The 3 Biggest Social Media Trends Of 2016 (And 3 That Will Dominate 2017)

It’s becoming increasingly clear that social media marketing is here to stay, and its massive staying power is attributable to one key characteristic: social media is constantly evolving! It’s persistently adapting to new tech, exceeding users’ expectations, and competing within itself to bring us better features. To ring in the new year, we’re spotlighting the 3 biggest Social Media Marketing trends of 2016 and featuring what we think will be the 3 biggest trends of 2017!

1. Live Video

Live video was everything in 2016 and you can expect to see it continue growing in a massive way into 2017 and beyond. It started to become popular with the streaming app Periscope back in 2015, but only this year did it truly start to take off. When Facebook introduced its own streaming platform, Facebook Live, live video quickly became the leading way both individual users and organizations communicated with their followers. Live video is an easy and effective way to interact with people, especially if you use a Q&A or similar format that encourages participation. Instagram is the most recent medium to jump on the bandwagon and you can expect others to follow in the New Year!

2. Stories

Snapchat stories have been around since the app’s launch, but it was the debut of Instagram’s story function that made headlines this year. Stories is another leap forward for storytelling in social media marketing, and brands that use it have been seeing major results! With the Instagram Stories feature, you can edit and upload photos, upload videos, apply filters, send direct messages, advertise, and create content that disappears in 24 hours. If you haven’t been leveraging from this feature, you’ll definitely want to include it in your 2017 visual content marketing strategy.

3. Mobile Optimization

It’s irrefutable: Mobile MATTERS! Mobile is the predominant channel for social media and leaving this crucial step on the back burner creates a poor customer experience and diminishes results! Some apps, like Snap and Instagram, recognize this and find it only necessary to exist as mobile apps with no desktop equivalent. Other social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue making layout changes that are custom-made for mobile audiences. It’s unlikely that this momentum is going to stop, especially as mobile traffic continues to increase and brands like Google keep pushing for further mobile optimization with features like accelerated mobile pages.

So what does 2017 have in store for Social Media Marketing?

1. Snapchat Will Evolve

Now officially called Snap, Snapchat has transformed user expectations and major trends in the social marketing world. It’s helped bring back a more moment-focused view of communication, leading to more in-the-moment and live content and it’s introduced vertical videos into the mainstream. In 2017, Snap is looking to develop products outside its main means of exchanging messages, introducing real-world glasses to help users capture first-person visual information! Expect big things in the new year and even bigger huge marketing opportunities from this favored app!

2. Vicarious Experience

People are also starting to demand social media as a channel for vicarious experiences. It’s no longer enough to post a Facebook status about the great time you had at an event. Now your users want you to SHOW them what it’s like to be there! You can do this with things like live video, 360 images and video, and even just more real-time posting such as live tweeting and updating Stories on Snapchat and Instagram. The idea is to make your users feel like they’re a part of the experience AS it’s happening, not after.

3. New Communication Will Surface

Social Media used to solely exist as a way for friends to communicate online. When brands caught on, it became a way for brands to interact with and advertise to consumers. But now, social media is evolving in new communicative areas. Some platforms are offering means of customer service, increasing the significance and interactivity of exchanges between brands and consumers. Others, like Facebook, are exploring more professional communication opportunities. Expect to see more diversity here as more brands catch on to the potential!

Not preparing your business to leverage from these trends by including them in your content marketing strategy is preparing to fail. Adapting Social gives small businesses the opportunity to experience having their own marketing department without having to maintain one. We will help you prepare your digital marketing layout which will incorporate industry-specific trends that will keep you ahead of the competition!

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