now is the time to learn about it and why not share your newfound knowledge with your social networks. Businesses which have a sign up saying “we accept Bitcoin” often have a photo which goes viral. Stay up to date with the latest trends to ensure you provide viewers with fresh content as part of your social media marketing.



Perfectly positioned to grow your business, we have our fingers on the pulse of all things digital. To find out more about us visit our pay per click consultant page where we show you how to get the fastest sales through paid advertising on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Google Adwords and more.