Blogger: Sarah Hansen (Space Coast Chapter)
9 Social Content Trends to Watch in 2017
Presented by: Arik Hanson, Principal, ACH Communications
Arik Hanson shared his opinion, based on months of research, on where social media is heading in 2017 in the breakout session Nine Social Content Trends to Watch in 2017.
#1: Less is the new more. The new strategy for social posts is “less is more.” In other words, you don’t need to post multiple times a day! If you can pull together a small social advertising fund, then posting 2 “boosted” posts a week means your content will appear all week long with less work.
Target and Sharpie are both examples of this “dark” advertising (AKA no posts on their feed, but yet always on YOUR feed).
#2: Could the all-video news feed be a reality? YES! It certainly seems to be headed that way. According to the research Arik showed, the number of videos Facebook published in June was twice as many as April.
Facebook Live is a good example of how the platform is pushing more video content. Brands like Oreo and Dunkin Donuts are on board! In the 9 posts Oreo had in July, 7 of those were videos.
Why does it make sense for brands?
Best ad targeting platform on the social web.
Numbers are through the roof.
Adding new functionality all the time (Facebook Live, 360 videos).
Huge engagement rates.
#3: Will Instagram lose its “cool” factor? (Arik thinks so.)
Instagram shot up to 400 million users from 2010 to 2015. They slowly began allowing brands to advertise, and then finally late last year, they opened their ad platform up to all businesses. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed these ads and felt a tinge of annoyance.
Here’s why it’s going to lose the “cool” factor:
Users visit Instagram for a mental break- not brand advertising.
Those brand engagement rates- they’re about to take a hit.
Ads will get more likes, but fewer of the more valuable comments/tagging.
#4: Live social video will lead to deeper brand engagement. Live streaming through platforms like Periscope or Facebook Live can bring consumers access to things they may not normally have. For example, Mayo Clinic streamed a live video of a colonoscopy, while a world-class physician discussed the process and answered questions on the spot!
Interviews won’t always work though, so get creative. And remember, the internet likes weird, crappy stuff (like the IHOP Facebook Live pancakes on a beach- look it up for a good laugh).
#5: The emojis heydey is over (for brands). We use emojis to communicate with our friends and family, and to convey certain emotions in a simple, funny way. Brands are trying to get on board with this and failing.
While some brands can make it work, most brands are clunky and don’t understand how to use them properly. Arik provided examples of brands who overcomplicated it with emoji messages that became impossible to decode. Speak the language your customers are using and keep it simple!
#6: LinkedIn publishing will help close the gap between leadership and employees.
CEOs publishing on LinkedIn is becoming a bigger trend. It’s reaching the right audience and humanizes them in a way other communications haven’t. Since it’s a professional network, more leaders will begin joining.
#7: Relying on 3rd-party vendors to produce podcasts:
Why will they outsource?
Brands don’t have skill set in-house
Agencies aren’t offering/don’t have skill set either.
Content more compelling when created by experts.
Professional companies can produce a polished and finished podcast.
#8: More Pinterest. Less Snapchat. Pinterest doesn’t get the credit, but a lot of people use it. People on pinterest are building boards then buying. For some companies, Pinterest is a huge traffic-driver to website
Why not Snapchat?
Few meaningful metrics
Not super-intuitive for brands
Hard for brands to do right
Why more Pinterest?
One of the better traffic-driving social sites
Long tail traffic
Requires less time/energy to maintain
More bottom-line results (intent to buy)
#9: Expect more brands to start employing 360-degree photos.They are more engaging in most cases and they provide a richer, deeper experience.
Why don’t we see it yet?
It’s still early – just launched in June.
Brands think you need a 360 camera, but the pano camera on your phone works fine.
Lack of perceived need.
#10 (bonus): Feed stopping interactive content: GIFs. With all the advertising cluttering social platforms, companies need to get creative with content that “stops the scroll.” Gifs are a great example of content that most consumers will stop to engage with.
Final take away: “Be creative to cut through the clutter and use the technology to your advantage.”
Arik C. Hanson is the principal of ACH Communications, and an award-winning communicator with more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing, corporate communications and PR. Over the years, he’s worked with Fortune 500 clients like Select Comfort, General Mills and Walmart, as well as regional clients like Starkey, Allina Health and Andersen Windows & Doors. His PR blog, Communications Conversations, has also been recognized as a “must read” by PRWeek and PRWeb.