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7 Social Media Trends to be Looking for in 2017

Social media is an ever-evolving medium that seems to morph into something new just as we get the hang of its current features. It’s kind of frustrating. But it’s also pretty brilliant and reaches millions of human beings every day. On that note, we’d best be in the know as business owners who need to be influencing our followers. Keeping up with social media trends may be a full time job, but it’s one that’s worth investing in if you want to have the greatest influence, or rather, any influence on modern consumers.

Live video is gaining serious traction.

You may have noticed whilst scrolling your newsfeeds that live videos are beginning to pop up frequently. Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live have both revolutionized the way users interact with brands (and each other) and people are connecting with it.

Users appreciate the authenticity this “behind the scenes” type of communication gives them. It’s a way to show the grit of your business outside of the polished squares of Instagram. And if there’s anything we know about Millennials (a large part any social media audience), it’s that they love genuine, authentic, and real.

Maybe live video is a wading a bit too deep into the social media pool for the size and scope of your business, and that’s ok. The takeaway here is to give your specific target audience glimpses into the inner workings of your company. This is a great way to garner trust and develop a loyal following, no matter your size.

Social messaging isn’t simply for friend to friend texting anymore.

As a business, you need to look outside of the box when it comes to interacting with your customers. Social messaging has become a surprising touchpoint that companies have been leveraging to create a personal and efficient method of consumer contact. By making themselves available via social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, businesses can readily make evergreen connections with their target audience.

Think of the benefits of this type of communication in terms of customer service: instead of waiting on an email reply, a user can get an almost immediate response via chat. Or instead of waiting on hold…you get the idea. This is beneficial not only for the user, but is also far more cost-effective for companies.

Chatbots are our AI office assistants.

Artificial intelligence frequently feels just out of reach and part of some sci-fi fantasy, but we seldom realize how often it’s integrated into our lives already. Chatbots are one (albeit underdeveloped) example.

Businesses are using chatbots to answer frequently asked questions via messaging apps, direct consumers to helpful content, and assist in online transactions. Again, this technology is fairly fresh to the social media trends list, but due to its efficient and low cost nature once implemented, it will see inevitable growth in 2017.

This piece is another one that’s going to be less relevant for a mid to small sized company, but as it becomes more readily available, the information is valuable to have in your social media toolbelt.

The desktop to mobile transition is still a big deal.

Mobile friendly sites and platforms were buzzwords in the ancient world of 2012. Most relevant businesses are aware of this transition and have jumped on the bandwagon. What many of us don’t realize is that this is still “a thing”. Facebook is just now almost 100% finished with their mobile transition and it’s estimated that by 2020, well over half of Facebook users will access the platform from mobile devices only. And Instagram, as we know, is designed to be a mobile platform and limits much of its usage to mobile only.

Why is this important? Mobile ads. Spending will begin to filter toward predominantly mobile ads as social media trends solely toward mobile sites.

Internet user and social media user are becoming synonymous.

It’s pretty safe to say that anyone who regularly uses the internet also dabbles in social media. According to this study only 46% of adult internet users also frequented social media platforms. That number has rocketed to 70% percent today, and while that growth isn’t projected to continue, you can bet that companies will (and should) be leveraging social media to connect with consumers.

Organic traffic is increasingly difficult to acquire.

Due to the constant tweaking of algorithms on social media sites, grabbing organic traffic may prove to be ever more elusive. While at one time the goal was increase follows and likes and post regularly to be “seen” on places like Facebook and Twitter, brands may need to reassess their tactics to better align with social media trends. The loss of chronological updates on many platforms has made implementing paid ads almost a must in order to make your visible to the masses.

The gist of this is that you need to enact a multifaceted approach to social media marketing: paid ads, SEO, and Email marketing strategically used together are going to be what draws those organic numbers to your product.

Virtual reality and augmented reality will see increased usage in social media marketing.

With the rise in customer demand for something authentic and memorable, virtual reality and augmented reality (think Pokémon Go) will flourish. Audiences are always demanding more video content, and intelligent marketers are bowing to their desires by not only providing simple footage, but developing virtual and augmented reality experiences for a more impactful consumer experience. Think beyond a Snapchat selfie lens and imagine brands sharing experiences in engaging and original ways. This innovative ad by TOMS is just one example to dive into.

Social Media Trends and You

Whichever way you slice the internet marketing pie, social media is here to stay. It’s a tenacious business that’s incredibly intelligent and adaptive to feed what the consumer culture demands, and as such, it would be wise to evolve in stride. For assistance in keeping up with social media trends and to increase your web presence, contact the team at Blindspot Advisors.