2016 Social Media Round-up and What to Expect in 2017
2016 has been a huge year for social media, Vine is dead (R.I.P) and newer platforms such as Snapchat are very much alive. But what can we expect for 2017? These are my predictions for the upcoming year.
Twitter plays an important role for brands with a reported 76% of consumers likely to recommend the brand following friendly service on the network and with 80% of users mentioning a brand in a tweet at some point it is a great marketing tool if you can get past the 23 million users who are actually robots.
Giving users the freedom to say what they want to who they want, in the way that Twitter does, presents the issue of people abusing the system. ‘Trolls’ will always be present on social media and Twitter is infamously a victim to them with many influential people leaving Twitter claiming they can’t deal with the abuse they receive from other users.
To combat this Twitter announced this year that they were working on a tool that made it easier to filter out spam and abusive content they don’t wish to see. This keyword blocker will hopefully help crack down on the spam and abuse that floats around the social network. However, no doubt users will overcome this block by purposely misspelling words or coming up with new ways to deliver their insults. Twitter revealed this year that they’d allow brands to use user’s tweets to promote their company. Not only does this cut down on advertising costs for a brand but also having real tweets from real people adds authenticity for other consumers. Of course the brands will have to get permission to use the tweets but could this be the future of Social Media advertising?
They also announced earlier this year that they’d be moving from a chronological timeline to an algorithmic one, to which the ever-opinionated users responded, voicing their disapproval of the change.
Twitter now shows you tweets “you may like” whilst also showing Tweets from “whilst you were away.” A system that I, personally, enjoy.
Twitter have now released a ‘Memories’ system where you can compile tweets and retweets into a folder of ‘Memories.’ Snapchat released a similar system earlier this year. Will other platforms follow suit in 2017? And will people make use of the feature?
What to look out for:
- The crackdown on trolls
- The change in timeline
- The Memories feature
With over 1.79 billion active users, Facebook is undoubtable the biggest social network and with its ever evolving features from “Facebook Live” to “Reactions” Facebook marketing is set to be took to a whole new level this year.
Video marketing has been steadily growing over the years but I think 2017 is the year it will really take over. Videos have proved to be one of the best tools for user engagement this year and Facebook’s suggested video feed may have had a part to play in this.
Facebook Live may have more of a user appeal than a brand appeal, considering there are no Ads on the live broadcasts. But, there are talks of Facebook implanting Ads in Facebook Live video’s in order to create Ad revenue. This opens up a whole new marketing channel for advertisers to get in front of their target demographic. However, this is something that is still apparently months away from being rolled out. Perhaps something we’ll see introduced in the New Year?
You’ve pobably saw the ridculous, fake news stories that get posted and shared onto timelines by made up unreliable news pages. Well, Facebook have announced they’re cracking down on them and moving forward, you’ll have the option to report any link as fake under the reporting dropdown. When you report an article a third party fact checker will read the post and decipher whether its legitmate or not. It’s hard to say how effective it will be but the tool will be rolled out to users soon.
Their analytics system is improving, giving users further insight on their statistics and with more room to create new and exciting content ideas I doubt marketers will be straying from Facebook anytime soon. I’m excited to discover what they introduce in the New Year.
What to look out for:
- The influx of Live videos
- A reduced amount of fake news stories.
This year, Instagram also introduced an algorithm-driven timeline moving on from their oldest-to-newest system.
They wanted to create an algorithm that showed you the posts they think you as a user will want to see first, but I know my interests and what I want to engage with on Instagram is continuously changing. I understand the idea of Instagram deciding what I’m interested in but I frequently don’t know what I want to see so, at times, I find this new system results in me missing posts I would have fact engaged with whilst my timeline often features posts I’m not interested in.
This, I’m sure, has resulted in a negative impact on brands and people who use Instagram as a marketing tool as their posts are often not showing on their audience’s timelines. However, the algorithm is still a new system and hopefully Instagram will continue to build on and improve the system in the New Year.
They also introduced a Story feature, similar to Snapchat, where users could share a photo or video with their followers for 24 hours. They might not have the trusty dog filter but they do have a feature I’ve noticed an increase of brands and celebrities use. The ‘See More” feature allows brands to add a call to action adding in links to content etc. to their story for example a brand could post a story about how they’ve uploaded a new post to their blog where viewers could then swipe up and be directed to the blog. They have also linked in Instagram-owned app Boomerang where you can add GIF style posts.
The platform revealed that 100 million users have used the story feature since release. As a brand, if you’re not using the Stories feature you’re missing out on audience exposure (especially as Instagram now promote stories on the explore page.) Even if, like many users, you are recycling your content from your Snapchat Story I think Instagram Stories are a great form of social media marketing. I can’t wait to see what they release in the New Year.
What to look out for:
- Changes in timeline
- The ‘Story” trend
- More Ads on user’s timelines
Snapchat is one of my favourite social media networks and they are constantly adding new and exciting features that users love. It’s a great tool if you want to create a brand voice for your company. This gives the opportunity to share behind the scenes action or office life of your brand whilst sharing new products or content. And with an average of 500 snaps sent a second across 150 million active users it’s no wonder their Ad revenue is set to rocket to $935.46m in 2017.
The filters add a huge appeal to the app and with Snapchat scrapping paid filters they have only grew and become a part of everyday life for some and with Geofilters becoming easier and easier for users and brands to create I can see this becoming a real trend for 2017.
“Memories” was introduced earlier this year on the app where users could save their Snaps to the feature where they would compiled into folders automatically. I think this is a really cool feature and as Snaps expire after 24 hours on your story it’s a great way of literally saving memories.
In terms of content, Snapchat offer a “featured” section where users can read posts from magazines or news outlets but after the app made the decision to move the feature lower down on app user’s feed as consumers didn’t like the idea of being ‘forced’ to watch stories and read content they didn’t want to see. Snapchat is still a fairly new app but it’s good to see they are listening to feedback and taking on board what people like. Consumer satisfaction is essential to retain attention, the Internet moves on fast!