Social media practices are ever changing and brands have to revise their strategies regularly in order to leverage them. Social media strategists have predicted that in 2017, social media will become important in terms of driving traffic to a company’s website, building brand image and better targeting of audience. Companies have to think their strategies through as what has worked in the past, may not do well now. For instance, organic traffic may not bring about the results that it had in previous years.
Social media honchos have advised companies to target social advertising, where they build a story around their brand for better audience connect. As we are steadily reaching saturation in the digital platform, a company must think hard of the new ways that it could show itself to be different from the rest.
Here are a few social media practices that are expected to go big in 2017 and harnessing them would spell jackpot for you.
Live videos posted on social platform became a real thing this year and its use is only expected to multiply. Facebook Live is the most prominent example of it which was soon followed by Twitter through ‘Live on Twitter’. SMM strategists have predicted that users shall see more engaging and newer aspects of technology to come to the fore in 2017.Apart from using Live on Twitter and Facebook Live for business promotion, companies have also exploited platforms like YouTube and Periscope for broadcasting live streaming events for boosting digital marketing strategies. Even though it is difficult to estimate the possibilities around this new technology, it is expected that Facebook and other social media platforms shall set rules around it. Companies are highly recommended to experiment with this method for content marketing and brand building by paying influencers to promote their products.
Unlike past, when consumers were bombarded with information about products through ads without an iota of information being given out to how the product will help them, brands are now building a rapport with their customers through story building and advertising for them on social media. Firms have started marketing innovative campaigns, interactive and niche content, so that it reaches the target audience. Thanks to the data amount available, ads can be shown to the right people at the right time, across social networks on the web. For instance, companies are developing dedicated customer service for their audience, where queries are answered in a personalized manner to make the customer feel privileged. Some brands also connect with other brands in a cordial manner in order to increase their visibility. For instance, the Harlem Globetrotters initiated an interaction with Old Spice through a series of tweets and in turn tapped into a different kind of audience.
Reaching the audience on a personal level through branding around a humane story line will bring more visibility and organic traffic to a company and this practice is only set to increase in 2017.
Mobiles and tablets have taken over the good old desktop when it comes to browsing Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and companies have to create content that can easily be viewed on these devices. Light, to the point, and short are the key points that all companies should bear in mind when drawing up a strategy. As a matter of fact, Google is coming up with a mobile first web index, which would rank websites according to mobile friendliness. Therefore, rather than optimizing a page or site for a handheld device, companies would have to create content specifically for the mobile.
Most web surfers know Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality through various games, and it has been touted as the next big thing for quite some time. However, its practical application in the social media platform is yet to be experimented with. That there is mass appeal for AR and VR products has been amply demonstrated by the popularity of the Pokemon Go etc. However, the masterstroke to make it the trending thing is yet to come about.
The technology may be far from perfect, but when executed well, it can generate necessary hype. Brick and Mortar stores can particularly make use of Augmented Reality, where offers and engagements can be made through proximity. The precedence for social media has already been set with Game of Thrones Season 6, where a VR viewing was made available to everyone through the 3600 synchronization of the opening credits of the show on Facebook through Oculus Prime, owned by Facebook itself. Realty companies already make use of the Cardboard boxes where they offer 3600 view of the properties on offer. 2017 may be the year when this technology experiences well-rounded development.
Artificial intelligence has ceased to be a figment of science fiction and is entering reality in multilayered ways. Digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri have made people talk into their phones rather than type things out. Social media platforms like Google Allo, Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook have also introduced their special bots to help with customer service and bookings, which has increased the number of conversations we have with our phones.
Chatbots are a good idea for brands as they allow simple bookings to be managed and also FAQs to be answered. It would free up customer service representatives to answer more complex queries.
The optimal social media strategy is very elusive for a brand. Should they target the 3.5 billion searches that are made on Google every day or aim for the sitting ducks on social media! “Facebook has 1.71 billion people, the number of WhatsApp users is 1 billion, YouTube has 1 billion users while Instagram has 500 million active users.”
SEO practitioners can get your content on the results page high with search while a pay-per-click mogul can deliver ads to drive traffic to your site. Thanks to social media, the good old days when content could be distributed at absolutely no cost is over. The changes brought in by social media means that organic reach has come down drastically. For instance, for Facebook, the drop has been to 2% from a healthy 15%.
Brands can now either pony up or truly understand the kind of content their audience wants to see and give them what they are looking for. No matter what route you choose, you need to figure out how to maximise sharing and engage your influencers to increase reach. A successful strategy in the end will most likely see you paying money to networks.
Snapchat was the pioneer of blink and miss content and its success has made other platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook borrow its features. Disappearing content is set to become big in 2017 and brands are expected to bring in inventive ways for exploring these features. Several of them have even started Snapchat campaigns.
Not only is the timeline for posting content, but the content itself is quite crucial in making a website popular. Innovative and interesting posts, that are likely to be shared far and wide can drive organic traffic far more than a run-off-the-mill PPC campaign. As more and more people connect with your content on social media, the number of inbound links that get created for your pages, helping you in a great way to also search engine optimise your content. Soon, SEO is going to be mainly driven by content.
Several brands such as Lego host contests on Facebook where their audience is provoked to comment or share the information with their friends, which increases their popularity tremendously. Other brands too have started opting for such strategies to gather followers and convert sales.
Social media strategies are expected to be slowly moulded into compact, personalized and deep hitting in 2017. Brands would do well to start thinking from now!