Way back on the 10th January I published a blog post predicting what I thought would happen to social media marketing strategy in 2017.
Click here to read my post ‘Predictions – The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2017’.
Throughout 2017 I think social media marketing has entered a new phase. It almost feels more ‘grown up’ now.
Business owners are recognising that social media marketing is a powerful tactic! It’s no longer viewed as something of an experiment. It’s became a ‘must do’ marketing tactic. But a ‘must do’ marketing tactic for all the right reasons. Business owners and marketeers now realise that social media marketing generates return on investment.
Social media isn’t just about connecting and keeping in touch with followers. If you’re not using social media to generate leads or increase sales, then you should be!
These were my predictions and how I think I did –
The continued rise in mobile
Throughout the last few years all of the major social media channels have developed their software to enhance user experience on mobile. In 2016 mobile has started to overtake desktop traffic, this shift will continue into 2017. As mobile traffic continues to rise, content and campaigns should be created to maximise and enhance the mobile experience.
In 2017 mobile continued to rise. In 2016 there were 2,082.7 million smart phone users. In 2017 this number rose to 2,292.5 million. By 2019 the number is projected to be 2,659.4 million.
Facebook currently has around 1.57 billion monthly active mobile users. This is a 20% rise from 2016.
Instagram and Snap Chat are virtually mobile only channels.
The demise and death of Google+
Since launching, Google+ has received a few rethinks and changes, most notably in 2015 when Google decided to split the offering into ‘photos’ and ‘streams’. If Google+ is going to thrive, then it needs a major relaunch. Despite massive amounts of investment, it’s lost too much ground on it’s major rivals. The main problem is that Google+ doesn’t have the features, user base or flexibility and compatibility that Facebook offers.
Google has invested large amounts of personnel resource and millions in the Google+ platform. Sadly it didn’t ever get anywhere close to becoming a Facebook rival.
Most people who continue to use Google+ do so for seo reasons.
Twitter will survive, but evolve further
At this time last year, lots of experts were predicting the death of Twitter. In 2016, as Twitter struggled to keep up with the active user numbers of other channels, it made some pretty major updates, including changing what is counted in the 140 character limit. I think Twitter will continue to exist, but 2017 will see more changes, updates and developments. New features including live streaming and real time news are apparently in the pipeline.
I think Twitter is working hard to ‘reposition’ itself. As I predicted, there were quite a few changes and evolutions on Twitter in 2017.
For more details check out –
Twitter doubles the character limit for tweets – what this means for your social media marketing strategy
A big year for Instagram
I think 2017 will be a massive year for Instagram! Instagram has already started to develop it’s offering and ‘monetise’ the channel – mainly through advertising options. This trend will continue further in 2017. However, it’s important that this doesn’t ‘backfire’ as users have appreciated the authenticity and impartiality that comes with using the channel. Users also appreciate the simplicity of the Instagram interface. Therefore, I think it’s crucial that Instagram doesn’t become overly complex in 2017.
In September 2017 Instagram reached over 500 million daily active users. This was an increase of around 150 million form January 2017. Recently Instagram announced that it had reached 700 million monthly active users.
The evolution of messaging based apps
In recent years social media users have embraced messaging apps including Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. I think the use of direct messaging will continue to rise in 2017. It will be interesting to see how brands and advertisers take advantage of this increase?
Generally speaking WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most popular and commonly used messaging apps.
In 2017 WhatsApp and Facebook each attracted around 1.3 billion monthly users.
Mobile messaging usage rose significantly in 2017 and will continue to do so.
More advances in augmented and virtual reality
Virtual reality has been talked about for years, without ever really happening. In 2016 Pokémon Go introduced augmented reality to the masses. Virtual reality has the potential to reinvent how brands communicate with consumers. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a new story telling medium. I think 2017 will see more developments in these areas but there are still technical and practicality issues that need to be resolved.
There’s been slow progress in augmented and virtual reality. These areas still need more development to attract the mainstream. There’s still technical and practical challenges that need to be overcome.
More video throughout social media
Only a few years ago, everybody was predicting that images were the future of social media. Now the experts are predicting that video will dominate in the future. Mark Zuckerberg recently predicted that by 2020 most shared content on Facebook will be video. The use of video (including live streaming video) will also increase throughout social media marketing in 2017.
In 2017 on Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube we’ve reached over 22 billion daily video shares. The average social media user is exposed to around 32.3 videos per month. YouTube is currently reporting mobile video consumption rises of at least 100% year on year.
Video became more accessible in 2017. I think it’s popularity will continue to increase more throughout 2018.
Keep an eye on my blog! Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting my digital marketing trend predictions for 2018!