What’s in store for Social Media in 2017?

Social-Media-for-Estate-Agents

I think it fine to say that social media has performed highly since it’s humbled beginnings in the mid 2000’s in facing many doubters, breaking many stiff barriers and also becoming adopted by not only the young and trendy generations, but by the broad mass of the population and importantly businesses too. It’s advancement now shows no sign of stopping, it is evolving and for many is an everyday addition to daily life. Over a billion people, that is one seventh of the world’s population, log in to social media daily (that is one massive market to target) and shows no signs of stopping as more and more people become connected to the internet and use mobile internet accessing devices.

So, social media has landed and has also cemented a strong position in today’s day to day activities for many, so what more can it provide us in 2017 to further empower its already growing reputation?

I have always been a fan of social media, seeing beyond the usual (though now less common) jibes from doubters saying ‘why do I want to know if someone is having a cup of coffee’. I certainly can thank the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, especially in my case, for both launching and maintaining my businesses – It has opened doors far beyond what I feel any other form of marketing could have offered. Now that 2017 is soon to be upon us, how do I see social media trends for the year ahead?

Video

OK, nothing new here, video marketing has been an ever frequently discussed topic and always tipped to be about to explode, but I really do see this taking shape for 2017. I think we though now have to look outside the ‘video for you website’ kind of solution and study social video and especially live broadcasting.

I can see that those who are established on social media with sizeable target audiences, many of them sometimes reaching audiences that some of the channels on our Freeview list would be happy to get, are simply sitting on huge potential mini TV channels. I have seen a fair few adverts now on television for social media, ie Facebook and using Facebook for business, YouTube Channels which again says to businesses how important social media is to them.

Can you imagine if you have a million likes on YouTube and you deal solely on tasting and reviewing wines for instance, then the return on investment that you could achieve if doing video updates from your home / office ie review a wine on your YouTube channel, reach 10,000’s if not 100,000’s over a short period (some live viewers) and you could be selling that wine to even just 1% to generate you 1,000 sales from one video (most likely to be filmed on your mobile phone).

Selling on Social Media

There is a big new wave coming in within the world of online sales and it is social selling. Already we are seeing advancements in this area from Facebook stores to selling using Instagram and Pinterest with the likes of Buyable Pins. Simple again if you have a large target audience, upload an image of an item and attach a pin to it that allows people to purchase there and then from their mobile phone.

Facebook I feel has the lead here, the way they are setting things up appears to mean that not only will it be a social channel for consumer and businesses, but it will be a selling channel also – Marketplace Community allowing you to find and purchase local items being one great tool.

Instant Social Messaging

An important thing to consider is that the likes of WhatsApp has over a billion users and it raced up to this mind boggling figure rapidly in just 7 years. Is it a social media channel though? Well many would say so, but importantly Facebook purchased it for $19 billion and I can see this is a direct route, indeed a field to be explored, to marketing by direct messaging.

Your Social Media reputation and story line

I think it is safe to say that for some people they are nearing 10 years using social media so many will have a fair old life / business life story shared on timelines. I feel your social media history will be coming in to play more and more for those who have not only been on social media for a fair while, but maintained their accounts with regular updates during that time. As the importance of social media grows with consumers initiating more online searches on them and search engines displaying more social media results, the more content you have, both old or recent, then the more likely you will be found for past and present keywords / topics and the higher you will rank in searches.

Your story, ie Instagram Stories, will also be important here, you can be a newbie to run with this of course, but even more likely to be successful with someone / a brand with a social media reputation already.

Less is more approach for Social Media

I can see that not only search results systems reacting to this, but consumers using social media also being influenced more on quality over quantity. Yes, content in 2017 is going to be one of the kings, but focusing on the standard will also reap you rewards. How you fill your social media timelines will increase in importance in getting you in front of the audiences you are after so greater attention will need to be paid to what you share, when you share and which platforms you share to. More advancements to be seen in marketing automation services, API’s and integration with CRM’s to enable the quality content to be shared at precisely the right time and location.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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