Don’t panic. Social media is not going anywhere. Last year I looked at blogging trends for 2016. I believe that most of these will hold for 2017. This year, I want to look at some social media trends that are rising and others that are falling.
Money spent on social media marketing grew 55% to $10.9 billion between 2014 and 2015. It is estimated that it will reach $14 billion in 2018. (Source: Mediakix) This is not surprising with the number of people using social media.
How many people are on social media in 2017?
The key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in 2016 are:
- 3.42 billion internet users, equalling 46% global penetration
- 2.31 billion social media users, delivering 31% global penetration
- 3.79 billion unique mobile users, representing 51% global penetration
- 1.97 billion mobile social media users, equating to 27% global penetration
Source: We Are Social: Digital In 2016. Visit this site to see how social media is growing across the globe.
The rise and fall: 13 social media trends in 2017
When asked if they could choose only one social media platform, most businesses chose Facebook.
1. Social media giants will rise. It is impossible to do business online without filtering your information through these sites first. The giants of 2017 for business are Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Your content has to be brilliant so that the platform’s filters share it and followers see it. Facebook especially will become even more powerful. It is the most important platform and more than 60% of businesses have plans to increase their exposure on Facebook and YouTube. Source: Social Media Examiner from Social Media Marketing Industry Report. (Download a version here)
2. Twitter will continue to struggle. Twitter is trying to reinvent itself as the number one source for news. ‘Twitter has refocused. It’s no longer a social network, it’s a news product.’ (Source) For this to become more successful, it will have to solve harassment issues and deal with fake news. Twitter fatigue is real. (Source)
3. Video will rise. Video has become essential. 60% of marketers use video and 73% plan to increase their use of video, including live video. A YouTube channel becomes even more attractive when you know that YouTube has paid out $2 billion to users as of July 2016 (YouTube).
4. Content marketing will continue to rise. Information in the form of well-written articles using storytelling techniques becomes more important each year. (Source) Social media sites will try to encourage people to blog directly on the platform. This may seem like a good idea, but I think it is better to keep your options open. Post on the site, but link to your content as well. Have you ever been blocked by Facebook? You need to have some control over your content. [Read 5 Things You Need To Know About Content Marketing]
5. Organic social media growth will fall. Being there is the first step. Now that you’re there, you have to have a plan to stay in the limelight. These 6 studies show why this is happening. Use targeted marketing social media tools on the big platforms to reach your audience. You will also have to budget for paid reach.
6. Social media advertising will rise. You will have to budget for advertising on social media. Identify the platform you want to use and find out how to do this. Facebook is the best place to start. 86% of social marketers regularly use Facebook ads, while only 18% use Twitter ads. Facebook advertising is easy to use if you are a beginner. Facebook has over three million active advertisers, and more than 70% of these are from outside America. (Facebook).
7. Fake news will fall. It may be too late for some, but the fight back is beginning. After Oxford dictionary decided that ‘post-truth’ was its word of the year, we knew we had reached rock bottom. Facebook is putting measures in place to filter the nonsense people are presenting as facts. Twitter will have to find a way to combat this as well. In South Africa, we need to stop abusive trolls that other users call ‘Paid Twitter‘. Google will have to look at its algorithm as fake news sites benefit from the sheer volume of traffic they create.
8. The importance of trustworthiness will rise. You will have to make triple sure that your facts are correct. People are getting tired of lies and it could be bad for business if you inadvertently slip up. This means you need to verify what you are sharing. It also means that you must research anything you write in a blog post. Earning this trust will be the key to selling your products.
9. Social messaging will rise. WhatsApp, an SMS replacement app recently crossed the one billion user mark. Businesses will be able to use these messaging apps to interact with some customers, especially the younger generation. Use this for customer queries and complaints. Doctors in Brazil use WhatsApp to contact patients. (Source for graph: Dreamgrow)
10. Marketing posts will fall. People will become more averse to content that is designed to sell. Search engines will also become more intolerant of this. Do not try to disguise an advertisement or a press release as information. Invest in learning how to create proper content, or in employing somebody to do it for you. [Read 40 Types Of Content That Will Make Blogging Easier For You]
11. Email newsletters will rise. The effectiveness of email marketing increased in 2016. Email newsletters became more interactive and setting up of email lists became more user-friendly. Use an email marketing service such as Mailchimp to create your newsletters and maintain your mailing list. Email newsletters will become even more targeted and personalised in 2017. (Source: Business2Community)
12. Push advertising will continue to fall. More people than ever are using ad blockers to prevent unwanted advertising. Don’t force banners, pop-ups, paid ads, and pop-unders on your audience when they visit your blog.
13. The power of social media influencers will continue to rise. Your goal on social media is to get people to notice you and to talk about you. You have to be everywhere. Jeff Bullas says, “As the noise increases online…, the influencer and thought leaders who have built reach globally are the new niche gatekeepers. Brands are now paying to reach their admirers and devotees.”
Which of these trends do you think will change our world in 2017?