Top Digital Marketing & Social Media Trends in 2017 - 7x7

In my opinion, sometimes its more important to look into rearview mirror in order to fully be able to understand & predict what is going to be breaking the interwebs the upcoming year. Because no-one can fully predict about what’s going to happen, therefore I’ve included my personal picks of great content that has been valuable for me and hopefully also to you.

Since this post is quite longish I’ve chopped it into individual 
paragraphs for easier reading.

Here we go, hope you like it:

Top 7 “New” Social Media Platforms

New depends on the viewpoint, but many of these are yet to be mainstream, and probably there are many that can be quite new to you as well. These are in alphabetical order, so no preferences yet.


Why: LinkedIn had a monopoly status in B2B Social Media. Now there is a new kid in town. BeBee, a one year old LinkedIn challenger has now over 10 million users. Many people have wanted to have another alternative to LinkedIn especially now when Microsoft purchased it, and some are worried how the site is going to evolve. In my opinion BeBee is still very rare, but nice to see how it evolves & will take off. Let’s connect:

Google +

Why: It’s not a new Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn, but it’s 
great for SEO and SEM. The thing that’s changed with Google + is how people are using it. While people turn to Facebook to share everything from articles to status updates about work, content on Google+ seems focused around a particular topic. This creates a huge opportunity for businesses to segment audiences and share content with the most relevant groups possible. Also its good to bare in mind the spesific demographics based on data taken from a Statistic Brain report:

  • 74% of users are male
  • 55% of users are from the US
  • 18% of users are from India
  • 5% of users are from the UK
  • 4% of users are from Canada


Medium is in my opinion The No 1. Platform for quality blog posts at the moment. Couple years ago, a new website from two of the founders of Twitter, Medium launched. Ev Williams announced the site in a post. Medium, he said, was “a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends.”

Why: Medium simply has the best long form blog content in the web.

Take a look for yourself — The best blogs on Medium in 2016:

Musically that has over 100 million users, many of them teenagers, which explains why even if the tech world has taken notice, the mainstream hasn’t just yet. See for yourself what kind of content the next generation is creating

Why: Because Gary Vaynerchuk usually can smell what’s hot & not. 
Here’s what Garyvee has to say about Medium:


On Slack, users communicate in one-on-one direct messages or topic-specific chatrooms called channels: #feedback, #sales-operations, #office-book-club, or anything else users create. Also pps and bots have been proven to be very popular, from polling your teammates, to tracking bugs, to adding GIFs to your conversations.

The company’s CEO Stewart Butterfield co-founded the company in August of 2013, as a cloud-based team collaboration tool. Slack then reached a valuation of $2 billion just 1.71 years after launching, ahead of companies like Xiaomi Technology (2.24 years) and Instacart (2.58 years).

Why: Slack is the fastest growing workplace software ever. And actually, 
Slack is the World’s Fastest Startup to Reach $2 Billion Ever. And the next shift is the apps, bots and integrations on Slack. The future of social is dark.


Why: WeChat is huge. (850 M users). It’s the future of Social Commerce. “Thanks to WeChat, Chinese consumers can navigate their day without once spending banknotes or pulling out plastic. It is the best example yet of how China is shaping the future of the mobile internet for consumers everywhere.” “As one American venture capitalist puts it, WeChat is there “at every point of your daily contact with the world, from morning until night”.

Further reading:


I know. It’s the oldest one there is, what’s new about Facebook? 
I’ve included Facebook, since the platform has in recent years done so many major updates & shifts into new areas, and these moves are effecting every single business on the planet in the future. They have already introduced these new features / areas of business just within two years:

Facebook bought WhatsApp 
Facebook bought Oculus 
Facebook for Work 
Facebook Reactions 
Facebook Deep Text (AI)
Facebook 360 photos/vids.

That’s just some new one’s. So the point here is that Facebook is going to Dominate also the B2B landscape. Also the future with AI & Bots, looks really interesting and can be a new element of Dark Social. Read more about the interesting future plans of Facebook in this interview f. Mark Zuckerberg

Top 7 Trends in Digital (Transformation) in 2016.

  1. Dark Social. 83 % of all the information shared is happening on Dark Social. 70% of all online referrals come from dark social. This is the future where we are all heading in some form or another. Take a look:

2. Social Commerce. 
Right now, in 2016 an average US consumer spends over 1800 $ / year on the internet, and the trend is only getting started.

Also according to many studies & statistics the shift is here or very near:

  • In 2015, out of the total global eCommerce proceeds, more than $30 billion were generated from different social networks directly. (source)
  • According to a survey, more than 59% of marketers think social commerce will be the top trend of 2016. (source)
  • 2 out of 3 sales teams (64%) that utilize social selling techniques reach quota, compared to less than half (49%) of those who don’t. (source)

3. Artificial Intelligence

Recruiting, Sales, Bots, E-Commerce and many others businesses are turning in to help of artificial intelligence. Also companies like Google, Facebook, Tesla and betting big on this one, so we will be seeing a lot of AI powered innovations in the very near future. Read more about AI in this Vala’s post:

Microsoft’s MR / AR Devices — Photo of Microsoft

5. Mixed Reality / Augmented Reality / Social VR

One thing VR is still lacking is social elements. As stated in the brilliant article by Signe Brewster “If 2016 was the year VR arrived, 2017 is the year developers will start thinking seriously about making VR social.” This is a

As Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw (SF) states in his great article: “Many in Silicon Valley believe that devices along the lines of Microsoft’s $3,000 HoloLens head-worn computer or start-up Magic Leap’s promised goggles will one day surpass smartphones as the dominant way people interact with computers. Advocates argue they could be a more natural way of using technology than staring down at a tiny screen.”

It’s yet to be seen how the “future of computing” with Mixed Reality with companies like Magic Leap, but one thing is for sure, the future looks cool.

A Magic Leap Demo

6. Virtual Assistants

As stated in Wired “The tech industry’s titans have been preparing for an all-out virtual assistant war in 2017 — and it’ll be fought by Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and maybe even Microsoft’s Cortana.”

So we will be seeing a lot of voice (and other) enabled applications, 
and already email typing is also working quite nicely simply via voice. 
I write many of my blogs (the bulk text) using voice control in Gmail.

More about Virtual Assistance can be read here.

6. Rapid innovation / Lean Product/Service Development

Huffington Post State of Digital Transformation.

Start with Why. Said Simon Sinek. Why do we actually need lean product / service development? Why do we need to be constantly changing? 
Because the world & and our business landscape keeps on changing constantly. The constant evolution of our business & focus is vital for us to stay in the game. In the picture left are the top drivers why leaders see that we need to keep on innovating and making rapid innovations.

7. Adaptation to change in general.

The current state of change that we are in isn’t just some rapid shift. The only shift is, that the world will only keep on changing more & more rapidly every single year. That can either be seen as a problem or a possibility. 
There are naturally all kinds of big challenges that many companies are facing, one being in my opinion the fact that the generation that currently is leading the change has not been used to this kind of rapidly & constantly changing world of work vs. the future millennial leaders who have always lived in the constantly changing working & living environments.

Huffington Post did a great publication called 2016 State of Digital Transformation which I strongly advice you to take a closer look. There are many interesting findings & comments that pinpoint the challenges, like:

The #1 challenge facing executives (71%) is understanding behavior or impact of the new customer. Yet, only half (54%) of survey respondents have completely mapped out the customer journey. This means that many companies are changing without true customer-centricity.

Top 7 Digital Marketing Trends in 2016

(That will take off even more in 2017) — In alphabetical order.

To be totally honest, this list I made last year is still going to be the “big list” of 2017, especially content marketing, mobile, video on the rise. So I thought I’d include a list of strong seven about the upcoming ones.

Sani Leino

5G Networks.

“Your network is your net-worth”
can soon be true also in B2B context. According to Forbes Insight study: “A majority of executives (67%) say they need mobile networks that provide ultra-high throughput. Nearly as many say they require massive numbers of connections (64%), or ultra-low latency (59%). What they need is 5G networks.” 
Read more insights on 5G here.

Augmented Reality (AR)

The rapid rise (and fall) of Pokemon Go showed the way, now we are all waiting for the next wave especially to adults. With Social Media startups like Snapchat have already proved the public interest in AR with funny filters, & are already investing into AR more strongly with new acquisitions.

More about Augmented reality in marketing in this link.

Big Data (or use of data in marketing in general)

Diya Soubra — Data Science blog — The 3Vs that define Big Data

The “Two Big P’s” in Marketing (Personalization and Predictive) are dependent on the “3V’s” of Data (Velocity, Volume & Variety). 
As Louis Columbus beautifully puts it in Forbes’s great blog about Big Data:
“The marketing platform stack in many companies is growing fast based on evolving customer, sales, service and channel needs not met with existing systems today. As a result, many marketing stacks aren’t completely integrated at the data and process levels. Big data analytics provides the foundation for creating scalable Systems of Insight to help alleviate this problem.” Therefore many businesses are now seriously adapting the 
smart use of Big Data into their marketing. Also IMO, it’s the only way to go.
Further reading on Big Data in marketing can be found here.

Emotions & Human to Human (H2H)

Entertaining, Happy, Sad, Scary, Surprised, Sexy. Emotions is what really makes us engage to content, not just information & facts. If you look into any big event in marketing & PR, they touch some of our core emotions in a way that we can all relate to as humans. Take Trump (Use of Fear & Hope), 
Carpool Caraoke (Funny & Entertaining) or all humanitarian ads (Sadness). 
If you wan’t your marketing to be selling and spreading, you need emotions.

Also many clients & consultants have lately been vividly backing the importance of H2H in business, in this automated & digital era, mainly due to the book & uprise of the term introduced by Brian Cramer:

There is no more B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human, #H2H.

I’m pretty sure next year is going to be a year full of posts & campaigns dedicated to the core of our humanity and unfortunately many are most likely non-humanly spamming all kinds of marketing efforts with #H2H.

Influencer marketing

In a recent survey among marketing professionals, conducted by Tomoson “Influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.” also in the same survey “84% of marketers said they plan on launching at least one influencer campaign within the next 12 months.”

With the world getting more and more crowded with buzz and informations, many are turning to Adblockers for help. In a Digiday Study found that 
47% of online consumers use ad blockers, giving brands and businesses even more reason to put their dollars behind influencers instead. Influencers are the ones holding everyone’s attention. Ignore this at your peril marketers.

One influencer case study is presented here, with Prince EA & Neste.

Check out the views. Quite a nice audience for a brand video.

Mobile marketing. (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)

Yes, its 2017 and I have to say this: Brands do still underestimate the importance of mobile. Despite the fact that the mobile usage surpassed desktop for the first time ever in 2016. Ignore these statistics at your peril.

I like this quote by Wendy Clark VP of Marketing of Coca-Cola Company:

“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.
An Interactive ThingLink virtual 360 Tour from Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones’s office.

Virtual Reality (VR) and 360

Every big company has or is investing into this right now. There are many viewpoints on the topic, some are starting with 360 images & videos, some with small virtual shopping spaces, and some with the “real” immersive VR experiences. The prices have gone down in cameras, VR headsets and on VR software and many platforms are now starting to support 360 / VR content.

Personally I share the viewpoint of our CEO Ulla, that the real big shift is starting with 360 images and with user generated 360 content. Read this:

A bush fire in California

Top 7 pictures of 2016

Demonstrator Ieshia Evans is detained by law enforcement as she protests the shooting death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, La., on July 9, 2016. — Jonathan Bachman — Reuters
Cameron Spencer — Getty Images — Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men’s 100-meter semifinal race during the Rio Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.
A baby African white-bellied tree pangolin hitches a ride on its mother at Pangolin Conservation, a nonprofit organization in St. Augustine, Florida. — PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE
Poachers killed this black rhinoceros for its horn with high-caliber bullets in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Black rhinos number only about 5,000 today. PHOTOGRAPH BY BRENT STIRTON Special Investigation: Inside the Deadly Rhino Horn Trade,” in October 2016.
The colors of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone come from thermophiles: microbes that thrive in scalding water. This photo was originally published in “Learning to Let the Wild Be Wild in Yellowstone,” in May 2016. PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL NICHOLS
Trump holds baby cousins in Colorado (29 July) Photo: Stacie Scott/AP
On a mountainside in Yosemite National Park, photographer Stephen Wilkes took 1,036 images over 26 hours to create this day-to-night composite — This photo was originally published in “How National Parks Tell Our Story — and Show Who We Are,” in January 2016. PHOTOGRAPH BY STEPHEN WILKES

Top 7 Business Books of 2016 (in alphabetical order)

Biohacker’s Handbook (in Finnish called: Biohakkerin käsikirja)

Top 7 Blog Posts of 2016

So many great reads, that this was really tough, anyways, here are my 
top 7 picks of thought provoking articles that you should definitely read. 
Naturally there are oh so many more, but these are great one’s to start with.

I used to be a Human Being

History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump

The Empty Brain

How People Learn to Become Resilient — The New Yorker

Tim Ferriss: Testing The “Impossible”: 17 Questions That Changed My Life

Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

Climate Change Is Here — National Geographic Magazine

Top 7 Videos of 2016

I strongly recommend you to view these videos, and I’ve put them in a certain order, but naturally you will click on what you like. I do not necessarily agree on all the points in the video’s, but all of these are worth a watch. The storyline goes: Future of Work, Future of Education, Viewpoint on Business, Beaty of You, Mastery of Learning, Earth’s Future, ABC of Viral.

Casey Neistat — In Levi, Finland.

Hope you liked the article, and hope you had a great year 2016 
an an even better year 2017!

Any comments and views are highly appreciated.

Feel free to connect with me also on social media:

Twitter & LinkedIn

Br. Sani Leino

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