Social media changes at breakneck speeds, and sometimes it can even make our heads spin – and we research and study it every day! Always evolving, morphing and changing the rules right under our noses, it’s hard to know what to expect from one year to the next. What was hot yesterday might be old news today. But have no fear! We’re here to keep you up to date on the trends that are slated to dominate 2017’s social media landscape.
This trend has been on the rise for a while, and 2017 is set to be a banner year for video. Every social platform is getting in on the action – Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and the newest arrival of the social brat pack, Snapchat. Videos get much more engagement than any other type of content and have single-handedly changed the game for many brands. The masses are becoming more and more enamored with live content, and the networks are answering. Brands need to hop on this bandwagon by adding livestreams and stories into content calendars.
Thanks to the magic of Facebook, the future has arrived in the form of chatbots. And these bots are capable of being the customer service agent you’ve always wanted on your team. Businesses are using the intelligence of chatbots to communicate with customers by responding quickly to comments or inquiries. Millennials are increasingly demanding businesses that are equipped with self-service options, and chatbots fill this need by answering questions, completing transactions and communicating with customers. Some forecast that in the not-so-distant future, businesses will no longer need a website to do business as social media will take over the ability to connect with consumers.
The day has finally come: all of the major social networks now offer ways to make in-app purchases. According to a Marketing Week survey, 56% of consumers report browsing social media to find products on sale, while 31% of users say they use social media to find new items to purchase. With Facebook offering a “Shop Now” call to action, and Instagram’s “Buy Now” button, it’s easier than ever to make social media accounts shoppable.
Snapchat started the trend, and then Instagram launched its own version of disappearing content in late 2016. More and more brands are using this feature to showcase their personality through unpolished, off-the-cuff content and getting staggering results. Expect to see more “account takeovers, live events, behind-the-scenes footage, and video series in 2017 as brands get a better handle on what audiences want to see.
This may be a little known fact, but the top four messaging apps have a much larger community of users than the top four social networks, with Facebook Messenger reporting over one billion monthly users alone. Businesses are taking advantage of this rising trend by making more of an effort to engage via these messaging apps. Facebook now allows advertisers to post paid clickable ads where users are directly taken to a chat window. Make no doubt about it, 2017 will find an explosion of brands invested in focusing more of their efforts on these messaging apps.
Which of these trends have you experimented with? What is your favorite social media trend of 2017?