With 2017 right around the corner, marketers and business owners need to understand where social media is headed so they can ensure they stay up to date and maximise their use of social media. If they don’t, they risk getting left behind.
To understand what we can expect in 2017, we have asked some social media influencers to share their predictions for the new year in social media.
It’s very hard to predict the future or trends, and experience shows humans are not only bad at prediction- they don’t even necessarily accept trends if they don’t like them! But we can look at what happened in 2016 and that might provide some clues about 2017.
The biggest trends we saw in 2016 were solidification of the importance of video and Facebook ads, and the questioning of Twitter’s future. Influencer marketing remains big but companies want more value and bottom-line results. Facebook Live looks promising, but is intimidating both personally (being on camera and spontaneous) and technically (pulling off more than just selfie video). People continue to adopt Facebook ads but, without above average training and diligent ad testing, they don’t always get the results they need. There are occasional fads or sparks like Instagram stories but marketers struggle to turn these into meaningful results.
We’ve seen Facebook become the #1 platform (70% of Americans over 13), the marketer’s #1 choice (55% according to SME), and the one people spend the most time on (50 minutes a day). There are successful B2B case studies there, too. We still aren’t seeing many great advertising lead gen or ecommerce studies from Twitter or LinkedIn’s self-serve ads, and we haven’t seen those companies improve those ad platforms. I think the biggest trend we’ll see is more and more and more marketers moving from the 80/20 rule to 100/0 and choosing Facebook as their ONLY social advertising platform.
Brian Carter, Chief Influencer, The Brian Carter Group , www.briancartergroup.com
“Social marketing will face a fairly significant transition in 2017, as CMO’s and marketers look to attribute their spend on social efforts and tools to actual sales. Over the past few years, CMO’s have spent on social with little expectation of being able to understand its ROI. That will change in 2017, social marketing and analytics is no longer exploratory, and will have to carry its weight on the P&L.”
Erik Lamb, VP of Product, NUVI
“There are so many predictions but really I think live video – whether that is live Facebook feeds but also an authentic live conversation recorded on video, not overly produced, not overly thought out, that literal connection with the audience and with the community”.
Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer for the City of Brisbane
“I have 2 predictions – 1.) The continual drop in organic reach through Facebook due to algorithm changes in 2016, will see the importance of Facebook advertising continue to grow rapidly for social media marketers in 2017 as businesses try to reach their current and new audiences and 2.) video has become a major part of social media strategy through 2016. We will continue to see the growth and development of video and the use of video content through 2017, as social media marketers continue to incorporate video into the forefront of their strategies.”
Ben Marshall, Social Media Specialist, Studio Culture
“2017 is all about using social media to build lists that are then segmented into more targeted messages. In hospitality, we’ll be continuing to use live video to build more trusted relationships and increase bookings.”
Robyn Fae, Marketing Consultant, Be My Marketer
You will see employees as brand ambassasdors. Companies can increase brand reputation by an audience that is already connected (employees). You can turn your team into a passionate group of social advocates. I also see an increase in real time engagement using such tools as Periscope and Facebook Live. Users expect a reply from the brand or company within an hour nowadays. Eventually, most businesses will shift customer service to social media accounts.
Cassia Cruz, Marketing Administrator
“Brands who’ve historically relied on long form thought leadership will escape the ‘read later’ box, by introducing micro content: short bursts of content in the form of memes, stats, infographics etc. The whole idea is to hook the user with snack-able content, later offering them the full meal on your website. Simply sharing long form blog articles – think a large, time consuming lunch – is not going to get you very far.”
Giuliana Schoeman, Social Media Consultant, Awesomesauce Consulting
“2017 is going to be a great year for Instagram. Facebook has been continuing to go more private while Instagram has been opening up more to business with ad opportunities. I believe we will see the biggest increase in the social media space with Instagram and businesses utilizing this platform.”
Ben Lamb, Team Lead NUVI
“I believe in 2017, influencer marketing will continue to grow and businesses will continue to partner more and more with influencers to build their tribe. I believe that social listening will become essential for business and government – not just from a brand protection perspective but more to discover what is being said about their industry and open up new business opportunities. Social will continue to be about building relationships and as has already been mentioned, live video will really come into it’s own as a two way dialogue is opened up between the brand and the audience. This will strengthen and build social tribes for those who engage and remember that social media is about connection.
Mireille Ryan, CEO, Social Media Marketing Institute