2016 was a huge year of growth and competition as the major social channels battled for user engagement.
Instagram and Snapchat competed for image and video-sharing supremacy while we said goodbye to others (RIP Vine), Facebook jumped in the live streaming mix with Facebook Live, and many of the channels increased opportunities for brands to promote their products.
Related: Three social media updates to insert into your marketing strategy.
What’s in store for 2017? At the rate social channels’ new features roll out, we assume a lot is going to happen this year.
For now, I’m going to look at five social media trends in particular we’re expecting to have a big impact in 2017.
Brands are finding new ways to reach those coveted potential buyers through influencers, such as bloggers and photographers. Influencers not only have credibility, but also have built up loyal followers that brands want access to in order to promote their products. I don’t think we’ll see influencers, of all sizes – macro or micro – go away anytime soon.
Brands like Facebook and Instagram have jumped on the live video streaming bandwagon in hopes of being the first choice of users looking to capture that “in-the-moment” moment. Snapchat has made a big impression so far, being the choice of users, especially younger users, who are capturing and sharing everything with friends. Being able to go live at any given moment is definitely one of the social media trends that is only going to grow in 2017 across all platforms.
Instagram and Facebook are already making strides into making purchasing in-feed easier. Instagram implemented tagging products in photos to limited brands, and Facebook is evolving their e-commerce with their product catalog ads. Meanwhile, a new Pinterest features allowed users to buy products from brands directly from Pinterest’s mobile app and desktop site.
How this will take shape in 2017? I’m not exactly sure, but the rise of bots on social will only rise in 2017 and become more prevalent. Dominos has already implemented an easy-order feature through Facebook Messenger and through Twitter, simply by having the user send a pizza emoji. Macallan Whisky has also experimented with the trend, creating a Facebook chatbot that helps you pair the perfect Macallan expression with any occasion.
Virtual Reality/360 Video
Facebook already has 360-degree video options, while YouTube is in the process of rolling it out and Twitter recently announced its 360-degree rollout. This new way of creating content and advertising will shake things up and require creatives to come up with new ways of thinking about video production and real-time opportunities.
Keep up with us throughout the year to see how social channels are using these and other social media trends, and how your brand can take advantage of them.