Social media is an ever-changing field that attracts more and more businesses. The reason for this is simple: these sites connect the business to a vast pool of potential customers, so significant profits can be made by effectively converting the online presence. Check this out: there are 1.79 billion monthly active users and 66 percent of them reported to use social media daily, as described by Expanded Dramblings. That’s quite an audience, agree?
Naturally, the field keeps evolving. Remember how Facebook started? It was nothing more than a platform to connect with friends and family in other towns. Now, Facebook is a powerhouse with an enormous potential for business that dwarfs other sales approaches.
Having considered the current developments in social media, a number of trends emerge that should be watched closely by those who want to stay up-to-date and informed. Let’s have a look at them in this article.
1. Social Media Video
Yes, YouTube is still the most popular video site on this planet. However, recent trends indicate it may lose a significant part of its audience to Snapchat. As described in this article by The Verge, the developers of the app have finally turned their attention to revenues after four years of existence, which means that ads will soon be making their way onto the screens. Facebook, which has already introduced video and has been enjoying the benefits for a long time, is also a threat. YouTube, watch out.
2. Live Streaming Video
More and more users are beginning to share their stories using live video, which is great because it can add a little bit of anticipation to an event, says Bob Austin, a social media expert from A-writer. In addition to sharing some personal experiences, companies also turn to live streaming to attract viewers with interesting events.
One of the best and funniest examples is the famous live presentation of Buzzfeed, where two employees of the company tried to bust the watermelon with rubber hands. The result? At the peak, more than 800,000 live viewers were watching at the same time. Clearly, live video will continue to have a major impact next year.
3. Real Time Engagement
Social media users appreciate quick responses from the companies they try to connect with. For example, if you have a question about some product or service, you message the page of the brand to know the answer. If the company responds within an hour, it will show that it regularly checks its messages and cares about social media users, agree? If you said yes, then around 70 percent of Twitter users share your opinion. In a recent study published at Search Engine Watch, it was found that almost 70 percent of Twitter users expected the reply from the brands in less than two hours while only 14 percent expected the answer in one day or longer.
Clearly, the speed of a business’ answer will have an impact in the future.
4. Virtual Reality
This year, we have not seen a lot of virtual reality videos on social media but this trend will certainly accelerate. We frequently hear about how cool it is and when we see it, our mind totally wants more because it is indeed great. Facebook has already jumped into the game with its 360video function, and more social media platforms are about to join. Even though it is not convenient for social media users to watch these amazing videos without the proper equipment, wearing a headset will not be a huge problem for those who want to enjoy this great technology.
5. Social Advertising
In 2013, the social advertising industry generated a total revenue of $6.1 billion. This figure is expected to exceed $11 billion by 2017, says Adweek. The advertising offers by all major social networks are expected to be expanded the next year due to their huge selling potential. This trend is expected because companies continue to put an emphasis on customers rather than products and put a major focus on collecting customer wisdom to produce even more personalized products.
The biggest trend of the next year is pretty apparent. Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram will continue to become an even bigger part of our lives and it will be difficult to imagine our lives without social media. People will also continue to develop new types of innovative and engaging content that can attract and drive sales, so it is sufficient to claim that social media will only grow in importance.
From being a tool to share memes, social media became the leading sales force in marketing today. 2017 looks pretty promising.
Tom Jager is a professional blogger based in London. He covers topics related to digital marketing, blogging, social media and business in general. He is always seeking to discover new ways for professional and personal growth.