social networking trends dominating 2017Social networking is one of the most dynamic industries out there. Sometimes, the rekindling of an old idea or a development of new technology shifts the entire game. Most of us can’t go a day without looking at Facebook or YouTube or Twitter or Instagram. Well over 80 percent of marketers say they use social media platforms for increased brand awareness. The results of these changes have always had a huge impact, and there is a wind moving in different directions. It’s now clear that some trends have clearly dominated the scene in 2017.

Live-Streaming Video

Live video is changing the world of social media. Today, social media is embracing videos that capture, real; unfiltered moments which allow people to share live events in real time. This form of content is gaining popularity because of its ability to boost user engagement. Users want to be “present” and “in the moment” and live-streaming offers that and much more.

As live streams send notifications to all of one’s followers, there is a higher likelihood that users will join in. Live social videos are much more engaging than other social media content formats and can be directly linked to a lot of growth on social media sites. Live streaming services such as Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook “Live” and Instagram’s Stories are giving users a much more involving user experience. Businesses also have a great opportunity to present their products and services in a more creative, timely and transparent manner.

Augmented Reality

Snapchat selfie lenses introduced augmented reality into social media networking. Other social media sites are also experimenting with augmented reality. Augmented reality allows users to try on different masks while sharing a live video- delivering a unique user experience. Millennials love augmented reality, and it has started to go viral thanks to social media.

While social media platforms have gone a long way since the concept started gaining popularity, there’s still plenty of room to expand the concept. Augmented reality, just like live-video, creates new opportunities for businesses to connect with potential as well as existing customers by sharing not only information but also experiences.

The Rise of Chatbots

Chatbots have become quite popular in 2017. In simple terms, a chatbot is a service that is powered by rules and or artificial intelligence that can engage in conversation with an individual via a chat interface. One of the best examples are chatbots embedded within Facebook messenger, and businesses are now using them to communicate with customers.

Although previously presumed to merely add entertainment value to chat services, social media networks are already using chatbots to automate tasks and help in data receiving processes. Chatbots are also helping businesses to improve customer service by promptly answering their questions and responding to comments.

Chatbots are still in their development stages, but they already have the ability and intelligence to help people answer questions, consume content and complete transactions. The number of individuals who already prefer social media over a phone call for customer support is rising by the day. Facebook has already announced that third parties could create their own chatbots through Messenger. Businesses are already taking advantage of this to establish a strong relationship with their customers and followings online.

More Personalized Content

Increased consumer awareness has led to a rise in the need to personalized and relevant content and advertising. Marketers today are taking advantage of social media tools that allow them to craft content and adverts driven by identifying the audience’s preferences and interests based on where they have been on the web.

Businesses are starting to realize the difference between efficiency and autopilot, so they’re shifting from social media automation to social media management. Because relevant content helps consumers to connect and remember a specific brand, it also prompts more personal interactions with the brand, consequently converting to brand loyalty.

With all these trends, there’s likely to be a lot of new developments and progress in social networking. In recent years we’ve seen the merging of social media platforms. Facebook bought Instagram and Whatsapp while Microsoft recently acquired LinkedIn. The merging of platforms has led to various innovations and trends that are shifting and will continue to change how people interact and how brands conduct their business. Soon, brands might be conducting all their business through social media.