In the formative years of social media, many business people were skeptic about the value for a business. Social media was dismissed as a passing cloud and fad that would soon go away and be confined to the rust belt of the Internet in much the same manner as companies during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. But, to the surprise of skeptics, social media has not only shown it has staying power, but it has established itself as an indispensable marketing tool. Social media marketing continues to break expectations and scale new heights.
This article takes a look at what 2017 and beyond has in store for social media marketers.
1 Snapchat will continue to create new opportunities
The popularity of Snapchat has confounded many people. In fact, most people under the age of 30 don’t get the big deal about Snapchat. The fact is, Snapchat (or Snap as it is now known) is the social media network of choice for millenials under 30. This is a huge market and marketers have had to sit up, take notice and learn quickly. Amongst some of the things that have made Snap popular is, its focus on the moment, and live video content. A 2014 survey by researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University found that the primary use of Snap was for comedic content such as “stupid faces”, with 59.8% of respondents reporting this use most commonly. Snapchat’s success is mainly because users find the application to be fun as opposed to the security offered by the impermanence of its messaging feature.
Snap also brought vertical videos into the mainstream. For many years, vertical videos have been maligned by experienced video professionals as amateurish. This snobbish assessment is in spite of the fact that vertical video makes more sense on a mobile device that is mostly held upright. In fact, recent testing by Facebook has shown that people watch vertical videos longer and with the sound on when the videos appear vertically in their feeds.
Snap is now also looking to develop products that go far and beyond its main messaging feature. They recently introduced “Spectacles that Snap”. Spectacles record live video from one’s point of view and then share on Snapchat. Huge marketing opportunities are expected from this and other developments in the coming future.
2 People are getting fatigued by Twitter
In the aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential election, one may wonder how this is true given that the incumbent US President has managed to harness Twitter to effectively bypass traditional media and tell his own narrative. Despite this obvious power of Twitter, the large majority of people are becoming fatigued. Twitter grew massively due to its micro-blogging nature. But, the effect of this is that people tend to write a ton of tweets to get a message across which ultimately leads to a flood of incoming and outgoing tweets. Research is now showing that users are beginning to crave bigger, more detailed content that’s updated more slowly, like once a day. The popularity of Instagram is proof of this trend.
3 People want to feel like they are a genuine part of the experience
It’s no longer enough to tell people about an event. People want to feel like they are there. This is why features like live video and 360-degree video and images are becoming so popular. The marketing potential for this cannot be quantified. It’s a huge opportunity.
4 Inspirational and imaginative posts will trump sensationalism
Historically, sensational and emotionally charged content has always had a higher probability of going viral. However, inspirational and imaginative content is being shared almost as much and is set to become more dominant in future. Inspirational and imaginative content is artistic, thoughtful and/or pretty. Marketers need to focus more on posting beautiful and sentimental stuff.
5 Brand will only focus on social platforms that work for them
Brands have come to realize that being on every platform out there isn’t a very good way to run their social media marketing. Instead, brands are now trying to find out where their audience “hangs out” and then invest most of their marketing resources and effort in that channel.
These are most important trends that will dominate the social media marketing scene in 2017. Social media will remain an important component of marketing strategy. You need not include all of these into your strategy but you will definitely benefit from experimenting with some of them.