The month of December rings in the season of forecasts for the new year – of course, we also wanted to take a shot at predicting the social media trends set to make waves in 2017. One thing seems clear, we have an exciting year ahead of us!
Demand for Live Streaming Videos to Grow
This year, live videos will become even more integrated into companies’ daily social media activities. One of the reasons behind this development: Facebook and Co.’s newsfeeds are already prioritizing video content and rewarding it with reach. We can therefore expect the popularity of live streaming and 360-degree videos among users to continue to grow. From a company perspective, live streaming is a powerful new means of communication, since it enables users to interact and to react to content in real-time, which in turn gives companies the opportunity to respond immediately. Q&A sessions, events, surveys, and announcements are just a few examples of formats that are ideally suited to live streaming with a business focus.
New Ways to Monetize Live Streaming Videos
Another trend we will see in 2017 is the monetization of live streaming. Facebook will probably start placing ads in its live video feeds at some point this year. Snapchat is also planning to introduce new ad formats such as „Snap to Unlock“ to lure more companies onto its platform. These features offer companies new ways of connecting with users.
Social Ads to Become Indispensable
The new advertising formats will significantly increase companies’ marketing expenses in social media in 2017. If you want to push your social media presence, you can no longer avoid placing ads. The organic reach on social networks tends to be so negligible that without a social media budget, company-driven content only reaches a fraction of users – even among fans. Companies will need to think about whether they want to spend more money on social advertising or whether they prefer to focus on a variety of growth-hacking strategies to increase their reach, e.g. SEO as well as influencer and email marketing.
Shopping in the Social Web
Social shopping will become increasingly important this year. Instagram recently rolled out a test version of its „Shoppable Tags on Photos“ system, which could change the way we shop via smartphone. By clicking on the „Tap to View“ button in the corner of the Instagram image, users can get more information on up to five products shown in the respective image. Two additional clicks and the user is redirected to the product site of the retailer where the product in question can be purchased. „Shoppable Tags on Photos“ is currently only available to selected iOS users in the US. The official rollout could take place in the middle of 2017. Meanwhile, last October Facebook launched its social commerce program „Marketplace“, which allows members to buy and sell articles using the platform’s smartphone app. „Marketplace“ is currently only available in English-speaking countries. However, Facebook will continue to expand this program over the course of the year. For companies, social shopping means having access to more channels, a welcome opportunity to increase sales. Users benefit from end-to-end payment solutions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Chatbots & Co.
Artificial intelligence has already become ubiquitous across social networks. A cutting-edge tool developed by Facebook allows people with visual impairment to read content on one page, including all photos. The use of such technologies in social networks will continue to grow in 2017. Chatbots, for example, are becoming increasingly popular, since they provide marketing strategists with a new tool to enhance their interaction with customers and to improve customer loyalty. Customers want quick feedback on their questions and comments and chatbots can answer most queries directly and without requiring human help. This gives customer relationship managers time to focus on more complex inquiries. The use of artificial intelligence helps companies to better understand their customers and to provide the content that best suits the respective target group. In 2017, AI will improve companies’ ability to offer customers exactly what they need when they need it.
What’s your opinion on these trends? Did we forget to mention an important development? Share your views with us using the comments section below.
What do you think about Social Media Trends 2017? You’re welcome to let us know!
Article written by Anja Kloster, Marketing Manager at pressrelations GmbH
Anja Kloster works as a marketing manager and developer of social media monitoring solutions for pressrelations GmbH in Berlin. She writes about social media, online marketing and SEO. Prior to joining pressrelations, she worked as a social media content manager and research & program planning manager for international media groups.
Translation by Anna-Maria Hollain, Translator & Media Analyst at pressrelations GmbH
Since 2011 Anna-Maria Hollain has been working as a translator and media analyst. Before that, she was an intern at the Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS in Madrid, where she wrote for the newspaper’s global edition. Her research interests include aspects of linguistic and cultural transfer across media channels and the interplay of journalism and media monitoring.
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