There is no doubt the 2010s was a decade of rapid change. In the marketing world, it was a time of monumental transformation for how brands communicate and engage with consumers. You went from “what’s Facebook?” to structuring organizations to cater to the explosion of social, content marketing, AI and personalization. Vesta (formerly known as Social Media Link) has been along for the ride since 2009, helping you evolve with the market and stay on top of the latest trends. Let’s travel back in time to visit some of the highlights.

2010 – Getting Facebook Likes was Priority #1


  • Apple releases the iPad (crazy, right?)
  • Facebook introduces “likes” on external pages
  • Instagram and Pinterest debut
  • QR codes. QR codes everywhere
  • Lady Gaga introduces her “meat dress
  • What were we up to? Our new Smiley360 peer influencer community grows rapidly in its first year, approaching 40,000 community members!

2011 – Word-of-Mouth Scales Across Social

  • Nielsen finds 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth above all other forms of advertising
  • Snapchat and Google+ launch and Twitter launches promoted trends
  • Couponing 2.0 rises with Groupon
  • The royal wedding: William and Kate get married
  • What were we up to? We developed our proprietary social syndication tool, Single-Click Sharing™ technology, to supercharge UGC reach and scale advocacy

2012 – “Black Swan” Acquisitions Make Big News


  • Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 Billion
  • Pinterest explodes as the 4th largest traffic driver
  • Native Advertising is all the rage (here’s what we had to say about it)
  • The first Hunger Games movie is released
  • What were we up to? Vesta (formerly known as Social Media Link) saw 130% growth!

2013 – So Long, Organic Reach. Brands Rethink Relationship With Facebook


  • Facebook changes its algorithm, dramatically drops organic reach for brand pages
  • Oreo steals the spotlight with their Superbowl “Dunk in the Dark” tweet, exploding the need for “real-time marketing”
  • Netflix premiers its first uniquely produced show, “House of Cards”
  • What were we up to? We celebrated 185 peer influencer campaigns

2014 – Videos Foster Connectivity

  • The “Ice Bucket Challenge” becomes a viral sensation and raises over $220M worldwide
  • Facebook announces its video product is achieving 1 billion views per day
  • 71% of marketers spend 10–50% of their entire online ad budget on retargeting
  • What were we up to? Smiley360 was featured on the Today Show! We also earned a spot on the Inc 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies and launched the first Vesta-powered community, the Snuggle Bear Den

2015 – Programmatic Becomes the Norm and Marketing Automation Takes Off

  • 63% of companies plan to increase their marketing automation budget during this year
  • 1.4 billion people interacted with a chatbot
  • Amazon introduces Echo
  • Mobile advertising is growing faster than all other digital advertising formats
  • What were we up to? We were acquired by From You Flowers, a Tenth Avenue Company and celebrated our 2nd year on the Inc 5000 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies

2016 – Creative Content Wins and “Big Data” Matures


2017 – Trust & Authenticity Take Center Stage

  • Use of Ad Blocking technology rises by 30% worldwide
  • FTC releases new guidelines and requires #ad for all influencer marketing
  • Vine comes to an end
  • Voice-based commerce sales in the United States reached $1.8 billion
  • What were we up to? Our Vesta Communities generate a record 400,000 pieces of user-generated content and 193 million consumer-generated impressions

2018 – Social Puts Focus Back on Friends and Family

  • Facebook changes its algorithm to favor friends and family posts
  • TikTok becomes the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018
  • Seven out of ten hashtags on Instagram are branded
  • Drake’s “In My Feelings” kicks off a dance challenge
  • What were we up to? Our Smiley360 Community celebrated 1 million members and we launched our customer intelligence solution, Vesta Insights

2019 – Personalization and Interactive Experiences Drives Marketing Plans

  • 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences
  • 3 out of 5 Americans have “very little or no trust” that social networks will protect their personal data
  • “Influencer” becomes an official word in the English language
  • 93% of companies with a personalization strategy boost revenue
  • Game of Thrones ends after six seasons
  • What were we up to? We released a proprietary study in partnership with Campaign US revealing the value of community to DTC brands
  • Our Vesta Community platform powers over 2 million consumer relationships for brands


Phew, what a decade. What comes next? Be on the lookout for an upcoming content series sharing our industry predictions for the 2020s and what marketers can do to prepare. And how we can help you, of course.

It’s time to look ahead.

Explore the six trends of the 2020s that marketers must be watching. 

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