What does the future hold for social media in 2017?

As we approach the end of 2016, it is evident that we have seen many changes and developments to the world of social media and digital marketing, let’s reflect on some of these:

Video

This year saw video become even more fundamental in the ‘digital eye’ to use in social media platforms, particularly live video content which encourages social interactions. Recently a study of analytics to measure content engagement by a digital marketing agency found webinars to be one of the most successful ways to educate current and potential clients whilst generating new leads. Hubspot found in a study that including a video on a landing page can increase conversion by up to 80%.

Mobile

Another key trend which has intensified in 2016 is the move towards mobile dominance in search. Google recently announced they are testing splitting their indexes into desktop and mobile, with the priority index being mobile. With the extent to which mobile now affects the landscape of digital revealed and the growth in online sales year-on-year, it is more crucial than ever to have a mobile responsive website.

Mobilegeddon, also known as Google’s mobile friendly ranking system penalises non-responsive websites in its algorithm to which Bing also implemented its own similar update.

2017 Social Media Predictions

  • Live broadcasts over social media will be fully embraced by big brands – live streaming on social media is becoming more of a trend.
  • More companies are expected to spend their marketing budgets towards boosting their social media presence and activity.
  • Automation tools like Hootsuite will be used more to manage and grow businesses social media presence. For example, Hootsuite supports proactive marketing as you can schedule tweets in advance.
  • Companies need to be ‘socially active’ on social media channels to respond to customer reach-outs. It is predicted that more customers will go directly to a company’s Facebook page or Twitter for support or to log a complaint rather than phoning or emailing.
  • Video is set to be a ‘game-changer’ in 2017 – The future of video is set to be Facebook Video, watch this space as this is the most important change to social media in years.
  • eMarketer expects the percentage of companies investing in Instagram Ads to grow from 32% to 48% - Instagram has huge capabilities due to its growing audience. Brands and marketers are expected to begin identifying ways in which Instagram’s photo feed could be used for organic traction.
  • 2017 could see more brands and retailers resort to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for opportunities to showcase and even sell products directly to consumers. The results from a recent survey concluded that 20% of people have already made a purchase directly through a social media platform – this figure is expected to grow in 2017.

Visual Social Media

This year has shown a trend towards visual social media with more companies integrating GIFs, short video and images into text-based platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Instagram may be the fifth performing network for social media marketing efforts stated by 2016 Marketing Trends Survey but it outshines as the top social platform for brands to grow their following.

Integration of Commerce and Social

This year saw the launch of Facebook’s Marketplace which is one example of a social network that has integrated an ecommerce feature into their interface, to drive more revenue. Social commerce has the potential to impact mobile, ecommerce, marketing and advertising and marketers who use any social media channels.

For more information on any of the above, please contact us and we can advise on marketing strategies for your social media channels in accordance with the predictions for 2017 and beyond.

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