2017 Trend Forecast: Conversational Social Media
By Katie Meyer
Social media has always been conversational, a core quality forgotten by brands keen on content marketing in the 2010s. Until now.
Social media users don’t want to click links and read content: they want to talk. (It’s a miracle you’re reading this article.)
Conversational UX is the biggest buzzword in web development and it will only get bigger in 2017. Content generators like Quartz have developed conversational apps that ask users what they want to read, then deliver it (using machine learning and AI).
The question/response format of Siri, Facebook Assistant, and Amazon Echo have seeped back into social media. With users drowning in static content, conversation is a great way to increase engagement and conversion, merging user-generated content with the approach of conversational apps. Like the politicization of social media, conversational social is a huge, strategy-sized trend.
Why is conversational marketing such a huge trend? Conversational social media strategies circumvent the adblock mentality: users not only block ads with plugins, but also by ignoring links that brands push or skipping traditional content marketing. For example, in 2016 Reddit went mainstream and movie marketers frequently hosted Ask Me Anything sessions where Redditors can ask stars questions directly.
Now, users don’t want to read interviews, they want to do interviews. Twitter chats are increasing in popularity. Now that social media inundated with political content, users are more ready than ever to debate with strangers. Conversation-based social media like Reddit and conversational apps exploded in popularity in 2016.
Conversational social is narrower, richer, and more immersive than static content — it also feels more authentic to users.
Reversing the bullhorn isn’t a new concept: users’ ability to respond to brands is what differentiates social from old media. Social media has always been conversational, but in 2017 social media marketers will build real processes that makes conversation a cornerstone of their strategies.
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