#WebWeds: 2017 Social Media Marketing Predictions

Note: This was featured as part of our Web Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:20 am ET for your dose of social media & digital marketing news.

We start off each year with our social media marketing predictions for the year, and 2017 is no different. The digital marketing industry is always changing, and with all of the new updates and trends we saw in 2016, we are so excited for what is to come in 2017.

We’ve put together a few predictions for what we think we’ll see popping up in the industry in 2017.

1. Authentic Content Will Rise

YouTube was created as a platform meant to capture real-life moments that were authentic and unfiltered. It gave users a change to use video to capture their lives without too much production and glamour. In 2016, social media took authentic content to a whole new level by offering real-life content in real time with live-streaming.

Live-streaming was first brought into popularity by Twitter-owned Periscope. The app stayed number one in live-streaming for a few months until Facebook jumped in with their own Facebook Live. By the end of 2016, you could also go live directly on Instagram and Twitter.

Nearly half of all consumers want to see more video content, and social media videos receive 1200% more shares than text and image posts combined. Facebook’s new live feature has been responsible for a lot of growth, and even news sources will cite Facebook Live videos while covering major events. The world of media is changing with live video, and live-streaming authentic content will only become more popular in 2017.

2. Messaging Apps & Bots Will Improve

2016 also brought Messenger Bots into existence with the ability to create a bot that will communicate with your customers through Facebook’s Messenger app. Messaging apps like Messenger and WhatsApp are also extremely popular, especially among Millennials. Millennials tend to prefer to talk using tech over making phone calls. And why not? Ordering a pizza with a bot or online ordering is much more efficient than making a phone call. When we have faster and easier ways of conducting business with tech, it makes picking up a phone seem silly.

This is one of the reasons that messaging apps have a much wider user base than social networks. In fact, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat together have more users than the big social networks. Surprising, when you know that Facebook alone has nearly 2 billion monthly active users.

In 2017, it’s likely that we’ll see an improvement in these messaging apps, as well as bots that businesses can use to communicate with users online. These bots will become more targeted, and more and more businesses will start using them to message with their customers. We may even see ChatBots like Siri and Alexa become prevalent in supplementing customer service channels.

3. A New Social App Will Emerge … And Stick

The last big app to come into play was Snapchat, which launched in 2011. It’s been six years since a widespread social media app rose to popularity, and we think 2017 will be the year.

What will it look like? In this day and age, it would probably have to be something centered on video or images, while still including a personal message tie in. Only time will tell!

Other trends that have been hot, and will continue to be hot, are the use of mobile, video, social networking (actually being social), relationship building, and being a true, authentic version of your brand.

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