Hey, what going on everyone? Carlos here, and on this video I’m gonna share with you my social media predictions for 2017.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, and Snapchat go to blows with rolling out new features and in some cases features that aren’t necessarily new, but they’re new to the platform.
We’ve seen Snapchat roll out Groups, which is a pretty cool feature, in which up to 16 friends can all chat in one group.
We’ve also seen Instagram roll out Instagram Live, which is very similar to Facebook Live, but contained within Instagram.
We’ve also seen Instagram roll out Stickers, which are very similar to the emojis that you currently see on Snapchat.
We’ve also seen Twitter do away with Periscope and now roll our Twitter Live, which is essentially Periscope, but all within the Twitter app or the Twitter experience without having to use a standalone app, which was previously Periscope.
And we’ve also seen Facebook roll out Snapchat-esque features within Messenger, where you can use lenses and filters very similar to what you’re used to seeing already on Snapchat.
So where I’m going with all this is all these social networks are competing for one thing and one thing only and that is our attention. They are competing for what I like to refer to as market share.
Let’s face it, there’s only so many Millennials and Baby Boomers and Gen X and Gen Z out there. There’s only so many people that can use these social networks and there’s only so much time in the day that people’s attention can be consumed by brands and creators and influencers and friends using these social networks.
And I haven’t mentioned other apps that are out there, taking up people’s times and attention, like musical.ly and Houseparty and WhatsApp and WeChat. These are all social networks. And I didn’t mention LinkedIn or Pinterest.
And let’s face it, virtual reality and augmented reality is about to disrupt everything that we know about communication, including social media.
How can brands compete in this crowded space known as social media, in which people’s time is already being consumed and audiences are being fragmented?
Well, the answer is to focus on the social network where your brand gets the biggest reach and the highest return on engagement and quite simply, you should be looking to use the social networks where your customers are on.
So if you’re company that is looking to engage Millennials and younger consumers, you should probably be looking to brand yourself on Snapchat and on Instagram.
If you’re looking to humanize your brand’s content and help tell a story of your brand in a realtime, interactive environment then you should probably be looking to use a combination of Facebook Live, provided that you already have a presence on Facebook, as well as using Twitter Live, if you have a presence on Twitter.
Social Media Marketing 2017 Prediction
So my prediction for social media marketing in 2017 is that in the next year, we will see a massive consolidation between social networks and how consumers use social networks.
Because quite simply, it is impossible for consumers (I’m not talking about marketers) but I’m talking about everyday consumers, like my wife or like my friends, that use social media exclusively, to engage with somewhere between 75 to 100 friends and follow the brands and celebrities that they’ve come to love.
There has to be this mass consolidation, because let’s face it, the average consumer does not have the time in the day to hop back and forth and consume content from brands that they follow between Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter and Pinterest and you name it. It’s just impossible.
So I think users of social media are gonna come down to one decision and one decision only. And that is, do I use Instagram or do I use Snapchat?
From my perspective there’s a misconception around how marketers specifically look at these networks as being one and the same. Because the reality is that you have two completely different audiences on Instagram as you do on Snapchat and the way these networks work are not in parallel to one another. They are completely separate.
The audience on Snapchat is already conditioned to using this app to go in and see short content that tells a brand’s or a person’s story, in a very natural and organic way and the bottom line is because content disappears within 24 hours, they want to either be inspired, engaged, entertained, or educated.
And I know what you’re saying, Instagram has Instagram Stories and they just rolled out Instagram Live.
But here’s the issue; most users of Instagram are used to seeing Instagram as an app where they go see static images. They go see what looks good and they react based on what looks good. They’re not necessarily there to consume content and see a story or see a sequence of stories.
So if you’re a brand, here’s how you can balance both of these out. With the use of Spectacles, you can also use Snapchat from the standpoint of having influencers and even customers take over your brand’s account and tell your brand’s story from their point of view.
So think of Snapchat distinctively different from Instagram. It’s where you go to tell your brand’s story, from either your point of view or someone else’s point of view. And it’s also where, going forward, you are gonna engage more with your customers, prospects and your fans.
Instagram, on the other hand, it’s much more of a curated experience. So you take really nice photos, you post those photos on your feed, you now have live video capabilities that tell your brand’s story in realtime, which is completely different than how Snapchat is used.
Snapchat vs Instagram in 2017
So the magic question is, who is going to win the battle between Snapchat and Instagram?
And that is yet to be determined. But I will predict that Snapchat, most likely, as they get ready to IPO, Snapchat Spectacles 2.0 will be the first wearable product on the market that will allow you to livestream and that is gonna cause the pendulum to swing from Instagram over to Snapchat.
So in the end, while Twitter might go away, or it might still stick around, while Facebook takes every shot possible to try to look more like Snapchat, the bottom line is that Snapchat will continue to be Snapchat, the audience that lives on Snapchat is not going away.
Instagram continues to gain momentum, in fact I think you have a lot of users that are gonna be migrating over from Twitter and Facebook over to Instagram, which is still good news for Instagram, and you’re gonna see this battle and it’s gonna be the year of Snapchat versus Instagram.
On a closing note, it is an amazing time to be working in social media marketing.