I want to talk to you today about social media trends for 2017 and what you should really be focusing on this year and make the most out of your social media marketing.
Three Social Media Trends In 2017
1. Live Video
The first thing that you need to be focusing on in 2017 is video. I’m you probably fed up of hearing this because you’ve probably heard it a million times already, but video is what you need to be looking at for 2017 especially live video.
So we know that the Facebook algorithm is really really pushing video at the moment, and they’ve spent loads of money promoting live video. So this isn’t a flash-in-the-pan things, isn’t one of those things where you’re going to try it one minute and the algorithm is going to change and it’s not going to work anymore. You might have even seen on television they’re doing ads promoting live videos.
This is big and Facebook has put a lot of money and investment behind it. They want you to use it and because of that they’re really boosting live videos. You could have only a few people watching your video, I’ve heard other people say that had a few hundred viewers on the video, and then after the end of the video because Facebook continues to push it after you been live, they’ve had tens, hundreds of thousands of reach on these videos. So it’s a really good way to get into people’s feeds especially with the organic reach of most forms of content really dropping. Especially on Facebook, video is really where it’s at now.
Also that the really great thing about video is that it’s very authentic. We’re seeing the shift towards more unfiltered content, more authentic content, you’ll notice that a lot of marketers, a lot of businesses are promoting and posting more behind-the-scenes footage, sneak peeks, that kind of thing. And, as opposed to more glossy kind of content that has been well produced, it’s a lot more unfiltered. What-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of content, and that is a great way to build relationships with potential customers and with fans of your brand.
Now you hear that people don’t buy from brands, people buy from people. Now that’s not entirely true. People buy from people who they like and who they trust. So a great way to build trust with your audience is to go live, show them yourself unedited and unfiltered then they know that you’re not gonna be hiding behind any editing tricks and things like that. It’s a great way to get face-to-face with your audience and they can ask you questions. So you can build relationships and that’s going to build trust with your audience and going to make people more likely to buy from you, more likely to spend money with you, which ultimately is going to be great for your business.
So it’s not all about live video, although obviously there’s a lot of video now – there’s now also live video on Instagram, and you can do live video on Snapchat. But you can do non-live videos well if you’re a little bit scared of going live you can just record and upload videos, they’re doing really well as well. You probably notice if you’re like me, your Facebook feed will be full of videos related to things you’ve been talking to your friends about. So videos are really being pushed the moment, especially by Facebook. So any video at all, whether it’s live or not is useful.
And it doesn’t have to be a really difficult to create video. You might think well you know I’ve got a small budget, I don’t have already recording equipment, I don’t have a fancy camera, don’t have any editing software – You don’t need anything fancy to create videos. There’s loads of apps out there which help you to really quickly and easily create professional looking videos.
Recently I put up a marketing video that I’m also using my website that I think looks quite slick which was created with an app called Adobe Spark. It took about 10 minutes to make using some images that I already had on my website. and its got really professional sounding music on, professional looking graphics, and I created all of it on my phone – didn’t even touch the computer to do it. So it’s really straightforward – have a look at some little apps you can use. There’s loads of little apps coming out now where you can create video quickly and easily.
2. Quality Content And Data Insight
So moving on to the second thing you need to be focusing on in 2017, and that is quality content and data insight.
I know that’s the least sexy sounding thing that could be, especially when I’ve just been talking about video which is really exciting – and now I’m saying data and quality content.
But pay-to-play isn’t going anywhere, especially now we’re seeing the Instagram algorithm coming into play which a lot of people think means that, like Facebook, they’re gonna be pushing for people to spend more money to see their posts on Instagram. We know that if you want to get great reach on Facebook a lot of time you’ve got to pay for it. Twitter’s got a similar algorithm now as well.
So they want you to pay to boost your post and mass organic reach is probably just going to drop and drop. Nothing we can do about that. However it’s not completely gone yet and so the important thing now is to focus on really good quality content content that people are going to engage with, people are gonna share, people going to attack their friends with. Because that’s what is going to make your content get into people’s news fees, in front of your friends, and in front of potential new fans as well.
So you need to be focusing on the variety and quality of content you’re putting out there, and on your posting strategy. It’s now about less volume. Higher quantities of posts… you can’t just put any post out there willingly several times a day and just blast it with quantity, with loads of posts, any old rubbish, in the hope that it’s going to be more likely to get in front of people’s eyeballs. It’s actually going to do the opposite, so excessively.
We’ve seen that if you post multiple times a day your organic reach for each successive post drops, especially on Facebook. Your content is fighting in the news feed with loads of other people’s content, if you’re lucky enough to get into people’s news feeds in the first place. So if you have low quality content, people aren’t going to engage with it – they just skip straight past it to the next thing. If people aren’t engaging with your content because it’s rubbish, then that’s my gonna say to Facebook that ALL the content you put out is naff, and it’s gonna show it to fewer and fewer people. You’re not going to be put into anyone’s newsfeed and that isn’t great for business.
So what you need to do focus on really high quality content. So post less often – if that means you’re only posting on Facebook once a day or maybe two to three times a week, that’s better than posting every day and having content that isn’t great.
There’s a few different ways you can use to test and filter out your best content – so it’s about finding that top quality content – what I do is put all my content on Twitter first, and then the best performing content from Twitter you can take and put it on Facebook. Only post those best-performing tweets there – its kind of a way to filter out what works better. There’s loads of different ways you can do it, and it’s worth playing around with different types of content.
This is where it comes onto the data analysis; you need to be looking at your data. I know it’s a thing that most people trying to avoid because it can be quite boring and it can be overwhelming, but you can get loads of great data for free from your social media platforms. Twitter has great analytics, Facebook has great analytics – you don’t need to be pay paying for expensive analytic software unless you’re a big company with a massive social media strategy. Google analytics is great if you’re looking for conversion tracking the amount of people you’re sending to your website.
So use that data and have a look and see what what’s performing better. It’s really easy to see that just from the front page of your Facebook analytics, what type of content are your audience liking most, sharing most, commenting on – what is resonating with them, and do more of that. What they are not liking – do less of that. It’s not that difficult. So just have a look and have a drill down with Twitter; have a look which your best performing hashtags and use those more find the types of posts that people are completely ignoring – they’re not getting any retweets, they’re not getting likes, and do less of that.
So that’s what you need to do… Look at your data. Also you can use Facebook to find out about your audience and what are the things they like. So you might be looking into looking into Facebook Audience Insights and saying, okay my audience is also a fan of these other pages on Facebook – what are those pages doing, what type of content are they putting out that you’re not. And then use that, because it’s something that’s going to resonate with your audience.
Focusing on quality content less often. Don’t put out anything that you’re not a hundred percent happy with, and a hundred percent certain it’s going to provide benefit to your audience, that they’re gonna like, it’s gonna resonate with them, and they’re gonna want to share with their friends.
3. Hands-Off Social Media Automation
My third thing to focus on for 2017 is why I like to call hands-off social. So that is all about automation and about re-purposing your content. Now I’m not saying automate everything. This is where I can get into some dodgy ground – do not all automate everything! There’s certain things you shouldn’t automate like I hate it when I get and automated direct messages or tweets on Twitter when I follow someone – it’s just a real turnoff for a lot of people. So there’s a lot of stuff you shouldn’t automate.
But, done well, automation is going to save you time, save you effort, and ultimately get you better results on social media. So, what are we going to automate? The thing that I like to use automation for is scheduling, because if you schedule your social media you’ll know that it can take ages. It’s something that I personally don’t look forward to a very much, however I’ve started doing some more automation with my scheduling and it’s freed up so much more of my time and I’m seeing better results with it.
So what I’m doing on Twitter, for example, is I’m looping evergreen content. So I’ve basically set up post of mine and other people’s because I want to share a lot of other people’s content, especially on Twitter. Posts that are evergreen so they still have value, even if they could be two years old, it could be five years old, could be three months old; but they’re still relevant and they still provide value to my audience.
So I’ve got them set up – I personally use Post Planner and Recur Post but there’s lots of other services you can use to do it. Basically I put all the tweets in there that I want, with all these bits of content and it just automatically now loops them forever – shares them on my Twitter. So I don’t have to go in and worry about what I’m sharing on Twitter every day, and type out two new Twitter status updates every hour or anything like that, because I know that this is automatically going to post a lot of content for me. It’s still relevant, it’s still going to help my audience. Then I just pop in the one-off tweets that I want to in there that are for specific days and not going to be repeated.
Social Media Automation Services
Services you can use for this are Post Planner, Recur Post, as I’ve mentioned, and there’s also Meet Edgar and Co-Schedule. There’s loads of those, so if you want to do something like that just check them out and find out which one is best for you.
Another great service to use automation is, “If This Then That” or IFTTT. This is the thing that I’m always raving about to everyone and always telling all my friends, I’m always telling my family about it – I don’t think they care! But I’m telling you guys because you’ll actually want to know. This is a great tool which links up your different social media channels. It can also link up very simple services. It can even link with things like if you have a smart house, like smart lighting in your house – it can like control that.
The things I use it for is social media. It links things together with; “if” something happens “then” it does something else. Now that sounds a bit confusing, so to give you an example I have it set up so, if I post a picture to Instagram it will automatically post that picture natively to Twitter. Because if you’ve ever shared a picture to Twitter from Instagram you might have noticed it shares it as a link, and that’s not very useful; you can’t see it in the feed, no one’s really going to click through the link from Twitter to go onto Instagram so it doesn’t look great. But with IFTTT, it automatically takes the picture and posts it natively to Twitter, the picture shows up all big and bright and beautiful in the feed. So that’s really useful.
Another great thing you could do is, it can automatically tweet your blog posts. So that means that you don’t have to schedule once you’ve blogged – it will automatically tweet for you. You could automatically set up to put it in Buffer. If you use buffer, so you can tweet further down the line for you. And you can you can share your Instagram posts on Facebook, and there we go, that’s a Facebook post you don’t have to schedule in. So that saves a lot of time and effort.
Then that means onto re-purposing. So as I said above, you can share your Instagram posts on Twitter, share your Instagram posts on Facebook. It’s all about taking the content you’ve created, that you spent time and effort in creating, and not just using it necessarily on one channel, but using it on a lot of others as well.
You can do this with images, sharing images from Instagram, Twitter as I said, but also trying to think about using things in more creative ways. For instance, you can use all that content you’re making for Instagram stories and Snapchat, because this is what’s going to become big as well in 2017.
This is a sneaky little fourth thing you should focus on. And it’s expiring content. So we all know about Snapchat, things disappear after you’ve viewed them if you’ve sent them to your friends or after 24 hours on your story.
Instagram Stories is the same. So, say you spent a lot of time and effort creating things for Instagram stories that’s going to disappear after 24 hours, then you’re probably going to be maybe a little bit miffed that you spent all that time and then it’s just vanished. So save those pictures and reuse them for something else instead.
So re-purpose that content. You can use it a lot further down the line, you can use it the next day, you can carry on tweeting it if it’s a nice image, you can share it to Instagram, or you could turn your Snapchat story into a blog post and just writing a little blurb about all the different images. Download your Facebook Live videos and uploaded them onto your YouTube channel, then you can reach a different audience there and share your contact further, because you put the time and effort into the video and you don’t want to just live on Facebook.
So those my top three things to focus on for 2017. Number one is video, number two is quality content and looking at your data, and number three is hands-on social automation and re-purposing where you can.
Thanks to Fritha Stuttard from Black Label Social Media for the original video source content for this article: