Social media is such a big part of our lives. We wake up in the morning to check our Facebook newsfeed, we scroll through Twitter on our lunch break and Snapchat the most menial, slightly humorous moments of our days. The phenomenon of social media is showing no signs of slowing down this year, and here’s what we can expect to see from it.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency, activism has been everywhere already in 2017. We had the initial Women’s March protests in Washington and around the world, and the events were covered mostly on social media. Then, we had the protests at airports in relation to Trump’s travel ban, which was also covered extensively on Twitter and other platforms. It’s not the first time this has happened – the Black Lives Matter movement and the accompanying protests became so big thanks to social media. The use of Twitter and hashtags is an easy way to follow different events around the world in real-time. As Trump’s controversial policies show no sign of slowing down, we can expect to see more activism and social media coverage this year.
If you are on social media as a brand or a figurehead, you need to ensure that you are authentic. Trustworthiness is a major factor; always verify anything that you are sharing. It’s also important to engage with your followers – have real, genuine conversations with them. Being authentic will not just be beneficial for your reputation, but also potentially your business itself. At the end of January, Facebook announced that it would rank content that it considers to be ‘authentic’ at the top of the news feed, in an effort to reduce the levels of spam and clickbait that users are seeing. Already the social network ranks ‘newsworthy’ content, so if you create authentic, natural content which is newsworthy, the sky is potentially the limit!
Social media platforms are constantly looking for ways to ensure that they are creating an immersive experience for their users. Some examples of immersive technology that we can expect to see this year include the continual development of Facebook Live and Twitter Livestream. Brands can use immersive technology to give customers a sneak peek of new products (Missguided, the fashion brand, are excellent at doing this on Snapchat) or to announce offers/events – think exclusive discount codes for users of a certain platform who happen to be watching your live feed. The more you can immerse your customers in your brand, the better.
Last year, we got Pokémon Go, and Snapchat filters. Pokémon Go was the biggest game phenomenon of the year, and Snapchat filters were so popular that Facebook and Instagram followed suit. This year, we can expect to see augmented reality continue to rise, with Instagram Stories becoming a great way to tell a story to your followers. Some people are even going as far to say augmented reality is the new social media.
Social media companies love making money. Fact. There was controversy last year when Instagram changed its algorithm and users reported seeing more sponsored content. Sadly, it’s anticipated that this will continue. Social media ad spending is expected to increase to $41 billion in 2017. Paid content can’t be hidden – influencers have to put #ad if they are being paid for a post on Instagram, and sponsored tweets on Twitter are listed as such.
If Snapchat sends you spinning, Facebook leaves you feeling like a fool and you just don’t know how to tweet, let us help! Contact us here or by calling 0151 426 9977 to see how we can develop a social media strategy that suits you.