Every year, our team at Lion Tree Group ends the year doing two things. 1) Deciding on and awarding our Lion’s Share Awards for excellent creative design to NARI members in Madison, WI and 2) Brainstorming social media and marketing trends for the coming year. As social media and digital ad channels have evolved in the past, this year presents a new set of ideas and opportunities for marketers. From the rise of Snapchat to the presence of chatbots, let’s explore our Top 10 list of social media trends and digital advertising ideas for 2017.
Digital Media Spending Becomes More Than a Line Item
In 2017, Digital ad spending will finally over TV. TV ad spending will total $72.01 billion, or 35.8% of total media ad spending in the US. Meanwhile, total digital ad spending in 2017 will equal $77.37 billion, or 38.4% of total ad spending. Some of the contributing factors are the maturing of several channels including responsive display ads for music streaming sites like Pandora and auto video play on social media platforms.
Twitter on Long Decline
Aside from some the traffic interest generated from President Trump’s daily tweetstorms, Twitter will continue it’s downward slide. Having missed user engagement and growth targets the past year, the weak advertising platform will force Twitter to reinvent or get acquired. Struggling to find a revenue hit, Twitter has started shrinking as Facebook and Instagram have embraced videos and short line conversation options. Watch out for a Google takeover of Twitter in 2017.
Snapchat is Still Cool
Snapchat is being used by businesses for quick intros and product releases, but it is also becoming part of the academic fabric with acceptance notifications coming from several colleges to applicants for the 2017 school year. Businesses can solicit followers who will get notifications when new content is available and it seems the most successful early adopters have been able to create content snippets for users.
Video Shorts Will Be Perfected
From ads to reviews, videos will continue to dominate the market and are quickly gaining ground on traditional TV. The on-demand nature of short intro ads make them more palatable for a younger generation. The autoplay feature on Facebook and launching of Snapchat business platforms will make creative efforts more fleeting, but more personal.
Organic Social Media Traffic is Down
Facebook’s commanding revenue source now requires businesses to pay to get their brand exposed to their fans. Subsequently, post boost needs to be part of every campaign – even just for your page fans. Additionally, we’ve become accustomed to sponsored ads on most social media platforms, and content that lacks authenticity is glossed over. Keep you message on point and genuine.
Maturing Fan Audiences WIll Change Campaign Dynamics
The excitement of Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat are fading and as their brands become “established” there is a much slower pace of user growth and the energy boost that comes from new users. Growth of likes will slow and we’ll see more reliance on the big influencers on all platforms. Advertisers will likely start channeling promotions through each platforms big players.
Ratings and Reviews Will Define Brands
Nothing new here, but brands will continue to see their public image and buyer appeal affected by online reviews. We’ll see an expansion of reviews on social media platforms in 2017. The importance of transparent business practices and general “feeling” of honesty continue to be rewarded. Some of the major review washers will become embattled with consumers as their pay-to-play business models are exposed (think Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and BBB).
Just like we’ve seen with subscriber solicitation for blogs, newsletters, and personalized remarketing, we’ll see dynamic growth in the social sphere with the explosion of Facebook Live, Opt-in ads, and multi-platform reporting. These tools will become indispensable as the organic fan growth stabilizes. Automated Marketing Solutions or AMS will be accessed through a Content Management System or third-party online platforms.
Twitter and Snapchat put you in a sphere with “your people” and Facebook’s algorithm builds on your past behavior and serves you behavior-based content. Don’t look to social media to bring you contrarian viewpoints. 2017 social media trends won’t be bucking that trend anytime soon. Until then, we’ll see reinforcement of existing beliefs for users on every platform.
Rise of the Chatbots
Businesses will ride the wave of Facebook Messenger and integrate it with their systems to become the defining chat place online. Look for plugins for a complete build-out including historical context (B2C contact) and AI services like Chotu. It’s surprising that Facebook hasn’t crossed over building chat plugins for WordPress yet.
About the Author
Ben Lindberg, CR is a partner in Lion Tree Group, a marketing agency in Madison, WI. His expertise is in multi-platform brand messaging with a focus on inspiring homeowners. As an industry insider, he has walked the walk and developed a winning strategy from experience with one of Wisconsin’s largest remodeling companies. His agency specializes in digital design and branding face lifts. He regularly blogs on his company’s blog: The Bark and Roar.