“Social isn’t going away, it’s becoming more influential.” That was primary message that Cameron Uganec, senior director of growth marketing and education at Hootsuite, shared in the Social Media Trends to Put into Practice in 2017 webinar. We’re excited to see what happens in the social media realm next year, and these are the major trends we’re that we’re expecting to make the biggest impact on our marketing strategy.
And that impacts how marketers and advertisers should plan to use them. We’ve known for years that we should mold the message to suit the medium, and that will continue to matter to marketers next year. For example, Facebook has emerged has a primary advertising platform for businesses of all sizes, whereas Twitter is establishing itself as a space for brands to manage and provide customer service. Make sure your marketing strategy uses each platform in a way that gels with users’ expectations, and tailor your content accordingly to see better results.
— Hootsuite Enterprise (@HootBusiness) December 8, 2016
Thanks to how the social giants have altered their algorithms, organic reach is already pretty pitiful for businesses these days, and it’ll continue to decline next year. The major networks are pretty saturated with branded content, and many networks are actively prioritizing personal content from regular people over posts from businesses. The solution: Determine which social networks are the best fit for your marketing goals, and put your advertising dollars behind the content that gets results. For many companies, that means investing in ads on Facebook, sponsoring posts on LinkedIn, or promoting Pinterest pins for the products they’re pushing. Think of it as paying a toll for your content to pass through. The golden days of “free advertising” on social media are over, now we’ve entered an era where social advertising reigns supreme.
Experts are predicting that the social giants will only get stronger. In the long run, this will mean dwindling traffic to websites and blogs, and more content distribution on the rented space of social networks. Facebook, for example, works very hard to encourage users to stay on Facebook by making outside publishers’ content available within the platform itself via Instant Articles, etc. This also means brands and businesses will have to make sure their content is good enough to pass through the filters that companies like Facebook and Google put in place to control whether users can see or find it. It’s their world now, we’re just trying to get noticed in it.
Between the increasing dominance of video content and live video streaming across most all social platforms, it’s clear that video is the future of social media marketing. Some studies even predict that three-quarters of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. Facebook is a great example of this because the algorithm gives preference to video content over photos, links or text, and the platform has been pushing brands and publishers to experiment with Facebook Live since the feature became available earlier this year. As live streaming matures as a medium, we’ll see how marketers and advertisers find more creative ways to share live content. Also, the dominance of video probably means that everyone should spend more time focusing on their YouTube presence as well, seeing as it’s the second largest search engine on the internet.
Remember when companies used to forbid employees from using social media at work, and even made them sign nondisclosure statements promising not to talk about the company on their accounts? Funny how things have changed, because now companies are creating employee social advocacy programs to boost their brands’ social media presence. This makes sense if you consider how most people trust recommendations from their friends and family more than they trust brands, and the rise of user-generated content and influencer marketing have demonstrated that social proof works. In 2017, make the most of your employees by using them as brand advocate minions to share your content far and wide.
— Andrea Dedlow (@AndyDedlow) December 7, 2016
If you’re interested in chatting with us about getting your social media marketing strategy in shape for 2017, give us a call at 804-577-8679 or fill out the form below to contact us!