As we evaluate the pros and cons of social media in all of its glory in 2016, we have assembled a list of predictions as to where we’re headed towards 2017. Now in 2016, Social Media is considered one of the three pillars of SEO and it a is must for business marketing. The local and national marketing awareness, reach, and frequency tools available are second to no other traditional advertising platform. But which social media networks are best to dedicate your time and spend your budget on?
1. Investment in Social Media Will Be A Part of Every Business Plan
While I’d argue that investing time and resources into a social media strategy is most definitely a necessity in 2013, I believe the tipping point in public sentiment from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ will occur in 2014. Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue. As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers. The benefits of social media are many, but they include: Improved social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm). Company branding Improved brand awareness Word-of-mouth advertising Increased customer loyalty and trust Improved audience reach and influence
2. Facebook and Google+ Continue Dominate
In terms of the number of active monthly users (1.79 billion as of third quarter of 2016), Facebook has earned the title as the leader of all social media networks. With the largest user base and the most amount of content per second, Facebook is the go-to for business social media marketing. Also, Facebook has an incredible advertising platform, dissect users into interests, demographics, and psycho-demographics. This increases conversion levels for businesses that advertise on their network.
Google+ should no longer be thought of as another social media network. It has proven itself to be an integral part of Google’s grand scheme in terms of local SEO, social signals link building, and providing a personalized search experience. We believe that businesses who are finding themselves spread thin with their social media efforts will increasingly turn to Google+ to accomplish their social and SEO goals.
Google reviews are Gold Standard. Online reviews are proving to be vitally important. They impact local SEO rankings as well as purchase behavior. The more reviews, the better you look to Google and the website visitor evaluating your business. For tactics on how to increase your Google Reviews, contact WebMarkets.
4. Dont Call It A Comeback: Twitter
Because of its data, analytics, social and SEO benefits, Twitter is a marketer's dream. With just over 317 million active monthly users, Twitter has the audience to raise awareness to virtually any target market. The advertising platform is light years ahead of what it use to be and the targeting features are incredible. Because of these factors, more companies in 2017 will heavily invest in Twitter advertising. Once the dust settles about the company's ownership and the user news feed algorithm improves, you will see the popularity of Twitter take off for the better.
5. The Rise of Live Streaming
It seems that writing 140 characters and taking 3 minute long videos is becoming too tedious for many of us. Live streaming video to the rescue! With the emergence of live streaming video apps like Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook Live and Instagram's video sharing feature, we’re seeing even more movement toward real-time video sharing. And not just any videos; with Instagram allowing 3-15 seconds per video, and Facebook broadcasting live video to your followers in real-time, users are even more likely to create and share videos from their smartphones. It will be interesting to see if and how live video streaming will change the playing field when it comes to video-based social media and business revenue.
6. Snapchat Popularity Will Increase Sharply
With incredible growth and traffic numbers, Snapchat continues to roll towards its way to 2017. With over 100 million active users and growing, investors are begging at the chance to snag a piece. Big brand advertisers are, for now, the only companies allowed to advertise. This will change once the Snapchat advertising model gets fine tuned and rolled out to the masses. A few years back Snapchat declined a $1 Billion...with a B, offer from Facebook. Now we see why.
7. Yelp, Love it or Hate it, Will Grow
Yelp is fighting an uphill branding challenge. Most consumers and business owners see Yelp as a restaurant review website. In actuality, they're dead wrong. Yelp now encompasses almost every business category under the sun. With their radical advertising makeover earlier this year combined with a "salesie" and aggressive approach to gain new businesses to advertise on its network, Yelp will continue to gain steam as a popular and credible source for company profiles. Offering an a featured content review program for its users and increased business management tools which enable you to receive private messages and create customize content, Yelp seems to be on track for growth in 2017. We don’t see Yelp competing in the same space as Google, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, but it will be interesting to see how the network grows among big business brands and small business owners.
8. LinkedIn Will Become a Major Player for B2B Business Growth
Still holding steady as the #1 social networking site for professionals with 467 million users, LinkedIn isn’t just sitting on its heels. With the launch of its influencers content creation program, LinkedIn is positioning itself as not only another networking site but as one of the largest sources of content for professionals. As it grows and attracts even more users, the advantages of being “linked in” will become enormous for B2B marketers.
9. Content is King
And the fuel to this entire fire is content. Not just content, but high-quality content. I'm talking text, images and video content that will blow your mind and engage the exact users they are targeting. Without content, this social media stuff is nothing....like staring at a blank page. So in short, in this digital information age that we live in, we're in a race. If you want to increase your revenue, your business better win the content race.
10. Articles Will Add Even More Value to SEO
Facebook and Google are focusing on eliminating fake news websites. What does this mean? It means that other social media networks will also follow suit, virtually ending all fake news in their path. We see tighter guidelines allowing articles to be posted and shared on social media networks. Therefore, the credibility aspect will improve and Google will take notice. If your business is lucky enough to get published on Facebook, Google or other social networks, your SEO and social media awareness will benefit.
11. Social Media Adspend
Unless you have followers in the tens of thousands, gone are the days of organic reach. Even if you do, a paid social advertising strategy will be the best way to focus in on your target market. When comparing to similar adspend to traditional media such as radio, TV, print, outdoor, there is no comparison. The cost per reach and cost per new client conversion is turning traditional media upside down. This means higher conversion levels and increased sales, which can be quite confusing if you new to it. For the best marketing strategy and tactics, contact the business analysts at WebMarkets.
Long Story, Short
If you're not growing, you're dying. Done are the days where social media marketing is viewed as child's play. It is now a necessary business marketing tactic that if managed correctly, can yield huge ROI. The only variable is the human capital that is running your campaigns.
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