There are no guarantees in social media. Let’s make that abundantly clear because investing in it for your business can be a bit of a necessary gamble! Your audiences are definitely there – so you invest planning, time, budget, and resources around it only for the landscape to change suddenly as platforms shut down and new ones become the rage. We got together at Padron to discuss 2017 social trends that are driving the industry so we could share those with you!

Read on for the 5 trends that whisper how businesses need to tweak how they’re using social this year.

1. Building up an audience and sharing updates on social media is no longer enough.

Algorithms determine the percentage of your audience that is actually shown your posts. Unfortunately, money (in the form of ads) is the best way to ensure the majority of your content is seen by current and new audience members.

Each platform out there has native ads that are worth the investment in order to be seen because once you’ve been on a platform for a while there can be a bit of reader fatigue. Ads can be super targeted and tracked, avoiding this and making your ROI a reality and less elusive. 

2. Incentivize your employee to share content.

Hey – it doesn’t take a team of social media experts to understand that every person on social has their own loyal following in some form or another. So why not incentivize or reward your employees for sharing content to their friends? It’s likely an untapped market and a surefire way of getting around the algorithms headache. It may seem a bit uncouth – but just watch, we’re feeling pretty strong about this trend.

Of course this has to be done in an appropriate way in order to make it truly effective, but it has serious potential. For instance, if you’re a B2B company maybe an employee sharing to their friends on their personal Facebook isn’t the most rewarding. For them to want to share company posts, the content has to align with their own audiences. These audiences may not be relevant to the B2B service/product either.  

3. You will be forced to acknowledge that there are legitimate experts in the field of social media marketing and you have to stop assuming any millennial can run your social.

You cannot afford to miss sales leads coming in from Twitter or Instagram, can you? How about embarrassing gaffes on Facebook? Your audiences want to find you on social and see what’s new – there are university courses, training opportunities, and more available to your team, or agencies that only do social media marketing…regardless, 2017 will hold you to higher, more sophisticated standards.

4. CEOs will require a social presence.

Gone are the days of faceless anonymity when you run a company! Consumers want to feel like they have a sense of who they’re purchasing from and transparency from that company. LinkedIn caught onto this and created LinkedIn Pulse – a place where industry experts and executives could share blog posts, thought pieces, company updates and more. Even Facebook has a business influencer program!

2017 will show more CEOs of companies appearing more human, relatable, and approachable – get ahead of the game!  

5. Customer service and sales will work hand in hand.

Did you Tweet to a company that you had a bad experience with? Bet you heard back pretty quickly…you called them out in public! They most likely aren’t going to ignore that. Social media cannot be treated as purely brand awareness or marketing – you have to be better prepared to serve where your audience is spending (sometimes) hours of their day!

You are very accessible! Instagram direct messages and comments, Facebook comments and messenger, Tweets or Twitter direct messages, and so much more. There are options! Consider a conversational commerce as it’s about to become a standard in 2017! You could employ chatbots to help you out and reserve resources, but those aren’t available on every platform.

As we have said, nothing is guaranteed in the ever-changing world of social media and how it intertwines with business. And although the channels and tools may change over time, the constant is that social media is a reliable place to reach you consumers and achieve business and marketing goals.

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