The first half of 2017 has come and gone, and the social media landscape has remained ever changing. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram and more have continued to update their platforms, changing the way that people interact with each other — and changing the way that brands interact with their audiences.
Brands are focusing more and more on social media marketing, and there’s a good reason for that. Consumers don’t trust digital advertising (http://www.adweek.com/digital/consumers-dont-like-and-dont-trust-digital-advertising-infographic/), so if a brand wants to make an impression on the digital crowd, they have to do it in a way that’s more subtle. Social media is a way to connect with consumers without acting like you’re trying to sell them something.
Since social media is such a powerful (and cost-effective) tool, it’s no surprise that so many brands are using it. But for brands that are less established, it can be incredibly difficult to be heard over more well-known brands.
That’s why, in the second half of the year, you should be looking to the trends that have the most potential to grow. Staying on top of these will help you to connect with your current audience, while reaching out to new ones.
Here are three social media marketing trends for you to look out for in the second half of 2017.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
AR technology in social media is nothing new. Snapchat filters, which superimpose things like glasses and dog ears on people’s faces, have been around since 2015. And they’ve been a huge success, so it seems like more social media platforms are taking notice of AR technology and using it to their advantage.
In May, for example, Instagram launched selfie filters, very similar to the ones that Snapchat uses. They have become just as popular, which means that AR is not just for Snapchat.
Brands have already begin to take notice of how popular this feature is. Several have worked with Snapchat to create filters to promote new events or products when they come out. Because of the popularity of these filters, it’s no wonder that brands are using them to their advantage.
While this particular approach is more suited to larger brands, smaller brands can still use augmented reality in their own snapshots to connect with audiences.
2. Live Video
Live video offers consumers a glimpse into a brand’s culture in real time. Apps like Periscope even allow followers to ask questions of people who are in live videos.
Live video has become very popular this year, and that growth shows no signs of slowing down. Consumers like this because it allows them to form a personal connection with a brand. It stops becoming a faceless entity and becomes a face that they can interact with.
Whether it’s hosting a live interview through Periscope or simply taking people on a virtual tour of your office, live video gives people a chance to see how you work, not just what you sell.
The beautiful thing about this feature is that any brand can take part in it, because it’s easy and often free. Some social media sites, like Facebook, even have live video feature built into the platform.
3. “Shop Now”
It’s already been mentioned that the digital crowd doesn’t trust traditional ads. So it’s no surprise that brands are finding ways around that.
Several social media platforms are giving brands the option to sell right from social media posts. Although these features are rarely free, they offer a powerful tool for brands looking to turn passive followers into active consumers.
Instagram is the leader in this, with their “Shop Now” feature. This turns regular Instagram pictures into links to the brand’s store. This makes it easier than ever for consumers to buy something that they see in social media.
This feature is mutually beneficial for both the brand and the social media platform, so it’s easy to assume that other platforms will be following suit. Keep your eye out for more ways for brands to reach out directly to their consumers.
Social media is a powerful tool for brands. By keeping on top of trends, you can make it work for you more effectively.