Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017

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Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017 | Hootsuite Blog

This post was originally published on Inc.

RIP Vine. It seems like just a few short years ago that the network—and its catchy six-second video format—debuted and companies raced to figure out how to cash in.

Then this October, we learned the app would be officially shut down by Twitter. Even before then, attention had already shifted to newer, more flexible video formats like the new giant on the block, Facebook Live.

This constant social media turnover is all-too-familiar and, oftentimes, all-too-costly. Companies invest in new tools and strategies, develop marketing plans, and race to bring employees up to speed… only to see the proverbial rug pulled out overnight.

So what’s the secret to future-proofing your social strategy? Look beyond the latest bells and whistles and turn an eye to the macro-trends driving the industry.

Bonus: Get the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence with Hootsuite.

Here are five big movements that promise to change how businesses use social media in 2017:

1. The ‘reachpocalypse’ peaks

Reaching users the old-fashioned way on social media—i.e. building up an audience over time and sharing updates—simply no longer cuts it.

Algorithms are increasingly limiting the percentage of your own audience that sees your posts. This isn’t some grand conspiracy: it reflects the reality that our feeds are more cluttered than ever with messages, photos, and videos. Not everything makes it through.

How can businesses cut through the clutter? Unsurprisingly, money talks.

All the networks have evolved their own native ads—promoted posts and updates that look just like the real thing. In 2017, it’s time to start using them.

Once the “sticker-shock” wears off, these ads are actually a smart investment. They can be highly targeted, are shareable and it’s easy to track the return on your purchase in terms of views and clicks.

2. Employees become your social media army

For companies looking to expand the reach and impact of social media without spending a dime, there’s an increasingly powerful option… that’s already on your payroll.

Employee advocacy—encouraging and incentivizing team members to share brand messages on their own social media accounts—is poised to be a game-changer in 2017.

Even at moderately-sized companies, you can tap into hundreds, if not thousands, of new followers. Messages fired out from personal accounts are more trusted and also circumvent some of those pesky algorithms mentioned above.

I saw this, for example, in a case study…