Social media trends are an ever-evolving entity, with exciting new developments happening all of the time. Not only great for casual and personal users of social media platforms, new developments in how we can use social media and the tools available to us are a boon for social media advertising. Trends come and go, but there are some specific trends we can anticipate with some certainty as being prominent in 2017.
What can we look forward to in social media trends in 2017?
Some of these emerging social media trends are predicted to build on successes of 2016, whereas others will come into their own for the first time.
- Live streaming takes over
- Live streaming has been big news in social media advertising trends in 2016, and it will continue as such in 2017. Diverse businesses have embraced live streaming on social media to trigger audience attention and drive engagement to much deeper levels. Consumers benefit from an experience that is both immediate and more intimate than traditional social media posting.
- Thanks to apps that convert a smartphone’s camera into a device for live streaming, broadcasting via Twitter is simple. Viewers can comment on the live stream in real time. Facebook has embraced live streaming via Facebook Live. Research into Facebook Live activity demonstrates that viewers spend three times as long watching videos when they are live as to when they’re not.
- Facebook alone had one and a half billion users; live streaming is sure to gain traction in the coming year.
- Video will prosper
- Alongside live streaming, video content will expand. Some predictors believe that in future, Facebook will predominantly be video content. Text content has declined, with image content increasing enormously, and this trend is expected to continue.
- Also, users can expect to see a much higher saturation of 360-degree photo content. It is easy to facilitate, provides a deeper, richer user experience, and gives a hint of virtual reality.
- Social media marketing with empathy
- Social media is about connection. The very best connections are made with empathy. By creating content that audiences connect to in the most human way, experiencing an emotional response that incorporates empathy, businesses are better able to capture consumers and create a meaningful relationship with them. These meaningful relationships will deliver positive results for both the business and its customer.
- Contemporary internet and social media users are spoiled for choice. If they aren’t captured by your content, they will go elsewhere – very quickly. Content must be relevant, individualised and targeted for the niche.
- Increasing demand for social content
- As well as video content in newsfeeds, social media users are placing ever higher value on quality content including articles. Brands need to provide content like blog articles directly through social media channels as a priority. This trend also has implications for onsite search engine optimisation – social media can no longer be ignored.
- Digital assistants
- Siri and Cortana are just two examples of digital assistants that are being used more in recent times. Their sophistication is improving, and now we also have voice search options. Google Home and Amazon Alexa allow users to voice search on their phones. What does this mean for social media marketing? Content must be adapted to long-tail keyword phrases, colloquialisms, and conversational searches.
- Priority placed on apps
- Social media platforms, as well as search engines, are trending towards higher favourability of apps in new features they roll out. App streaming, for example, prioritises usage of apps and their visibility for mobile internet users. If you’re not yet invested in apps, it’s time to explore this new avenue for your business.
- Social commerce
- Social media platforms are being used much more for actual purchasing, and this trend is predicted to escalate in the coming year. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest have all adopted BUY buttons, and Instagram has expanded its advertising platform. Savvy retailers from all industries are using social media to expand product awareness and to ultimately trigger positive action by consumers.
- According to eMarketer research, last year social commerce peaked at USD $14 billion in the USA, and predictions suggest this will triple by 2020. The growth of social commerce is being driven, for the most part, by the millennial audience.
- There are also some social platforms that are dedicated to curated shopping, such as AHAlife and Polyvore.
- Social commerce is gaining popularity in an unprecedented way, and brands need to create a more rewarding and fluid experience for online shoppers by investing in it. In future, there may be far less need for a stand-alone business website when social media platforms have so much to offer. It will be interesting to observe how shopper habits unfold.
- Human-centred big data
- In the past, business owners and advertisers worked based on data and targeted the consumer as a secondary notion. Today, we understand that knowing the customer comes first. Based on who the consumer is, from there modern businesses and marketers gear their content creation using their data so as to achieve a much more personalised approach to marketing. Applicable to all areas of marketing and advertising, this is a crucial approach to use in social media content creation. It allows for the use of data and consumer identifiers to predict buying needs and behaviours.
- New discovery tools
- Social media is becoming ever more a visual entity. As such, platforms are changing the way users search for content. For example, Facebook is working to streamline the process of finding specific videos. Their intention is to ultimately offer separate video channels for videos shared by pages you like, those shared by friends, saved videos, previously viewed videos, and videos currently trending on the platform.
- LinkedIn global recruiting
LinkedIn will continue to be the leading professional social network and a prominent global recruiting platform, changing the way recruiters do their job, moving from traditional hiring methods to social media networking. It has little competition, and its innovative approach has humanised business executives like no other channel.
Based on expert surveys, what trends can we expect to see in recruitment via LinkedIn in 2017?
- Hiring volume will increase
- Acquisition of talent will be top priority
- Top recruited roles will be in sales, operations and engineering
- Hires will be predominantly via employee referrals, third-party websites and social professional networks
- Leaders will as a priority invest in employer branding, new technology and better tools for sourcing talent
- Candidate diversity will be valued
- Interview tools will become more innovative
- Less is more when it comes to content
- Third-party vendors will be increasingly called on to produce podcasts
- Snapchat for business will decline
- Interactive content will rise in prevalence and popularity
Continued social metamorphosis
It might seem like social media trends are changing and evolving faster than we can keep up with them – and it’s true we need to pay attention to stay abreast of what’s current and not be left behind. It’s anticipated by experts that by 2018, social media will be used by 2.5 billion people worldwide. Innovation is the key to this growth, and as a business owner, remaining up to date with social media trends and taking advantage of available social media tools for business will help you remain at the top of your game.
Want to read 3 of our best blogs for 2016?
- Beware these social media blunders – are you making these mistakes?
2. How to boost your content marketing with social media – everything you need to know going into the new year.
3. Build a powerful network on twitter – this should be party of your social media strategy.
MUST READ WHILE YOU ARE HERE: Have you read our blog on how to persuade and influence for success when it comes to your social media marketing? If not, it’s worth the few minutes you’ll spend reading it.
Meanwhile, if you are professional who uses LinkedIn, our free LinkedIn Course is a great place to start for you so you get the most out of the platform. It will form the basis of awareness and building a connection so you can start and maintain a solid relationship with your target market. When they know, like and trust you, they will eventually buy from you.