How-to Guide

Top 10 Trends in Social Media to Watch in 2017

Wondering what best practices in social media you should pay close attention to in 2017? Here are the latest trends that will help guide your social marketing strategy this year.

1. Now you see it, now you don’t

Best practices in social media have always encouraged brands to foster authentic conversations rather than broadcast promotional messages. Ephemeral videos and photos are the latest trends to support that concept. Now that Instagram and WhatsApp are in the game, expect to see far more “Snapchat-style” posts that disappear after 24 hours. New to these tools? Get your feet wet by making your own custom geofilter for a product launch, trade show or another special event.

2. Do it live

With the launch of Facebook Live in 2016 live streaming has gone mainstream. The pioneers have already built trust and credibility, generated sales, and inspired their audiences with this hot trend in social media. Are you one of them? If you haven’t yet embraced live streaming, it’s not too late. A great way to jump into live video is to identify your top FAQs and answer them in a weekly series of Facebook Live videos. 1

3. The customer’s experience is everyone’s business

When most brands expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience 2, how will you stand out in 2017? Start by stepping out of your departmental silos and adopting a Total Community approach. Identify and enlist the help of every stakeholder and expert and include them in your approach to how customers will be cared for.

“Only 6% of marketers actively adopt new social platforms 3"

4. Control your content curation

Stop spending hours trying to find user-generated content (UGC) that will resonate with your audience. Follow Forrester Research’s recommendation to consider a content recommendation solution. “These tools automate UGC aggregation, surface the best content, and measure its impact across the customer life cycle.” 4 For more information on how to choose a social tool that’s right for you, download the Forrester Report: Unraveling The Social Technology Web.

5. Everyday people are the new gatekeepers

Incorporating influencers into your social media strategy has been a best practice for several years now, but the types of influencers are shifting quickly. Often overshadowed by celebrity endorsements, the significant influence of “regular people” shouldn’t be overlooked in 2017. These citizen influencers can be a powerful force as a group. Start building relationships by first sharing their content on your social media platforms.

6. Work smarter, not harder

Social marketers spend an average of 3.3 hours a day using technology when bandwidth is at a premium. 2017 should be the year your team streamlines collaboration, spending less time on admin tasks, and more time on the fun, creative side of social media marketing. More and more, companies are embracing cross-functional tools to drive communication campaign initiatives across both marketing and social customer support teams, ultimately driving increased Social Marketing ROI. Take Post Office UK for example, who managed all social media accounts and users—both internal and agency partners—under a single dashboard for their recent #LoveSundays campaign, resulting in a  55% decrease in go-to-market posting time.

89% of brands expect to compete mostly on customer experience.

7. Virtual reality goes beyond video games

According to Jennifer Gregory of THINK Marketing, one of the newest trends in social media “has been to create a more immersive, aesthetic experience for users through augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR), and then allow them to share their experiences through social media.” She advises marketers to think about their customers’ greatest problems and then determine how they could use AR or VR to overcome those issues. 6

8. Not so hostile takeovers

Looking to increase your visibility on Snapchat? Not sure who should be the face of your Instagram stories? Ask you partners (we’re talking vendors, employees, customers, influencers or fans) to do a day-in-the-life takeover of your channel. 7 Big brands like GQ and Gucci are already employing this trend in social media, it’s time for you to trust your partners and hand over your account.

9. Follow the money

Social media has been slowly embracing e-commerce, but selling on social media is now available on every major platform. Between Instagram’s “shop now” buttons, Facebook’s dynamic product ads that help businesses promote multiple products and Pinterest’s buyable Pins, your biggest question in 2017 shouldn’t be “Should I sell on social media?” but “Which platform works best for my product?”

10. Expect the unexpected

Last, but not least, don’t wait until 2018 to re-evaluate your social strategy. The latest innovations on social channels and how your customers are interacting with them is a moving target. In a market where only 6% of marketers actively adopt new social platforms, 2017 is your opportunity to get ahead of the competition. Choose  an analytics tool that provides real-time insight and benchmarks performance against KPIs so you can quickly turn insight into action.

Gartner report “Gartner Survey Finds Importance of Customer Experience on the Rise — Marketing Is on the Hook,” Sept. 29 2014

Gartner report “Gartner Survey Finds Importance of Customer Experience on the Rise — Marketing Is on the Hook,” Sept. 29 2014

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