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2017 Social Media in Review


Last year I posted about the Hottest Social Media Trends in 2017. Here’s a rundown of my predictions and comments on each prediction’s accuracy and continuing relevance.

Live Video

As I predicted, live video was the “it” function across many social media platforms. Audiences will continue to be fascinated with this raw, unpolished content in 2018. The majority of companies I spoke with last year who used live video saw great returns and got some much-needed confidence to start experimenting with other forms of video content. When companies told me they hadn’t used live videos yet, I’d ask why. It boiled down to 2 things – either they were unsure of the right content to use or their perfectionism was holding them back. In 2017, about 80 percent of consumers said they would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post, and 82 percent said they prefer live video to written social media updates. This is no longer a cool new way to interact with audiences—it’s an expectation for your brand.

I’ve seen live videos that were just a few minutes, and I’ve seen live videos that have lasted for days. There is no right or wrong way to post a live video. Users watch them because they are raw and authentic. Add live videos to your content rotation. Test as you go, and adjust for your audience. Check out live video group hangouts, which were made popular in 2017 by the video hangout platform Houseparty.

Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is disappearing visual content, which was made popular by Snapchat. This year, Snapchat will be overhauling its app’s design to make it easier to navigate, but I still recommend using Instagram and Facebook for ephemeral content for several reasons. Every time users add to their stories on these platforms, their friends get an alert. Daily viewers of Instagram Stories surpassed daily Snapchat viewers just one year after launch, and the growth isn’t stopping, so these features may not be free forever. Use them while you can! Instagram accounts with over 10,000 followers can now add a link within their posts, which multiplies buying or inquiry opportunities. Most importantly, Facebook and Instagram provide metrics so you can analyze what’s working, while Snapchat does not.

Micro-Influencers

In 2017, there was no shortage of social media stars! Having grown up in the digital age, Gen Z—people born roughly after the year 2000—is now using social media to make purchasing decisions.

RetailDive had this to say about Generation Z and the associated social media trends: “Gen Z is two-to-three times more likely to be influenced by social media than by sales or discounts — the only generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decisions . . . .”

In 2018, I challenge you to take a chance on yourself and become an influencer. Sponsor and attend events, donate to noteworthy charities, contribute to publications, stay active on social media, and align yourself with the who’s who in your industry. Make 2018 the year to know and be known.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising was once something companies did just to get an extra boost. Now you have to pay to play. My advice for 2018 is to accept that this will not change and to respond to it by learning how to target properly through testing and consistency, so your ad dollars won’t go to waste. Common pitfalls include paying too much for campaigns, not seeing enough ROI, and targeting the wrong audience (which means your fans won’t become customers).

This video emphasizes how important Facebook advertising will be in 2018.

Social Messaging

2017 was an exciting year for messaging apps! Messenger now encrypts messages like Whatsapp does. Some messenger apps include ephemeral content, money sending/receiving capabilities, and full integration with your phone.

Business owners should consider using messenger apps as they become more advanced. Artificial intelligence, voice assistants, and chatbots will change messenger apps as we have come to know them in 2018 and beyond.

Social Media Ecommerce

Purchasing pages will remain strong in 2018 and beyond. The phrase I heard the most in 2017 was “landing pages”: pages created for specific campaigns, products, or services. These landing pages can either be pages on your website or pages created as a starting point in a sales funnel. With Facebook now allowing users to send and receive payments via their messenger app, be on the lookout for companies to explore this option more this year.

Coming in 2018 Augmented Reality AR devices were all the rage in 2017, and virtual reality headsets were sought-after gifts. Currently mainly utilized in the gaming industry, AR will have an impact on social media in the near future. Snapchat already allows users to create dancing avatars. It won’t be long before businesses use this new tool to allow users to make purchase decisions. Thinking about buying that couch you’ve been eyeing but aren’t sure if it will go with your current décor? Use our virtually reality app to see what it will look like in your living room. The possibilities are endless.

Facebook owns Oculus, a virtual reality hardware and software company and has been working on a project called Spaces, which would allow friends to connect in Virtual Reality. Spaces is slated to launch in 2018.

Aleja can be reached at aleja@lmc.group if you have any questions about Social Media, or if you would like to discuss your Social Media Strategy for 2018 and beyond.

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