LinkedIn launched in May 2003 and Facebook launched in February 2004. Facebook now has more than 1.5 billion users worldwide! Here is a great infographic about the history and growth of social media by our friends at Skilled.co – 115 Facts You Never Knew About Social Media.
We have come a long way and social media is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace and it may be confusing to pick out what will matter and why. So, what does social media have in store of marketers in 2017? Here are five social media trends that you need to have on radar.
Live video – Introduced last April, Facebook Live allows anyone to start broadcasting live video from his or her smartphone. Although there have been other live video platforms, this is the first time that broadcast tools have been easy to use and readily available to everyone. Everyone is now a producer and/or a broadcaster. Businesses are just beginning to experiment with it however; I expect it to grow rapidly as a new social medium.
Advertising is in…again – It is getting harder to drive traffic organically using social media networks so brands are turning to paid advertising and sponsored content. Consumers spend close to six hours per day online with two hours per day spent specifically on social media. In 2016, social media ad spending reached almost $32 billion and that number is expected to continue to grow in 2017.
Chatbots – Brands are starting to experiment with chatbots in social media to improve real-time engagement. Chatbots are designed to answer basic queries placed by customers, without human intervention. This helps with increased customer satisfaction without paying for additional staff.
Platforms will continue to evolve…or not – I expect Facebook to continue to introduce new features in 2017 as well as Instagram. Twitter is an effective “news ticker” however, the company’s identity crisis continues. It still can’t figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.
Social media skill gaps widen – It is no longer a good option to hire an intern or recent graduate to manage your social media. Social media management is becoming a complex multi-faceted function that requires advertising, customer service skills, content marketing, writing, SEO, and graphics skill sets. It is difficult to find candidates that fit the bill. As more and more features are introduced into the platforms, it is getting harder and harder to keep up and take advantage of these features. In addition, companies are asking their employees to start using social media and are implementing employee advocate programs to amplify messages and further extend the reach in the marketplace. Social media skills are becoming a necessary skill set in all job functions.
Here are top social media posts from Red Javelin in 2016.
It is never too late to get started!