the-social-media-trends-of-2017-in-review

The Social Media Trends Of 2017 In Review

The social media is inarguably one of the largest industries of the modern age. Nowadays, the social media

The social media is inarguably one of the largest industries of the modern age. Nowadays, the social media continues to grow because of the frequent updates and improvements. In terms of popularity and growth, there is nothing more extensive than the social media platforms. The social media is not just limited to the Generation Z (Gen Zers) but has become popular across all ages. This is what makes it an essential tool for marketing. Due to this popularity of the social media, new social media trends emerge every year and 2017 was no different. In this article, we will review the social media trends of 2017.

In 2017, there are a number of stories that involved the social media. These include the emergence of Instagram and Snapchat, the growth of virtual reality, and the introduction of marketing mechanisms such as chatbots and digital hangouts. Most of these social media trends are likely to become social marketing norms in the upcoming year.

#1 Social Media Filters

Initiated by Snapchat, these Artificial Intelligence (AI) filters for the face have become an emerging trend amongst many other social media applications. Famous social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have added this feature recently, as well. This shows that it is a growing social media trend. Many consider it to be a unique and engaging way for users to interact with each other. Even though these filters don’t seem to have a great impact, they do develop a shared experience for users, who engage with the app. When people around the world use the same filters for their pictures, it forms a sense of community amongst them.

11-VSCO-cam-filter-settings

Source: VSCO app has managed to create a large and dedicated social community

#2 Expiring Content (such as Stories)

Just like video stories, live video streams have been gaining a lot of popularity. Facebook and Instagram have recently added this feature. This social media trend enables users to engage and communicate in an unfiltered, interactive manner. Live video streams can be used by anyone, though they are specifically beneficial for organizations or reporters. This is because it allows their followers to access or view an event they’re attending. An exclusive feature of such content is that it lasts for a short while only.

Typically, video stories or live streams are available for viewing for only 24 hours after they’ve been posted. It is due to this limited visibility time the content becomes very relevant to the audience. Due to this, users feel an urgency to check in more often, so they don’t miss anything. This social media trend has grown drastically, with a large number of people using it.

For example, chefs often invite audiences to their kitchens and use live videos to teach recipes in real time. Similarly, beauty bloggers use video stories to show different steps of creating a particular makeup look.

More than 200 million people on Instagram make use of this behind the scenes form of social media. Considering that Instagram Stories were launched in late 2016, this statistic shows the rapid rate at which this social media trend is gaining popularity. Research shows that by the end of 2018, more than half of Instagram users will be using Instagram Stories. This is a clear signal for brands to master Instagram Stories if they wish to connect with Instagram users.

matt-crump-instagram-stories

Matt Crump uses instagram stories to show off some quick tips!

#3 Marketing Bots

The rise of marketing bots is one of the most interesting frontiers. An Internet bot is basically a software application used to run programmed tasks on the Internet. A typical bot performs different repetitive, simple, and complex tasks at a significantly higher rate than a human being. The idea of bots is slightly intimidating for marketers, considering the implementation and job perspective.

However, in reality, there are numerous benefits of automation. It is for sure that in the near future, bots would be able to write blog posts, create tailored content for users, make graphics, respond to user queries, write and send emails, schedule posts on different social media, and other tasks that humans currently perform. Though all of this is just predictions right now, we expect these to emerge as social media trends in the near future.

Currently, your brand can take an edge of this social media trend, by utilizing the features that are already available. For instance, you can experiment with basic bot functions such as replying on Facebook Messenger, conducting research, implementing Slack bot, or communicating with visitors on your website. This will help you learn and implement the technology as it grows while giving you a feel for its capabilities.

#4 Chatbots

Chatbots are systems that use Artificial Intelligence, in order to interact with users through Facebook messenger or via text. They are a special type of marketing bots that are now a part of most social media messaging applications. According to experts, chatbots are one of the biggest social media trends of 2017. A large number of brands and businesses have started to integrate this technology into their setups, as they aim to improve their customer service while making social messaging easy with the aid of website technicians. This will also make it simple for users to obtain information about the brand or its products.

Nordstrom became popular last December for its smart social messaging when it launched Facebook Messenger chatbots to interact with its consumers and give them gift recommendations for their loved ones in the holiday season.

Chatbot companies are looking forward to making chatbots more personalized with relevant and simpler options. In the future, we can expect this technology to follow the steps of smart automation.

Nordstrom bot

Source: Nordstrom mobile chatbot interacts with its consumers and gives them gift recommendations

#5 Outreach on Multiple Platforms and Mediums

The terms ‘rented land’ and ‘owned land’ in marketing are used to refer to the produced and shared content that you don’t and do own. The content you post from Facebook directly, is rented because you don’t always control the results of that content. However, the blogs and information on your website are owned content because you have complete control over it.

As for the latest social media trends of 2017, it’s important that marketers use of different mediums. Businesses should utilize all relevant mediums through which they can interact with the customers. This is specifically helpful when one of the mediums becomes ineffective and you have other options available. By making use of this social media trend, you will stay ready for any market changes, and would still be able to communicate with your customers. Some marketing mediums are:

  • Messenger bots
  • Email lists
  • SMS marketing
  • Browser notifications
  • Facebook groups
  • Blogs
  • Slack communities
  • Facebook ads

#6 Personalized One-To-One Marketing

The goal of one-to-one marketing is to deliver the perfect message at the perfect time to the right person. However, as a marketer, it is very difficult to deliver the perfect message without seeming sneaky or intrusive. The vast amount of consumer information available to marketers today makes it difficult to produce the perfect message.

In 2017, we have seen marketers adapt and customize one-to-one marketing communications in an effective and influential manner. One-to-one marketing, when used correctly, can increase the overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns and even reduce marketing costs.

share-a-coke

Don’t forget Ogilvy’s “Share a Coke” campaign, for Coca Cola back in 2014 that is still having significant impacts on marketing best practices today.

According to Harvard Business Review, personalizing marketing messages can increase the ROI of marketing efforts by up to 8 times! This is an important marketing trend that we will likely see growing in the upcoming years.

For instance, Facebook advertising can help you bring people to your clothing retail store – that is stage one. Imagine if you could provide a customized clothing experience that highlights all aspects that the customer loves about your brand. You can make use of metrics such as color choices, sizes, type of fabric from the customer’s profile to provide an enriched experience for the customers. This is a social media trend that is likely to expand in the coming years.

#7 Quality Content over Quantity Content

Numerous marketing platforms and blogs (including us here at Mentionlytics) have emphasized the importance of creating quality content over quantity. In 2017, we have seen marketers finally adopting this strategy. In fact, it has become a social media trend since more and more brands are now focused on putting out content that matters. Not just the big enterprises, but small businesses are also prioritizing quality of content over quantity. This investment in quality content has proven to be a more effective strategy than producing high quantities of low-quality content.

It is important to mention here that quality content does not mean just the richness and correctness of text-based content. In fact, the marketing trend is to create content in emerging and diverse mediums such as videos and podcasts.

When you have created a piece of quality content, the next step is to cleverly reuse and promote it so that it gets the attention it deserves. If you have spent good time on writing up a blog article – create an infographic, a short video, or a podcast and link them all back to your blog to get it the extra promotion that you are looking for. Having said this, not all the content you produce should be promoting your brand. Remember the 80:20 rule of digital marketing – 20% promotional and 80 informative.

#8 Growing Popularity of Digital Hangouts

2017 saw Houseparty, a digital platform to hangout with your friends on a video call. More than a million users use the app each day primarily millennials. Tech giants like Facebook have been reported to be looking towards incorporating similar functions in their own platform. We can easily observe how video has become an important tool for expression on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and group video calls are intuitively the next step forward. Many have already predicted a group video call function coming to Facebook soon.

Houseparty-Group-Video-Chat-App

#9 Influencer Marketing

More than 9 out of 10 marketers that employ the influence marketing strategy have reported that they found it successful. Many popular brands like Rolex and Redbull have been noted to be using social media based influence marketing strategies. This is because influencer marketing helps them connect and engage with their customer base.

Companies which make use of traditional marketing techniques have struggled in connecting with people on social media. Marketing experts have predicted that many more brands will follow suit and embrace influence marketing as a means to connect with those audiences that traditional strategies have not worked on.

#10 Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is one of the most exciting social media trends these days. Last February, Pinterest showed off its new feature “Pinterest Lens” that allows its users to capture pictures of real-world objects and the app shows possible ways of using those real-world objects. The application uses image recognition algorithms to detect what the objects are. It is an exciting tool that help its users discover new ideas just by pointing their camera at objects around them. It is an exciting tool which will only get better with time as more people use it. The prospects are limitless especially for marketers allowing them to reach their audiences in newer and better ways.

Many fashion and cosmetics brands have started using this technology to their advantage. Rebecca Minkoff, a designer, created an app that virtually augments her designed clothes on to her customers, so they can test what they are buying.
Similarly, make-up giant Sephora is also making use of this social media trend by providing an app that allows users to test makeup on themselves using their phone and AR technology.

Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are predicted to grow much more in popularity in the coming years. The social media world has been continuously evolving. In its evolution, it has opened many doors for organizations to reach out to its customers in interesting ways. As time goes on, these social media trends of 2017 will keep evolving due to newer and better technologies. Therefore, it is critical for marketers not to lose sight.

To Sum Up

There have been a number of social media trends that have impacted brands and users alike in 2017. The most dominant social media trends have been the growth of video marketing, chatbots, customized one-to-one marketing and augmented reality.

The Generation Z (Gen Zers) are the primary target of most marketers nowadays and since this generation spends an increasing amount of time on newer social platforms, such as Snapchap and Instagram, brands will likely have to move towards these platforms.

Furthermore, the emergence of chatbots has also made it easier for brands to connect and keep in touch with customers on the social media. We have also observed that Facebook and Twitter have revised their policies for protecting brands and providing improved online experiences to users. As a marketer, it is important to keep up to date with the latest social media trends and adjust your marketing approach accordingly to maximize success.

References:

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About Manos Perakakis

Manos is a PhD candidate at Brunel University, researching User Experience and HCI. He has also been teaching Digital Marketing and Web Design to Bachelor degree students for the past 7 years. Additionally, he has been working as a Digital Marketing consultant and involved in several web projects, such as Mentionlytics. Follow Manos on Twitter