1. Video is king
With CEO Mark Zuckerberg set on transforming Facebook into a video based platform, Twitter releasing a native video publisher and Pinterest and LinkedIn integrating video, it is clear that video is the format that marketers need to pursue. A survey by Wyzowl found that 63% of businesses use video as a marketing tool and seemingly to great success. 82% of consumers report having been encouraged to take action after watching a business marketing video.
2. Live streaming is mainstream
2017 has so far seen live video taking social media by storm. This looks set to continue throughout the rest of the year. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube now all allow users to capture and share real-time footage. Live video is highly engaging and presents a big opportunity for businesses. By using it to to interact with customers in real time, answering customer queries or even running product tutorials, brands can keep their followers engaged.
3. Content is disappearing
Reaching the mainstream through Snapchat, and more recently being adopted by Instagram and Facebook, ephemeral content, content that stays online for a short period of time, is a trend that looks set to stay. Short and disappearing content is highly engaging. Studies have shown that content that disappears after 24 hours causes users to prioritise the available time during which they can interact.
4. Social influencers are on the rise
Social media users are continuing to lose interest in paid and traditional advertising. Many are now using ad blockers to prevent annoying interruptions to their online browsing. Instead, marketers are turning to social media influencers to acquire new customers. By partnering with influencers, brands can connect with consumers directly and organically, amplifying their message to a wide audience.
5. Content gets personal
70% of consumers report that they are frustrated when they receive content that is not relevant to them (HubSpot). So, more than ever before consumers want businesses to understand their needs and offer personalised content. While personalisation currently dominates email marketing, marketers who can personalise web and social media experience are reaping the benefits. Expect to see businesses investing more in social media analytics and targeted ads as the trend for personalised content continues.
6. Businesses switch to bots
Consumers continue to take to social media to directly contact brands, with the number of messages needing a response growing by 18% year on year (Sprout Social). So, to increase their resources, brands are turning to chatbots as customer service solutions. Automated customer service chatbots are able to provide information and respond to customer queries, increasing communication and reducing response times for brands.
7. Paid content is here to stay
Social media algorithms are great for users, ensuring they see content they will be happy with in their feeds. But for businesses who strictly publish organic social media content, these algorithms are making life increasingly difficult. And with every major social network now using some sort of algorithm to give their users preferred content, more brands are using paid content to reach their audiences. With more brands paying for social media ads, competition is expected to increase. Brands wanting to get their money’s worth need to ensure their ad is engaging.
8. Shopping goes social
Gone are the days of browsing website after website to purchase a that pair of shoes you have seen someone share on social media. Now, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram, users can purchase products directly from within the apps. A recent survey by Aimia found that 56% of consumers follow brands on social media to view products to purchase. So, ‘social shopping’ is fast becoming part of our everyday shopping habits.
9. Time to tackle fake news
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last year, you will have heard of the rise of fake news. Being used on social media to drive traffic to websites, social networks are now cracking down against the fake news phenomenon. Businesses can expect to see stricter rules on what they can and cannot post in an attempt to tackle the problem.
10. Virtual reality is the next big thing
Although relatively new to marketing, virtual reality will get increasingly popular for the rest of the year, as more brands are recognising how the immersive experiences it offers encouraging a high level of engagement. With big brands such as Facebook and GoPro investing heavily in the new tech, expect virtual reality video clips to rule social media in the years to come.
So, there you have it. Our top 10 social media trends to revitalise your business’ marketing strategy for the rest of 2017 and into the new year. Here at Brookes & Co, we have seen first-hand the value of both paid and personalised content for some of our clients so we are excited to see how that continues to develop. And we’ll definitely be jumping on the video trend; maybe we’ll even do some live streaming from Glee!