Having a social media strategy is essential, now more than ever before, because in today’s digital age, social media is the next level of marketing. Below are predictions for 2017’s social media trends, in an effort to help you plan for the year ahead.
The 7 Major Social Media Predictions for 2017
- Live video, live video, live video…
Are you using it? If not, you need to get started!
According to the Social Media Examiner, 14% of marketers surveyed had experimented with social media throughout 2016. Of those surveyed, 43% were planning to use interactive video in the coming year.
The most popular streaming sites and platforms available are Facebook Live and Periscope. Facebook reported record-breaking numbers of live streaming this past New Year’s Eve, and Periscope reports that users watch 110 years of live video every day using their app.
It’s clear… the future is LIVE VIDEO!
- Messaging apps will become valuable tools in branding.
Meghan Keaney Anderson, HubSpot Vice President of Marketing, says, “Maybe we shouldn’t be thinking about messaging in terms of apps at all, but rather as an evolving infrastructure.”
Apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat are more than simply an alternative means to texting. With more than 4 billion users worldwide, messaging apps have the potential to provide substantial marketing power.
For instance, brands are now using these messaging apps as a means of one-on-one communication with customers – aka customer service. As a result, the world of customer service is changing as these apps provide faster and easier ways for customers to get their needs met. Even better, messaging apps are cost-effective, and who doesn’t love that?
- Brands will leverage consumers’ social media browsing habits.
More than 50% of people say they follow a particular brand on social media in order to browse sales. And, of the online shoppers surveyed by Aimia, 31% reported that they’re using social media for that specific purpose – to follow their favorite brands.
Brands are leveraging that visibility on social media and will continue to increase opportunities for consumers to come in contact with delightful experiences – taking a more “inbound” approach to attracting customers. For instance, a brand won’t directly ask the consumer to purchase the product or service. Rather, they provide enticing information, like gift ideas and product trends, encouraging online shopping without directly asking for it.
Perhaps part of your 2017 marketing strategy should include demonstration videos on social media. Since research shows that people prefer to watch a video about a new product, it may be worthwhile to showcase your offerings in a new way!
- Marketing strategies will include virtual reality whenever possible.
It’s been talked about for years, and it is finally here. Virtual reality is about to spread like wildfire because of the uniqueness of its immersive experience, and consumers can’t wait to gobble it up.
Google Street View, for example, can offer potential customers a 360° virtual tour of your location. This technology can be used to showcase products, demonstrate what it feels like to sit inside a luxury vehicle, give dinner patrons a chance to view your restaurant before they choose a place to dine, or even allow people to see the location of your business from the outside so that they can get an idea of the neighborhood, parking, handicap accessibility, etc.
With its increased popularity and high return on investment when used in marketing, virtual reality will see a huge boom in the coming years.
- Ephemeral content will be on the rise.
What in the heck is that word, right? Ephemeral messaging, otherwise known as mobile multimedia messages that disappear after viewing (think Snapchat), are creating a paradigm shift in the way memories are captured and kept. We have moved away from the days where photographs were cherished memories, now thinking of them more like momentary digital images that get sent out into infinity.
But ephemeral stories can be used very successfully in marketing campaigns. Snapchat and Instagram are great ways to showcase your brand using authentic, unscripted content that brings out the real personality of your company.
This connects to consumers – particularly millennials – but, it’s also extremely important to keep this type of content lighthearted and unscripted. It should be humorous (and even flawed). These characteristics are part of the attraction that will drive traffic to your product or service.
- Instagram Stories will surpass Snapchat for social media marketing.
Snapchat certainly started the trend, but Instagram has overtaken the number one spot when it comes sharing photos and videos. Since Instagram introduced its Stories feature in August of 2016, they have acquired more than 100 million daily users, and that number is growing every second.
Instagram has an extra feature that allows users to publish photos and videos in a permanent portfolio (in addition to ephemeral stories), which allows the content to be used and shared more easily. And, because Facebook owns Instagram, they will continue to have a powerful backing, along with a larger audience.
- Mobile advertising will grow more competitive.
Mobile advertising is the new crown jewel of the advertising world, and marketers need to expend a greater investment on mobile advertising in 2017.
Social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, are bringing in billions of dollars in social media ad revenues, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Marketers need to recognize this advertising trend and get creative.
Know your audience. Try your ads on different platforms. Then, target that audience in the right place at the right time (with the right ad) to boost your business above the competition.
Long story short, social media marketing is here to stay (until the next big thing comes along, of course). Get your social media strategy started today!