It is nearly the time of year for New Year Resolutions and while lots of people make resolutions for themselves, few do it for their business. By now we have had it forced upon us that we should all be making the most of social media, and it is undeniably the key focus in expanding business. It is all well and good producing fabulous content, but without getting this out to the public, how will you achieve expansion?
2016 was an interesting year for developments in social media, and the advent of live streaming changed the face of social media marketing. As a web design and marketing agency, we have had a quick look at the trends expected in social media for 2017, so if your goals are to make better use of social, you can be prepared for how to tackle this.
1. Pay Heed to the Big Names
Social media giants such as Facebook and LinkedIn have already made their sites function in such a way that it is very difficult to link to anything off-site. As such, using the Pulse blogging facility on LinkedIn or Facebook’s live video options already mean you are maximising the impact of these channels. Facebook Instant articles are also a great way to get large stories on the algorithm, as opposed to linking to personal blogs.
In the wake of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, 2017 will see more mergers of giant companies such as these, meaning that marketing will need to be integrated. Many SMEs will need to diversify, including more entertaining, educational and informative content in order to retain the interest of their audience. Developing a Facebook Live strategy is imperative for any business with a following on the platform, as consumer demand leans toward emotional and visual connections with companies.
2. Post-Truth & Fake News
In his book Hypernormalisation, Adam Curtis reports on our post-truth world and the impact that this is having on society. Fake news was big news in 2016 and the social networks are all looking for ways to respond and counter this. Arguably, the reason for fake news’ evolution was to foster a more engaged audience, to encourage people to check facts before responding to them. However, since most news is read through social media sites, the sites are accepting responsibility for the part they play in the spreading of fake news.
2017 will see Facebook and Google kick back against fake news sites by restricting adverts on fake news sites. If they are not profitable then they will cease to function. However, the Facebook reaction to this will need to encompass a strategy to combat the way its algorithms respond to popular stories. If a fake news story happens to gain more traction than real news, it will ‘trend’. We will see several companies respond to this.
Companies who have built strong, trust relationships with their followers will benefit from this trend. Continue to produce great content that is relevant to your customer base and reassure users that you are an authority in your field.
3. Paid Social
The halcyon days of organic interaction on social media are more or less over now. With all social media sites knowing how to capitalise on companies’ marketing efforts, the question is no longer about whether or not you need to pay for advertising on social networks, but rather where to focus your finances. With a good understanding of your customer base and where they ‘hang out’, you should be able to build an effective strategy for communicating with them.
Generally, knowing which posts to back financially should be based on the success of content already posted. Whatever your audience naturally connect with and engage with, is where you should be focusing your expenditure. Storytelling about real people will continue to drive customer engagement, which means continuing to focus on visual content is going to be the forefront of marketing success in 2017.
4. The Power of Messaging
Snapchat usage has increased substantially in 2016, setting a precedent for the type of communication marketing agencies are going to need to focus on. Instagram copied its style, with storytelling. This is quite significant in understanding the way trends will go, and we expect to see Snapchat continue to dominate as 2017 unfolds. Messaging networks like the mighty WhatsApp are now larger than some social network sites and communicating brand messages through these apps is going to require new strategies.
Over to You
Comment below to let us know now is your business changing it’s social media marketing strategy to keep up with new trends?