Social Media Trends for 2017


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

  1. 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!

  2. 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?

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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!

Four Companies with Omnichannel Experiences that Will Make You Jealous


Imagine you’re on your phone sitting patiently in a waiting room, scrolling through your favorite retail site. You find a couple of things you like and put those items in the online shopping cart.  But, of course, your name gets called before you can hit the purchase button, and you shutdown your phone… items still in the cart.

Later, you take out your iPad and remember that same shopping cart, loaded with goodies that you still want to buy. Unfortunately, when you go to the site on your iPad, the items are no longer in the cart. You shrug and figure, “ehh, it’s probably better to save the money anyway.” SALE LOST!

Consumers Change Their Minds at the Drop of a Hat

In considering the previous scenario: do you think the outcome would be different if those items had remained in the cart?  Likely, it would be. If those items were still in the cart upon your return, you, as a customer, (probably) would have purchased them.

This is the type of situation that today’s marketers need to take into great consideration. There is a very high probability that the hypothetical sale mentioned above would have been saved if all of the company’s platforms and devices had been in sync. This is the difference between multi-channel marketing and an omni-channel experience.

With advertising advancements leading away from traditional marketing tactics, businesses have begun using multiple digital channels to provide customers with information about goods and services. But, if your business’s digital channels are not in sync, you will lose sales.

Omnichannel marketing integrated experiences provide customers with the following:

  • Convenience
  • Consistency
  • Relevance
  • Empowerment
  • Agility

Want to see examples of omni-channel done right? Check out these Four Companies with Omni-Channel Experiences That Will Make You Jealous:


Disney’s omni-channel experience is so complete that it includes even the tiniest of details, resulting in a user experience that is essentially seamless.  They have a mobile responsive website, and their My Disney Experience allows customers to:

    1. Plan their trips
    2. Book dining reservations
    3. Secure FastPasses
    4. Manage MagicBands, which act as:
      – A hotel room key
      – A photo storage device for photos taken with Disney characters
      – A food ordering tool

Everything works together so that customers can find exactly what they need exactly when they need it – no matter what device they are using. This focus on omni-channel is what makes Disney magical!


REI is an outdoor clothing company that excels in providing clear communication across every touch point for their consumers. Their information is up-to-date and accurate, regardless of how the consumer is interacting with their brand.

So, if a customer needs a product, whether they ask a store associate or search online to see if it’s in-stock, they will get the same exact answer. By ensuring that their internal communication is consistent across all channels, REI guarantees that every interaction with their company is a positive one.

Bank of America

Bank of America takes its omni-channel focus to the financial services industry in a genius fashion. Because they have diligently sewn all channels together, customers are able to use whatever device is at their disposal to do the following:

  • Deposit checks
  • Schedule appointments
  • Interact with personal bankers by video
  • Share documents
  • Experience real-time expense tracking
  • Make mobile purchases


Ask most any omni-channel pro, and they’ll tell you that Starbucks is the master when it comes to omni-channel experiences.  For example, customers receive a free rewards card when they sign-up for the Starbucks app, but, unlike other cards, Starbucks cards can be checked and reloaded by phone, on their website, in their store, or on the app itself.

The impressive part of this, however, is that any change on that card is made in real-time. So, you can reload your card while on your phone (literally) standing in line, and the cashier will be able to use that reload by the time you get to the front of the line. Those Starbucks people don’t skip a beat!

Streamlined shopping experiences for today’s consumers are essential. Businesses can’t simply think in terms of the multiple channels that they use – they need to make ALL of those channels work together ALL OF THE TIME.

The concept of omni-channel is a “holistic” approach to marketing. It’s a realization that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Everything must work together like a well-oiled-machine so that there is no downtime or snag during transition.

Businesses must always be mindful of the platforms and devices that their customers are using, and then be certain that everything aligns to create a seamless user experience. This is done by standardizing the brand message, goals, objectives, and design across each channel and device.

If you aren’t using an omni-channel mindset for your business, you’re already falling behind. Take the examples above and get started now!

For more great benchmarks of omni-channel businesses, visit:

Want to learn even more? Check out our post about Omnichannel Marketing: Explained