Social media has always been a space of engagement with the objective of creating connections and fostering relationships among people. While this objective is still true, social media platforms have evolved substantially over time, particularly so in recent years.
As a vehicle, the transition of social media to an advertising platform and marketing tool has changed the way people use it around the world. Right now in the landscape of social media there are trends with momentum and trends with potential; we’re focusing on only the key ones and what they mean for businesses and consumers. Here are 7 social media trends that will take place in 2017.
1. Video Content—
Video content has become a HUGE part of the modern user engagement on social; increasingly so in recent years. It’s not hard to understand why; the rich interactive content platform allows messages and stories to be communicated more effectively with many times the impact. The versatility of video is also very important. With the right copy and design elements incorporated into the video, video can allow you to provide a clear message even when the viewer may not initially commit to turning the sound on. Expect to see more advertising & brand messaging carried out through video formats.
Side note - short videos are very hot right now. People love watching 30 second snackable clips one after another.
2. Live Video Content—
We predict the trend of instantaneous content to continue this year - ex: Snap, Instagram stories, Facebook Live
In this modern digital world of “I need it now and not a second later”, streaming video live is a great way for marketers to deliver new and fresh content to audiences in real time. Hearing and seeing videos as they’re happening makes content all the more engaging. Real time content prompts more comments and unique reactions from users tuning in, which opens the door for more opportunities to give fans, followers and consumers what they want – keeping them glued to their screens…just look at how everything played out with Antonio Brown’s last Facebook Live session - deemed a cinematic masterpiece.
Also, to give this trend more validity, along with Facebook Live and Periscope (among the first popular live streaming platforms), Instagram and Twitter launched their own versions of live streaming in November and December 2016.
3. Mobile Advertising will become more competitive—
Instagram and Snapchat are the two hottest social channels right now (among younger people), both being mobile-based applications with highly interactive and visually engaging formats.
As the use of smart phones continues to grow and people continue to demand instant gratification, mobile has become a more powerful and influential medium for sales. You can bet that this will mean greater investments in mobile advertising and creating mobile-optimized designs for advertisements. After all, if mobile is where the customers are at, is there any wonder why?
4. More E-commerce on Instagram—
Piggybacking off the trend above, after Instagram’s release of “stories” and it's upcoming release of “live stories”, the social platform has a lot of momentum right now. Expect to see more e-commerce driven activity in 2017—advertisements, product demo’s, and online stores in account bios.
5. Engaging Content is an absolute MUST—
In the modern day realm of social media marketing where paid content continues to reign, it’s incredibly difficult for brands to show organic social content to much of its audience.
-58% of marketers rank social media content as their most critical factor for content marketing success in 2017
-62% of marketers say producing engaging content is their most difficult challenge
When planning for social, be sure your strategy involves a mix of content. This means providing various types of posts. It also means making various appeals to the audience. Humor is huge. Also consider ways your brand can communicate with sincerity and authenticity, too.
6. Social media to be used more for customer service— "Conversational Commerce"
For businesses, social media is not just a marketing tool anymore; consumers are browsing products and making purchases through social platforms. They search for answers to questions and seek customer service from companies in conversational formats. Expect to see more businesses employing online chat support and chat bots to serve this need and make it easier for customers to find information.
If you want to drive more engagement and ROI from social media, you need to be more responsive to them. Put a little more humanity into your social media efforts, people want to talk with real people.
This means kindness and helpfulness to the 100th degree. If you’ve ever been to Chick Fil-A, consider following their model of service. Don’t take it too personal if you get a direct message about a customer’s bad experience. it’s better to receive the feedback than to have it going on without your ability to make a difference.
In a pay-to-play space that was once free, marketers need to put more into their social media strategies. To justify dollars spent, campaigns need to be bringing positive results. In order to make this happen consistently, campaigns need to be highly data driven and marketers are going to need a lot of robust data.
It’s crucial that your team takes time to analyze the changes brought to social in 2016 and how it should impact your social media strategy this year. We anticipate a lot of exciting things to play out this year and we’ll be here to provide insight along the way. Be sure to follow our posts to stay plugged into the social landscape.
Need help developing a social media strategy this year? Give us a shout, let's talk.