Social media moves at the speed of sound and is much more than sharing, liking and tweeting. It is a highly strategic way to communicate with audiences around the globe and offers sophisticated targeting opportunities.

So what’s next for social this year? Read on for the 90octane Audience Engagement Team’s take on 2017 trends and what they mean for brands (In our first installment of this series, we shared this year’s key trends for search).

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1) Social media is going offline AND local. With new Facebook objectives such as, “Drive Store Traffic” and the development of offline conversions, social media is looking more holistically at the ways users convert and providing data and tracking is at every turn. We see this manifesting well for brands with brick and mortar stores, and those who do business over the phone. This allows social media to serve as a complete funnel solution.

2) Retargeting is continuing to evolve: Pixel retargeting really hit its stride in 2016, when both Twitter and LinkedIn introduced universal pixels and tracking. So what’s next? On platform retargeting! This is exciting for us social media nerds. It means that a brand can now serve ads to a super user, even if that user has never visited the brand’s site. On platform retargeting enhances our ability to identify and connect with a brand’s biggest influencers.

3) Platforms are becoming increasingly similar: This is the black box fallacy coming to light (my Telecomm professor would be proud). All platforms are eager to be category leaders for users and advertisers alike, so they are quick to adapt popular features from the competition. Examples include Instagram providing live streaming like Facebook and copying Snapchat’s stories, as well as Twitter creating UGC “Moments” a la Snapchat. This means that more platforms will appeal to wider audiences, and that no single platform will be an immediately obvious solution to a challenge (i.e. B2B marketers must use exclusively LinkedIn).

4) Communicating with the one, not the masses: Social media used to be about communicating with hordes of fans all at once. Now that consumers are going directly to brands for customer service concerns, companies need to apply one-to-one focus. Examples of this include the advent of LinkedIn InMail placements platform-wide, Facebook Messenger ad placements and the development of auto-bots on Twitter and Facebook. These advancements signal that social media platforms will focus more and more on the one-to-one connection, moving away from mass messaging.

Questions about trends and winning in 2017? Contact us. 

And stay tuned for the final installment of our 2017 Audience Engagement Trends Series, which will explore what’s next in media.

Social media used to be about communicating with hordes of fans all at once. Now that consumers are going directly to brands for customer service concerns, companies need to apply one-to-one focus.


About the Author

Maddy Wold

Social Strategy Supervisor

Maddy is a results-driven social media enthusiast. Through the execution of strategic, paid social media campaigns, she communicates with the most relevant audiences to help exceed business goals.