A common question among social media marketers is, “Social media is evolving, what’s next?”
You may be tired of hearing clichés about the future potential of social media technology. The way we use social media is constantly evolving.
It is important to keep in mind that the significant aspect of social media marketing is not the technology itself. It is about engaging with individuals and understanding how they use technology to design, share, publish, transact and interact.
Companies are trying to capitalize on the latest features available on various platforms, interactive networks, and new apps. As a marketer, it can be quite challenging to understand which of these will impact your brand and why.
Trends To Watch Out For In 2017
Currently, there are more than 2 billion active social media users all around the world. This number is growing at an astounding rate of 25% each year. Businesses have not failed to observe this massive expansion of social media.
Did you know that nine out of ten firms in the US are active on various social platforms? These companies have reported gaining increased exposure for their brands, and more than half of them feel that social media efforts boost their sales.
So, what should companies look out for in 2017? Let’s check out the 5 social media trends that can change your business strategy in the years to come.
1) Rise In Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising will continue to grow and provide more choices for advertisers. Many social media marketing gurus feel that social media ads will generate about $11 billion in terms of revenue by 2017. This is a steep increase of about $6.1 billion in 2013.
As per a recent study conducted and published in “Social media services for business – a Factosocial 101 infographic”, it was found out that more than 67% of Twitter users will purchase products from the brands they follow. Also, about 93% of the famous brands are on Instagram and they constantly employ various innovative social media advertising tactics to popularize their products and services.
2) Real-Time Videos
No doubt, live videos are the hottest trend at the moment. Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Periscope are paving the way for social engagement with customers in various ways that brands have still not explored. According to Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, in five years, Facebook will become ‘all video’.
Just like live TV, live videos will provide brands with opportunities to do things in a different manner rather than in a planned way. A perfect example of such interactive social media videos is Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg’s comedic Q/A session with Jerry Seinfeld. It was posted on Facebook Live and got about nine million views.
3) Facebook Internet
Facebook is currently dominating social media usage, videos, and ads. Many social media experts feel that this won’t change anytime soon. Even with the presence of WhatsApp messaging and predictions about Instagram becoming the second most influential social media platform, the number of Facebook users is not likely to get affected.
4) Social Messaging Apps For Firms
From Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to KiK and WeChat, close to 4 million active users are using messaging apps. In fact, the top five apps in the world in terms of usage frequency are messaging apps.
As this trend evolves, companies may be able to create full-fledged strategies based on social messaging. Most of the social media platforms have messaging components. It is only a matter of time before businesses find a way to access this data for their marketing needs.
5) Tracking Dark Social
Dark social is a term that refers to sharing of content that cannot be tracked through Web analytics programs. More than 80% of social media shares are untraceable, so it is necessary for brands to know about this phenomenon. Not being aware of this can prevent companies from fully profiting from their social media activities.
There is no shortage of ideas on how to measure dark social. However, making this happen involves collaborations between networks, platforms and apps. It is necessary to follow developments in this area so your company can benefit from improvements in tracking dark social.
Sometimes you may feel that social media is doomed to become nothing but another advertising channel filled with targeted ads. However, it is important to remember that the power of social media can be harnessed by businesses to create engagement, quality content, and influence. As long as, marketers can adapt and use new technology to solve problems and get results, the future of social media is brighter than ever.
Susan Smith is a writer at iDigic who mostly handles content related to social media marketing and using the social media platform to leverage brand awareness.