Social media trends to watch for in 2017
Social media is one of the fastest growing and changing industries these days. It is estimated that there will be around 35.7 million social network users in the UK this year. This growth means that harnessing the power of social media is a must if you want to grow your business and your brand online. In this blog post, we discuss the hottest social media trends that will dominate in 2017 and how businesses can start incorporating these in their social media plans for the year.
Live video is on the rise. Periscope, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all launched a Live Streaming service last year and we will see a lot of momentum in these areas as brands start taking advantage of these features. In its 2016 annual recap, Periscope noted that users watched 110 years of live video every day using the app. And just this New Year’s Eve, live streaming on Facebook reached record-breaking numbers around the globe.
Live Video can provide a number of potential broadcasting opportunities for your business and understanding how Live Video works is key if you want to engage with a younger consumer audience. For example, you might want to use this feature to live-stream a company announcement, release a new product, host a Q&A session with customers or share insights about an industry event you are participating.
2017 will be the year of virtual reality as sales of VR headsets are forecasted to reach 22.5 million units for non-video game playing consumers by 2018. Without a doubt, the greatest augmented reality success to date has been the Pokémon GO craze last summer. Since then, consumers have been craving for more immersive experiences and Virtual and Augmented Reality provide a great opportunity for brands to engage customers through these experiences.
The fashion industry is taking the lead and retail brands like Topshop and Dior are already adopting the technology to increase their scope and profits. However, it is not only luxury brands who can take advantage of the technology. Small businesses are increasingly exploring ways to use the technology to enhance the customer experience. For example, a small furniture retailer can use the technology to allow customers to see how their products might fit in the home.
Social Media Commerce
Social media commerce is a combination of e-commerce and social media, and will be one of the fastest growing trends this year. All major social media brands including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest offer ways for users to purchase products from directly within their apps, and Snapchat started testing and rolling out ecommerce features in the spring of 2016. According to a recent research from loyalty analytics company Aimia, which owns the Nectar loyalty brand here in the UK, more than half of consumers who follow brands on social media sites say they do so to view products. This offers a great opportunity for retail businesses who want to use these platforms as a catalogue for its own products and provide a shorter path for customer purchases.