The digital marketing world is rarely predictable, and social media least of all. We can’t predict which dog video will go viral, which dance move will take off, or which 60 second DIY clip will be shared by at least 15 of our Facebook friends. But we can predict that video will play an essential role in whatever happens in 2017.
That’s the approach we’re taking for our 2017 social media predictions: piecing together the individual trends for a bigger picture of what you need to prioritize, whether you’re a B2B tech company or an independent Etsy retailer. Our team has chosen 5 trends that are already well on their way to becoming best practice for anyone’s 2017 social media marketing strategies.
- Video. The best practices for social media videos are clear – between 30-60 seconds long, with clear subtitles, and one simple message. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when planning your brand’s video content for 2017:
- Re-purpose your content across channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Don’t abandon YouTube, which will be important due to the increase of Google Home and other voice search tools.
- Remember that the Facebook algorithm essentially punishes plain text posts and rewards shareable rich media like videos.
- Tailor your video posts to a specific audience. This is especially important if you are willing to put some dollars behind your content. You can create a potent content marketing formula by creating target demographic-specific content and paying to ensure that it reaches the right people (more on this later).
- Live Video. Yep, this is important enough and distinct enough from regular video to warrant it’s own category. To talk us through this key prediction, we turned to our Director of Social Media, Bob Cargill. He says:
“The prevalence and popularity of live-streaming video will continue to grow in 2017. Not only are most social media platforms encouraging and enabling users to share more video, but video is a more effective vehicle on which to carry your message, plain and simple. With Facebook Live, Periscope, Snapchat and now even Instagram making it possible for anyone to stream live video, more and more people are taking advantage of its capabilities and realizing its benefits. It’s authentic, credible and immediate, three things people are looking for in social media content, as opposed to artificial and automated. Your audience wants to see the real you, the human side of your brand, which live-streaming video reveals because of its nature. It’s a quick, easy way to make a stronger connection with your constituency and eventually conduct business with them. “
- Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of the real world with augmented elements. It’s already more pervasive than you might think due to Pokemon Go and Snapchat Selfie Lenses. In 2017, we expect other major apps to follow suit and for AR to pop up in innovative and unexpected ways. Stay alert to how your brand can engage with this here-to-stay trend; perhaps a sponsored Snapchat selfie lens is in your future?
- Chatbots. Chatbots are a personable spin-off of artificial intelligence, an application/bot that users can interact with via a chat interface, such as Siri, Alexa, or Echo. Still not sure what we’re talking about? Read this article. In 2017, you should use them to keep users engaged on your site or application. For inspiration, see what Facebook is doing in the Messenger app. Bonus read: How to adjust your SEO plans for the AI future.
- Pay to play. The sheer amount of content published on the primary social channels is literally impossible to keep up with. The platforms know it, resulting in the rise of the algorithm. You can cross your fingers and hope that a piece of your content strikes gold and goes viral, or you can be proactive and support your best content with a budget. Director of Social Media, Bob Cargill, outlines how to promote your content here.
There are always surprises and exciting innovations in digital marketing. We can’t wait to see what new technology will take off in 2017. To find out how to work with Overdrive on your social media strategy or other digital marketing campaigns, visit our services page.