Social Media in 2017. What to expect?

Social media has become so commonplace that any company - be it a startup with a minimal number of employees or a large global brand - considers this channel of communication as a must. But ubiquity does not always mean efficiency. Is it worth waiting for innovations in this area, and how effectively can companies use the SMM channel in today's release.

Lee Odden, executive director of TopRank Marketing and editor of the Online Marketing Blog , best known for his work with The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, author of Optimize, an international specialist in integrated content, search, social media and influence marketing, in his recent publication cites nine trends in Internet marketing in general and social media in particular, which will be relevant in 2017.

Social Media is an ever-evolving platform for modern internet marketing. So what awaits us next? Virtual reality? Internet of things? Further development of the functionality of Facebook?

The most important thing in the development of social media, as Lee Odden notes, is not always technology. The main component is people.

What are today's marketers paying attention to first? Most often, these are new applications, networks, and the latest features on major social media platforms. But the essence is not in technology, but in how “deeply” and qualitatively people use these technologies.

Social media is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is consumer behavior that dictates the further development of social technologies. On the other hand, the development of social technologies is changing consumer behavior. In any case, this is a very interconnected mechanism. Therefore, it is very important for brands to pay attention to the “atmosphere” in social media in order to properly track the dynamics and development trends among customers and the general public.

Consider the prospects.
1. Facebook

Facebook today is the dominant social platform by criteria of popularity among users, distribution of video and advertising. And in the near future, as Lee Odden argues, such a position is likely to continue. WhatsApp chat and the development of Instagram as the second largest social platform (according to Computerworld's IT technology news portal) can be put on the same line.

2. Network merging

This trend is actively gaining popularity and helps to isolate the maximum benefit from each social platform. As an example, the editor of Online Marketing is considering the merger of Microsoft and Linkedin, which can bring the exciting new features to the marketing world with a focus on the professional field. In the same category, Odden considers the possible purchase of Twitter by one of the largest players in the global IT market such as Apple, Google or Facebook.

3. Live streaming

Brands now have the opportunity to effectively engage consumers with previously unknown tools. This includes Live Broadcasts via platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook Live and Periscope. Facebook owner Nicola Mendelssohn says that over the next five years, this social platform can fully switch to video format.

4. Paid Social Advertising

Social advertising will continue to grow, bringing more opportunities to advertisers. Social media advertising will generate $ 11 billion by 2017. This is a very impressive figure, compared to only $ 6.1 billion in 2013. Other social networks and applications will also expand their promotional offers.

5. “Dark Social”

The essence of this definition, which is rather difficult to find Russian analogues, is that the public of social platforms increasingly “scribbles” information in a “dark” way - in private messages, and not through reposts on the page of their profiles. Such user activity accounts for 84%, and it is becoming increasingly important for companies. The difficulty in this case is analytics - metrics that are standard for other social platforms are not suitable for such activity. And marketers should move in a direction that will help ensure the interconnection of applications, networks, platforms and “dark social”, which will provide for this type of communication great importance.

6. Social chat bots

Facebook brought another important functionality for brand interaction with customers, their involvement and satisfaction of expectations. The so-called online robots can provide customers with the necessary basic information, thus ensuring their further interaction with the company. Brands should invest in the development of the most adapted social communication. Perhaps emphasis will be placed on neural networks.

7. Mobile First

Readers of our blog have already met this definition more than once. Why? Because this trend is becoming more and more relevant every day. Mobile traffic today exceeds desktop, and it is expected that this year the number of smartphone owners worldwide will reach two billion. It’s not worth mentioning once again the importance of mobile applications and adapted mobile formats - this is so obvious for any progressive brand. It is worth emphasizing only that ignoring social media can lead to dramatic consequences for the development of a company.

8. Automation of social media

Lee Odden puts this perspective in a separate category. Increasing emphasis in the near future will be placed on the possibilities of automated social communication, which will simplify the company's business processes. Particular attention will be paid to targeting, timing and work with customer engagement.

9. Participation in social content

Consumers are most interested in communicating with a brand when they are directly involved in its creation. Such an opportunity meets the mutual interests of consumers and the company. Such a symbiosis will lead to the widespread distribution of user-generated content. Today many brands adhere to this principle. For example, the iFunny application is completely built on this kind of content. And his popularity speaks for itself.

The presence of personal mobile devices opens up a huge field for users and brands to create joint content in any format, taking into account the interests of each potential consumer. Attracting interested people to create content is a great opportunity to significantly increase audience reach with minimal investment.

Summing up all of the above, it is worthwhile to dwell on the fact that the brand has every chance of success with the competent use of social content. And it consists in a harmonious merger of technology, advanced tools and the human factor.

The involvement of users in the social activity of companies effectively affects not only the increase in audience reach, user loyalty, but also on the quality of the content itself. By regularly analyzing user preferences through active communication with consumers, the brand can achieve the most adaptive and interesting content for customers, which will lead to new high-quality conversions. BYYD • Mobile Advertising Platform

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