Change is the only constant in this life and it’s ever more evident in an industry where everything keeps evolving.
This 2017, experts are anticipating emerging technologies and user-based trends in social media, and how they are likely to play out – especially for smaller companies, who are more likely to be buffeted around by changes in the wind.
We’ve compiled three of the most important, powerful trends that could very well impact the future of your brand, along with the reasons why you need to pay attention to them.
Before we get to that, did you know that you can give your ad campaigns a boost by purchasing social media signals? You can buy followers, likes, and shares to make yourself look better on social media, and get the word out about your services much faster.
Now, on to the biggest trends you should be watching out for this 2017.
1. Live Video Streaming
Social media continues to be the one platform people seek for entertainment, news and social interaction. More than that, however, people seek vicarious experience and live video streaming is the perfect avenue for that.
We saw how Facebook proved this when they launched Facebook Live and it became a roaring success, though we could say that Periscope technically made a point of it first. Both companies are incredibly popular, with a massive number of views worldwide every day.
The fact that people have embraced live video streaming amidst privacy concerns didn’t go unnoticed by advertisers. Indeed, according to Social Media Examiner, 14% of media marketers dabbled in live video streaming in 2016. So, if you aren’t yet a part of that group, it’s time to up your marketing and join the bandwagon – there’s still time to get in on it before it’s yesterday’s news.
Instead of a how-to post, you could make a live how-to video. You can even turn this into a series that you can broadcast weekly or monthly. Another way to include video streaming is by creating a customer service hour where your customers can ask questions and have them answered in real-time.
Check out how Benefit Cosmetics does it. They stream live videos regularly, getting tons of views.
Remember that one key to capturing an audience is by keeping them engaged. Facebook Live does that beautifully with real-time streaming comments and a display of your current viewer count. Yes, your video stays on your timeline too, even after broadcast.
If you’re concerned about connecting with your customers, why not give them an inside look into your business? Show them how you work or what your typical day looks like. Nothing says “we’re just the same” to customers than showing them that yes, you’re humans like the rest of us.
Or perhaps you have an upcoming event? Share the details through a live video and then stream that live event as well. There are plenty more ways you can start live streaming videos today and reap the benefits.
2. Social Media Apps as E-Commerce Platform
Brands using social media apps for direct selling and promotion is nothing new. Facebook, for instance, has shopping features in abundance, even though others chose to maintain trust with their users with unobtrusive advertising.
Advertising is the lifeblood of any business, however, and if these social media companies want to stay afloat in the industry, monetizing their platforms has to happen in one way or another.
One such company, that previously concentrated on engaging their users through beautiful imagery, has now opened its doors to advertisers. Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook, now offers options for users to purchase products directly by simply clicking on a picture.
Image credit: WSJ
It was a brilliant move, and if the number of “How can I buy this?” comments some brands are getting is any indication of a positive response from users, experts predict that other platforms will follow suit.
You’ll also be thrilled to know that Instagram’s new strategy, brought on by Facebook, allows for advertisers to reach out to their target markets more easily. You’ll also have access to useful demographics data, more than just age and gender.
Take all this into account, and start aligning your marketing strategies accordingly.
3. Decline of Twitter and the Emergence of a New Player
Experts have been predicting the end of Twitter for years, even though it has survived to date. This year, experts are in agreement that Twitter will yet survive. However, it’s still predicted to decline eventually, making way for a new social media app (or potentially several).
Twitter’s appeal lies in its fast 140-character tweet updates. Experts assert that this will also be the cause of its demise, as users start to gravitate towards longer posts that come in trickles as opposed to continuous bursts of incoming and outgoing tweets. This trend is seen strongly in Instagram as users start to prefer detailed and interesting content.
Image credit: Mase
With the decline of Twitter, a new player focusing on communication will come. Just as social media changed the way businesses communicate with their customers, this new app will re-package social media messaging features, making them its focal point of attraction.
Expect a professional communication app similar to Workplace by Facebook that also employs bots and possibly digital assistants. Chatbots and digital assistants will help in streamlining common customer service questions handled by real people and companies will naturally see the value of this.
Image credit: Workplace by Facebook
As long as people welcome the convenience and the escape that Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant give by not using their fingers, chatbots will be sticking around. Experts foresee a company rising up to the challenge and providing all these services in one neat social media app.
Whether Twitter folding up may be good or bad news for you, or whether you’re interested in a new social media app coming into the market, it never pays to put all your eggs in one basket. Keep your eyes open for newcomers with potential, and be prepared to make allowances for such changes.
Are You Ready For 2017?
Experts foresee big changes for the future. Then again, all these are just predictions.
We aren’t sure how live video streaming will fare in coming months, or whether others will catch the excitement that Instagram’s “Shop Now” button gives, and if Twitter will close or not.
Social media marketing is here to stay, however, no matter what form it takes. Remember that you can supercharge your campaigns by purchasing followers, likes, and other social signals, no matter what platform you use. Organic growth is hard, but you can get the ball rolling in the right direction.
If you’re prepared and ready to adjust with what comes, change can always be a good thing!
Image credit: Techno Humor