Social media marketing is still evolving. There’s no such thing as a rut when it comes to marketing on social media… which has a lot of marketers scrambling to figure out what trends are peaking and trying to anticipate which are about to pop.
We can’t possibly predict everything that social media marketing in 2017 will usher in, but there are already some noticeable shifts, and some trends that are visibly gaining momentum.
1. Snapchat is still on the marketing rise.
Snapping isn’t going anywhere. More importantly, this is one social network that was hot in 2016 and is still going upward. Millennials expect moment-focused marketing, and Snapchat delivers that marketing with style. It’s already proven to be transformative in that respect. Snapchat is already starting to expand its influence with new products outside of its initial offerings, like their Snap Specs. Those came out in the last quarter of 2016, but they’re an indication of bigger things to come.
2. More live video apps and options.
We’re still in what Mark Zuckerberg once christened the “Golden Age of Video.” Streaming video isn’t just for live television broadcasts anymore. Nor does it take expensive software or resources that the average consumer doesn’t have access to. Facebook Live, for example, has already gained traction quickly.
Mobile live streaming chat apps like Marco Polo are becoming more popular, too, thanks to streamlined, intuitive user experiences. It’s getting much easier to provide users with live content, whether it’s paid or user generated, and this also takes advantage of Millennials’ love of moment-focused marketing.
Furthermore, the attention span for ads continues to decrease, which means that marketers need to pack a serious punch in just a few seconds. Video is perhaps the best medium to manage this.
3. Big brands will begin to usher in VR/AR ads more seriously.
While production costs are still too steep for small businesses, expect to see more and more large businesses making use of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) in their social media ads. Smaller organizations will take advantage of the appeal AR by buying ad space in AR games, rather than try to produce their own AR ads.
4. Twitter might not be losing marketshare, but it’s losing marketing
You might think that Twitter’s political renaissance means it might go through a marketing revival, but we think you’re wrong. Not all social media sites are moving into 2017 with rich marketing potential. In this case, it’s because user fatigue has become a serious issue for the platform. For many people, Twitter has become saturated with posts about hot button issues. It’s losing its appeal as a social service, which undermines its usefulness for marketing as well.
5. Channels are diversifying.
This is something that’s already been mentioned in passing with Snapchat, but many of the current channels are expanding their influence in several different directions. Insta has become a shopping platform, for example, helped along by cooperation with WhatsApp. Facebook is becoming a business platform, step by step, starting with its “Workplace by Facebook” platform.
Another sphere in which Facebook and WhatsApp are continuing to gain prominence is private social messaging. SMS marketing has enjoyed some success in the past three years, but marketing on social messaging platforms may be poised to overtake it. It’s already taking a bite out of private SMS as a personal communication channel.
6. Automation is improving.
The biggest thing on the horizon is automation. Sure, you’re already familiar with marketing automation, but its influence is only growing. That’s because predictive analysis and machine learning are only getting more sophisticated, and social media tools are becoming better able to put it to practical use.
The exciting thing about marketing automation is that nearly 80% of organizations aren’t yet using automation to its full potential. What’s exciting about that? There’s still time for your company to gain a real competitive edge by adopting marketing automation.
The most important thing to remember about social marketing in 2017 is to be agile. Agility requires, first and foremost, knowing what the right tools are, and then putting them to work. Finding the right tools is easy with our Marketing Automation Guide. This third-party guide gives you an unbiased look at all of the top marketing automation platforms available now. Compare different offerings at a glance to determine which solutions offer the right combination of features for your company’s needs at the best price.