Social Media Predictions 2017
Social media is forever evolving. 2016 saw video content take over with the likes of Instagram Stories and live video integration, enabling users to instantly share more of their day-to-day lives and not just post the highlights.
For businesses, this has created an entirely new space to engage in conversations and evolve customer relationships. So let’s take a peek into what we might expect in 2017.
#1 Live video
It is fair to assume that video content will continue to grow and dominate in the social environment. More businesses could be forced to embrace live video as people are prioritising it over other types of content. Live video would also provide brands with instant access to their customers and their conversations.
Live video is already transitioning to become more business friendly, with Instagram and Snap Inc. (formally Snapchat) recently adding features to incorporate links within stories. We can also expect that Facebook will not be far behind, especially as they are on their way to launching selfie filters through Masquerade.
#2 Shift in reality
We are already starting to see Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality features being integrating into our day-to-day lives. Especially with the success of Pokémon Go, we can expect to see new opportunities arise for brands to advertise through future VR games.
Apps such as Bipplar are also at the forefront of innovation as it adds a facial recognition feature, meaning the app can recognise and identify random individuals. Although this poses some privacy issues, it will be interesting to see what response AR features have in 2017.
#3 Narratives and engagement at the core of strategy
Social strategies will need to focus on building connections and not just producing amazing content. As the social world becomes more manic every day, brands will need to focus their attention on narratives, storytelling, clear communication and building relationships in order to stand out and produce engaging content.
#4 User-generated content
The growth of user-generated content is also an important point to note, According to TINT, 93% of consumers find UGC helpful when deciding on a purchase. Therefore the need for engagement with social influencers could not be more vital to help drive content across different platforms. Including UGC and some elements of influencer marketing within social campaigns will help build engaging and trustworthy social communities where brand to customer relationships can thrive.
Twitter may turn its focus to protecting its authority as being a news outlet. In the past, Twitter has been the first place to search a news query and start or follow news based conversations. However, you could argue that Facebook has taken over this role so it will be interesting to see how Twitter reacts to these developments.
Similarly, Snapchat has also started featuring official news stories, with news stories from the past 24 hours being pinned in the story tab. Users are now able to view breaking news as Snapchat publishes it. Alongside news publishers, we may see this space open up to offer brands an opportunity for advertising space, along with the already established geo-filters and selfie filters for business.
With an ever-growing consumer desire for instant and shared experiences, shared media and participatory marketing may dominate strategies and campaigns in 2017. In order to support these new social marketing methods, there is a clear need for advanced tools to support the gaps in social analytics. This will provide businesses with the ability to target beyond ‘traditional’ demographics.