When it comes to social media, trends seem to come and go daily. However, here are a few that will impact your marketing efforts in 2017.
Content with an expiration date
SnapChat changed the game, and you can expect other social platforms to follow suit. Content that expires does more than give people a way to send naughty pictures without worry (so they thought, anyway). It cuts through all the other content that clutters social media feeds.
The platform simply capitalized on one basic marketing principle—make the proposition an urgent one. You’ve seen the commercials offering a limited price for the next five callers or for the next 30 minutes. This content is no different. SnapChat users need to view the content within a certain amount of time or it is no longer accessible. How do you know this works? Aside from SnapChat’s growing popularity, other platforms—namely Instagram, are trying their own version of this.
Live streaming on multiple platforms
YouTube was a groundbreaking platform when it came out. More than a decade later, however, platforms like Facebook (and the rise and improvement of mobile phones) allows us to stream whatever we are doing as we are doing it. Twitter also has its own version of live streaming thanks to Periscope.
The ability to live stream whatever we want is changing how users engage with one another and how businesses are able to engage with their audience. It offers another way to establish and build credibility. Businesses could even, in theory, host webinars, chats, and Q&As using live stream technology.
Increased challenges getting organic traffic
If you crossover into content marketing or search engine optimization (which you likely do), you already know how much harder it is to rank organically on search engines like Google, thanks in part to the changing format of the search engine results pages. Social media marketing will be no different in the coming year.
Social media marketers will find the field is becoming more “pay to play” on big platforms like Instagram and Facebook. So what does this mean? Don’t depend only on social media marketing for your organic leads. Amp up the organic efforts you already utilize like optimized on-page content and email marketing, which is anything but dead.
Better Real-Time Engagement
Businesses both big and small found that Twitter gave them a way to immediately connect with customers and address their concerns. And doing this on a public forum help them build credibility, improve user experience, and promote their brand image. The result? Nearly three-quarters of Twitter users expect brands they follow to respond within 60 minutes.
This also means that more and more companies are finding they need to implement cross-platform social media strategies to provide real-time support and engagement with their customers. As 2017 begins, we’ll see a growing number of companies shifting their customer service efforts to their social media platforms, with many allocating new resources to handle the demand.
Heavier reliance on social analytics
In the beginning, social media marketing was relatively hit or miss and social media markets lacked the insight needed to target specific groups and understand where their traffic was coming from. As social media marketing grows in popularity, analytic programs are rising up to meet the needs of the marketers.
Small and medium businesses usually find that free programs like Google Analytics, Followerwonk, or Iconosquare are more than adequate to handle their needs. Bigger businesses and enterprise-level companies can find paid software that will help them better understand where their users are on social media and how to market to them effectively.
Have you ever noticed an ad on Facebook for a pair of boots at Nordstrom that you were just looking at? If you work in social media marketing, you know it is because you were targeted based on your interests. While it can feel a little big brother, don’t expect this to slow down anytime soon. In fact, in 2017, personalizing digital content will become increasingly important. In all the noise of social media, providing relevant content will be a key differentiator in attracting qualified leads. Luckily, those tools we just mentioned can help you decide who, how, and when.
Increased transparency between consumers and businesses
While we’ve all heard stories of people using Yelp to get free meals from a restaurant, parties on both side of the table can count on increased transparency in 2017. In the past, it has primarily been customers using social media to vent their frustrations, poor experiences, or warning others why to avoid a specific business.
One business changing this paradigm is rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. On these platforms, riders rate the driver, but the driver can rate the rider as well. If you drink too much and vomit in a rideshare car, do not expect a 5-star rating.
When making your social marketing plan for 2017, don’t be afraid to add a few new tactics to the list of things to try or be afraid of letting go of tactics that just aren’t returning the results you want. One thing you can count on for sure in 2017 is experimentation will be key in finding what works for you and what does not in this shifting social media landscape.