By Dave McGurgan
In the world of social media and social media marketing, one constant you can count on is constant change. New social media tools rise to the surface, while others reach the end of their lifespan. Meanwhile, major players such as Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat continue to roll out new features. These changes can often shake up your organization’s social media strategy and playbook from year to year.
In 2017, we expect to see continued innovations in the social sphere and the continued evolution in being able to target, message and market to highly defined audiences. And here are some of the ways it’s all likely to unfold.
Video is about to hit the peak! Now’s the time to get on
“When asked which type of content they would like to create more of if there were no obstacles like time, resources, and budget, 83 percent of [the] marketers surveyed said video content.”
What 1,200+ of the world’s best marketers think about the future of social media [Inbound.org, Alfred Lua]
The status quo on social is shifting
“For marketers, social media in 2017 will be a challenge and opportunity. With the decline of content marketing and the rise of new technologies, like virtual reality and artificial intelligence, marketers will have to create new strategies to keep up.”
Social Media in 2017 [Crowdbabble, Katie Meyer]
New areas of communication will emerge
“Historically, social media existed as a way for individual people to communicate online. When brands caught on, it also became a way for brands to speak to and advertise to consumers. But now, social media is evolving in new communicative areas. Some platforms are offering means of customer service, increasing the significance and interactivity of exchanges between brands and consumers. Others, like Facebook, are delving into more professional communication. Expect to see more diversity here as more brands catch onto the potential.”
7 Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2017 [Forbes, Jayson DeMers]
The social media skills gap widens
More companies than ever are using social channels for marketing, customer service and sales: around 90 percent, according to the latest data from eMarketer.
But a curious thing has happened: training and resources for frontline employees have been largely ignored. Research from management consulting firm Capgemini Consulting says nine out of 10 companies report their workers don’t have the requisite skills to leverage social media as a business tool.
Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017 [Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes]
Employees Turn Into Beacons For Their Brand
“If you are working for a company that considers itself “connected”, you might be encouraged to share business updates. This is because brands have now started turning to employees as brand ambassadors to further their brand image. In other words, using employee social advocacy programs has grown about 191% since 2013.”
5 Trends That Will Transform Social Media in 2017 [Social Media Explorer, Nancy Grace]
Chatbots Take Over 1:1 Conversations
Automated communications are here to stay. Facebook’s Messenger app now enables brands to build their own chatbot response services, helping to automate and direct communications with customers that don’t require major human influence. This month, the network even announced that payments will be supported in the feature.
So far, the majority of chatbots on the network seem to be experiments with the potential and range of the feature, but that’s bound to change. As savvy marketers and developers begin to catch up with the possibilities, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see chatbots begin to automate communication in 1:1 conversations. If that happens, 2017 will be the year we begin to see tangible effects on your social media marketing strategy.
5 Predictions For Social Media Marketing In 2017 [Social Media Today, Brad Friedman]
Leveraging live video within social media
“In 2017, one of the marketing trends we’ll continue to see the increasing adoption of live video for businesses that are marketing themselves through social media. It’s a powerful tool. I think smaller companies are likely figuring out how they can leverage it. I expect we’ll see more experimenting with live video for sure. I also believe that we’ll see more tools or add-ons that help make the production of live video even easier. It’s pretty amazing: You can launch a live video stream with one click and a mobile device.”
Marketing trends to watch for in 2017 [Four Dog Creative, Dave McGurgan]
If you’re not sure where and how you should be focusing your social media marketing efforts, call us at (302) 367-4023 for a free consultation and see how we can help.