More power than money: That’s social media in 2017

 In Articles

Trump, Brexit, Leicester City and Ed Balls on Strictly – 2016 was certainly a year of surprises. It was equally turbulent in the world of social media, but what does the year ahead have in store? Our social media expert Rebecca Sayle, Account Manager here at MM&C, gazes into her crystal ball to give us a glimpse of the major trends in 2017.

Trump card

Like it or not, the strategy employed by Donald Trump’s campaign team will have long-term impacts on the way that many organisations use social media. It has been widely reported that ‘Team Trump’ spent around $10million on paid media, but secured almost $2billion worth in earned media with much of this being due to a slick social media campaign which set the tone for the election debate. Trump has said that his use of social media had more power than the money which the Democrats spent on their campaign. For obvious reasons, not all businesses will want to adopt Trump’s tactics to the full, and any brands which do dare to use his brash approach will probably find that their image isn’t as Teflon coated as the President-elect’s seems to be. But in terms of using social media to bypass traditional media communication channels to connect directly with the target audience, Trump’s campaign will provide many valuable lessons. In 2017 expect to see an acceleration of the trend of brands moving from relying predominantly upon mainstream media communications, and towards greater integration with social media communications for customer retention and market expansion.

Video? It’s got to be live

That’s what many social media gurus are saying about 2017. Live streaming is becoming more and more popular, especially with Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Periscope – but 2017 looks likely to be the year when it really takes off. Because the Isle of Man has excellent 4G coverage and speeds – much better than most towns and cities in the UK – it presents some great opportunities for live streaming here on the Island. Live streaming has already been used at major events, such as the Manx Telecom Parish Walk in 2016, but it has many more potential applications.

PRIVATE: Keep out!

Mark Zuckerberg has stated that ‘messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.’ The growing popularity of private messaging apps looks likely to continue in 2017, especially among the young ‘digital generation’ where there is a trend of turning away from the social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter. This will make Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and other messaging apps increasingly important channels for engaging with this market.

Chat based interfaces seems to be winning in terms of engagement. Its conversational interface is faster, simpler and very user-friendly. On Facebook Messenger, a billion messages are already exchanged between users and businesses every month. Many companies have started exploring the messenger opportunity with customer service on the verge of being changed forever. However, as the messenger space is still in its early days, and many brands still experimenting with how best to use it, it will take a bit more time before we see widespread mainstream use.

Virtual world

VR technology is likely to be on millions of Christmas gift lists, adding to the potential audience for innovative VR use on social media. We’re still waiting for the technological leap forward which will see a VR device grabbing the kind of mass appeal on the scale which the iPhone created in the smartphone boom – and while 2017 might not be the year this happens, expect to see more innovative uses for VR on social media in the next 12 months.

 

If you’re looking for a professional and passionate team of communications specialists to make your brand stand-out from the crowd, and assist you in achieving your social marketing objectives, please get in touch with us via our contact page.

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