Many make predictions on social media innovations they are likely to see in the year to come. With the exponential growth in social media, they may find it a little bit funny that many people wrote the whole thing off as a fad not so many years past.
The constant evolution of social media is the one key characteristic that has given the medium massive staying power. It has always found a way to offer more to users, find ways to thrive on new technologies such as mobile devices, and remain fiercely competitive, which has driven the development of more features that have exceeded customer expectations.
So what are the predictions for social media innovations in 2017?
- Expect New Opportunities from the Evolution and Innovation of Snapchat
The grand evolution of Snapchat, which now simply goes by Snap, is sure to define the social media marketing landscape. It has bucked major trends in the niche and altered user expectations. Snap has single-handedly driven the push towards making the moment-focused communication fashionable again, resulting in more live and in-the-moment content. It has made vertical videos come back into vogue while facilitating mobile-centric app developments. With its real world glasses, the company is now moving past its traditional concept of simply exchanging messages, to helping people record first-person visual information. The recently renamed Snap has big things to come in 2017, which is sure to afford huge marketing opportunities for social media marketers.
- People Will Get Even More Tired of Twitter
Twitter is not doing so well. It is one of those companies that has been teetering on the edge for several years now, though I must say that I am not pronouncing that this is the year that it is going to fall off a cliff (it may, it may not). The one thing that I am certain of is that the app will continue to decline in a phenomenon I like to call “Twitter Fatigue.” Twitter growth was driven by fast, small sized updates, but the problem is that this tends to result in so many outgoing and incoming tweets for users to keep up with. While it was initially a novel concept, users are favoring interesting and more detailed content that they do not necessarily get throughout the day. Instagram is one platform in which this trend is very evident.
- The Demand for Vicarious Experience Will Go Even Higher
For most people, social media is now becoming a vicarious experience pipeline. While in the past you could get away with simply posting your thoughts about an event, users now want you to show them what it feels like at the event. This has led to the exponential growth of video, 360 images, live video, and the more conventional real-time posts. At their very essence, the new social media innovations are to make the audience experience the unfolding event as if they were there.
- Expect A Rise in New Communication Areas
Initially, social media was a means for individuals to communicate on the web but over time, brands have found that it is a great way to advertise to and speak to consumers. Going forward, new communicative areas will continue to develop as the different platforms tap into the effectiveness of social media to provide customer service, thus making it an important component of enhancing the interactivity of exchanges between clients and businesses. Platforms such as Facebook have led the way with aspects such as professional communication, which is sure to inspire the development of more communication areas, as businesses find more value in such offerings.
- An Ad Renaissance Will Occur
Brands have been seeing a steady decline in organic visibility as platforms move towards catering to individual needs rather than those of organizations and companies. Nonetheless, the social platforms stand to gain from this, as more companies will now spend more in paid placements to increase their reach. The pressure to increase profits or remain profitable coupled with more competition among platforms has resulted in more creativity and ingenuity in the creation of advertising options for their clients. With such factors coming to the forefront, social media advertising is likely to experience a resurgence in 2017.
- Imagination and Inspiration Will Come Back Into Vogue
Consumers have a high preference for practical posts, while your emotionally charged posts are more likely to go viral. However, the imaginative and inspirational posts are now making a stronger case for themselves as important components of social media success. Such posts will be offering the audience something “pretty” or artistic in nature rather that reactive or pragmatic. The approach has the effect of forcing companies to desist from any low-key advertising or company positioning, to focus on offering audiences a truly valuable experience. Beautiful sentiments and images rather than pretense are going to be a big thing in 2017.
- Survival of the Fittest is What Will Determine Choice of Platform by Brands
The emergence of new social media platforms trying to take on the established social media giants has become a yearly occurrence. Given that marketers and entrepreneurs cannot make use of every social media platform that comes along, 2017 will see more businesses leaning towards refinement. Instead of dabbling in all the platforms, brands will likely find a social media platform that offers the best return and focus their efforts on it to maximize returns. This may result in the major platforms adopting a more stratified approach.
These are what I forecast to be the social media’s most important social media innovations in 2017. Social media will remain an important cog for any brand doing marketing on a small budget or just any other SEO or content strategy for a business.
Success will not necessarily mean you have to implement all of these trends in your business, but experimenting or dabbling in a few will be sure to benefit some aspects of your business.
Nonetheless, when it comes to social media, no prediction is cast in stone – and so we just have to take each development as it unfolds.
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