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Top Social Media Trends for 2017


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There are several consumer trends that influence how we consume and use social media. Knowing this, we pulled together a few predictions from our Access Emanate digital experts on the hottest social media trends we expect to see take shape in 2017.

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Top Social Media Trends for 2017

  1. 1. The Top Social Media Trends for 2017 A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  2. 2. Introduction2016. How do we put this? WHAT. A. YEAR. It was dominated by politics, outrage and alarm, the loss of several pop icons, humanitarians, leaders and more. The impossible became possible when a 100+ year curse ended with the Chicago Cubs winning The World Series and Olympians dazzled us with their talents in Rio. Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster aptly proclaimed “surreal” as the word of the year. As in the recent past, millions of people around the world shared their views across social media as the events of a wild year unfolded. What does 2017 have in store? What will be the most notable social media trends to emerge? We can’t tell the future, but we can give you our expert perspectives on six major trends that will help shape the social landscape in the new year. Enjoy… Learn more about our work. A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  3. 3. Influencer Marketing Will Mature What It Is With the success of paid influencer marketing in the past few years, companies are beginning to expand this concept into what they’re calling “micro influencers” – everyday people with a niche following posting paid, sponsored content to their channels. Why It Matters With algorithms dominating the social media landscape, marketers are turning to influencers of all kinds in order to ensure their messages are heard by the right audiences. In 2017, expect to see several things happen in the world of influencer marketing: more scrutiny from the likes of the FTC, a larger focus by brands on measuring ROI from their efforts and a bit of a consolidation of the entire industry. In short, expect the industry to move from the wild west to that awkward pre-teen state. Author: Rachel Joyce 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  4. 4. Live Video Will Continue to Explode What It Is Live video was all the rage in 2016 – Instagram Stories and YouTube Live launched, Snapchat exploded (in a good way) and Facebook Live opened up to everyone. Whichever social channel you turned to, you were offered a way to go beyond a static image and copy and breathe life into your content through the form of video in real-time. As this trend continued to grow throughout the past year, we saw consumers gobble it all up and allow it to shape how they both created and consumed content – instant gratification in both live broadcasting and viewing was and remains addicting. In 2017, we can expect all of the major social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) to continue to battle it out for the top spot for live, snackable video content, especially as they continue to introduce new features that take them into the other platforms’ territories. And in turn, consumers will continue to adjust social behaviors to fit this and subject any and all experiences to live broadcasting – whether it be a concert or argument, reunion or hike. We want to share and see it all. Why It Matters As always, it will remain critical for brands to identify which channels their current and prospective customers are on and tailor content accordingly. But they’ll have to rethink how live video fits into their storytelling, especially as organic reach continues to diminish and video content is favored in content ranking. Live video offers many possibilities for brands to spread their messages and engage with an expanded audience (i.e., broadcasting of industry events and live audience experiences, inside looks at product build-outs). Just as brands have created guidelines for their social voice and persona, they must now turn that lens toward video and ensure that attention to detail isn’t lost with this particular medium. Author: Yulimar Chiu 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  5. 5. Fully Immersive Social Experiences Will Become the Norm What It Is In 2016, the popularity around 360 images and Snapchat Stories skyrocketed. Each makes you feel as if you’re actually at an event, behind-the-scenes, and fully immersed in the real- time experience. The increased use of in-the-moment and live content will continue to create new opportunities, allowing people to walk in other’s shoes, and to get to know brands on a more human level. Why It Matters With each update to Snapchat, content becomes more and more interactive – allowing users to curb their fear of missing out (FOMO), while at the same time also fueling it. Vicious cycle, isn’t it? For users, yes. For brand marketers, it represents a perfect opportunity to grab an audience’s attention. Expect even more brands to focus on this area in 2017. Don’t miss out. Author: Christine Montes 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  6. 6. Am I a Media Company? Circle Yes or No What It Is Social networks are, whether they want to admit it or not, large scale media companies. While these platforms may not create their own content (yet), they are most certainly distributing it and capitalizing on said content through the form of advertising dollars (to distribute content on their platforms). Social networks like Facebook and Twitter may claim that they are not producing content and see themselves as simply a platform that provides content creators with a place to house their distribute it to the masses. If this sounds familiar, it should. It is the same model Huffington Post (now a dominant force in the digital media landscape) began with - originating as a platform for bloggers to distribute content, it’s now become so large that it hires actual writers to create content for it. Facebook is now utilizing a similar model – recently, the company started paying media outlets and celebrities to create live video content on the platform. Facebook also previously denied that its trending topics were curated news articles and instead insisted that the “most popular discussions on their platform were decided by the ever elusive Facebook algorithm.” We later learned that these trending topics were actually curated by a group of Facebook employees. We have also seen the media company approach take hold at Twitter, which is still in the midst of trying to rebrand itself as the destination for breaking news on a range of topics from entertainment, politics, to fashion and lifestyle. Twitter even dipped its toe into the broadcasting world by striking a partnership with the NFL to live stream games on the platform and recently announced that it will live stream the red carpet show ahead of the 2017 Golden Globes. Why It Matters The reason this rethinking of social platforms to media companies is so important to brand marketers is that we have to rethink the type of content that we’re distributing to consumers. We have to start giving consumers more content that engages them and keeps them involved with the brand. Brands need to consider expanding their content into live video and partnerships with influencers and creators who can bring brand stories to life in a way that goes beyond the typical product/benefit messaging that has dominated the landscape for so long. Author: Evan Watkins 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  7. 7. Fake News Will Reshape Trust in Social Media What It Is Believe it or not, a notable part of the fallout of the last US presidential election is directly tied to social media. As my colleague Evan points out, the debate rages on about social platforms as media companies. Either way, there is no doubt that social platforms are heavily used by Americans to share and consume news. In fact, a 2016 study from Pew Research found that 62% of US adults get news from social media and 66% of US adults on Facebook do so. For years, our social newsfeeds have been filled with content we may or may not want to see. More recently however, our newsfeeds are presenting content as news that may have little-to- no factual truth to it. With social platforms designed to drive rapid dissemination, these “fake news” stories can quickly reach millions and oftentimes be taken by the casual observer as fact. Why It Matters Despite claims that so-called fake news stories represent only a tiny fraction of the overall content shared on a given social network, both Facebook and Google News have already announced updates designed to rid themselves of questionable “news” content. It remains to be seen if the rise of fake news will make the general consumer less trusting of content found on social networks. Either way, for brands and publishers the underlying algorithm changes will undoubtedly impact their presence and will require a close eye throughout 2017. Author: Trevor Jonas 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  8. 8. Facebook Search Will Rise in 2017 What It Is You probably don’t spend a ton of time listening to or analyzing quarterly results announcements from publicly traded companies. That said, recent statements from Facebook executives during such investor updates have strongly hinted that search will continue to be a large focus for the company in the coming quarters. Back in July, the company said it was seeing some two billion search queries on the platform every day, which was a 33% increase over the previous nine-month period. Facebook isn’t likely looking to compete with the likes of Google – at least in the short term – but it most certainly is looking for additional ways to monetize its billion-plus global users and sponsored search results feel like a logical next step. Given its massive user base and the large amount of information it already has on each individual, Facebook is primed to bring innovative search to the fore. Why It Matters For marketers and brands, Facebook search has historically been very much an afterthought. As competition for eyeballs and attention within NewsFeed increases each day, Facebook search represents a bit of a greenfield opportunity for brands should the social network decide to monetize. Watch this space in 2017 – by this time next year, we’ll be having a very different conversation. Author: Trevor Jonas 2017 Social Trends of by A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  9. 9. Let’s Talk!We’d love to hear what you’ll be paying attention to as 2017 begins. Connect and tell us all about it using #AEShares. A C C E S S E M A M A T E
  10. 10. About Access EmanateYou have to break the old rules to succeed in the new world. You need to be different to lead. Being called ‘different’ is not for everyone, but it’s a badge of honor to us and it’s what keeps us ahead in a world that changes every morning. Yesterday’s rules no longer apply. And tomorrow will be defined by trying new things, experimenting in real-time and shape-shifting to find new pathways to success whether that’s driving connections, sales, loyalty or being a part of the campaign that everyone’s talking about. We’ve been reinventing communications for over 25 years. We have the experience to know the rules and the audacity to break them. We don’t settle or play it safe. You shouldn’t either. You want to do things differently — and we’re the integrated communications agency that makes doing things differently our business. A C C E S S E M A M A T E