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Stay ahead of the curve and learn about next year’s social media trends. With the continued growth and development of social media in 2016, it is critical for companies to get a jump start on their 2017 investments in social media marketing.

Twitter is out. Snap is in.

Twitter has been on a slow burn out for a few years, but now even The Washington Post is predicting its death in 2017. The barrage of bite-sized tweets, both incoming and outgoing, was novel and exciting at first, but now your followers want something different, something bigger, something more detailed.

That’s where Snap (formerly known as Snapchat) comes in. The app has undergone enormous refinements over the past year. It’s still a moment-focused view of communication, but it’s visual capacity has a greater hold than its predecessor, Twitter. Snap is also rolling on development of real-world glasses to allow users to capture first-person visual information and other products outside its main message exchanging app. Snap is the platform to watch in 2017, with huge marketing opportunities for companies of all sizes.

The rise of the ChatBots

You may have started seeing them in sidebars and on company home pages, but artificial intelligence ChatBots are reaching a level of being incredible useful in daily consumerism. These instant customer support chat boxes help companies to facilitate conversations with their customers without the need to have a human at the other end. The usage of these AI tools is sure to increase as demand for more real-time engagement continues to rise.

Users want in on the experience

As noted above, social users want bigger, better content. It is no longer enough to post sentiments or tell your followers about an event, promotion, or product. They want to see it. They want to know what it’s like to be there. Companies will do this with things like live video, 360 images, and even more real-time posting. By making followers feel like they are part of the experience, they will be more apt to engage with content and your links to your website.

Speaking of Live Video

Live Video started popping up here and there in 2016, but the New Year will undoubtedly bring more of it. In tandem with the steady decline of traditional TV viewing, live streaming via social channels has gained popularity. Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach compared to photo posts, while followers spend three-times more time watching live videos than videos that are no longer live. Live video has allowed companies to provide a more authentic interaction with their audiences.  It brings a human element to digital marketing – for better or for worse – and allows companies to gain valuable live feedback from their customers.

As always, social engagement will be key

Connecting with customers socially will continue to trend upward as more consumers turn to online channels to engage with the brands they use and like. Developing a strategy that involves ongoing relationship building and avenues to provide better customer support will be key in 2017 and beyond. Companies will have to be able to monitor conversations happening around their brand and be ready to join the discussion online.

Starting a new year is exciting for business, and with the growing social opportunities in 2017, there’s never been a more important time to invest and refine your social media marketing strategy. Contact us to help you get started.