At the end of each year, experts in every industry take out their crystal balls to try to predict the biggest trends of the next year. But in the world of social media, things can change pretty rapidly. I wanted to check in on some of the top 2017 social media predictions and see how they shape up to reality. We also checked up on a few B2B marketing trends a few weeks back, so head over here for more!
#1 “Documenting rather than reporting” with live video
This one could almost be left unsaid. Last year saw remarkable growth in the use of live video on social—81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than 2015. This year, live video, whether on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram, is only expected to grow. While there’s still a place for pre-produced content, live video allows you to reach an active, captivated audience in real time. (Hence, why millions of people have been waiting for weeks to see April the giraffe give birth via YouTube Live). In addition, users typically comment 10 times more on live videos than regular in-feed videos.
If projections are correct, more high-quality live video will be what attracts audiences and build upon the human-to-human element. With Twitter’s new Periscope Producer API making it easier to “go live” and providing more options for high-quality and professional broadcasting, this prediction is certainly set to come true.
#2 Mobile advertising growth
80% of internet users own a smartphone and, by 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. As the leading social advertising platform for B2B and B2C, Facebook is gearing up to capture the growing mobile advertising market which accounted for 84% of its total advertising revenue in 2016. It was predicted that competition between mobile advertising platforms would increase, but it’s too early to tell who will be the top performers. Bottom line, marketers should be in the mobile advertising game but continue to measure ROI against their goals and to focus on what’s working for them.
#3 Snapchat at a stalemate?
Snapchat saw substantial growth in 2016, but this has significantly slowed in the past few months. The 2017 predictions came down to whether Snapchat’s significance in the social media space would continue and that brands would move to using Instagram stories instead. With the most recent launch of Facebook Stories, it certainly makes this a viable theory. But Snapchat isn’t staying put, recently announcing it will add a new search function to allow users to search for Stories set as “public.” This is a big win for advertisers and is set to improve overall engagement on the app. As for as how it’ll shape up against Instagram and Facebook, we’ll have to wait and see.
#4 LinkedIn—A power player
According to Social Media Examiner, 86% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn and find it to be an effective tool in their social media strategy. Especially in the B2B world, LinkedIn is still a huge player in engagement, interaction and web traffic, and Inc.com predicted it would continue its influence this year. Will this prediction come true? We’ve seen some major changes to LinkedIn in the last few months, and with layout modifications, an app update and company page overhaul, signs certainly point to “yes.”
#5 There’s money in influencer marketing
This year, Inc.com projected that influencer marketing (IM) spend will continue its growth, and as past IM campaigns have shown, it’s pretty certain that this will be the case. As an example of IM’s B2B impact, the software company SAP partnered with various thought leaders last year, effectively using it to reach an 80,000+ audience via Facebook Live streams. When done right, it can be an effective tool to gain the trust of your customers and raise awareness about your product or service.
Have you confirmed or debunked any social media predictions this year? Let us know in the comments!