By Mila Camilleri, Client Social Media Partner
It’s safe to say that in 2016 the rise of live video content truly peaked. With Facebook introducing live streaming videos, Instagram jumping on the Snapchat video stories bandwagon, the growing popularity of Twitter’s live-streaming platform, Periscope, Youtube’s ever-strong platform – it seems like moving content is the way forward in 2017.
And just like Paul the Octopus predicted the results of the 2010 World Cup, here are our thoughts for growing social media trends to put into practice in 2017.
ON THE RISE
- Social video
65% of marketers give priority to social video platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat over traditional web video platforms like Youtube and Vevo. Facebook will continue to be the focus of video advertising in 2017.
Essentially, 30-second videos with a simple message, that are compelling and don’t need sound to be impactful, will be winners in 2017.
Other interesting visual content like GIFs, infographics, virtual reality and 360-degree photos are looking promising too.
- Empowering the workforce
The power of social media is growing each year, and employers need to move away from the closed-minded notion that social media platforms should be blocked in the workplace (because they need to get every cents’ worth out of their employees’ wages). Instead, they should be empowering their employees to share the company’s content. Not only does this open up the audience pool at no cost, it taps into peer influence and can create leads.
- Social for discovery
More and more people are turning to social media rather than traditional search engines for answers, reviews and recommendations. A Facebook page with reviews and ratings from real people is so much more powerful to a potential customer than a company’s website.
Building trust with an audience is important, and showing third party content on a social media channel, like customer stories, reviews and more, is key.
- Artificial intelligence
2017 is looking to be the year of artificial intelligence in the form of chat bots. These handy bots can assist customers with a multitude of frequent queries or duties that don’t require human intervention. This leaves customer service representatives with more time to focus on other in-depth problems that need a human touch. In fact, Facebook has at least 34,000 chat bots on Messenger already.
CHALLENGES WE FACE
- Organic reach
Organic reach is always a challenge, and it’s continually on the decline. With the changing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram algorithms, it’s becoming harder and harder to reach target audiences organically.
To get around this:
(1) Your content needs to be compelling and relevant enough that your audience will want to share it and do the work for you – so you need to know your audience.
(2) A way to reach your target audience is by using a brand ambassador. In this way, you will reach your audience via a channel that they would naturally take interest in, such as a blogger or a well-liked personality.
(3) Another option is paid advertising, and consequently, digital advertising costs are set to hit the roof.
Estimated worldwide spending on social network advertising is set to be almost $36 billion by the end of 2017.
- Dark social
Social media interactions that cannot be measured (as opposed to likes, engagement, reach) are considered ‘dark social’. This includes Snapchat’s self-deleting videos, content that’s shared via messaging apps and email, and the use of emojis. 82% of content shared on mobile is done through dark social.
Here are a couple of ways to measure dark social, to an extent:
(1) Use UTM codes, which help track the performance of links so the source of traffic can be monitored.
(2) Embrace the dark side by, for example, sharing an exclusive sale that customers can only find out about through dark social. The response to the sale will be an indicator of the impact dark social is having on your content and channels.
And there you have it – our take on what’s hot and what’s not for social media in 2017. Can we help you with your social media goals? Speak to us, we’d love to get to know your brand.