An average user spends five years and four months of his life on Social Media. 50% of the entire US population is now on Facebook. 52% of millennials will rely on social media when making a purchase online. Social media users now account for two-thirds of all global internet users.

The only thing constant about social media is change! There is a new technology, a new feature that pops up every single day and with this constant change, it is imperative for marketers to adapt, evolve and rethink their strategies to stay on top of the game.

Mediakix calculated the average time spent per day by consumers on various platforms.

YouTube (40 minutes), Facebook (35 minutes), Snapchat (25 minutes), Instagram (15 minutes) and Twitter (one minute)

The time spent by consumers on different social media websites, the way they engaged with these platforms, the increase in the number of active social media users, the drift in the demographics of the users from one platform to another etc only state that technology is fast evolving and the way we consume information is no longer the same.So what is trending in social media in 2017? Here are 5 social media marketing trends to watch out for.

Social Media Ecommerce

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have already enabled users to purchase products directly through their phone. This comes as no surprise considering the amount of time users spend online across various social media platforms. Facebook Shops, for example, is a great place to find different products allowing you to buy directly from there. The idea is to make it easy for users to find your product online and what better way to sell that to make your product visible right where they are! Another trend would be to see brand move away from emails and respond more on live chats. Platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WeChat shall be embraced for business communication. Nothing like making a personal connection and sense of trust are established when users get to connect with the brand and have their questions answered. There shall be personalized communication from brand to consumers, thanks to the targeting features and retargeting features that has been available for some time.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Facebook bought Oculus VR, the most famous virtual reality company, for $2 billion in 2014. Zappar launched a Kickstarter campaign to offer an affordable mixed-reality kit called ZapBox, which will bring mixed-reality and VR experiences to the mass market. The huge success of Pokémon Go woke made brands to take notice of augmented reality. AMC tried augmented reality in its theater lobbies, bringing live trailers to static movie posters with a special app. New York Times used VR to engage with their audiences and use it as a new medium to tell impactful stories. Virtual Reality will help marketers to create powerfully, top of the mind recall messages for their consumers.

Increased usage of social influencers

47% of online customers use ad blockers. Consumers do not want ads. Infact, they hate ads. SO how are marketers expected to reach out to them and try and make a sale? Welcome to Influencer marketing! Content used to be the King. Influencer Marketing, however, will be the New King of Content and is set to explode this year.

What exactly is Influencer Marketing?

‘’Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers and creates marketing activities around these influencers

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, professional advisers, and so on).’’ – Wikipedia

‘’Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.’’

“84% of marketers said they would launch at least one influencer campaign within the next twelve months.”

“Influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, beating organic search, paid search and email marketing.”

Social media influencers are seen on all social media platforms. It is time to find them, nurture a relationship, incentivise and get them to mention your brand.

Real Time Video

In 2015, YouTube generated over $9B in revenue. It has 4 billion daily views and has more than 1 billion users worldwide. Like mentioned earlier, an average adult spends over 40 minutes on YouTube every day. Few of the other social media sites that sniffed potential and followed suit are Facebook Live, Twitter Periscope, and Instagram Stories. It is evident from the numbers that real-time video streaming on social platforms is booming. Marketers are constantly looking at new interactive ways to communicate to their consumers and Videos has helped them bring out their human side.

With the increase in the spam content across online space, consumers are more and more looking for authenticity. Live Videos will help establish that with no editing and scripting that will portray the brand in a good light. Identify where your consumers are and try and connect with them with your live videos

Mobile First

In 2016, social media saw massive growth accumulating 1.9 billion mobile users and 2.3 active users worldwide.It’s not a coincidence that Facebook is turning into a mobile-only platform. 80% of ad revenue for Facebook came from mobile in the year 2016. By 2020, eMarketer predicts that 59 percent of U.S. users will access the app only through mobile. With the shift from desktop to mobile usage, spending on mobile ads will hit the roof in 2017 and Marketers should device mobile-based ad strategy to increase their revenue.

What else do you think will trend in 2017?