According to our resident social geeks, here’s what’s Snap-ening next in social media
If you followed along on last year’s social media prediction, you’ll know our social folks were pretty spot-on (keeping a social media crystal ball polished to perfection is no easy job after all):
- There was the rise of Instagram ads, where brands like Samsung and Adobe really found their stride, and reached new audiences like never before
- Multi-platform campaigns are everywhere these days—that is, if you’re running a traditional marketing campaign, social media is something successful businesses consider right from the get-go versus adding it on later. In fact, it’s become so commonplace in the last year it’s tough to remember a time when that wasn’t the case (we can still just remember it though)
- The reigning video champion, Youtube or Facebook? As the attention-grabbing-game continues on between these two heavyweights, there’s still no clear indicator as to which will come out on top. Save your bets though—we don’t expect this one to see the final round any time soon
All that said, let’s get on to the part where we wave our jazz hands in the air and everything goes all purple and wavy like that scene from the end of Wayne’s World with our social media predictions for 2017 (it’s becoming a bit of a tradition).
Virtual & augmented reality
Keenan Erwin, Social Media Manager
I know, I know—we’ve been talking about this all year long (to be fair, we’re not the only ones!). Take it or leave it and like it or not, both of these mediums are going to be even bigger in 2017. That’s right, Snapchat, Facebook, and Messenger already have facial and environment augmented reality components to play around with (and Instagram Stories are next). If you don’t believe me, here’s a VR social media demo from “the Zuck-man” (that’s Mark Zuckerberg if you didn’t know) at Oculus Connect, an annual developer conference, just a few months ago. My advice? Grab a Google Cardboard for starters, and start warming up to what’s likely to be the next big thing on social.
It seems like not that long ago (though it was, really—pre-December 2013 to be exact) when Facebook was a community-focused wonderland for organic content where brands big and small could reach their fans on the daily—and didn’t really have to pay for it. Much to the dismay and Skeletor-style-clenched-fist-shaking of Social Media Managers the world over, this is no longer the case.
Fast-forward to mid-2016 and Instagram had followed suit and dropped the chronological feed, creating an even better environment for their ad platform. Even Snapchat introduced ads that displayed in between Stories.
This year you can expect to see a big increase in this pay-to-play trend, which will make putting together an air-tight social media ad planner less like a “good idea” and more like a requirement. Chin up though, there are still plenty of ways to grow on social media without breaking the bank. If I’ve seen anything with new ad types the likes of Snapchat geofilters, sponsored lenses or even augmented reality ads (coming soon), the brands that get in early will be the ones to come out on top a year from now.
Stephanie Boyle, Social Media Manager
Sometimes brands don’t have a bunch of social media geeks of their own, so they come to a bunch of geeks like us to manage their social media for them, from content planning, to advertising management and day-to-day interactions – basically, the whole shebang. I still think this will continue, but with the growing popularity of Facebook live, Snapchat and Instagram stories, brands are almost expected to deliver live content as and when it happens, not to mention right-there-right-now-with-bells-on customer service (which can be pretty tricky when distance and time zones come into it). Because of this, I think we’ll see more brands building in-house social media teams of their own, but coming to agencies for strategy, training, campaigns, content ideas and for our arty-farty creative teams to make their social media dreams a thing of design beauty.
The bots are coming
Don’t panic, as far as I’m aware it’s not Arnie and that scary lady robot coming back, but in fact, the rise of artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, AI is where computers take learnings from the information that they receive and then make decisions and outputs based on that information. Sure, it could potentially destroy us all if it just so happens to get into the hands of a Bond villain or something, but in the mean time, it’s actually pretty handy for social media. Recently, Facebook opened its API to allow developers to create customer service bots for Facebook Messenger, (and Twitter wasn’t far behind) essentially freeing up a bucketload of time from answering frequently asked questions. AI to social media is still pottering along in nappies in comparison to a lot of more advanced features (and can sometimes result in a wee accident or two at times) but as far as the next 12 months go, I see it growing up and becoming a big part of social media customer service.
If you fancy a quick chat about your 2017 social media strategy (or anything from workshops and training to creative campaigns) give our MadeSocial team a dog ‘n bone (that’s a phone)…