6 social media trends to watch in 2017

Live streaming video

YouTube changed the game for content creators, businesses, and marketers alike in 2004. In 2016 we saw live video reach a new level of popularity as Facebook introduced new features to compete with Twitter’s acquisition of Periscope. These days, sporting events, presidential debates, and even personal events are streamed and shared online where engagement can happen in real-time.

Twitter is going continue to fall off

Twitter has had a rough time recently, with shares dropping nearly 400%, but that doesn’t mean it is dead. The platform is constantly innovating to try and regain its lost audience, though things like expanding the character limit might not save it in the end. The messaging company has been publicly looking for a buyer, and if they can’t build revenue or expand their user base, it is unlikely an offer will be made.

Snapchat will be a bigger player than ever

While Twitter may be having a hard time, Snapchat is growing faster than ever. Expected to be valued at $25B at its IPO early next year, the “mega unicorn” is going to continue growing. With a daily user base of over 150m and an easy to use interface with direct delivery, now is the time to capitalize on this media.

Chatbots and AI are gaining traction

The goal of chatbots is to simulate intelligent conversation without a human present, while increasing the speed of engagement with consumers. In April of this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced that third parties would be able to use his Facebook messenger platform to create personal chatbots. Since then, the popularity of chatbots has grown rapidly. Real-time engagement is key to making sure that consumers are getting prompt and accurate replies to questions and comments.

Organic traffic is going down

As the digital world gets larger and more complicated, earning attention is going to get much more difficult. Back in the day, anything posted was easily seen by anyone who followed you. Now, that is not necessarily true. Facebook’s feed is no longer defaulted to chronological, and Instagram has removed that feature all together, opting for the most popular to be shown first. This only helps the true viral content spread as others have to pay for placement. Paying for your content to be “viral” may become the norm as social media starts to become just another paid media outlet.

Influencers will be more important

As organic traffic becomes more difficult and paid traffic becomes expensive, alternatives for marketing products and services will rise up. Social influencers are not a new thing. Having someone with a large fan base talk about specific products has been around since the 16th century, the only difference is the media and size of the audience. It’s not much different than the celebrities you see endorsing products on television. Probably the most successful example of a social influencer would be Kim Kardashian. Believe me, I am not particularly a fan of any of the Kardashians, but Kim has been able to utilize her audience to generate millions in revenue for the clothing lines and jewelry makers she features. The biggest challenge when working with influencers is identifying whether or not you share the same audience and making sure they are a good fit.