Social Media Trends and Tools

Buffer is a software application that allows users to schedule posts and manage accounts in social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. In 2018, the company released an overview of what to expect in social media for 2018. The company has done this on an annual basis for several years, so feel free to check for updated trends reports.

Top 10 social media trends

This report is inspired by the annual Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Being one of the most anticipated reports every year, the Internet Trends report shares valuable insights and statistics about the technology industry. While our report is nowhere as comprehensive as the Internet Trends report, we hope to shed some light on the social media landscape.

Here’s a quick overview of the ten major social media trends happening right now:

  1. There are now almost 2.5 billion social media users
  2. Social media is going mobile
  3. Social messaging overtook social media
  4. Social messaging will greatly benefit businesses
  5. Chatbots are becoming the norm
  6. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore social customer service
  7. Organic reach and referral traffic are plummeting
  8. Video is still the most popular content type
  9. User-generated content can help drive reach and engagement
  10. Businesses are pouring more money into social ads

Social Media Tools for Journalists

Mike Reilley is a journalist and journalism educator who has been at the forefront of digital reporting trends for decades. His “Journalist’s Toolbox” offers dozens of tools that journalists can use to improve their efforts on social media. Here are a few that we think are most useful, but feel free to check out his complete list as he’s always updating.


Adobe Spark Post
Create social videos and much more. App and desktop version.

Create graphics with these templates specific to various social platforms.

Over app
iPhone or Android app that layers text over photos.

Paul Bradshaw: How to Share, Store, Measure Snapchat Stories
Real-time social media search and analysis.


Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Twitter Data
Slides and resources from NICAR 2018.

Social Rank
Identify, organize, and manage your Twitter and Instagram followers. Great for tracking Instagram analytics for personal accounts.

Facebook Audience Insights
Break down your accounts analytics.


First Draft News Journalist Guides
Guides to social sources, copyright law, and covering trauma.

The Social Media Reporter
This Medium page is a guide to using social media for newsgathering. It covers verification, organizing your feeds, covering trending stories, and finding material from a specific location or a specific beat.

Twitter for Newsrooms
Resources from the team at Twitter on how to integrate it into the newsroom.