Three Major Social Media Trends for 2017

By: Kelly Hutchinson

1. More Mobile Video

On average, people in the U.S. spend three hours a day on mobile devices, with 87 percent of that time spent in apps like Facebook and Instagram. According to Facebook’s Q3 Results from 2016, mobile-only monthly active users rose over a billion, meaning that 59 percent of Facebook users access the platform via mobile device. videostat

So what content is being consumed on mobile? Video. One in three consumers watched video on their mobile devices in 2015, and that is projected to rise to two out of three consumers by 2018.

Mobile video viewership will continue to rise across social media platforms, which have already been adapting to accommodate this shift. On the second and third-quarter earnings calls in 2016, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed their company-wide push to become “video first,” shifting focus from text and imagery to video.

With mobile viewership at a steady increase and social media outlets pushing for more video, plan on incorporating mobile-friendly video content into social media outlets in 2017. Not only does video align with online content trends, but recent research from BuzzSumo’s review of 800 million Facebook posts suggests video content was more likely to be shared than any other post types.

>> Live Video

live-reactions-android.pngLive video started building momentum across several social networking sites in 2016. From May-October, Facebook Live usage increased up to 4x, and to further expand live video, Facebook announced in October that users are able to connect live video to their TV via Apple TV or Chromecast.

Facebook is also piloting a Snapchat-like camera feature (that will roll out globally this year) that will allow users to post quick status updates via video, while incorporating additional visual features.

In late November, Instagram added live video with a twist – live video that disappears. This video feature appeals to Instagram’s younger audience, competes with Snapchat and provides a different experience from live video capabilities on other platforms.

On December 14th, Twitter announced the ability to ‘go live’ within the Twitter app, as opposed to redirecting to Periscope, to post real-time video content. While this should boost live-video usage on Twitter, data from January-August 2016 suggests Facebook Live has a higher usage base compared to Twitter’s Periscope usage.

Regardless of which live video platform is most popular, live video will continue gaining ground in the social landscape, presenting an opportunity for brands. According to TechCrunch, Live Video encourages more comments and are watched 3x longer than non-live content.

>> 360 Video

360vidsampoSocial platforms are moving toward Virtual Reality (VR), starting with 360 degree video. Facebook aims to increase use of 360 video, while potentially offering a reach boost to 360 content within News Feeds. Additionally, Twitter announced their 360-live capabilities via Periscope at the end of 2016. Currently, this feature is only rolled out to certain partners and requires a 360 camera.

The popularity and use of 360 video is projected to grow on both platforms throughout 2017 and the coming years, as Virtual and Augmented Reality become more popular and accessible.

Video in any format can be a major asset to a facility’s presence on social media, however, HIPAA regulations have to be factored into all video production. Learn how to keep videos HIPAA compliant from a previous MarketShare post.

2. Social Ad Utilization

Social networks are adapting algorithms to reduce clutter – pushing businesses toward spending ad dollars for visibility as opposed to relying on organic traffic and reach. Each platform has its own native ad capabilities and have proven ROI for brands.

Here are three benefits to advertising on social networking sites in 2017:

  • Targeting: Social networks provide audience-targeting capabilities that permit advertisers to pay only for those likely to be interested in, or engage with, an ad based on the targeting parameters. Whether targeting by behaviors, demographics, geography, interests or all the above, each platform has audience targeting and segmentation that allows you to get as broad and/or niche as needed.
  • Optimized Bidding: Most social media platforms allow you to adjust your bid based upon your business objectives. For example, if the main goal of a Facebook ad campaign is awareness, you have the ability to optimize for reach. On Twitter, video advertising is based on a price-per-view model, optimizing the ad for video views.
  • Affordability: Advertising on most social platforms (Snapchat not included) is affordable and easy to begin, and you can pause and end as needed. For example, on Facebook, you can potentially boost a post to 250 users for $5.00/day.

Many Divisions and facilities have already delved into the world of advertising on social media, and with algorithms limiting business’ organic social reach, there is no better time to test it out if your social strategy needs a boost.

3. Embracing Social Media Direct Messaging

Social networking sites have continually been updating and improving their direct messaging platforms and capabilities. While messenger capabilities are typically used for user-to-user communication, social sites are pushing for brands to utilize this feature to engage directly with their consumers, and vice versa.

However, this is difficult for healthcare facilities to utilize and still align with HIPAA regulations, since conversations with patients need to be taken out of the social setting and into the doctor’s office. Despite this setback, it is crucial to monitor a social profile’s direct messages and be prepared to respond quickly, effectively and within HIPAA’s guidelines (i.e. not revealing any patient’s condition or coverage data online).

If you would like to discuss how to best respond to direct messages on social media, please reach out to the Reputation Management Team here.

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