Social media trends for 2017

Written by Abshir Hersi


trends in social media for 2017

Do you remember what life was like before social media? A time when you had to recall what you did over the weekend – something most of us struggle with, and actually tell somebody, a time when you had to pick up the phone and wish a friend a happy birthday – but only if you could remember of course.

Nope, neither do I.

For those of you active on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., chances are it is probably a way of life for you. You might just think nothing of it and only use it to get to know people and keep up to date with current trends – but guess what, so are the small brands and large corporations out there. Companies are now using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Facebook to not only build a presence but to do business. Social media effectively enables brands to analyse consumer habits and grow their business by catering to these consumer demands.

So if your company isn’t already using these online tools, there is no better time than now. Kick start your brands online presence this year with these four social media trends that are bound to dominate 2017.

  • Live Video feeds

With the introduction of Facebook live and Instagram live, some brands which I will refer to as early adopters tried live broadcasting content with mixed results, but nothing came close to the somewhat accidental exposure Star Wars received from the viral Chewbacca mum video which managed to garner over 160 million views. The video in question was a Facebook live stream of a US based mother sitting in her car, recording her self hysterically laughing whilst donning a Chewbacca mask she had earlier purchased from American department store Kohl’s. As a result of this, Kohl’s immediately sold out of Chewbacca masks just in time for the release of Star War’s latest movie instalment.

  • Augmented Reality

Virtual reality was big in 2016, if Pokémon GO is anything to go by. It all started with the photo sharing app – Snapchat, where users can transform their facial aesthetics with a range of cool and quirky filters simply by aligning your face with the designated filter outline. The Pokémon franchise took this one step further and released Pokémon GO – an interactive virtual reality game that enables users to catch Pokémon’s using real life 3-D maps of their environment, exactly like they do in the popular anime series. As a result the mobile game crossed the $440m mark for In-app payments within five weeks of the games launch.

  • Micro-influencers

Thanks to extremely popular Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr profiles, high-budget celebrity endorsements are now a thing of the past. These social media ‘influencers’ do exactly what it says on the tin – influence their followers to change their consumer behaviour for the better in favour of the brands they are being paid to work with. A social media influencer with around 60K followers can help brands sell out of products and gain thousands of new followers with a single post.

  • Artificial Intelligence

Chabot’s have been around for awhile now but brands are now starting to utilise them in communicating with their customers. They are a type of artificial intelligence that are able to have conversations with people through back and forth instant messaging. Disney built an Officer Judy Hopps chatbot on Facebook as a promotional tool for the launch of the Zootopia animation movie. Officer Judy Hopps presented users with a series of cases to solve, with participants spending on average 10 minutes on interactions with the bot.

Companies should really focus on communicating their brand messages to consumers to further proliferate their reach and community, and with an arsenal of social media tools at your disposal – you should have no problems using these key trends of 2017 to generate great ideas in order to increase brand awareness and ROI.