Monday, May 22, 2017

1001 Top Social Media Trends In 2017 (And How They Can Help You)

Okay, so you’ve created a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for 2017, and you’re ready to kick goals this year.

Here’s the thing: your marketing strategy is worth nothing if you don’t keep an eye on popular social media trends.

In today’s world, any digital marketing campaign must include running social media accounts.

If you believe that people only use social media for private communication, then we have some bad news for you.

Those days are far behind us.

Social media has become the perfect environment for people to communicate with brands and companies, and ask questions in a convenient way.

However, it’s not enough to simply be present on social media to succeed. The environment is highly competitive. It’s crucial to stay one step ahead of your opponents by keeping up to date with trends.

Industry leaders list Facebook and Instagram as the most popular social media platforms for brands, so here’s a list of current trends for each of these platforms and what they can do for you.
Facebook trends

Facebook boasts over 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users, and has become the main source of online communication for many brands.

It’s a powerful business tool that helps raise awareness, drive demand and boost sales. No matter what your business goals are, you can achieve them on Facebook.

Constant improvements are made to Facebook’s communication features – so let’s look at what’s popular in 2017.
Live streaming

A live stream is a real-time video post on Facebook that you can add with the help of the Page Manager app. It allows you to see the number of live viewers and a real-time stream of comments while broadcasting. It remains on your page’s timeline after finishing as well.

Sharing a live stream is valuable because Facebook sends notifications to all your followers, increasing the likelihood they will join in. It’s a form of content that is growing more and more popular because of its ability to boost user engagement. Today’s users value being ‘in the moment’ and ‘being present’, and this trend is growing in popularity worldwide.

Additionally, live streams can be used to add roundups to your Fan Page. If you use this rubric regularly, people will know what to expect and wait with anticipation for your live streams. However, it’s always important to announce these videos in advance.

If you haven’t tried live streaming, give it a whirl and you may be surprised at how many of your subscribers are interested in your content!
360° photos

People post around 300 million photos to Facebook a day.

Recently, Facebook introduced interactive pics – 360° photos that allow users to see the view all around the photograph.

This presents a priceless opportunity to place subscribers in the center of the action and let them see the world around you, plus it’s infinitely more immersive than posting traditional photos.

As you can see above, 360° photos also get more views than traditional photos. The reason for this is that people don’t need to spend much time to see and experience at every angle with the help of 360° photos.

Plus, 360° photos can be used as a way to organize a virtual tour online.
Commenting as an art form

Successful brands and companies go beyond simply replying to or commenting on Facebook posts. They know the big secret: people love scrolling through comments, and if you can write an interesting one, it’s likely that you can earn new subscribers without spending money on ads.

Running a Facebook page for a business requires more than regular posting. You should obviously interact with your subscribers, but they will never forget you if you can comment on their photos as a brand. It helps to earn their respect and interest, and therefore, convert them into customers.
Social media eCommerce

Social media has a huge influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions, and it’s getting more and more convenient to buy online. The Facebook team knows it, and that’s why eCommerce is flourishing here.

Although Facebook offers CTAs to interact with subscribers, you can also help customers buy online with the help of a fully integrated Facebook store! It’s amazingly easy to browse collections and buy online.

Today’s customers value their time, and if they don’t have to ask for prices then wait for a response, they will make the final decision faster. The truth is they usually already have all the relevant information needed to make a purchase, and if you make them wait, it’s easy for them to start hesitating. Thus, organize an online retail space via Facebook to help them buy quickly!

If you have a bricks-and-mortar store, that’s great. However, keep in mind that there has been a drastic increase in online shopping, and often customers want to buy things with a few clicks on their smartphone or laptop.

In fact, 51% of shoppers buy online, and you should help them do that!
Messenger bots

According to BizPeport data, around two thirds of customers want to communicate with brands directly using the help of messaging apps. Again, the faster you reply to their requests, the better it looks for your brand.

Facebook Messenger offers a chatbot service to help you communicate with customers. Chatbots have settings to answer FAQs or send basic info immediately. It’s a great way to reply to customers’ requests around the clock. The speed of your answers also increases your credibility on the web.

Image Source: Sprout Social

If you’re ready to give it a try, check out this list of messenger bots to pick out the best one that suits your needs and expectations.
Paid reach is booming

Here’s the ugly truth: sooner or later, you’re going to need to pay for ads on Facebook1 to drive more traffic to your site.

Facebook has the stated aim to put its users first, so recently its team changed the algorithm of its news feed. Now, people see photos and posts made by their friends and families ahead of sponsored content, which means organic traffic to brand pages has decreased substantially.

No matter how hard you try, it’s tough in 2017 to show up on people’s news feeds without spending money on ads.

Image Source: Social Bakers

Think of it as an investment.

All brands need to pay for ads to promote their posts to their audience.

Get ready for this trend to become huge in social media by increasing your budget for online promotion and mobile-optimizing your ad campaigns.

Instagram is the fastest growing social platform; one which attracts more and more brands annually.

In fact, 60% of Instagram users learn about products and services while scrolling through their feed.

If you’re interested in maximizing your Instagram marketing, look out for these trends in 2017.
Mobile photos

The quality of smartphone photography is growing, and people don’t need professional shoots anymore to look great on Instagram. Apple even collects the best shots captured on iPhone to prove that mobile photos can be amazing.

Plus, Bentley made an ad shot on an iPhone, and it went viral! When a luxury company makes advertising using the help of a smartphone, it says something about which trends will stick around.1

All in all, you don’t need to organize a professional shoot to get beautiful visuals for Instagram. Your phone is a great and ready resource to produce outstanding content.

Instagram stories

Instagram introduced its fast-expiring Insta Stories – a feature that allows people to add photos, videos or boomerangs that disappear after 24 hours – in 2016, and it has fast become a core part of their business.

Instagram stories allow users to post goofy, off-the-cuff, everyday content – the big bonus being that it appears at the top of the news feed meaning that followers inevitably see it and click into it.

It has become a beloved tool for brands who carefully curate their photos for Instagram. Because you can share ‘stories’ that play like a slideshow, it’s easier to share ‘behind-the-scenes’ content without looking messy on your profile feed.

Plus, there are some features that make stories even more interactive: specifically, the ability to tag profiles, which drives traffic to the profiles of people you were with; and the ability to add a geolocation, which allows followers to see exactly where you are.

Image Source: Instagram

Better yet, you can find out who watched your stories, so this tool tells you who interacts with your page the most even if they don’t leave ‘likes’ or ‘comments’.
Instagram insights for business accounts

If you run a brand account on Instagram, you can switch your account from private to business. Running a business account from Instagram allows you to analyze statistics in order to optimize your content, and therefore, get more from the platform.

Image Source: Harvey Insights

The key benefits of a business profile include a button for customers to keep in touch with your brand, a dedicated insights section from which to analyze statistics, and a better description of your product/service.
Wrapping up

Obviously, it’s up to each individual marketer to decide what social media trends are worth trying and implementing for their business or brand.

They are all worthwhile in their own right, but don’t try to chase all of them or you’ll end up doing too much.

To be a successful social media manager, you have to understand your audience’s needs and give them what they actually desire.

Work out which trends will resonate most with your niche, and in no time you’ll be able to give subscribers exactly what they want and quietly increase your income.

Have you tried any of the above-mentioned social media trends? What works best for you?

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