Social platforms are in a constant state of evolution, with new features being rolled out at a breakneck pace. Communicators tasked with managing a brand’s social accounts face the dual challenge of keeping track of social platform updates as well as audience behavior (which platforms audiences prefer to use and what types of content they engage with most).
Every brand, big and small, can benefit from keeping an eye out for upcoming social platform updates and trends in user behavior. Yelp, for instance, with its diverse audience of businesses and consumers, prioritizes staying current to ensure it serves content to the right audience, on the right platform, in the most engaging way possible. John Carroll, manager of local business outreach at Yelp, is constantly thinking about the next big thing in social to help the businesses he works with reach their intended audiences.
John will be speaking on upcoming trends in social media at PR News’ Digital Summit Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, California. Below, he shares seven social media trends for communicators to be on the lookout for in 2017.
- Video will still reign supreme. The evolution of tools like Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitter’s added video capacity and live video on Instagram Stories are all great innovations in the video space. Videos offer richer content and a more engaging experience for audiences.
- There will be an increased focus on capturing authentic moments. Social media’s biggest draw is the ability to share moments in real time. Snap Inc.’s Spectacles are a great example of consumers being able to capture moments as they happen.
- Immersive technology will allow brands to take audiences along for the ride. Virtual reality, Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories have created increasingly immersive content for consumers. Brands are now able to bring audiences on the journey with them as opposed to simply showing or telling them.
Are you prepared for the next wave of social media trends and strategies? Register for PR News' Digital Summit, Feb. 24 in Huntington Beach, California, to get the latest on social media trends, video content strategy and driving ROI from social, with speakers from Northrop Grumman, eHarmony, TOMS and more.
- The barrier between brand and consumer will dissolve. Brands are no longer just the label on a product. Brands are meant to be engaging and personal. Brands are expected to behave in a human way on social media. The same personalized service audiences get in-store or on customer service channels should be present on all social channels.
- Staying on top of fads will yield positive engagement—if you act fast. Trends like the mannequin challenge are a great way to engage consumers. However, the window for trends is small. The gap between trendsetters and followers can be a matter of days. If a trend makes sense for your brand, get creative and act on it ASAP.
- Social media will continue to be a multifunction channel. Social media is no longer just for branding; it is useful for everything from name recognition to customer service to direct sales. Millennial-targeting brands like Everlane have successfully driven sales by making Snapchat their de facto channel.
- Social platforms will get more complicated…and more expensive. Social platforms are becoming increasingly complicated as companies try to monetize them. Algorithms have made it more challenging for brands to get organic content in front of consumers. Brands are now more dependent on paid campaigns.
Follow John: @J_R_Carroll
Follow Sophie: @SophieMaerowitz