If we look at the evolution of social media in the past decade, it has completely changed the way we communicate globally. Every year trends are changing, for 2017 it will be a big leap forward. Following up with the evolving trends in the past year, the 3 main social media trends in 2017 will be:
1- “Real” Real-Time Engagement
Users now expect instant results, instant communications, and instant feedback. Social media platforms are competing to deliver this demand. Nevertheless, brands are now focusing more on investing into social media teams to answer their audience as the expectations of receiving answers from brands is now less than an hour, or it’s a complaint. For this, brands will start to shift their entire client servicing to their own social media channels.
2- “Social” Employees are Beacons for The Brand
Employees who are “connected” might be more encouraged to share business updates and the brand’s social atmosphere. This will transform them into beacons for their brand, reflecting a more personalized and human aspect of the brand which will increase awareness, interest, and engagement in the long-term.
3- Social Video Takes It All
The domination of video content will be a game changer for many companies as video content is now the most effective and will keep on increasing further. Companies will start using video content in their brand strategies as people become more visual and less static.
These trends matter the most to “social” brands and should matter even more to “non-social” brands as encouragement to start budgeting and shifting their focus for investing on cross-platform social media teams to increase their recognition, positioning and sales.
Are 2017 Social Media Trends Fit-for-All?
Of course, the approach and the strategy is always different and dependent on the business. However, new trends should be adapted by all businesses one way or the other, as the main focus of the social sphere will be on them. Businesses should be socially “flexible” to accommodate and adapt to upcoming trends and the increasing user base of each respective social media platform to always stay ahead of the game.
Are They Difficult to Implement?
All social media platforms are becoming easier and easier to handle and operate. The only challenging part is the strategy and the sustainability. As for implementation, it’s as basic as handling your personal social media, but with a clear vision, content, direction and organization.
Create an In-House Department or Hire A Professional Agency?
The question of the decade! It’s always recommended to hire an expert firm to handle a brand’s social media rather than in-house for various reasons:
Expert firms have dedicated well-structured teams to handle social media in a professional manner; Digital Directors, Managers, Social Media Officers, Community Managers and Social Media Analysts to say the least. Successful social media firms have the experience to be the brand itself, experience it, live it and even advise on the communication strategies that should be implemented to get results. In addition to the collected analytics from case studies and relevant experience.
It’s cost-effective to hire a professional digital firm to handle a business’s social media rather than building an in-house team to do so.
The budget varies depending on the requirements and deliverables. No one can provide a rough estimate until after auditing the digital presence of the brand, requirements, goals and deliverables. Thus, even an estimate cannot be provided.
Keeping in mind that the cost might also vary from one market to the other and the cost is assessed for each market using a rather complicated process to make sure the agency and the brand are aligned respectively.
Expected Results & Timeline
There are two kinds of results: Long-term and Short-terms results. Short-term results is a product of campaigns and promotions, which are limited to a radical increase in engagement and audience base in a specific timeframe. Long-term results is a product of a carefully curated strategy and sustainability plan and will result in gradual, yet solid, increase in engagement, audience and drive more sales to the business.
What can Brands Do Differently?
Brands should start channeling their marketing budgets towards social media and the digital sphere because this is the time to do so, especially that we are amid the digital era and this is the future of marketing and client servicing to start with.