5 Trends That Will Transform Social Media in 2017
5 Trends That Will Transform Social Media in 2017
5 Trends That Will Transform Social Media in 2017
by

Social media has been evolving rapidly, breaking down barriers and becoming part of the routine all over the world. It is estimated that globally, 66% of adults log on to Facebook every day. Considering that the global population sits at a hefty 7+ billion people, this is a huge opportunity that you can make use of if you’re a brand.

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The path of evolution when it comes to social media has been nothing short of incredible. It had humble beginnings as a portal to connect with friends and family across the globe. Now, it’s grown into a marketing juggernaut that puts most other methods of sales to shame.

The popularity of social media has been growing exponentially and has shown no signs of letting up. Brands have been using it to good effect and have come up with several innovative strategies that they’ve used to make their mark with their audience.

So, what are developments that people should look to in the next year? Well, why don’t we find out…

Social Networking Use Has Shot Up in Past Decade

Networking through this medium has seen a meteoric rise in the past decade. If forecasts are to be believed, it should grow even further in the coming years. Humans are social creatures and this push to connect has been the key to social media developing at this pace.

1
Social networking website usage

Distances have diminished and people are much more connected than ever today. The number of users will grow at 8% in 2017 to a heady 2.39 billion people! To put this into some sort of perspective – the combined population of India and China is about 2.6 billion.

Having this sort of audience at the tap of a button makes social media a very attractive proposition for developing brand awareness and creating markets.

Employees Turn Into Beacons For Their Brand

If you are working for a company that considers itself “connected”, you might be encouraged to share business updates. This is because brands have now started turning to employees as brand ambassadors to further their brand image. In other words, using employee social advocacy programs has grown about 191% since 2013.

2
Employees and visitors sharing brand-related updates

What this has done is rather than increase social reach through scaling, it integrates elements (employees) that already have a connected audience. When you pull this off correctly, it can be much more effective at enticing engagement. Consider utilizing tools like Social Toaster to turn your team into a passionate group of social advocates.

‘Real’ Real-Time Engagement

Another key area that has grown through social media is the ability to run effective client support programs. Users expect that a brand needs to have a social team on their feed to answer questions and resolve issues. Statistics from Search Engine Watch highlight this fact – 72% of Twitter users expect responses from brands they follow, within the hour.

In a domino-effect, this has caused brands to start investing heavily into cross-functional social media teams that can keep abreast with the increasing number of client pings every day. Eventually, most brands will have shifted client service entirely to their own social media accounts.

Driving Decisions Through Analytics

Much earlier, social media was more of a hit-or-miss when it came to marketing aspects and relied on “gut feeling” a lot. These days though, social media analytics has gotten more powerful, comprehensive and easier to use for the average Joe. Statistics will play an even more important role in the days to come.

There are a variety of different social analytics tools that can cater to several popular social media platforms like Buffer, Followerwonk, Iconosquare and Google Analytics to name a few. Most of them are free and can accommodate the needs of most SMBs. You can also find other enterprise-level solutions online.

Social Video Wins Again

It’s hard to miss, but perhaps you might have – Snapchat has over 10 billion daily views on its video content. Let’s wait a moment for that number to sink in. This exceeds even YouTube, a website that is built on showcasing video content and straight double of their last year numbers.

 

The domination of social media over video content as well has been an eye-opener for many companies and it’s only set to increase even further. Brands have evidence that video content is effective and over 76% of B2Bs use them to good effect. Expect this to dominate brand marketing strategies going forward.

So in Conclusion

To be brutally honest, you don’t need to be a prophet to see where social media is going to end up next year. Right now, it has been a revelation on many fronts, news, content, and marketing to name a few. As people come up with more innovative types of content and methods of sharing them, social media will only get bigger. You can find a comprehensive list of the statistics behind social media trends from iDigic, who has created an infographic about it.

Unlike other forms of media, social media is riding the evolution super-wave into the future. As people are becoming smarter and more aware, so has social media.

From being just a tool to share memes, to leading the charge when it comes to customer-centric engagements for big-brands. We’ve come a long, long way and still, the road ahead looks promising!

About the Author

Nancy Grace
Nancy Grace is a social media writer at iDigic.net who also contributes for hundreds of other blogs. Her articles predominantly focus on social media and are widely followed by readers from all over the world
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  • jackesulley

    Good One!

  • That’s true, the evolution of social media is very rapid. As what you have said, from the past, social media in the beginning was used to connect with friends, family and loved ones across the nation, but nowadays, most of the time social media is used more on to introduce, advertise and make the business well known. This development of social media that you’ve shared will probably used by most of the entrepreneurs to make their mark with the audience.

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  • Cybr Space

    Nice!

  • Awesome stats and good information here!

  • Ashlyn Faulkner

    I love getting to read articles like this that open my eyes to different perspectives of social media that I never considered, like the impact its made on eCommerce and entertainment industries. Its hard to imagine a world without social media even though its only been around the last ten years (give or take). I agree with Melissa, I can’t wait to see what “the next big thing” is!

  • Melissa Vuocolo

    Great post! As you said, you don’t need to be a prophet to see where social media is going. Social Media has come a long way from the days of Myspace and I expect it to continue to grow and for more platforms to emerge. As another commenter mentioned, I didn’t realize the impact Snapchat had and how many daily views they were receiving. I love using the app but I never knew it was that big. I’m excited to see which platform will come out next that will surpass Snapchat.

  • Nicole Karamallakis

    Awesome article! I totally agree that social media is quickly taking over different sections of the business world, especially marketing and customer service. I honestly had no idea that Snapchat’s video content had 10 billion views a day– that is insane! I am excited to see what social media has in store for the future, and who knows what other sort of platforms may come about within the next year to change up the social media game.

  • Complementing real time engagement and social video will be live streaming video. Twitter, Facebook, and new video streaming platforms like FireTalk and Huzza are quickly gaining in popularity. Live stream video does provide ample opportunity to have conversations and engagement between businesses and customers in real time. And that content can then be repurposed for other campaigns and efforts.

  • James Braden Weaver

    Social media certainly has a lot of growing to do. Even with all the new advancements, there is still a lot of room for social media outlets to grow. I really enjoyed this read because it makes a lot of sense and is the truth. Whether you are a tech person or not, get ready because social media will be everywhere in the near future.

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  • Caroline Brown

    Such a great read! I have to say I was a bit surprised by the 66% of adults on Facebook statistic. I would have thought it would be higher (I’m sure it is growing every day) due to the rise of social connections with adults via FB I have experienced while in college. The Twitter stat about 72% users expecting responses is SO true, and I have noticed myself growing in that expectation considerably since I became a Twitter user over six years ago. I loved the idea of brand ambassadors too. Reading from a soon-to-be graduate perspective, I felt encouraged and very much hope for a work culture full of colleagues who are passionate about the mission of the company. Thank you so much for your insight!

  • Awesome article, Nancy. I’m still letting that “10 Billion Daily Video Views” statistic sink in. I know I shouldn’t be, but I must admit that I’m shocked that Snapchat delivers more video views than YouTube (who’s mission in life is to deliver the best video content to its customers). Isn’t YouTube (still) the second largest search engine in the world, second only to it’s parent, Google? It boggles my mind that even with the power of Google behind it, YouTube has fallen behind a mobile app that didn’t even exist a more than 5 years ago. That’s the power of mobile’s intersection with social media. YouTube was designed for the web and ported over to mobile. Snapchat was born as a mobile app and has continued to innovate on mobile devices. Thank you for your continued insights on the top 5 trends of the social media industry in 2017.

  • Bridget S

    I especially agree with the notion that all employees are brand ambassadors now. A sign of a good company is that its employees not only enjoy working there but are passionate about the mission, and for employees to genuinely communicate this with their families and friends over social media is very very powerful word of mouth. Also your point about videos is so true, as a consumer scrolling through Facebook, videos are something that I will actually stop and look at instead of just scroll past.

  • Melissa C

    As someone who used to work for a company that really encouraged posting on social media about our jobs, I can definitely understand where this trend is heading. That being said, it seems like an interesting paradox to me. You would think that consumers would be wary of brands whose employees are constantly speaking well of them on social media and yet, as the trend suggests, it actually makes them feel more attached to the brand. I guess we’ll have to wait and see but hopefully this trend will stay strong without overdoing it. We all know the power of a hashtag but we also know how annoying it can get if it’s used too much or too forcefully.

  • Drew Neisser

    Great points Nancy. Certainly employee advocacy is a big growth area. Do you have any advice for companies who are in year 2 of such programs — how do they keep the momentum going?

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