Social Media Trends

Many of us are starting to plan our 2017 budgets, so social trends may be top of mind for you as they are for me. What to allocate where? In no particular order, here are some of the social media trends I’m considering:

Social Commerce — social has been play-to-pay for a while now, and decreased organic reach and rising social CPM costs, especially on established platforms like Facebook, reflect that. If you want exposure, you have to pay for it, and you have to pay more now than you did a year ago. That means budget, and that means a need for diversification — you can’t put all your eggs in one social basket, like Facebook. You have to make other platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram work for your brand. The platforms understand that, and Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest for example are all focusing on DR formats.

Mobile First — yes, the majority of directly attributable conversions in many verticals still happen on desktop. But desktop scale continues to decrease as social is increasingly mobile first. So for mass awareness, and lower costs, you have to do increasing percentages of social advertising on mobile, and be ok that not all of that results in trackable conversions unless you implement things like pixel tracking. And even then, you won’t capture everything.

Personalization — both in terms of content/creative and targeting. People want relevant ads. A vegetarian doesn’t want an ad for a steakhouse. Whether it’s Custom/Tailored Audiences, retargeting, or weather-based targeting, you have to test & learn and see if the efficiencies gained offset the costs.

UGC — consumer generated content has grown up, and brands are getting very sophisticated in how they source and broadcast that authentic Customer voice. Case in point — the McDonald’s all-day breakfast campaign, where they showcased tweets of people who had been asking for all-day breakfast for years. And it’s not just your Customers — employee engagement/advocacy is a huge opportunity too.

Influencers — verticals like fashion are increasingly using influencers to tell their story in an authentic way, and many other verticals are catching up. Big area of opportunity, when done right. One note on this — a big following isn’t everything. Those small or mid-tier influencers may have a true love for your brand, be excited to talk about it, and go above & beyond in a way some celebs/top-tier influencers won’t.

Geo — geo listening, geo targeting, geo measurement — you name it. Depending on your business, it’s worth investing here so you can make more sophisticated, data-driven decisions and campaign implementations.

SEO — social content is increasingly visible in search results, so it’s important to optimize social posts for search and use relevant keywords, as well as organically post and then promote priority initiatives. Don’t only do dark post promotion.

Real Real-Time Engagement — consumers expect faster and faster responses from brands on social. This doesn’t always just mean social care, it can also mean social selling. Either way, responding to a 9pm post at 9am the next day doesn’t always cut it any more.

Video, Video, Video — whether it’s live or recorded, 360 or standard, video as we all know is the big thing in social right now. A FKB exec said Facebook will be all video, no text within 5 years. That has creative and strategic implications for all of us, and isn’t limited to just Facebook.

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