Social media marketing is one of the biggest categories of digital marketing, and that only becomes more true with each passing year. In response, social sites continue to innovate new ways for marketers to connect with an engaged public, and marketers keep studying consumer behavior on social networks and experimenting with new strategies.
Here’s a look at some of the strongest social media marketing trends coming to light at the beginning of 2017. Give some thought to how you can incorporate one or more of these into your brand’s social strategy as soon as possible.
Social Media E-Commerce
There’s been a lot of focus lately on shortening the sales funnel from social media to off-site landing page to checkout. The recent introduction of e-commerce capabilities on a number of social media sites and apps, including heavyweights like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, is a huge step forward in this respect. This is arguably the most important emerging trend in early 2017 for a social strategy that directly and measurably drives increased sales.
Live Video Streaming
Video content’s been proving its worth for a while now. But the tangential medium of live video feeds on social media sites is newly emerging as a digital marketing force to be reckoned with. As of early 2017, live streaming has taken off on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, and other social sites and apps. Brands are just starting to catch on to the potential, streaming special events, their products or services in use, behind-the-scenes tours, interactive question-and-answer sessions, and more.
Instant Messaging Apps
Facebook Messenger, WeChat, WhatsApp, and other instant messaging options aren’t just an increasingly popular alternative to texting used by 4 billion people around the globe as of the start of 2017. They’re also a new frontier for brand building via social media. The ability for organizations to communicate directly to consumers who’ve opted in opens up a world of opportunities for things like instant customer service and troubleshooting and real-time marketing.
Focus on Fewer Sites
One of the classic social media marketing mistakes is creating an account on every site you’ve ever heard of. Many brands believe they’re supposed to have a presence everywhere. But neglected pages and misused, poorly understood accounts work against a brand, not for it. Plus, different social sites have different strengths and weaknesses. In 2017, there’s a strong trend emerging for brands of all sizes to cut back and use only one or two social sites that are ideal for their industry or marketing tactics—and use them really well, with full focus.
The Emergence of Imagination
There’s been so much research into the types of content that perform best on social media. For example, high-quality, pragmatic, informative content appeals to consumers; emotionally charged and controversial content is more likely to go viral. But the organic reach of branded content continually diminishes, the glut of basic content perpetually grows, and jockeying for attention becomes ever more difficult. In response, there’s a more concerted effort to create imaginatively inspirational marketing campaigns with a natural ability to attract and hold attention and spur social sharing.