Tressa Sloane

If you aren’t using social media in your content marketing strategy, well, we don’t know what to tell you. But if you are among the many marketers that have introduced the use of social networks into your lead gen strategy objectives, then you already know how important these channels are for your goals.

Another thing you’re probably aware of is how often these networks change, whether it’s with new services based on users’ preferences or shifts in the overall market. That’s why it’s so important for you to stay up to date on the latest social media trends and updates. This ensures you’re always prepared to adapt to any adjustments and use them to make your digital marketing strategies more successful.

social media will only grow more important this year.

Read on below to find out more about what we think will be the leading social media trends in 2017 and what you should look out for.

Embedding social elements within blog posts

People are craving more engaging and visual content from brands, and one way to give them what they are looking for is by embedding social media elements – such as Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram images and YouTube videos – directly into blogs. Not only does this make your content more enticing to viewers, but it also gives you a way to leverage popular industry experts, inject humor into content and support your assertions.

Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn

Although the $26 billion deal was finalized late last year, it’s in 2017 that we will start to see the effects of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. So what can members expect on the professional social platform? Check out the video below for insight from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

From a B2B marketing standpoint, the platform will be focusing on providing more data, reporting and analytics that will allow businesses to better target their prospects. LinkedIn will also introduce a lead generation product that enters a prospect’s information directly into a company’s database as soon as a form is filled out. Sponsored Content is another initiative, which will not only be posted on LinkedIn, but across other Microsoft digital platforms, as well.

With the acquisition, the professional networking site will see increased video support and an improved ad platform from Microsoft. Marketers will soon have the ability to send direct sponsored InMail messages and finally use video content for led gen.

Live video continues to grow

Chances are you’ve seen a live video in the past year or so (is anyone else currently hooked on April the giraffe?). And the trend of streaming in real time is only expected to increase in popularity.

Nearly three-fourths of consumers (74 percent) watch at least one live video weekly, and almost half (47 percent) expect to watch more live videos this year than they did in 2016. Twitch and uStream led the way early on with the technology, but it wasn’t until Facebook introduced live video that it really took off. Now Twitter and Instagram are in on the game too.

So what does this mean for marketers? It means that now is the time to invest and implement live video into their content strategies. Live video gives marketers a new and more engaging way to interact with prospects, while also providing a more human element to businesses. Live streams are interactive and direct, which is why target audiences are increasingly craving the information they are seeking.

Instagram ‘shopping’ and influencer marketing

We’ve all made an impulse purchase at some point, and now Instagram is hoping to make that easier for consumers. The app will be fully rolling out its “shopping” feature this year, which allows users to easily and quickly buy items they see on the app by clicking on photo tags.

This new capability is also expected to have an impact on influencer marketing – so much so that the rules around how they disclose they are promoting products and services from brands are being reinforced. Purchases made via the Instagram “shopping” feature will even be able to be tracked back to influencers, and because of their partnerships with brands and the commercial aspect, federal compliance will need to be closely adhered to.

Influencer marketing is poised to change with the full rollout of Instagram shopping.

As it stands now, influencer posts appear more like organic endorsements, but if they now must comply with federal law and list that companies are paying them to endorse certain products and services, the value of these reviews could be affected.

Even though the “shopping” rollout has only been done for a few companies on Instagram so far, it is expected to become more widespread this year, so we’ll have to wait and see how it all works out.

Social media has not stopped changing since it exploded on the digital scene, and you can expect it to continue evolving. So be sure you are staying ahead of the game by adapting and implementing these changes in your social marketing strategy.

Want to learn more about how Brafton can help you boost your social presence?

Request a Demo