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Top 18 Social Advertising Predictions For 2017

Social media has already acquired over 2.3 billion users in a decade's time. A medley of stuff is expected to happen on social in 2017

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Social media has already acquired over 2.3 billion users in a decade's time. A medley of stuff is expected to happen on social in 2017. For starters, platforms will evolve further, social spend will increase, and competition will heat up. As digital marketers, you must stay on top of the trends to engage users in innovative ways.

Here are top 18 predictions that will influence social space in a big way:

01. Social media automation must for every organisation: Big businesses with huge budgets have automated almost all their social marketing efforts. However, according to IMCS 360, as much as 92 per cent small businesses are still missing out on social automation. 2017 will very likely see them automating their efforts. Social media automation is must because businesses have to be consistent while targeting diverse demographics across multiple networks.

02. Native advertising spend will increase: According to a survey conducted by Socialbakers, businesses are promoting posts 120 per cent more on native now than they did 3 years ago. It's predicted that over 30 per cent more Internet users will be using ad blockers. The only way to stop that ad irritability and get themselves noticed is native advertising.

03. Employee advocacy on social will rise: Social media employee advocacy programs have grown by 191 per cent in last three years. Brands are now realizing this and will invest more on social media advocacy. Employee advocacy will help you benefit from your employees' channels in a very credible way. Your employees may turn out to be your best micro-influencers in 2017.

04. Live streaming on social will grow: The Internet saw 81 per cent more live-video consumers in 2016 than in 2015. Tubular Insights reveals - viewers spend 8X longer with live video than the archived video. 2016 has set the trend for live-streaming through Twitter's Periscope, Facebook's Live, Meerkat, Blab and a few others. It'll only grow in 2017. More and more video consumers will switch from TV to social streaming, unleashing a vast opportunity for video marketers. According to Guy Kawasaki, "2017 is about Live video, live video, and live video."

05. Social messaging apps on rise: 30 per cent of smartphone users prefer messaging apps over SMS. Now, about 900 million people are using Facebook Messenger app. It's predicted that over 2 billion people will be using several such apps by 2018. People are preferring it to other means such as SMS, calls and mails. A number of ad options such as stickers, sponsored moments and geo filters have been introduced to monetize messaging apps.

06. Content co-creation: User-generated and co-created content boosts customer satisfaction score up to 80 per cent. Social media recognizes this trend, and the platforms have become advanced enough to enable brands to create content through users through right incentive and context. There's also an option to work with non-competing businesses to co-create content. 2017 will fully utilize this on social media.

07. Social selling will grow multifold: Businesses having a strong social media presence close 78 per cent more sales than those who don't. The catch is now they can use social media to reach 93 per cent of millennials, the social junkies, and sell products on their chosen platforms. Twitter already has a "Buy" button, others are following suit.

08. Social chatbots will talk to you: Since real-time response is the need of the hour, smart bots will play a greater role on social media. Beyond increasing customer support effectiveness, cutting manual effort and operational budget, they will serve as personal assistants to users. A case in point is the success of KalaniBot. US Makeup Brand Covergirl simulated celeb Kalani Hilliker into an AI bot and hosted on its messaging app Kik. KalaniBot became a hit, clocking up 91 per cent positive sentiment among users. It also helped Covergirl generate 14-times more conversation on social media.

09. Augmented reality on social will be a big factor: Pokemon Go has shown the way and others are not far behind. Go Pro, Oculus and vTime are getting much attention from major social platforms. Augment.com survey reports "40 per cent would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through augmented reality." That means augmented reality on social platforms will get huge investments. Facebook has an exclusive Social VR (virtual reality) team working to help users share their experience in totality. Augmented reality is going to be a sweet spot for marketers.

10. Social focus will shift to mobile: Mobile is where almost 80 per cent of time is spent on social media. What's more, the number of smart phone users is predicted to increase to 6.1 billion by 2020. Ad spend on mobile is going to increase 72 per cent by that time. Needless to say, platforms will focus more on mobile users than they ever did before. The push has been there to drive users to mobile social apps.

11. Influencer marketing on social will increase: A recent survey proclaims 84 per cent of marketers will execute at least one influencer marketing campaign during in 2017. Adweek reports keyword search for "influencer marketing" has increased over 90 times since 2013. If we look at the web carefully, content propagation on social has been constantly on the rise ever since it all started. To clean the clutter and grab attention, better content through influencers on social platforms is going to be the de facto option in 2017.

12. Social budget will rise and eat into search: In the battle for attention, every business will spend more on social than search. The ad spend on social is expected to increase to $36 billion in 2017 depicting a steep rise of 20 per cent from 2016. Needless to say, paid social strategy will take away some budget from search marketing.

13. Social will mean real-time: When social has already become the staple for your marketing efforts, marketers must respond everything real-time on platforms. Social care, listening or problem resolution; everything is going to be real-time on social.

14. Personalisation will grow: Search result and content feed experiences on social have been personalized to some extent. In 2017, the personalization will still refine itself leaving less scope for undesired or ambiguous experience. Social platforms will improve personalization in such a way that the content must resonate with the users.

15. Content curation will drive innovation: Ever-growing content as a whole creates clutter on social, but not every bit of it is clutter per se. Social platforms are creating innovative methods to make sense from old yet meaningful content. Be it Snapchat stories, Instagram stories or Facebook memories; it will be all about making expired content meaningful on the social.

16. Social platforms will merge: There cannot be a multiple level playing fields on social. To command innovation, stay relevant and influence the market, social media must consolidate platforms. This is happening for last couple of years. Facebook now owns WhatsApp and Instagram, Twitter owns Periscope, Google owns YouTube, and Microsoft owns LinkedIn. There'll be more such mergers and acquisitions in 2017.

17. Social news feeds will overtake mainstream: People don't have enough time out of their busy schedules to go through the press news. Besides, they rely more on social media than mainstream. This trend is growing at an alarming rate. Users will consume bits and pieces of interesting stories on social platforms, and they will venture out to traditional media only for exclusive stories.

18. Quality will be the priority on social: Brands can't put anything just like that on social platform. And fake posts will die a natural death. Only authentic and relevant content will make it to the social. Fake news was a big menace in 2016. But not any more, all major platforms and search engines are taking concrete measures to curb fake and irrelevant content.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Sahil Chopra

Sahil Chopra is the CEO and Founder of iCubesWire, a leading Digital Marketing Solution and concept provider in India, providing a 360-degree environment to leading brands for their digital marketing needs. He is a highly motivated and adaptive digital marketing professional and internet evangelist with expertise in Internet Strategy development and execution. Sahil has over 9 years of experience in digital marketing across multiple traditional and emerging channels. Sahil completed his engineering from PTU and pursued an MBA from Symbiosis Thereafter he started his career with NIIT – Global E-learning Services where he was exposed to the concept of digital marketing.

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