2017 Social Media Trends

Originally presented to the Arlington Social Media Club in Arlington, TX on December 1st 2016. This deck highlighted trends that many marketers missed in 2016 and looked forward to some emerging trends for 2017. The follow slide notes should help you better understand the deck.

2016 & 2017 Social Media Trends Slide Notes:

Slides #6 – #8 – Roasting: A trend started in early 2016 that mocked PC culture and mimicked the shows on Comedy Central where celebrities would be “Roasted” by their peers. In this trend a person uploads a photo of themselves holding a piece of paper stating they are willing to be roasted. Then random, anonymous internet users let loose with any insult they can come up with. Because this trend started on on, and still widely stays on, Reddit the comments found the most humorous are voted to the top.

Slides #9 – #11 – Social Recommendations
Long the bastion of savvy traditional “Word-of-Mouth” marketers, social media recommendations are set to take on a whole new look as they get powered by a cross between machine learning and natural language processing. A social recommendation is when someone posts “hey anyone know a good mechanic around here?” and friends reply. Now Facebook is automatically tagging business profiles mentioned in the comments, showing average ratings, and plotting out the physical locations on a map. It won’t be long before this turns into paid unit on Facebook allowing marketers to target consumers looking for their service or product at the moment they most need it.

Slides #12 – 15 – GIFS are Videos : Videos are GIFS
Videos and GIFS are now interchangable. Facebook doesn’t host GIFS but will replay a video over and over to mimic them. Imgur doesn’t host videos but does transcode all GIFS into MP4 videos to save bandwidth on playback. You can easily upload a GIF to Imgur then download the resulting MP4 video and upload that to your Facebook page. No more messy links trying to add a GIF.

Slides #16 – #18 – Memevertising Goes Mainstream
Memes are now ads. Savvy marketers have begun using memes as advertisements on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Imgur. Young consumers use memes to share complex thoughts and ideas and in 2016 marketers finally began using them to do the same.

Slides #19 – #20 – 360 degree videos
If you haven’t been asleep 360 degree videos are the rage on Facebook and YouTube right now. While they started gaining ground in 2016 as the genesis of Virtual Reality content, 2017 will see marketers adopt 360 degree videos in an all out blitz to the delight of consumers and might also see the creation of an independent 360 degree / VR social media platform.

Slides #21 – #25 – Storytelling = Advertising
Someone said that today’s youth have a short attention span, but on some websites we’re noticing a huge trend of complex content becoming the norm. Imgur, Pinterest, and Medium have become places where storytelling comes to live. Imgur especially has seen numerous brands from large companies like eBay to small retailers like iDeal Floors find ways to communicate to the audience by telling stories in image galleries with captions.

Slides #26 – #28 – Imgur is the New Reddit
Reddit likes to call itself the front page of the internet. But for youth that want a more anonymous visual social media experience Imgur is the new Reddit. Like Reddit Imgur users are anonymous and share memes, gifs, and funny images daily with the top content making it to the front page. Unlike Reddit the experience on Imgur is all visual content and usage of the website hit all-time highs in 2016 with many youth declaring absolute allegiance to Imgur over Reddit.

Slides #29 – #31 – Fakity Fake Fake Fakeness
Fake News is not a big thing. Thanks largely to blackhats trying to make money from Facebook after Google buried their sites.

Slides #32 – #36 – Politics = Only For the Angry
Online, politics is no longer a subject the average consumer engages in. It is now only the very angry on either side that discuss it in open forums, comment sections, and blog posts. Don’t trust anything you see being said about political stuff as this trend and fake news converge to paint inaccurate portraits of society and consumer demands.

Slides #37 – #41 – Talking to Yourself is Not Weird (online)
Twitter made it acceptable to reply to yourself over and over again in a long conversation and you can use this to tell stories in more than 140 characters.

Slides #42 – #43 – Live Facebook Video Is……
Interesting…… yeah. Look for Facebook to fix the problems or pull the plug in 2017.

Slides #44 – #46 – Fast = Good
Mobile is king, mobile internet is slow. Speed up your websites and lower the file size of content intended for mobile audiences.

Slides #47 – #50 – Google Wants the WWW to be Their Platform
Little to do with social, but Google wants to take over the web completely. AMP and Schema.org are just the beginning. Look for Google to take over a social media giant or two in an attempt to make them look cool and force more webmasters in line.

Slide #53 – Predictions for Social Media in 2017

1. With the popularity of audio-based virtual assistants look for an audio-only or audio-based social media platform to emerge.

2. There will definitely be some kind of 360 degree / VR / AR social media emerge very soon, and it will be pretty awesome.

3. Recommendations will become ads on social media and move beyond Facebook eventually. Very valuable to marketers, as long as consumers don’t reject them.

4. Fake News will not be fixed by asking people to care or check sources. It’ll take a concerted effort from companies and will make it harder for upstart content platforms to get traffic.

5. Social Media platforms will start to woo media companies to their platform and we’ll see more brands start news channels on specific platforms that never have a website and share revenue with the social media platform they are on.

360 degree photo of the event: