Top 4 Social Media Trends for 2017

By Jess Grew – Events and Marketing Coordinator.

What does 2017 look like for social media?

In my previous blog I talked about the top marketing tactics that every entrepreneur should be aware of, this time round I will be discussing the top social media trends you need to look out for in 2017.

As you are already probably aware social media is one of the fastest changing industries. I wasn’t surprised to read there are over 2.5 billion active social media users worldwide (increasing 9% each year!). So to help you stay on top of your game here are the top 4 predicted social media trends that will be dominating 2017 that you should be aware of:

1. Virtual reality / Augmented reality

2016 saw the introduction of Pokemon Go which introduced a lot of people to Augmented Reality, this was a great example of AR implemented well. Snapchat also introduced the very popular selfie lenses and the VR headsets also became a ‘thing’ last year (although the headsets do seem rather large and clumsy).

The construction industry are already talking about using virtual reality to visualise virtual objects in the real world, it will only be a matter of time before more businesses are finding ways to use virtual reality and augmented reality to their advantage.

2. Chatbots

You have probably already come across a digital assistant at some point whether it be talking to your phone or tablet via Siri and Cortana, or using Google Assistant.

These integrated bots are being used more and more to assist with customer service (frequently asked questions, simple bookings, information etc.) helping free up time for the customer service teams to deal with more complex queries and bookings.

Facebook are a great example, they already use chatbots to communicate to their customers, answer questions, and provide information. This is bound to increase in popularity so we better get used to talking to our gadgets as this will be the way forward.

The only challenge now is working how you can use these in your business…

3. Social Messaging

Social networks (Facebook, Twitter) are a hot topic at the moment but it seems that the social messaging platforms (WhatApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat) will be taking over in 2017!

Market leader WhatsApp now has a larger community then the biggest social networks. In February 2016 Whatsapp reached 1 billion users. So it is predicted that social messaging platforms will soon become the favourite over social networks such as Facebook and Twitter for companies to invest in in 2017.

‘But what are the benefits to my business?’ I hear you cry!

These platforms allow you to reach a wider audience and offer more opportunities for customer support.

So now might be the time to start research on ways you can reach your customers through messaging apps! An interesting article by Contently explores this in more detail with some facts and figures to back it up.

4. Live Video

It started off with YouTube, now social media has taken live media to the next level with live-streaming. Live videos tend to have a better engagement than any other form of content. Even the media in the US are using Facebook Live videos when covering major events.

This is another trend that is only going to increase. It is likely 2017 will start to see more businesses use live video content to engage with their customers.

Social Media’s biggest platforms include Facebook, Tiwtter, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, 2016 already saw the consolidation of these platforms. 2017 will only see this increase, so by the end of 2017 it is likely we will see all platforms creating and sharing video content, creating and sharing live video content, and news and what’s going on around them.

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