Social media continues to captivate users and dominate our collective attention, and 2017 promises to be full of movement and evolution.
Remember when Facebook was called “a neat idea” and social media was considered a “fad” just under ten years ago? Well, times have certainly changed and social media is now the driving force behind a newer, more customized marketing vehicle that is powered by the innovation of more than a billion users.
Social media is here to stay, and its power is undeniable. But one attribute that makes social media so central to today’s consumers and businesses is its ability to change quickly and adapt to market demands. Here is our list of 5 social trends we’d expect to grow in popularity in 2017.
#1: Social Influencers
Social media gave rise to millions of individuals who now have something to say. These bloggers, journalists, or subject matter experts are either sublimely interested in their chosen areas of focus, or they’re considered to be leading authorities in their field.
Either way, they take to social media and communicate about their areas of interest. Most importantly, we listen! According to recent research, just under 50% of Twitter users rely on recommendations from influencers on the social media site, compared to 56% of users who listened to recommendations from friends. Social influencers will take center stage during 2017.
#2: Challenges to Organic Traffic
It used to be that you could simply put out good content and keyword stuff a blog or website and it would help to launch you to the top of the Google rankings. Alas, those days are long gone.
Similarly, it is becoming more and more difficult to gain attention across social media platforms in traditional, organic ways. Many platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and others are becoming increasingly centered on their version of paid media, instead of simply allowing quality content to rise to the top.
There is only so much space online and there is a glut of content out there. Facebook, for instance, will rank news stories or information based on unique criteria: how much a reader has interacted with this type of post before, the post’s general performance among similar readers, the performance of past content by the creator, the general type of post, and how recent the post was created.
#3: Live Video Streams
YouTube was the originator, but other social media platforms are quickly catching on that most users want to view more than still images or black text on a white background.
Instead, current technology and the proliferation of mobile devices have created roving bands of wannabe cinematographers – each bent on capturing and distributing videos of life’s unique moments.
Twitter bought Periscope, Facebook introduced its Live feature, and the world is now taking notice. Create content that will attract attention. Want to attract 1,341,401 viewers to your site as of November 15th, 2015? Simply record a guy sliding a can of Coke across a desk to create a “Chewbacca” sound. Yes, it can be that easy… and yes, that video exists. The real challenge is translating your video into a compelling marketing tool.
#4: Personalization Is Key
Social media, especially for those of us who spend significant time on the major platforms like Facebook and Twitter, can be quite “noisy” at times. It seems like there is always something popping up in your feed – often irrelevant to your interests and desires.
But that is quickly changing, and 2017 promises to be the year of personalization as the major social media sites focus more heavily on re-targeting efforts and more relevant digital marketing tactics. The goal is to catch the individual eye of the user, not simply advertising popular items at a regional or national level.
#5: Social Media = Better Customer Experience
As businesses begin to more fully integrate social media into their day-to-day operations, one major thing happens – the customer experience becomes more visible. Even just ten years ago, a bad client experience was often met with little more than a harshly written letter addressed to the president of the company or a vow to never shop there again.
Today, customers have a completely public arena in which to demonstrate their positive or negative sentiments toward a business, and organizations must pay close attention to all pieces of feedback lest they appear disinterested in their client base. In short, social media is creating an economy of trust.
Keep an eye out for these trends and more in 2017, as social media continues to change the way we communicate, shop, and live. From a marketing perspective, ensure that you partner with a firm that understands the nuances and ever-changing drivers of the digital marketing world.