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Where is Social Media Headed?

Where is Social Media Headed?

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Though it’s hard to remember it now, it really wasn’t that long ago that we were all living in a pre-Snapchat world. Even popular social platforms like Pinterest have come into their own over the past few years, while the social media cycle has also brought us the rise and fall of Vine and, to a lesser extent, Google+. The point is that the social media landscape is anything but static. Even within established venues like Facebook, there are big trends and shifts happening all the time, such as the recent advent of Facebook Live streaming.

The savvy marketer has to stay on top of these trends, and adapt to what’s going on in social media. This begs the question: Where is social media headed next? What are the things that every marketer and business owner should be doing to stay on top of things in 2017? There are a handful of noteworthy trends and practices that we will highlight.

It’s All About Video

It’s impossible to discuss the future of social media marketing—or even the future of the Internet—without talking about video. Experts have said year after year that video was going to be the next big thing, and, right on cue, video eats up a larger and larger percentage of social media shares every single year. People consume their entertainment online, and often in bite-sized, Facebook- or Twitter-shared clips. A good social media campaign is always going to have room for video content, then.

It’s not just YouTube videos that we’re talking about, though. Live streaming is something that Facebook has really been pushing. Business owners can get on board by setting up live streams from their office—taking viewers on behind-the-scenes tours, taking some Q&As, announcing a new product or service, or whatever else. Live video is, by its very nature, rough and unpredictable, but when it’s done well, live streaming can help to humanize your brand and connect you more directly with your audience.

Paid vs. Organic

Something else to make note of is the long-gestating tension between organic traffic and paid ad traffic. In recent years, Facebook in particular has really pushed hard for marketers to pony up and use its internal ad platform, to the point where it’s increasingly difficult to make a splash without paid ads. This has led some to declare that organic content is dead, but that’s not how we see it: The best approach, for most businesses, is to combine paid ads with a more organic approach to content marketing.

With this tension comes a renewed focus on metrics, too. Companies are sinking more and more ad dollars into Facebook (and to a lesser extent other social media platforms), which means they are more insistent than ever on seeing results. A lot of the conversations in social media this year will likely surround the nature of measurement—how Facebook results can be tracked and quantified, and whether they are ultimately worth the cost of admission.

Our Recommendations for 2017

Speaking in broad terms, what we ultimately recommend for 2017 is:

- Continue to post regular, engaging content to the social media platforms where you’ve had success;
- Focus on video content, in particular, and consider making live streaming part of your social media presence;
- Engage in paid ads as part of your social media strategy.

More specifically, we encourage you to meet with us to discuss the most efficient, streamlined ways to pull all of this together into one integrated marketing plan. Contact enCOMPASS Agency today to set up a meeting.