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2016 brought with it several fabulous changes to the world of social media. It’s not hard to see that this industry is an ever-changing, fast-paced world where if you blink, you could easily miss what’s about to happen – or has already happened. From Live Video to Twitter’s change in character limits, to voter registration, the power of social media’s influence of news and political events, the availability of messenger bots to all platforms, Pinterest’s shopping bag, Twitter and Instagram’s switch to ranking algorithm’s and more – we can all agree that the major platforms really stepped up their social media game and took the industry to an all new level.
So, what’s to come in 2017? Here are some of the social media trends to keep your eye on for this year. We are excited to see just what happens and where social media will be a year from now!

  • Organic reach in social media will most likely continue to lesson. We already saw this happening in 2016. Facebook has really set itself up for people needing to pay for results in growth and this isn’t going to change any time soon. So, how do you combat this? Content Content Content! And not just any content…it has to be OUTSTANDING! You have to shine above all of the other millions out there screaming for attention.
  • We will begin seeing further development of company websites and apps being used less by the consumer and social media being used more. Social media platforms don’t like it when people leave their platform to go to another site so we will continue to see less the ability to share links that take a person off of Facebook in particular.
  • Because of the first two points mentioned above, we will see Influencer Marketing become stronger than ever and will only continue to rise in the future. This will be the direction brands and businesses will want to go if they haven’t already. And even more important will be finding smaller influencers rather than ones with such a large following. Why? Because they are more apt to be able to reach the brand’s target market which will increase their SEO as well.
  • For the younger generations, messenger apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp will become more popular. Brands will eventually need to figure out ways in which to communicate with this generation through these apps.
  • Live video will only continue to gain popularity. We have already seen the rise of video and the virality it produces. Live video is on the fast track to being the most popular way and the best way to get in front of your audience. Not fond of being in front of the camera? You may want to practice and change your outlook if you want to see results in your social media presence.
  • Consumers now more than ever want a seamless, smooth experience. They don’t want to have to jump through hoops to make a return or to have to hunt all over creation for that perfect item that is going to make their life easier. Technology that simplifies will be on the rise. Any way your brand can make the lives of your consumers easier, the more popular you will become.
  • Finding ways to automate the process and make a fantastic experience for the consumer is a must now and no longer a wish.
  • Advancing visual content more than ever. Written content is still important, however, visual content will see an even higher rise, whether it be images or video.
  • Real time engagement will also see a serious large increase. As consumers are taking to social media to voice their concerns, frustrations, reviews, and satisfaction more and more, it will be increasingly important that customer support teams are in place to respond within minutes to their customers and clients.
  • We will see the use of chatbots on the rise. Facebook has already agreed and seen the importance of this, others will follow, if they haven’t already begun implementing them into their mix. This will allow businesses and brands a chance to respond to engagement at a faster pace.

These are just a few of the trends that are in the talks for the social media industry in 2017. What an exciting time in history – to be a part of an industry that is so fascinating. An industry that is always looking for ways to improve the customer’s experience and a way for brands and businesses to get in front of more people than ever imagined in the history of advertising – before the internet or social media came into existence. Now is a time where you can reach more people for less money using social media more than any other advertising means such as print, television, direct mail and the like. Instead of reaching thousands for millions, one can reach millions for a few thousand!

Social media managers are gearing up to be able to lead the way, direct and help brands and businesses on how to strategize and implement an effective plan to reach their target market in the most efficient, effective manner possible while engaging and building long-term relationships with consumers and clients. Having someone on your team that keeps both eyes and ears in the industry has never been more important and crucial than it is now. Without this, brands can easily find themselves lost in the sea of profiles, wasting valuable time, money and effort. Welcome to 2017.