by Nadyja Von Ebers
It’s not news that the world of social media is rapidly expanding and changing, but 2017 should see the proliferation of the following trends that cater to and benefit both businesses and consumers alike.
Customer Service Chatbots
More and more companies are moving towards offering customer service conducted via social media messenger programs. According to SproutSocial’s “6 Social Media Trends That Will Take Over in 2017,” Facebook Messenger is rapidly becoming a preferred method of communication for businesses, with 11,000 active Facebook Messenger Bots and 300 million people using voice and calling features though messenger. Messenger also accepts most major credit cards for conveniently making payments or receiving refunds. Customer service chatbots are typically available 24-7 and typically reply almost instantly, making this trend almost certain to explode over the next year.
Snapchat’s facial filters took artificial intelligence lenses to the next level and while so far they have dominated this feature, expect other social media platforms to catch up. Facebook tested facial filters for its mobile app in 2016, and with the recent advent of Instagram stories--for which some decorative, interactive elements have been introduced--we can definitely anticipate the expansion of facial filters across platforms in 2017.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all rolled out live video capabilities, but over the course of 2017, don’t be surprised if you see the popularity of this feature increase significantly and its purposes multiply. For example, according to HubSpot’s “7 Trends That Will Change Social Media in 2017,” as cited in Social Media Examiner, 43% of marketers plan to use interactive video this year. Moreover, this New Year’s Eve saw a record-breaking use of livestreaming video on Facebook worldwide. Presumably, live video usage use will increase amongst individual users, with brand new 360 degree video capability appealing especially to those wishing to capture large events (concerts, festivals) or breathtaking landscapes. Likewise, expect more businesses to hop on board as live video allows for product releases and demonstrations as well as real-time Q&A sessions, etc.
Social Media E-Commerce and Instant Purchases
Across all of the major platforms, customers are following more and more of their favorite brands, so don’t expect to see a dip in e-commerce anytime soon. Various studies show that customers are more likely to follow brands that advertise attractive products that speak for themselves, brands that post frequent sales and promotions, and brands that post promotional videos––rather than just soliciting directly in copy. Instead of blatant calls-to-action, many sponsored brand posts have “shop now” links that take you right to their websites where many also have instant-buy options.
Niche Ephemeral Content
Ironically, some platforms best known for sharing ephemeral content (content that can only be seen briefly and cannot be saved) seem to be moving towards content preservation. For example, Snapchat, whose original popularity is owed almost entirely to the ephemeral nature of content-sharing, has now introduced Snapchat Memories, where photos and videos can be stored simply and conveniently for later viewing. That sad, expect ephemeral content to find its place in social media marketing regardless. There is still immense appeal to the spontaneous, authentic, and lighthearted nature of ephemeral content, which can increase a brand’s relatability. Live events, interviews, recipes, and behind-the-scenes snippets all lend themselves well to this medium and will become more ubiquitous across platforms.
At MTM Inc., we’re here to help you cultivate your brand through the best social media channels for your business. Contact us today to get started!