Leading digital marketing agencies like Bluetext work in social media everyday for both our clients, and we see firsthand the social media trends that impact the market. The reality is that social media evolves more quickly than any brand could realistically keep pace with.

It wasn’t that long ago that Twitter, for example, was the hottest property in the market and enjoyed the fruits of a successful IPO. Two years later, its share price has plummeted because marketers haven’t been able to figure out how to use it to drive brand awareness, loyalty and revenue. As it has become the pulpit of choice for politicians, sports figures and entertainers, brands have struggled with the character and video limitations and are moving on to other platforms to build engagement with their target audiences.

This is a long way of showing that understanding social media trends is important to an effective and successful social media program. Here, then, are five trends to watch in 2017 to keep your social media campaign on track:

  1. Fads can make for great content, but you need to move fast. Remember Planking? Hard to believe that was nearly three years ago. More recently, the current fad was the Mannequin Challenge. The shelf live of both of these was a matter of two or three months. If you think a fad will provide good social media fodder for your brand, by all means go for it. Just do it asap, because the it won’t be popular for long.
  2. The value of Social Media to marketers is continuing to expand, if done right. It’s no longer just about building a brand, but is now being used not only for customer engagement, but for brand recognition, customer service, and driving sales. We leverage tools like boosted posts and retargeting as a key element in lead generation.
  3. Social Platforms are getting sophisticated – and expensive. Social media companies have seen the green from marketers, and are building in some very sophisticated tools to take advantage of their growing audiences and the insights and information they have on them. At the same time, it’s now harder to have content go viral and to get an organic boost, due to the competition for attention and the algorithms that platforms are deploying. As a result, boosted and paid campaigns are becoming the norm.
  4. Video’s influence will become even stronger. Video content as a driver of social media engagement is only getting more entrenched. Don’t fight this trend. Use video as much as you can, as long as it’s content that is interesting, relevant and delivers value. If it’s clever or fun, even better.
  5. “Immersive” will continue to be the goal. Bringing your target audiences along for the ride is more effective than ever as a marketing and sales tool. SnapChat and Instagram are going to town on this trend with their “Stories” capabilities. Digital Briefing Centers and virtual reality will continue to be popular. Don’t just tell them, take them on the journey.

Want to learn more about how your brand can employ these 2017 social media trends to drive your marketing goals? Bluetext would be more than happy to help.