By Anurag Gupta
Nearly 75% of the digital buyers turned to social media before making any fixed purchasing decision in 2016, reported a study by International Data Corporation. With the consumers inclining steeply towards social media and increasing influence of social media on their lifestyle and choices, businesses are progressively paying more attention to the strategies to use social media for lead generation, sales and branding. In fact, smart businesses have made successful social media strategies in the yesteryears and are planning the same for this year too. However, this year, social media trends are likely to be even more dynamic and expected to change the way social media is being used by businesses. Let’s have a look at 5 such trends.
Live Videos Will Become Bigger
Almost 14% of the marketers are estimated to have used live video content in their 2016 marketing strategies; what more, over 43% of them still plan to use live videos to interact with their audience in 2017. Facebook Live and Periscope, being the most popular social media sites for live videos, also inspired other sites like Twitter and Instagram that launched their live video feature in November-December 2016. Live streaming brand events, hosting Q/A sessions and taking product launches to the audience would become a big hit in 2017.
Rise Of Customer Service Chatbots
Chatbots are one of the best means of automated audience engagement. The social messages that require response grew by 18% in 2016. To offer instant replies to these messages, a number of businesses would indulge in customer service chatbots. Chatbots work on Artificial Intelligence and offer quick solutions to the problems put up by the social media audience. These chatbots help in reducing the response time by a large difference and keeping the user engaged for a longer time. Facebook Messenger, having 1 billion active users in a month and around 60 billion messages a day, has over 30,000 chatbots to increase user engagement.
More Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality
The AR-based game Pokemon Go attracted quite a lot of attention in the year 2016. The craze that could be seen in people with them going around places, tapping their screens to capture Pikachu was a wake-up call for many brands to incorporate Augmented Reality in their social media marketing strategies. Not just AR, VR aka Virtual Reality is also one of the most trending social media tools to be used in 2017. Many big brands like National Geographic, Marriott International and The New York Times, used Facebook’s 360° view option to tell impactful stories to its audience in a virtually more engaging way through VR. The audience experience improved multi folds when they used the wearable VR devices.
Higher Dependence On Social Media Analytics
Measurement of the business’s success is important in order to know what is generating favourable response among the audience and what is driving them off. Almost 92% of the C-level executives use analytics tools to get better insights into their marketing and business. With social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram launching their own business analytics tools, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that business analysis would be on the rise in 2017. Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Instagram Business Tools have already been liked by many businesses, other social media sites would also jump on the bandwagon this year.
Increased Use Of Social Commerce
Social commerce hit the high tides in 2016 with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest taking on the e-commerce scenario. While 56% consumers use social media to get insights about products before making a purchase, more than 31% of consumers confirmed that they went on social media sites only to look out for new items. In 2016, a sale of around $50 billion was generated using social media sites; the sales price would touch higher skies in the coming year. 2017 would be the year when social networking sites would provide video content for the buyer to have a better insight about the product before making a purchase.
Reigning high over all these trends would be the increasing inclination of people towards social media which is expected to get bigger and more engaging in 2017 and reach out to a much larger audience. So be there, not mere by registering your presence but by being happening enough to steal people’s attention and liking.
About the author
Anurag Gupta is a budding entrepreneur with stakes in WeblinkIndia.net, an acclaimed Web Designing Development & Social Media Company, headquartered in India. He also happens to be a keen writer, sharing insights, tips, and tutorials on subjects related to the ever evolving landscape of Web Designing and Development.