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Social media in 2017: what can brands expect?

Marije Van Haarlem

In our previous blogs, we have taken a look at major changes on social media in 2016 that had a massive impact. So what is next? What will happen to content? What social media networks will be important? To answer those questions, we make our prediction based on trends in social media.

As we speak, Facebook has 1.79 billion (!) active users and still holds the crown for biggest social media network worldwide, apart from Russia and China. By expanding even more with Facebook Messenger, a chat medium with Snapchat-like features, we believe Facebook will continue to keep the lead in 2017. Snapchat will try it’s very best to keep up.  

Amongst the growing social media networks, Instagram and Snapchat are most likely to pull away the younger target audience, as this group sees very little use of Facebook. The top five social media networks with the largest following of active users are currently as followed:

  • Facebook (1.79 billion)
  • Instagram (600 million)
  • LinkedIn (467 million)
  • Twitter (315 million)

This is why we remain focus of primarily these networks and how to integrate content planning with our social media tool.

In an earlier blog, we addressed how Facebook is taking steps to eliminate clickbait and fake news from timelines. In 2017, real content will show up even better thanks to a few changes:

  • Easier reporting: report a hoax or fake news story in one click.
  • Flagging stories: third-party fact checking organizations identify fake news stories.
  • Informed sharing: articles less likely to be shared after reading might be misleading and will be ranked lower after review.
  • Disrupting financial incentives for spammers: deny spammers pretending to be well-known news websites, lose financial incentive.

All of the precautions taken by Facebook are community driven, showing they listen very carefully what feedback is given and how they can change for the best. We think this is very promising for brands to show real content and show their relevance in 2017.

At the end of 2015, the first signs of video streaming blowing up to major proportions came to light. Twitch, the platform usually used for streaming gameplay (an immense branch everyone is apparently ignoring), reached 5.6 million unique viewers with re-runs of painter Bob Ross. This lead to an overall growth of 40% of non-gaming video on the website.

via giphy

On a more recent note, a Twitch stream of two Google Home assistants arguing over ninja’s, love and the meaning of life has made this the most viewed and engaging stream of 2017 already.

Following up on channels like Twitch, Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live have grown to unparalleled sizes. Around the same time, media consumption shifted drastically; less TV, more digital. This main trend spotted in 2016 clearly shows in the largest present group on social media: young adults. This group is known for taking the lead in drastic media changes.

This not only means video consumption and live broadcasters are more important than ever. Predictions are global internet traffic will be 80% videos by 2019. This means we can expect them to be the main source of entertainment in the course of of 2017.

Besides video becoming a very powerful tool for brands to communicate, visual content will surely be the most unmissable asset of your content strategy in 2017. According to CMO Council, 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations and infographics) are the most important part to how their brand story is communicated. Not spending enough time on visual content might cost you more in the end.

via giphy

Not only are visuals a great way to communicate a message, the results show it pays off to invest. For example: Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than Tweets without images. When images are frequently used in articles, it doubles the amount of shares on social media.

So in short, make sure to keep up with trends of visual and video content for 2017 and see how they will develop. If you are struggling to make the time for your visual content or don’t want to bother your designer with petty tasks, please have a look at our features and how to use image templates to speed up your content planning

More importantly, give the social media posts creation the same attention as you would for TV or Print ad production. Try to plan these posts ahead in Kontentino.

We believe time spent efficiently on creation and planning allows for more space to create the best social media content, and that is what we are all aiming for after all! 

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