Social media has been around for a long time; since 1997 in fact. It is a popular method of connecting with your friends and chatting immediately through instant messengers. Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of businesses who are utilising social media to engage with their customers, and it’s no wonder when you consider that there are over 1.96 billion people making use of these sites worldwide. Due to the ever-growing demands of their users, social media sites are constantly evolving.
This was especially evident in 2016, where we saw the rolling out of several new features, which in turn presented new opportunities for brands.
It’s difficult to predict how the industry is going to change in 2017 since it is moving so fast, but we at mtc have put our heads together and can now present to you the four social media trends that we think are worth following this year.
Live Video burst on to the social scene last year and is now set to explode in 2017. First in the form of Periscope, others followed suit with the introduction of Facebook Live and now Instagram Stories. So what’s the big deal? Live video allows your business to engage with your audience on a real time basis meaning you can put your message across instantaneously with an unedited and more authentic feel. Brands are seeing an increase in both reach and engagement with live videos on Facebook being watched three times longer than regular videos, so keep an eye out for more live content cropping up on your Newsfeed.
We believe that social ecommerce will continue to rise as a powerful revenue stream for sales. Facebook and Instagram are fast becoming the new online marketplace for brands to sell their products through their direct call to action buttons and product catalogue integration. Currently, campaigns being run within the tourism and hospitality sector are achieving fantastic results with returns upwards of 3000% ROI. This is closely followed by the online retail sector, which is currently returning upwards of 1000% ROI.
Paid Ads Increase
It is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to make themselves visible to their audience organically on Facebook and other social platforms. Facebook are giving paid ads more and more room on the newsfeed, meaning it will be harder to reach customers organically.
We also see Facebook being more aggressive with the ad load on Instagram. Targeting options were only introduced to the photo sharing network last year so it’s still a pretty light ad experience. We are predicting an aggressive approach this year with more advanced targeting capabilities and a big increase in ad spend.
If you’re not using messaging apps as part of your social media strategy, then you should consider doing so. Messaging apps such as Facebook and Whatsapp, are used by 4 billion users worldwide, so there is a huge opportunity here for brands to connect with consumers. Messaging apps can be used to communicate on a more personal level and it is revolutionising customer service standards. Rather than waiting hours for an email, messaging is fast and more cost effective, meaning brands can improve the customer experience quickly and improve retention. We believe that this trend is set to grow even more this year and will become a vital link between business and consumer.
2017 looks like it is going to be another big year for social media. With this in mind, mtc are expanding our social media services. Get in touch today to find out more about our social media services, online advertising or online marketing.