It's no secret that social media has proliferated at an incredible rate.
Facebook alone has more than one billion users, a huge jump from the mere one million it had after it first launched in 2004.
It's no surprise that companies have leveraged social media to promote their offerings. They're also using it to connect with current customers and discover and convert new leads.
Yet, as with any other marketing strategy, social media requires planned and deliberate use. One key way to help ensure you're getting the most out of your cross-channel connection is to understand and use some top social media trends.
By doing so, you'll be able to better connect with your targeted audience and establish your brand as relevant.
Today, we're taking a look at some of today's top social media trends, and how you can make them work for you.
Interested in learning more? Let's dig in!
1. Online Messaging
Gone are the days when social messaging was limited to one-on-one chatting between connected friends. Now, thanks to apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and more, chats are much more inclusive. A single message can instantly reach thousands -- or even millions -- of subscribers across the globe.
In fact, studies show that social messaging apps actually eclipse social networks in terms of overall usage. The takeaway? This is one social media trend you can't afford to miss.
2. Real-Time Video
Did you know that more than 40% of people who currently subscribe to pay-TV are planning to cancel or severely cut back their subscriptions in the near future? One of the main reasons? They're switching to social and digital channels for their live video instead.
From Facebook Live to Instagram Stories, major social media networks are adding live video capabilities to their platforms. Smart online marketers will use these tools to add personality and voice to their promotions.
3. AI for Customer Service
Customers are increasingly turning to the Internet to inquire about a product and interact with brands, rather than call a customer support line.
As a result, it can be difficult to keep up with the influx of online communications. One social media trend on the horizon is chatbots -- a form of artificial intelligence (AI) designed to engage in a conversation.
Some platforms are already integrating them into their social messaging apps, and companies are beginning to use them to supplement and enhance traditional customer support and outreach functions.
4. Virtual Reality
Remember the Pokemon Go frenzy of 2016? Consumers crave both virtual and augmented reality, and the escape it provides. In fact, 79% of consumers are interested in seeking out virtual reality experiences.
No longer limited to gaming, this is one of the social media trends set to grow even greater this year and beyond, as brands use it to craft an engaging and memorable customer experience.
5. Paid Advertising
Adobe estimates that brands will spend $41 billion on social media ads alone in 2017.
This is primarily due to the fact that many major networks are changing their posting algorithms, making it more difficult to achieve visibility via organic advertising.
As such, many are relying on sponsored posts and paid spots to ensure a place near the top. Last year, Internet-wide digital ad spend jumped 22% to $72.5 billion, and this number is only expected to increase.
Social Media Trends: Your Navigation Guide
As you seek to capitalize on social media, expand your online presence, and grow your brand into the digital success story you know it can be, we'd love to help.
We're an inbound and digital marketing agency committed to helping those in the professional services industry succeed in the Internet Age. Our comprehensive services include marketing support, SEO optimization, website design, and more.
If you're ready to take your business to the next level, feel free to contact us, and let's take that step together!
social media trends