Which emerging social platforms should brands be watching in 2017?Which shifts in consumer behaviour could have important consequences?How will the big networks change?
Digifish3, the social media marketing company in India, have looked into our crystal ball and examined a lot of research reports to divine the developments that will matter most. Here are the five key social media trends that we believe every marketer should be watching in 2017:
1.Social Will Continue To Transform Communication - social media is quickly impacting almost all communications, from how we interact one-on-one to how we engage with select groups.
For example: messaging apps. These programs are rapidly becoming the foundation of interactions between individuals.
295 of adult smartphone owners in the US already use general - purpose messaging apps, like Whatsapp.
24% use messaging apps that automatically delete messages, such as Snapchat
The year ahead is sure to bring more integrations with social platforms, fundamentally transforming how people communicate with each other and brands.
2.Employees Will Become Important Social Ambassadors - It's long been known that employees are key assets for brands on social media. These are individuals who have a passion for the products/services and want to share the enthusiasm.
79% of companies say employee social advocacy increases company visibility
65% say it leads to better brand recognition
3.Content Will Need To Be More Immersive And Dynamic - the first social networks were all about text, links and photography. Now video and other more immersive experience are on the rise.
67% of consumers are watching more video on social networks compared with a year ago.
60% of views expect the amount of social video they watch to increase in 2019
Publishers are streaming more 6X more live video on Facebook alone compared with a year ago.
Virtual reality internet traffic is predicted to increase 61X by 2020
4.Social Platforms Will Be Less Differentiated - not that long ago there were clear boundaries between the social platforms: Instagram was for images, YouTube was for video, etc. Recently, those differences have started to disappear.
Facebook has become a full-fledged video platform, challenging YouTube
YouTube has built its community, which includes many Facebook-like features
Instagram now has Stories, which look exactly like Snapchat Stories
Snapchat has enhanced its chat features to take on Facebook Messenger
This expansion of networks goes beyond merely encroaching on social competitors.
Snapchat has created hardware Spectacles, that go after Google glass
Pinterest has introduced Buyable Pins that directly challenge e-commerce sites
5.Brands Will Focus On Using Fewer Social Platforms - one consequence of social platforms becoming more similar is that there's less of an imperative for businesses to work across so many of them.
Another thing that influences these decisions is the continued dominance of Facebook:
76% of adults in India with Internet access use Facebook
% of these users visit the social network several times a day.
In other words, most online adults can now effectively and consistently be reached via a single social network. Other platforms become necessary mainly to deliver specific audiences. For example:
Instagram & Snapchat over-index with young users
Pinterest over-indexes with women
LinkedIn over-indexes with high-income professionals
Going forward, brands will continue to engage on networks beyond Facebook to reach these audiences. However, in 2017, many may also take a hard look at exactly how many platforms they need to use.