2016 Was the ultimate time for all things social media, and in 2017 it is only going to get bigger and better. Currently social media users are spending 15% of their wake time on online platforms, that's nearly 2 hours a day and 730 hours a year! Talk about a crazy amount of hours! Think what else you could have done in that time. But then again, how else would we keep up to date with the latest trends, news and events!
So what should we expect to see in 2017? Well, some of the biggest names in social media have already answered that for us! Here are some of the trends that they expect to see...
Companies will have to start monitoring their marketing strategies as they eventually would have to be changed, as the increase growth of social media is going to build a lot of competition. As it is you have to pay to promote and boost your social posts in order for them to get seen at a wider range, and the price is only going to get higher with more companies jumping on the social train.
"Social media in 2017 will continue to change and consolidate. We're going to see more acquisitions, as power continues to collect in the hands of a few, and smaller players who can't monetize will be left behind. Devices will be more integrated into marketing and entertainment, augmented reality, virtual reality, and 360 video will become mainstream. Twitter and Yahoo will become shells of their former selves and become acquired.
And companies will need to reformulate social strategy and content strategy to provide more levels of education and entertainment rather than the thinly-veiled marketing collateral it's become." - Eric T Tung
Fighting Fake News
There was a lot of controversy on fake news at the end of 2016, mainly due to people believing it effected public voters by altering their views on political debates such as brexit or the presidential election. But to help resolve this problem people should check the source of information and to not believing anything without evidence as it is unreliable. After all, not everything you read on Facebook and Twitter is true!
"I expect social media platforms in the year ahead to at least face and possibly tackle some of the most controversial and challenging aspects of the amplification they provide. Specifically, I think we're going to see Twitter double down on features that limit abusive aspects, and Facebook to address the issues of fake news, false claims, and inaccurate "facts" on their platform.
Google has already worked on this to a degree with their algorithms focused on accuracy (as reported by NPR). My expectation is that amplification of false information will become more difficult, and that abusive and threatening behaviour will as well. One might have hoped that this would be addressed earlier in the life of these platforms, but I think the executives at Facebook and Twitter required the powerful catalysts of 2016 to prioritize modifications." - Rand Fishkin
Social Networks to Social Messaging
"Until recently, companies had focused their efforts on social networks but in 2017, they will start investing massively in social messaging applications. These apps have a wide audience and offer several attractive features to brands for e-commerce and client support, for example, which allows for economies of scale and the creation of new types of user experience. Let's not forget that the four main messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber) together have a wider community than the four main social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram)." - Isabelle Mathieu
As it is social networking is at a much lower level than social messaging, and this bring us back to what was mentioned previously about market managers having to change their strategies. Brands should starting researching ways they can interact and approach customers through messaging apps.
Targeting and Integration
"2017 will continue to see an evolution of the many things we saw in 2016, so rather than it being a revolutionary year, it will be an evolutionary one. That being said, my advice for businesses who want to maximize their social in 2017 to adapt to this evolution would be the following.
Influencer Marketing: Brands need to graduate from throwing $$ at people with large networks and instead focus on influencers that truly help them meet their objectives. If it's SEO you're looking for, you don't need to be targeting Instagrammers and instead might want to focus on bloggers who may or may not be an "influencer" in social media. On the other hand, if brands would celebrate their fans more often in social media, these brand advocates can become influencers in their own right, and this is the approach that I recommend to brands before investing in transactional influencer relationships versus long-term mutually beneficial brand advocacy relationships.
Paid Social: The days of organic social media success are over. It's not a question of paying for playing but of how much you pay to play. In order to do so, you need to create your own revenue attribution model algorithm, measure, and optimize. Failing to create rational attribution models keeps many brands from under investing in social and missing out on opportunities to leverage the communities and data (custom audiences, et. al.) they already own.
Visual Content: In 2016, content is already a commodity. That is, the written type of content is a commodity. Brands should focus less on quantity of written content (blogs, et. al.) and instead have a "less is more" approach by focusing on quality. However, visual content is not a commodity, and this is where brands should be investing more of their budgets, whether in user-generated campaigns to source photographic content, creating more and more videos, or doing more and more live streams, this visual content area will help you truly cut through the noise and be heard." - Neal Schaffer
Stay tuned for part two and find out more of the upcoming social trends of 2017...