Social media is a dynamic field prone to changes and short-lived trends. Things have been especially hectic in 2017 because social media trends have been generated by a few quite distinct forces. First and foremost, the advances in technology have changed the way people are using social media. Artificial intelligence and the invention of chatbots have played a big role in this.
At the same time, there has been a growing need for the social media content to be more interactive and authentic. These two trends could be considered to be the opposite of one another, but they have shaped the way we use social media simultaneously.
Virtual and augmented reality has been one of the most interesting trends of the year. The technology needed for it was in development for years, and many attempts to use it commercially have failed. However, with the success of the Pokémon augmented reality game, businesses became very much interested in making it a part of their marketing campaign.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is planning to make a business of AR and VR technology in the field in which it would have the most commercial success. Augmented reality would provide a full shopping experience without the inconvenience of leaving the home.
The customers would be able to browse the items, pick them up and see the full set of info about the items in the same way they would be at an actual store. This would also help the companies in China reach a much wider customer base and brag about being on the cutting edge of the tech development.
Customer service is one of the most important concerns a business has. It’s how the company is perceived by the users when they come into contact with it. For years, this job has required a lot of people skills and employees that are good at working under pressure. Chatbot technology is changing all this because the whole process is becoming automated.
WeChat is a Chinese chatbot company created as an internal project of the Tencent holding company. It exploded in the meantime and has become one of the most popular chatbot platforms in China. At this moment, it has over 700 million active monthly users.
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The bot could be used to order products or services, and it uses the conversation archive and the search contexts to improve its options. It can book doctors appointments, order food or coffee for you or pay your utility bills. The bot is also used by businesses because it’s great for organizing events and conferences.
All the marketing companies, as well as all the news companies, are pivoting to video at this point. Video consumption is especially high among younger users; this is the main way they get information and entertainment. Many news companies are starting to provide audio versions of their important articles combined with catchy animation.
At the same time, one kind of videos is gaining traction more than any other. Authentic, user-made videos, coming to you unedited and unfiltered are taking over the millennial audience. The demographics of 25- to 34-year-olds is becoming the most important target for advertising, especially if the videos are in citizen-journalist format.
There’s no underlying theme explaining this interest in video content, but the interest in user-made videos is easy to explain. This is a way to go beyond the content that’s carefully crafted by the corporations and that relies on focus groups and market research. It’s a way to make the social media more real.
Mobile apps have become an indispensable part of customer service and marketing campaigns. Businesses are taking advantage of the ways people use their mobile devices, and they are using apps to get closer to the clients.
Interactive content has become a growing trend – both SMEs and big brands are competing for user retention by constantly designing new media to keep them engaged. In order to get their message across, they put their efforts into mobile app development. It allows them to make their content more interactive and user-friendly. Moreover, using social media via mobile apps allows the users to use geo-locating and thus make the use of social media a part of their daily lives.
Social media keeps changing and becoming a larger part of our lives. These trends combined with the changes in media and the way it’s being delivered to users make social media even more omnipresent and convenient.