6 Social Media Trends That Will Take Over 2017
The year 2016 was full of changes and updates in the social media industry, which included several new features, brand opportunities, and consumer preferences. Now in 2017, you’ll be surprised to see a lot more new changes and evolutions in the trends of social media.
To know for sure how the social media marketing landscape will alter this year is quite hard as this is very unpredictable, but we are sure about six social media trends that marketers should keep an eye on in 2017:
1. Artificial Intelligence Lenses for Facebook & Instagram
The rise in popularity of Snapchat started with the artificial intelligence lenses (facial lenses), which gained instant popularity and made the network more engaging, interactive, and unique as compared to other social media platforms. But it’s not long until competitors will start catching up with their own facial lenses.
According to sources Facebook has already tested facial lenses for its mobile interface in 2016. This could mean that a big sign of budding social media trends is just around the corner. The launch of Instagram Stories, has moved the social media network across channels, according to TechCrunch, just in two months 100 million users became active on Instagram. In addition to this, they also reported that the Instagram Stories are watched by 18% of its 600 million active users every day.
This puts a lot of pressure on Snapchat to maintain their space on social media as the competition is only going to increase now, but till now Snapchat still has it’s own big slice of the pie with 150 million active users in 2016, out of which are 41% of US adults between the ages 18-34 who use the network daily.
As the young generations are starting to spend more and more time on these features, the competition for facial lenses is going to heat up in 2017.
2. More Customer Service Chatbots
For the businesses entering 2017, customer care should be on top of their list. As reported by Sprout Social Q2 2016 Index, in Q1 2016, an average number of social messages who needed response grew 18% year after year. This information has got brands looking for techniques to increase their customer service resources, this has made most of them turning to chatbots.
Facebook Messenger and Slack have already been using chatbots to connect with their customers, to answer frequently-asked queries or to provide instant information on a product or service. These chatbots can escalate communication and minimize response times of answers regarding social media messages.
Here’s how Slack and Facebook Messenger are preparing for the growth in automated customer service:
- It has gone up to achieving 4 million daily active users in 2016. (VentureBeat)
- It owns approximately 1.25 million paid accounts.
- According to BotList 484, Slack Bots are currently available. (BotList)
- It has 11,000 active Facebook Messenger Bots. (The Verge)
- Voice and audio calling feature is being used by 300 million people actively. (Forbes)
- Facebook Bots now accepts major vendors like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Sprout Q2 Index also reports that 34.5% of respondents are in favor of social media as the best channel for customer care. This increasing success of Slack and Facebook’s new Messenger features is the best example of how amazing customer service chatbots are and this has made it one of the most interesting social media trends to watch for in 2017.
3. Paid Content Continues to Reign
Social media algorithms make it difficult for businesses to market organic content, but ever since Instagram introduced its algorithm in 2016, almost every major social network has started using some sort of content partial treatment. One purpose that almost all of these algorithms have is to make their users happy with the content they see on their feeds, but this is a difficult job for those brands who strictly publish organic social content.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, paid content is growing more and more every day. According to Adobe, the amount that will be spent on social media ads in 2017 is estimated to cross $41 billion, and this is not restricted to one network or channel.
In 2016 Twitter’s possible sale got some marketers worried, but VentureBeat showed that Q3 advertising revenue went from $513 in 2015 to $545 million in 2016, and along with Instagram’s algorithm, more focus was given to paid content.
According to the reports, the visual social network’s mobile ad revenue in 2016 drew $1.53 billion around the world, according to Content Marketing Institute‘s report paid advertising on search (76%), social ads (74%), and promoted posts (76%) accelerated year-over-year into 2016.
The demand for quality and appealing content has never been higher. It is important to make sure that the money brands are spending on advertisement through content does not go waste, so the quality of the content has to be topnotch, it should have a purpose and be engaging.
Concerned about how well your content is doing in social media engagement? By using Sprout Social, you can now stay well aware of your engagement rates with all your social content in 2017.
4. Priority on Business Features & Analytics
In 2016 a Business Tools feature was launched by Instagram, which works the same way Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights work. This gives us an idea of how social media trends are moving in the direction of native tool enhancements to meet business needs.
These analytics and reporting features are not any new to the industry, according to a KPMG survey, 92% of C-level executives have already been using data and analytics for marketing insights for a long time, we now hope that the marketers and business owners don’t stop measuring the effort of social media in this genre as well. A report by Simplify360 showed that 36% of businesses use social media analytics to know about their competitors’ analysis and more. And with time this competition is only going to get stronger, which results in more marketing and analytical thinking.
5. Move Away from Automation
Year after year, we have been witnessing social media blunders, so in 2017 you’ll see a new trend that will have less automation and more effective management tools. It’s now time when businesses realize the difference between efficiency and autopilot and move in another direction. Social media automation is most likely to simply turn into social media management. Automation feels robotic, while consumers want humanistic, real interactions.
With the exception of chatbots, brands should start avoiding automated social engagement. Instead of automating responses which can turn into a PR disaster, brands should use these tactics:
- Consumer Interactive Social Campaigns
- Listen to Customers and not just promote
- Build an Organic Following With Better Relationships
- Avoid Untimely Messages Around Current Events
- Give Personal and Humanistic Responses
6. Social Shopping & Instant Purchases
Social commerce is increasing day by day with more networks introducing brands with more easy and efficient ways to sell to customers. Instagram offers instant purchases, but social media trends are moving in the direction of faster sales across the board.
For marketing, it is important to first understand the data so you can make better decisions about your social platform. Right now approximately 34% of small businesses use social media to communicate with customers, this means that more businesses have to find their audience and interact with them effectively. With all this and for reaching out and responding to your customers, analytical data helps a lot, it backs up things like engagement or response rates which helps you in making the right decisions.
According to Sprout Social Index, 57% of consumers like to buy from brands they follow, in addition to this they found out that 75% of the people buy something because they saw it on social media.
The power of social media has a great impact on a buyer’s impression which is why more brands are moving towards social commerce every day. But brands just can’t promote without engaging the consumer first, the main element of social selling is interaction. According to a report by Epsilon, 28% of the consumers said the biggest reason they try a new product or service is because they see it constantly on social media.