2017 Social Media Trends

February 21, 2017

Social media is one of the most powerful forces in the modern world. A single Tweet can make or break a career. A single photograph can propel someone to stardom or bring a powerful man or woman low. Social media also provides a tool for marketers to better understand their customers, as well as to find new ones. By keeping up with the latest trends in social media, brands will have a better chance of achieving their goals and reaching a larger audience.

Here are a few trends to expect in 2017:

Social messaging

WhatsApp and Messenger are the two most popular messaging apps, but Snapchat, QQ Chat, and Viber all add their weight. More and more people are turning away from Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram, and going to the apps where they can message directly with others.

Live video

Not only did Facebook roll out their LIVE feature, but Twitter and YouTube added the live video feature as well. US Instagram users also have the option for live videos. In 2017, Facebook and YouTube will both be adding new live video features to their platform, allowing people to connect with others live and in real time.

Social Commerce

A surprising number of people are using social networks to find new products to buy, so it makes sense for these platforms to eliminate the middle man (Amazon and other retailers) and simply put a “Buy” button on their interface. Facebook has introduced a Marketplace feature, and more social media platforms are taking advantage of the popularity of social commerce.

Paid social media advertising

Open your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter feed, and you’ll see A LOT of paid advertisements. It’s estimated that close to $36 billion will be spent on social media advertising this year in paid adverts alone!

Social advocacy

Since the “Ice Bucket Challenge”, social advocacy—championing a cause via social media—has become more and more common. Everything from the Women’s March to Bell Let’s Talk have taken advantage of social advocacy, and it will continue to increase as we go into 2017.

The crackdown on fake news

More and more platforms and search engines will take steps to crack down on “fake news”, with the goal of eradicating it entirely. Fake news affected 2016, especially during the U.S. Presidential Elections. Facebook banned fake news from advertising in late 2016, and will continue to work on blocking and suppressing clickbait-type headlines that are intended to spread misinformation.

2017 is going to be a fascinating year for social media! It’s important that you “get with the times” and stay abreast of how your customers will be using their social media apps and platforms. The result will be much more effective, targeted marketing.

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Social media has changed the marketing game forever! Where marketing and advertising once involved spending millions of dollars on physical ads (newspapers, magazines, etc.), now you can spend far less and make your ad visible across the world courtesy of social media. Social media is a cost-effective solution that allows you to reach the people YOU want to reach.

If you’re considering marketing via social media, it’s a good idea to consider Facebook. Here are a few reasons why Facebook offers the most effective option for your company’s marketing strategy:

Targeted advertising

Facebook Ads can be sent to as broad or narrow an audience as you want. Facebook has access to a wealth of personal information on each person, including location, age, sex, work history, social circles, marital status, likes, dislikes, and the list goes on. Facebook allows you to set dozens of filters to ensure that your ad ONLY reaches the people it’s intended for.

Affordable costs

Facebook advertisements tend to be far more cost-effective than Google Ads. The cost per click through is about the same as Google Ads, but people are more likely to perceive Facebook ads positively. After all, they’re on social media to relax, so they associate the things they see on social media more positively. You’d be amazed by how many impressions a mere $5 to $50 per day can get your advertisement!

Increased connectivity

Advertising on Google or even physical ads are intended to put your product in front of the right people. However, Facebook ads allow you to connect with your customer base. The interactivity features are built into the social media platform, and people are encouraged to share, like, and comment. You’ll find that Facebook offers better engagement with clients, suppliers, fans, and customers. It’s a way to build a following rather than just have people buy your products.

Easy tracking of metrics

With billboard ads, you have no idea how many people you reach. Google Ads provide you with detailed metrics on your performance, but Facebook delivers real-time analytics to help you track and improve the reach of each advertisement you run. You can make adjustments to the ad while they’re running, or learn from each ad to improve the next one. For marketers who want to stay on top of the game, Facebook is the detailed tool of choice.

Make no mistake:

Facebook knows it’s one of the best marketing platforms, so it will continue to make changes to their platform that encourages paid marketing over free. However, if you can learn to use Facebook effectively, you’ll find that spending even a small amount on the ads and marketing options is a great way to reach a broader audience and get your message across efficiently.

You’d be amazed by how many people use social media incorrectly. They post content that tries to hit “everyone”, without any sort of targeting or strategy to reach the demographic best-suited for their product. If you’re serious about using social media to reach your target market, you can’t just post whatever springs to mind. You need to come up with a plan, targeted content that is visually appealing, and learn the ins and outs of the various forms of social media marketing. That is the only way you’re going to read that audience!

Here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: Choose the right platform.

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube all offer access to a different target audience. Pinterest is more popular among women, Facebook is more commonly used by businesses, and Twitter is the short-form social media for busy people on the go. Understanding what each platform offers—mainly in the demographics that frequently use the platform—is the first step toward using your social media effectively.

Step 2: Learn the ins and outs.

Learn how using the right hashtags can make your Twitter posts more engaging and reach a broader audience. Learn how Facebook Ads effectively help you to put your published content in front of the right people. Learn what sort of YouTube videos are most effective for promoting your content. The more you learn about the platform, the more easily you’ll be able to plan the marketing strategy.

Step 3: Learn more than one.

Sticking with just one social media network isn’t going to get you the results you want. You need to learn to use multiple networks, and learn how they can cross-promote each other. Twitter posts can be automatically posted to Facebook and vice versa, or short YouTube videos can make your Facebook feed more engaging. Instagram photos will do well on Facebook and Twitter. Learn at least three or four of the primary social networks, and you’ll have a better reach!

Step 4: Be engaging.

The primary purpose of your content is to get people to stop what they’re doing and focus on what you have to say/share. Your content needs to be visually appealing, offer entertainment or real value, but most important of all get people engaged. Ask a question, offer advice that’s likely to be shared, or solicit your readers’ opinions. The more people engage with your posts, the more likely they will be to engage with the posts marketing and selling your product or service.

Step 5: Give something special.

Your social media followers want to feel they’re getting something special for their interaction with you. Offer them discounts, special deals, or coupons as a reward for their engagement. This offers them value, which in turn increases future engagement.

Since 2010, the world of internet marketing has exploded. A significant number of companies and small businesses have changed their marketing approach and relied entirely upon social media for their advertising and outreach. 2017 is one of the best years for social media marketing yet, but are you using social media the right way?

In the last few years, paid advertising has been the key to expanding your reach and putting your content in front of more eyeballs. Paid advertising is still a highly effective option in 2017—you may want to invest money into highly visual Facebook ads and target customers on YouTube with smart video advertisements. However, for more effective social media marketing, you need to focus on your message.

People often overlook or skip past the “Sponsored” posts on Facebook, or click away from videos that are too ad-heavy on YouTube. The Twitter or Instagram posts with too many marketing hashtags will annoy people if there is nothing else useful included. Instead of spending your money on blasting your content over social media, focus on making that content higher quality.

Remember: social media is about ENGAGEMENT. The more people you get to join in your conversation, the more reach and influence you have. Your content should ask questions, provide answers and solutions, or present food for thought in a way that your audience will respond to. Even something as simple as a poll to get people’s opinions can be a highly effective way to get your followers to click or share your content.

The majority of your investment should go toward producing high-quality content: articles, blog posts, images, and videos people will WANT to check out. If they find it interesting, they’re much more likely to share it. That word of mouth is going to lead to a far better reach than anything you could achieve through paid advertising.

Yes, you will want to continue setting aside a portion of your advertising and marketing budget to take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube’s paid options. They are a sound investment that are very likely to return good ROI (Return on Investment). However, make sure that the content you’re promoting is of the highest quality and has a good chance of engaging those who see it. Eventually, you may find that you don’t need to spend as much money on advertising because your organic reach is sufficient to spread your message far and wide.

Content marketing (marketing using videos, images, and articles) has become the most popular AND most effective way of putting your products or services in front of the broadest possible audience. Everyone from entrepreneurs to multi-national corporations are getting into the content marketing game!

2017 has been an excellent year for all internet-based marketing, but especially for content marketing. Here are a few trends that you should keep in mind the rest of the year:

Mobile is king

More people surf the Internet and access social media using their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than computers. If your content isn’t designed to adapt to smaller screens, you’re going to lose a lot of viewers. You need to make sure your website/blog has a responsive design that can scale up or down according to the size of the device used. It should also be a mobile-friendly design that makes navigation easy for mobile users.

Visual appeal rules

Internet users are becoming increasingly driven by the content they SEE rather than READ. While articles still have an important place (particularly for research or information), the visually appealing content (videos and images) have the highest chance of engagement. The more eye-catching the content, the higher the chance users will click on it and see what you have to say. Videos are particularly appealing—most people will take 20-30 seconds to watch a clever video that is beautiful and attention-grabbing.

Facebook is #1

While you may not like the way Facebook keeps changing up its algorithms and marketing policies, there’s no way to deny that Facebook is still the most used social media platform around. If you want to succeed, you need to learn how to use Facebook’s advertising options.

User-generated content has a better reach

People may trust your brand, but they’ll trust other people’s opinions about your brand more than you realize. User-generated content like third-party reviews, unboxings, social shares, and comments on your products will be more influential than any blog post or video you can make.

Personalize the content

The amount of content currently available online is mind-blowing; there’s far more out there than users will ever be able to see. You need to make sure your content is personalized according to your audience. That way, it will resonate with your target demographic in a way that the “general public” content never will.

Pay for promotion

Though you may have quality content, it does you no good if no one sees it. That’s where paid promotions come in handy. You’re not running an ad—you’re simply paying Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube to push your content to a broader audience. It’s a way to mix both content marketing and advertising highly effectively!

The addition of videos to Facebook revolutionized the way brands and companies can reach new fans and followers. Now, you can give people interesting, valuable content in the form of a short, snappy video. If a picture says 1,000 words, a video is worth a whole lot more.

Here are some tips to help you use Facebook Videos that will serve your brand:

Launch a product

If you’re doing a physical product launch, use Facebook Live to show people what’s going on during the launch. Even if they can’t be there physically, your fans will be able to enjoy the experience from the comfort of their home and still feel like they’re part of the buzzy new product.

Take them behind the scenes

People love to feel like they’re getting something special or exclusive. To make your fans feel special, take them behind the scenes of your business operations, your new product, or some special event.

Interact with customers

Facebook Live allows you to interact with customers and followers in real time, answering questions, giving information, and even sharing tutorials and how-to’s. The more you interact with people, the better!

Interview someone interesting

Give your Facebook fans the chance to hear from someone else: an expert in their field, a celebrity, or someone else who will pique their interest. Interviews can be fascinating and provide a lot of value in just a few minutes of video.

Surprise people with a sale or promotion

Videos are a great way to get people interested in sales and promotions, and you can share a lot of info in a few seconds or minutes. Plus, you’ll find people are far more likely to share the videos to others they believe will be interested in the sale or promo opportunity.

Tell a story

People connect with stories more than they do anything else! Use your Facebook platform to tell stories: of people whose lives have been improved or changed by your products, funny and interesting things that happened to your company, or the process of creating a new brand or product. Stories are always more interesting than marketing content or product feature lists.

Discuss current events

There will always be something happening in the world around you, and Facebook Videos give you a chance to discuss them at length. Trending issues change on a daily basis, so make sure to “strike while the iron is hot” and get those videos uploaded before something else becomes more relevant.

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