Social Media Success and Trends for 2017

Yes, it's that time of year again. Agencies up and down the land are nailing their metaphorical flags to masts about what's in, what's out and what's going to happen in our industry over the next 12 months.

So here are our thoughts on social media and how you can still keep achieving social media success in 2017.

Organic Reach is Harder than ever.

Yes, organic social is harder to achieve given Facebook's saturation and the introduction of engagement-based algorithms to both Twitter and Instagram.

Nowadays, everyone wants a piece of your screen, because they've figured out being there makes you more likely to buy from them. In other words, it works. 

That being said, it's still possible to reach tens or hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis organically. Making sure the content is a perfect fit for a relevant audience, engaging with that audience and making them feel valued will all go a long way to ensuring your reach is maximised.

Social Budgets will keep increasing.

Good news! Nearly 96% of marketers report positive ROI on Facebook, 67% on Twitter. And it's all trackable (we might have even tracked your visit to this page!).

That sort of information is so vital to a business. Knowing who interacts with what, for how long and then if they've taken a desired action is so important and will make your marketing more effective.

Although, having the data and interpreting the data are two very different things.

Video, video, video.

Forget the radio star, video killed still images too.

We'll see a peak in video next year. Creating small 'snackable' videos will sit alongside and complement longer-form content.

Facebook continues to push it's Live offering and Branded Live Videos could also play a significant role in a business' content calendar over the next 12 months, if only for the fact Facebook's determined to see it succeed and can adjust their algorithm accordingly.

They provide excellent context for a competition or giveaway, or simply showing behind-the-scenes at their favourite brand. Facebook-owned Instagram has just kicked off their Live Video offering.

Live Video 360 Facebook
Image via Facebook

YouTube has seen a 50% increase in terms of ad spend in the last year alone, and whilst they're having some issues with creators at the moment, I expect them to sort that out as the creative community there is literally the life of the business.

Even sites like Twitch will see greater ad spend as brands understand the potential brand loyalty of that demographic.

But the video party won't last. I'll tell you why I think video as we currently know it will start dropping off in '18 next.

Influencers influence.

I'm not being flippant when I say that.

Bloggers and vloggers have quasi-religious followings and leveraging such an engaged audience by collaborating is a smart move for various reasons.

Usually they'll create the content and promote it, making them perfect for businesses that don't have a gargantuan marketing budget to spend. In fact, sometimes it's just a case of simply giving away products for review videos.

This year, we ran a couple of blogger events and blogger outreach programmes for clients - you can read about one of them here.

AR goes mainstream.

Pokemon Go Social 2017 Augmented Reality
Image via The New Yorker

Remember when I said why video as we know it will fade? Say hello to AR.

Snapchat and Pokemon Go brought Augmented Reality to the fore in 2016, and this is only going to ramp up, in both social activations and gaming with AR providing a myriad of opportunities for brands.

Facebook's acquisition of MSQRD inevitably leads us to believe you'll see AR in some way on their platform sooner rather than later. And just like Snapchat, they'll find a way to monetise it.

That's a wrap...

So that's where we see social going in 2017!

Do you agree? Disagree? Let's discuss it over on Twitter, we're @sunshinecomms.