Social media has been a transformative force in the world of marketing and public relations. But even as it changes how people and companies interact and communicate with each other, social media itself is not a static tool. In order to stay competitive and successfully leverage social media’s marketing power, it’s important to keep track of the biggest social media trends identified by Kayla Everatt in her article, “6 Hot Trends for Social Media in 2017”, and how they impact your communication plans.
The hottest things in social media regularly change on a month-to-month basis, but in the big picture there are six major trends that are defining the future of media in 2017:
- Video is king—Social media platforms are expanding off of the proliferation of video in 2016, when Facebook saw a 400% growth in the use of Facebook Live by both small business and individuals. Well-developed videos with a solid opening hook and close connections to your website will help your business engage with viewers while continuing to stand out as media platforms are inundated with videos from millions of other users.
- Fake news patrol—The proliferation of fake news in 2016 and the backlash it provoked have prompted Facebook to hire more 3rd party fact-checkers. Multiple social media platforms have stepped up their efforts to scrutinize content for valid sourcing and credible facts in an effort to stop fake news from spreading as easily.
- Authenticity—The fake news surge has also created a new demand for authenticity from brands on social media. Millennials in particular want better content, instead of more, that tells a story rather than just making a pitch. Brands that feature giving back in their content are also rising in popularity.
- Consumer to Business Messaging—Once more driven by millennials, consumers are turning back to direct messaging as the preferred means of contact over the telephone or emails. 67% of consumers even prefer to use media direct messaging to report issues to customer service over calling in or filling out online forms.
- Augmented reality—Not quite virtual reality, think Snapchat filters or Pokémon Go. This kind of tech could be useful in helping brands make connections with consumers through more interactive experiences that go beyond sharing simple information.
- Ecommerce Is Coming—As social media and consumption become increasingly linked together, don’t be surprised if you start spotting Amazon-style “Buy Now” buttons on your Facebook or Twitter pages.
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