Recently, we blogged about what web design trends we think you’ll see in 2017 and took a look at our top three tech trends that could be the future of marketing. This week it’s social media’s turn as we predict the 4 social media trends you’ll see in 2017.
Social media will have more diverse capabilities
The first of our predictions for social media trends in 2017 is that social media platforms will become more diverse, allowing brands to do more things in one place.
2016 saw lots of development by social media platforms in expanding their current capabilities. Facebook recently allowed chatbots to accept card payments in the Messenger app, and 2016 also saw the take-off of Facebook Live, which allows users to broadcast live from their smartphones. In the Twiterverse, video and character limits were extended in 2016 and GIF search became integrated into the app for all users. Instagram created ‘Business Profiles’ with in-built analytics. Clearly, it’s all change on social media.
On the more dramatic end of the spectrum, Snapchat rebranded to ‘Snap’ and launched its first hardware product, Spectacles. And of course, Twitter is also long due a new and exciting innovation – it’s likely that 2017 will be the year it considers what else it can bring to the table.
What does this mean for businesses? Quite simply that you will be able to do more. As social platforms continue to diversify, businesses can tackle social, video, commerce, and more from one place!
But boundaries will blur
While all that sounds great, it does come with a warning. The trend of social media platforms introducing more features and capabilities means that there will be a lot more cross over.
Boundaries have already begun to blur in 2016. The introduction of ‘Memories’ on Snapchat was the first step away from in-the-moment content, while ‘Stories’ on Instagram saw a significant push towards it and away from polished, permanent content. And this isn’t the only place we’re seeing this unsettling social media trend – Facebook has made a huge push to be the go-to-place for breaking news (just like Twitter) as well as testing disappearing images within messenger (Snapchat, anybody?), and YouTube is testing community features that allows users to share text and image posts (much like Facebook…).
This means that businesses need to be careful about what social media platform they use and how they use it. The key is to diversify your content and be clear on what you’re using each platform for so that your audience is not bored by seeing the same content over and over again.
Video will continue to dominate
As marketing professionals have been predicting for years, video marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s only going to get bigger. We’ve seen more and more brands utilising Facebook Live and just a few days ago Instagram launched live videos AND Twitter integrated Periscope into its app.
We’re expecting video to keep on growing in popularity, whether that’s live broadcasts, 10-second videos that disappear, ‘shoppable’ films, or just regular video posts. So how can businesses use this ever growing social media trend? As Facebook Live has shown us, amateur is in – businesses don’t need a fancy production set to produce great video content – just something worth sharing. Alternatively, businesses can utilise video by creating their own videos or animations in lots of ways, with a variety of tools. Our recent blog on video marketing will give you a complete lowdown on the how-to.
Analytics is in the spotlight
Metrics are becoming increasingly important to marketers, with many searching for ways of measuring ROI on things previously considered ‘unmeasurable’, such as content marketing.
Once upon a time, social media was considered a ‘hit and miss’ kind of marketing, based on gut feeling. These days, social media analytics are not just much more capable, but also easier to use. Instagram for business is just one example of analytics becoming more accessible and gaining more importance in 2016 – now pretty much every social media platform has its own dedicated and comprehensive analytics page. The recent Facebook metrics scandal, which saw the social media giant admit that it had been exaggerating how long users watched videos by up to a whopping 80%, suggests that many people are still struggling to get to grips with social analytics. In the new year, it’s likely that businesses will be paying extra close attention to social media metrics to ensure that they get it right, delivering sharp and focussed content that actually performs.