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These 5 Things Will Happen to Social Marketing by 2017

2016 has already been a big year for social — Snapchat has become a major player for brands, Instagram has adopted 60-second video ads, Facebook has swelled to 1.65 billion users…but we still have over half of the year to go!

2016 Social + Digital Marketing Predictions

So what’s coming down the pipe on social? What should marketers prepare for? I have a few ideas.

1. Brands Will Shift Focus Towards Messaging Apps

As advertisers continue to double-down on social, more and more users are retreating from these networks and moving to messenger apps. The rise of Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp speaks to this transition.

Image from Nic Newman of The Reuters Institute

By the end of the year, we’ll see many more brands adopt branded Slack channels, sell via WhatsApp and, eventually, utilize sophisticated chatbots on Facebook.

2. Facebook Live Goes Mainstream

Live video has been a player on social for some time now. We know about the Blabs, the Periscopes, the Meerkats… but none of them have emerged as the go-to live-streaming provider. However, Facebook Live is here and ready to claim that title. We’re already seeing brands wade into the waters of Facebook Live (The Cut is just one of the brands to get in on the action at the Met Ball this past weekend).

We can expect to see an even bigger influx of viewers around the Summer Olympics.

3. Instagram Will Never Be the Same

A flick of my best friend’s new doodle-puppy smashed between Drake’s album artwork and the newest line of Glassybabys? No longer.

Instagram is changing their feed, doing away with the old chronological model and adopting a new algorithm that prioritizes content based on its relevance to the user’s interests. We can expect a massive push from brands as they aim to crack the code on this photo feed.

4. Increasing Pressure on Social Marketers to Prove ROI

Social media is growing up, and executives are growing tired of metrics like impressions and engagement. In fact, according to the 2015 CMO Survey, only 15% of CMOs say they can prove the quantitative impact of social media.

Source: Ciceron Infographic

Executives are ready to see organic social media drive actual business value and as we head into 2017, there will be increasing pressure on social media managers to prove the value of their programs.

5. Instagram Ads Catch Up to Facebook and Twitter

Facebook and Twitter still hold the majority of digital marketers’ dollars, with 84% and 65% of companies creating ads on each platform.

Source: eMarketer

However, according to eMarketer, the percentage of companies investing in Instagram Ads is expected to jump from 32% to 48%, meaning Instagram will surpass Twitter.

What other developments do you think are waiting in the wings for social in 2016? Let us know on Twitter!

Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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