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Image Credit: LoboStudioHamburg – Public Domain via Creative Commons

With 2016 nearing the end, it’s time to look start looking ahead to 2017. With a new year coming up, it’s time to start looking out what trends people will be talking about in 2017:

  1. Continue Rise of Video: During the early days of social media, posts were composed of blogs, news articles, and photos, and recorded video. Today, video content is on the rise. Having video content is becoming a critical component of one’s social media campaign. Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report 73% of marketers were planning to increase their content in 2016.  With a smartphone, it’s very easy for someone to create high-quality video content on the cheap. With Facebook now adding Facebook Live for standard use, Plus Twitter’s Periscope, now marketers can create live content for their community to watch. It’s exciting especially for small businesses who are looking for an inexpensive marketing opportunity to build their niche brand.
  1. Expanding User Experiences: Expect next year social media companies to continue to tap new possibilities. This year saw some interesting developments when creating an exceptional social media customer experience. We saw Twitter start broadcasting live National Football League games within the US, showing exciting new opportunities to exploit social networks. In the world of social media where everything changes so rapidly, anything is possible as companies are in a dogfight to remain fresh. Increasing user experiences is one thing we will see in 2017.
  1. The Fork Between Social Commerce & The Sharing Economy: Next year will see further growth within this sphere. According to Wikipedia, social commerce was first coined in 2005. It’s not just about browsing for new shoes through Wal-Mart’s Facebook page but involves new ways of purchasing. Now tie that within the sharing economy. Airbnb, Uber, ring a bell? These two examples rely on the power of social networks and the sharing economy. Kickstarter, Mosaic, the list goes on and on of leveraging social media in developing the sharing economy. Expect 2017 to see unique innovations between social media and the sharing economy.
  1. Integration of Social Media and IoT: One trend I look forward to seeing how it grows is the marriage of social media and the Internet of Things (IoT), possibly creating of innovative new products. I covered IoT for Smart Biz magazine, where I discussed its potential. I have a feeling we are going to see some cool things come out. Smart Grids will utilize IoT, which will then use social media, allowing consumers to show how much money they have saved while being more energy-efficient. Your fridge will tell you to get more apples at the local store. These may seem wacky, but in this day and age, anything is possible. Social media marketers should embrace the oncoming IoT onslaught of “social media for machines” with new ideas and products to meet up with the future demand for connected devices.

These are a few of the trends to dominate the ever-changing world of social media technology in 2017. So sit down and enjoy the ride.