Social networks have played a huge role in our lives for more than a decade. With each year comes new features to learn and more algorithms to figure out. Where social media will take us, nobody knows, but we have a few trends on our radar for 2017 that are worth watching…

A Growing Interest in Supporting Video Content

Snapchat has over 10 billion daily views on its video content. That even exceeds the number of views received daily on YouTube, where video is the only item on the menu. With 2017 set to be the Year of Video, there is one trend in particular coming to the fore: live streaming.

Meerkat and Periscope were the original live video streaming platforms, but it is Facebook Live that has risen to be the main contender in this social media space. Facebook is prioritizing Live content for organic reach and its Insights page will help content creators to optimize their videos to encourage uptake of the feature. We dedicated an entire post to discussing how and why Facebook Live should be an integral part of your 2017 social media strategy.

Augmented Reality

Pokemon Go and Snapchat filters brought augmented reality (AR) to prominence this year. While the #PokemonGo phenomenon was short-lived, it was fiercely popular. Other brands are now seeking to develop a conversation with their customers using AR. Cereal brand, Lucky Charms, turned its box cover into a snowboarding game to keep their customers engaged long after they had finished their breakfast.

Audiense predicts that augmented reality can provide a wide range of content that can drive social experiences.

Omaid Hiwaizi, president of global marketing at Blippar, explains, “AR offers consumers an exciting opportunity to turn everyday objects into a learning experience. Scanning an apple can bring up recipes, history, calorific value and other content that might be of interest.”


User-generated content

There’s a double bonus opportunity for brands who figure out a way to create positive brand experiences through user generated content. A massive 70% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase with a company after a good interaction with the brand. User-generated content humanizes your brand, building trust with consumers, reassuring purchase decisions and increasing conversion rates.

Snapchat custom filters are now available to everyone, allowing brands with smaller budgets to capitalize on the feature and encourage their followers to create their own branded content.

Lululemon’s #thesweatlife Twitter and Instagram campaign asked its customers to submit photos of themselves exercising and being active in the brand’s active wear. The success of the campaign was in part because it appealed to the lifestyle associated with the brand, with the photos capturing products but also the emotional connection to the lifestyle that the brand embodies.

Want to learn more? This CNW article provides advice on how your brand can encourage and use user generated content as part of your next social media campaign.


The rising expectation of paid social

If you want your content to appear organically in the newsfeed of your Facebook followers, it needs to be video and more specifically, it needs to be Facebook Live video. Otherwise, you’re going to have to pay to ensure its seen by anyone at all.

This year, Instagram removed chronological timeline updates and introduced sponsored posts. “They [Facebook, Instagram and others] are starting to make you invisible unless you pull out the credit card,” says Jeff Bullas. “Social media is just becoming another paid media.”

In fact, the folks over at Hubspot recommend that social media managers and content marketers should prepare for social advertising cost to rise in 2017, and to adjust their budgets accordingly.


Described as conversational agents designed to stimulate intelligent conversation without a human being present, chatbots can perform multiple tasks at once. A chatbot is essentially a computer program designed to stimulate conversation with human users.

According to TechCrunch, consumers will have more frequent interaction with chatbots in three ways: content creation, customer service, and transactional engagements.

Looking at customer support, we can already see the appeal of bots for real-time engagement when it comes to resolving issues. 72% of Twitter users expect responses from brands within the hour! Since chatbots allow certain tasks to be automated, they offer greater ease for brands around customer demands.

For example, Chotu, an AI (artificial intelligence) bot on Facebook Messenger, a leader in this space, allows businesses to deliver 24×7 automated customer service and e-commerce guidance, without adding costly staffing expenses.

About Amy-Louise Tracey

Amy-Louise Tracey is the Communications Manager at CNW Group. Follow her @AmyLouiseTracey.

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