The social media industry can be difficult to predict, year in and year out. New platforms come and old platforms go–and the ones that stick around are almost constantly changing.
Last year saw an increase in the use of video, the rise in the importance of telling stories and creating mobile content and the decline of organic reach, to name a few developments.
What should you expect in 2017? Here are five of our best guesses:
Organic reach will continue to decline. It’s official: you can no longer reach your customers the good old-fashioned way. The days of slowly building up an audience and expecting them to see all of your content are gone. Last year, as few as two percent of your followers saw the content you posted, unless they actively elected to receive notifications or you paid to boost the post or otherwise extend your reach.
That’s not going to change anytime soon. Even with this algorithm change, news feeds are more cluttered than ever with advertisements and the like. All the major social media networks will follow Facebook’s example–if they haven’t already–with some form of monetized reach. Save some room in your marketing budget for it. Google Adwords is another affordable option.
You’ll need help from your friends. Or, more precisely, your employees. The best way to extend your reach–other than forking over your dough–is to get others to do it for you. Ask your staff to share content, and reward them for doing so. Ask them for input on content, too. Both activities will make them more engaged in what they’re doing.
The experts will take over. The importance of using social media channels to improve your business is well known by now. Chances are, your competitors are using a service or at least have a dedicated staff member providing their content. The people who work in the medium every day will know plenty of tricks and secrets to help you get the most out of whatever money you spend on it. Consider outsourcing your social media feeds. Other sites offer free online education in some of the top sites and trends.
Business leaders will join the fray. Chief Executive Officers and top administrators are usually content to let their front-line staff handle their social media duties. As social media for business trends toward the personal side, however, more and more are seeing the value of adding a human touch to their content. As they gain more experience on the personal side, with their own channels, look for more and more business leaders to take to social media for the sake of their brand, too.
Social media will become ‘sellcial media.’ Last year, Facebook introduced pay buttons and other features that allowed consumers to make purchases directly from Facebook business pages. This trend of ‘conversational commerce’ will continue as more and more businesses push their products into the social media sphere.
Also look for increased use of live video and virtual reality across the social media spectrum. It’s still a visual phenomenon, and that’s about as visual as you can get.
Do you have any predictions? Let us know in the comments!