Ways 2017 is Going to be a Big year for Social Media
2016 was a year of transformation for social media and the ways that people approach it. Social media has become a way of life for many people, and 2017 is going to be the big push to bring interactive experiences to consumers. Now that 2017 has arrived, the push to keep up with the latest social media trends is vital to the success of any business. In fact, many businesses today have specific social media plans in place that factor into their marketing strategy plans. According to Business2community.com, 85% of businesses today are using their social media presence as a way to create brand awareness.
What is in store for 2017? 2016 brought businesses the opportunity to create more interactive, and visual experiences for their target audience than ever before. In 2017, businesses wanting social media to be an effective aspect to their marketing plans will want to consider some of the latest trends expected to become even more popular in 2017:
- Video is here to stay
In 2016, social media users continued to see the rise of video as a way to communicate their messages across various social media platforms. This has been seen in the use of Facebook Live, particularly when users want to bring in real time. Forbes predicts one app that is going to be especially important to social media experts in 2017 is Snap (formerly called Snapchat). What businesses and organizations should take from this is that users don’t want lengthy pieces to read, in fact, an individual’s attention span is only about 8 seconds. Consumers also want to feel inspired and motivated from content they see on social media platforms. One company I have seen do this well is the Zumba Fitness social media accounts, where they feature the stories of instructors to inspire others to start their Zumba career. If your company or organization isn’t involved with video content, 2017 is the time to get started.
- Survival of the Fittest
While we probably won’t see any social media platforms total disappear in 2017, there are going to be those that clearly pull ahead of others. As mentioned, platforms like Snap are only expected to increase in popularity in 2017. However, Forbes predicts others like Twitter are likely to decrease in popularity (however it should be noted they have a strong advertising presence). While Twitter at one time was revolutionary in the way that it could allow users to update their circle of followers with quick updates, users are no longer interested in posts that limit the number of characters used. Although social media experts believe Twitter will make it another year, it will no longer be a front-runner. In terms of looking at social media from a business perspective, companies and organizations are finding it beneficial to find their social media niche and only focus on that one platform to devote their social media resources. It is worth looking at your social media reach for each platform and consider whether your company or organization would benefit from downsizing.
- Social Media and Advertising
In 2017 it won’t simply be enough to have a presence on social media if you are serious about increasing revenue using social media you need to look into paid advertising options. According to Hootsuite, between 2014 and 2016, social media advertising budgets doubled from 16 to 31 billion dollars in the United States. In 2017, that number will likely be over 35 billion. And, over 50% of surveyed B2B owners ranked social media as a low, or somewhat low cost marketing option. Facebook has already been encouraging small and large businesses alike to take their organic visibility and promote it using sponsored paid advertising. A business can also test out content organically, and then use paid options as a way to reach people it may not otherwise reach based on consumer interests. Other social media platforms are starting to use this including Instagram and Snap.
- Mobile Optimization
It comes as no surprise that the mobile world has increased in popularity, with an increasing number of people doing just about everything from shopping to banking via their phones. Social media platforms are also taking note of the fact that more people are checking into their accounts via their phones over their desktop. In fact, Snap and Instagram only exist via mobile platforms. Companies and organizations can take note of this by not only considering using mobile only apps but having a mobile friendly website linked to their social media accounts a priority. Google is also pushing for a better mobile experience for users by creating accelerated mobile pages.
Looking at social media from my personal perspective, but also from the side of companies and organizations, I think there is going to be a continued push to create a unique and personal experience for users. Often this can be as simple as sharing a fun video or article, as long as it is interactive, and has a message that is going to inspire people. Although you want your social media accounts to still come off as professional, you also need to show a human side. Social media is a great way to do this, and 2017 is going to be about bringing experiences right to each user’s fingertips.
About the Author
Sophia is a recent college graduate from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Communications Studies. During her time in college, Sophia became interested in marketing and the effect it has on social media. Currently, she works as a freelance social media and writing consultant for NISM as well as for Award Baking International. While doing her freelance work, she is actively pursuing a job in social media and public relations. In addition to her professional career, Sophia plans to start her own fitness business, working on her certifications in yoga and Zumba to help others find a healthy, and active lifestyle.