The Top 10 Social Media Trends from 2017
One thing that has been consistent about social media year in and year out is evolution. Each and every year it evolves and grows, even more rapidly in the past few years as both businesses and consumers are using platforms in increasing numbers. Looking back we can certainly say that 2017 was a heck of a year with the rise of some unexpected developments in social media. What were the Top 10 Social Media Trends from 2017? As a top web development company that integrates and utilizes social media on a regular basis, these are our picks for things that changed the landscape.
Top 10 Social Media Trends from 2017
- Consumer’s growing expectations – As the audiences for social media have grown larger, in part because of the sheer size of the millennial demographic but also because of growing popularity with the baby boomers, the expectations these consumers have are changing and growing. Gone is the novelty of being on social media. Now it is a matter of engaging consumers and providing them with better ways to interact and connect.
- Brands are showcasing values – 2017 was the year of values for many brands as they decided to use social media to help solidify what they stand for or against. In some cases this concept completely backfired as a few brands made a choice to support unpopular ideas or not support very popular movements, such as the 2017 Women’s March. But the trend increased during the year and we expect that to continue as brands will use values as a way to connect with and engage audiences in new and meaningful ways.
- Social Influencer becomes a thing – While social influencers and the concept of influencer marketing have both been around for years, this year was finally the point when being a social influencer official became a job. Sure, plenty of people (mostly millennials) have probably used Social Influencer as a job title on LinkedIn but in 2017 top influencers were actually cashing in on the concept in a big way. With big money being thrown at the big influencers and social media stars like never before, you suddenly have kids saying they want to grow up to be a Social Influencer.
- Instagram Stories dominate – Snapchat had a nice niche with disposable content but in this last year Instagram decided to make a hostile takeover of that market. By adapting their platform and integrating popular features from Snapchat, Instagram Stories blew away the competition with their options and levels of engagement. This shift should be a wakeup call for everyone as it shows that the addition of features to a platform then allows the creation of richer and more interesting content that consumers crave.
- Generation Z becomes a target – Generation Y, or millennials are a very powerful demographic, however in 2017 we saw the next generation as a target for marketing. Gen Z, generally people born in 1995 and after, are now hitting their stride as the cool, hip generation with a whole lot of purchasing power. As this demographic continues to grow they will have a big influence on how social media will grow and be shaped. So far the biggest things we have learned about this generation is that they get bored easily, are more aware and educated on the dangers of social media compared to millennials at this same stage, and often refuse to go along with advertising.
- Digital Hangouts become cool – Largely because of Generation Z, digital hangouts have become very popular. While there have always been online communities especially in the tech and video game sectors, with better technology so much more can be done to liven up the interactions. Now there are apps that allow video chats with multiple people simultaneously. From that starting point people are engaging in activities together such as shopping or watching movies. This allows people to do things ‘together’ more easily which obviously is highly appealing to a younger demographic and is also a huge marketing opportunity.
- Video pops up everywhere – Video content has been around for years and has steadily been increasing in popularity. Yes, Facebook greatly ramped up its use of video especially in advertising, but that was not overly astonishing. What was a surprising trend for 2017 is that video can now be found everywhere including on Twitter and LinkedIn. Marketers are using everything they can to connect to audiences and video has proven itself to be the most popular option on social media for engagement and digestibility.
- Sponsored Content on the rise – Guess what, social media ad spending did not slow down as many people predicted for 2017. In fact it sped up as brands have looked for ways to increase their views and engagement. One of the more interesting trends with sponsored content has been the increased use of storytelling by brands as they look for better ways to engage and excite audiences with their content that adds to the overall experience rather than interrupting it.
- Chatbots keep everyone happy – In this last year chatbots have taken over the digital landscape. Thanks in large part to Siri and Alexa, people have become very comfortable with devices that are able to mimic human interactions. Because of this shift, chatbots have become a better way for brands and consumers to interact in certain instances. While they aren’t yet perfect, they are a step forward in both automation and AI to provide assistance and interaction which has created more satisfied customers.
- Social Media and transparency – Politics leaked into everything in 2017 including social media. With the Russians admitting to using ads and other methods to influence our elections, suddenly social media platforms were being unknowingly exploited. This has caused Facebook and other platforms to consider how they will use ads along with showcasing transparency so that users know who is running an advertisement. It should be interesting to see how this trend continues into 2018 and how the expected changes will be received by both the marketing community and platform users.
The bottom line is that trends come and go. Our list of the top 10 social media trends from 2017 provide an opportunity to consider how these ideas might fight into your own plans for marketing and social media so that this year can be your best year ever.
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