Four social media marketing trends we’ll see in 2017

Four social media marketing trends we’ll see in 2017

Every New Year brings with it predictions of the next big thing, emerging trends from the past year and fresh ideas to engage your audience and fine tune your social media marketing strategy. Below I’ve brought together four trends which I believe will influence your social media strategy in 2017.

 

  1. An increase in paid social media advertising

Algorithms used by social media platforms limit the percentage of your audience seeing any particular post. Expanding your audience and promoting your brand through paid social media advertising can have one of the highest advertising returns on investment. With paid social media advertising, you have the option to target your potential customers via interests, location, and even engagement.

July last year Facebook CFO, Dave Wehner, confirmed, in sorts, to Recode that the platform was running out of ad space and would need to look at new ways of growing their ads business. Welcome to 2017 and already Facebook have spoken about ads in Messenger and Groups, but what this all means is that the channel is maxing out, so in order to show your ads, you’re going to start paying more. Luckily, analytics provide easy ways to track and measure your return on advertising investment, and improve efficiencies.

 

Pro tip

No matter which social media channels you are using to engage your audience, quality content and strong calls to action are still required for a successful paid advertising campaign. While paid advertising will increase your reach and get you in front of prospects, only strong posts will engage and guide them through your sales funnel.

 

  1. Content will get more audience-centric

Creating and sharing content that your audience wants to read and can relate to is essential for successful content marketing, and social media content is no different.

In order to create relevant content, you need to know your audience. What will they engage with? What will they respond to? Audiences, from prospects to regular customers, want to read content that holds value for them.

How many emails and articles have you started reading and not completed because they didn’t give you value? With so much information from so many sources, your audience needs a reason to read your content, more than a reason not to.

In 2017, social media marketing will be upping their game. We’re going to see more audience-centric social strategies that are highly targeted, think micro-influencers, niche community initiatives and content based on user activity.

 

  1. Video will continue to rise, but virtual reality will come to the table

Video was one of the big growth areas across social media in 2016. This trend is set to continue with video, and particularly live stream such as Facebook Live, gaining in popularity and use. Facebook’s news feed algorithm was adjusted in 2016 to favour live video, so this medium is a great way to get in front of your Facebook audience.

2016 also saw the rise of augmented reality, with the remarkable success of Pokémon Go and the increase in 360 degree video. With Facebook showing continued investment in virtual reality, brands like Johnnie Walker exploring the edges of VR with their ‘Consequences of Drunk Driving’ campaign, and VR social networks like vTime on the rise, this is certainly a trend to watch in 2017, and could be the next step in immersing your audience in brand experiences.

 

  1. Social begins to lead the omnichannel strategy

Your social channels are frequently where prospects first engage with your brand. Providing an omnichannel experience, with a seamless transition across all your communication and engagement channels through your sales funnel, will provide an optimal experience for your prospects and customers. After all, the buying process has already begun and almost complete by the time the ‘sales’ team is contacted. So rather than waiting for your customer, social allows you to find them and engage them during the self-education stage.

 

Pro tip

Ensuring consistent branding, language and message is key to developing an omnichannel strategy. Your social media strategy should easily slot into your overall brand and specific product marketing strategies.

 

Social media marketing is a continually evolving environment. Staying on top of trends and understanding which trends will resonate with your audience is essential to a successful social media campaign. Taking advantage of emerging trends relevant to your audience will position you as a leader in your niche, building your brand’s reputation and creating a loyal following who will happily share your content, helping you reach, engage with fans, friends and customers

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