Are you won­der­ing how mar­ket­ing on top social media plat­forms will change this year?

Social media is con­stant­ly evolv­ing to reflect the needs and pref­er­ences of cus­tomers and mar­keters alike.

To find out how mar­ket­ing on Pin­ter­est, Twit­ter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat will trans­form in the com­ing year, we reached out to expert social media pro­fes­sion­als to get their thoughts.

#1: Humanization Becomes Key to Success on Twitter

Believe it or not, Twit­ter turns 11 in 2017, which by social media stan­dards makes it one of the vet­er­ans. Over the past few years, we’ve seen it start to get a bit of a bad rep­u­ta­tion. With Insta­gram and Snapchat steal­ing some of its users, mar­keters have start­ed to ques­tion whether Twitter’s gone stale.

Are Twitter’s days num­bered? In our opin­ion, not at all. Twit­ter is so ingrained in mod­ern-day life, there’s no chance of it going away any­time soon. As mar­keters, how­ev­er, we need to rec­og­nize why peo­ple are get­ting fed up with Twit­ter and adapt our strate­gies to suit.

We think the busi­ness­es and brands that are going to do well on Twit­ter this year are those that stop using it to blast out one-way com­mu­ni­ca­tions and start using it to con­nect with peo­ple from across the world to have one-on-one, real-time con­ver­sa­tions.

How do you do this, though? Cut back on: 1) the automa­tion, 2) sched­ul­ing a week of tweets on a Mon­day and then nev­er log­ging back in until it’s time to sched­ule more tweets, and 3) the hash­tag-stuffed tweets.

Did you know that the top three tweets of 2016 con­tained no hash­tags? (OK, one was from a Span­ish gamer, one was from Har­ry Styles, and the third was from a polit­i­cal fig­ure), but our point is peo­ple aren’t on Twit­ter to read #mar­ket­ing mes­sage after #mar­ket­ing mes­sage.

We do think hash­tags and con­tent pro­mo­tion are still key aspects of a good Twit­ter strat­e­gy even this year but don’t rely sole­ly on them. Instead, start con­ver­sa­tions. Tell the world what you’re up to, post images like you would on Insta­gram, use Twitter’s live app to broad­cast with Periscope. Most impor­tant­ly, cre­ate tweets that peo­ple can eas­i­ly reply to.

Andrew and Pete, authors of The Hip­po Cam­pus, run an award-win­ning con­tent mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny where they help small busi­ness­es cre­ate share­wor­thy con­tent that builds brands peo­ple love.

#2: Snapchat Acquires GoPro to Enhance Live Video

Last Sep­tem­ber, Snapchat rebrand­ed as Snap, Inc. and quick­ly pro­claimed that it would now be referred to as a cam­era com­pa­ny and no longer just a social net­work. Short­ly there­after, the new­ly formed Snap, Inc. released Spec­ta­cles to the mass­es (sort of).

In the months since, and despite Spec­ta­cles reel­ing in mixed reviews, rival Face­book has upped the ante for social media mar­ket share by rolling out live video capa­bil­i­ties on Insta­gram, whose user demo­graph­ic close­ly aligns to Snapchat’s. Plus Face­book added Snapchat-like fea­tures to its Mes­sen­ger prod­uct.

Fac­ing an IPO, as well as pres­sure to stave off Face­book and Twit­ter, Snap, Inc. (a.k.a. “Snapchat”) will intro­duce its own set of live-stream­ing fea­tures that will make live video more appeal­ing and main­stream to younger audi­ences, much in the way Musical.ly has helped intro­duce live video to them. Although Snapchat will have built-in dis­ap­pear­ing live video sim­i­lar to Insta­gram, it will need to cre­ate more of a “siz­zle” to keep investors on Wall Street hap­py.

There­fore, I bold­ly pre­dict that for Snap, Inc. to cre­ate legit­i­ma­cy as a cam­era com­pa­ny and to grow rev­enue beyond adver­tis­ing, it will acquire GoPro and its mil­lions of enthu­si­asts in the process. A Snapchat and GoPro merg­er is a win-win in every sense of the word for Snapchat and users, who would then be able to share stun­ning, HD-qual­i­ty con­tent to Snapchat from their GoPro device with­out the aid of an iPhone.

Car­los Gil is the glob­al head of social media for BMC Soft­ware.

#3: Pinterest Pushes Video Pins Into Prominence

I believe Pin­ter­est will try to move video and video ads to the fore­front of the plat­form. Because video feels a bit like a speed bump in the user expe­ri­ence, mar­keters will need to test whether load­ing video to off-plat­form land­ing pages or direct­ly to Pin­ter­est works best for their audi­ence.

Kate Ahl is the own­er of Sim­ple Pin Media, a Pin­ter­est man­age­ment com­pa­ny.

#4: Twitter Remains Relevant

Twit­ter is an enig­ma. It’s not the biggest chan­nel or the most pop­u­lar, but it’s unde­ni­ably part of the fab­ric of our lives.

While some may fore­see the demise of Twit­ter, I don’t. Twit­ter has a huge, pas­sion­ate user base. It’s the place where news breaks and tweets have become a cen­ter­piece of pop­u­lar cul­ture and pol­i­tics.

Twit­ter has a bright future, but prob­a­bly not as an inde­pen­dent com­pa­ny. It’s a gold­mine of data and belongs in a data-hun­gry com­pa­ny some­where.

Mark Schae­fer is the author of The Tao of Twit­ter.

#5: Snapchat Spectacles Feature AR/MR Shopping

Point of view con­tent will be huge for brands, mar­keters, and influ­encers in 2017.

Snap will roll out Spec­ta­cles 2.0, which will include some ele­ment of AR/MR. This fea­ture will sig­nal a push toward AR/MR-enabled shop­ping and we’ll begin to move away from doing every­thing through our mobile devices and start to do it through wear­ables like Spec­ta­cles.

Cathy Hackl, a nation­al­ly rec­og­nized live video, and VR/AR influ­encer and speak­er, is one of the nation’s top Lati­no dig­i­tal influ­encers and tech inno­va­tors.

#6: Platforms With Customer Service Features Will Flourish

Social media cus­tomer ser­vice will become a pri­ma­ry way cus­tomers inter­act with the com­pa­nies they do busi­ness with. This real­ly isn’t a pre­dic­tion as much as it’s a con­tin­u­ing trend. How­ev­er, the trend is mov­ing social media chan­nels like Twit­ter, Face­book, YouTube, and oth­ers from being an alter­na­tive chan­nel for cus­tomer ser­vice to the pri­ma­ry chan­nel.

It’s been said that cus­tomer ser­vice is the new mar­ket­ing, so it makes sense that social cus­tomer ser­vice is being rec­og­nized as the new social media mar­ket­ing. First, we must dis­pel the idea that cus­tomer ser­vice is a depart­ment. It’s not. Tra­di­tion says that cus­tomer ser­vice is a depart­ment that reacts to com­plaints and prob­lems.

No, cus­tomer ser­vice is a phi­los­o­phy to be embraced by every per­son in a com­pa­ny, from the CEO to the most recent­ly hired. And one of the most pow­er­ful places cus­tomer ser­vice can exist is in a social media mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. That’s why my pre­dic­tion that the above-men­tioned social chan­nels, basi­cal­ly any social chan­nel that gives the cus­tomer a voice, will become even more rel­e­vant in 2017.

Just last year, Social Media Mar­ket­ing World had an entire track devot­ed to Social Cus­tomer Care. (Thanks to Dan Gingiss and his team for putting this togeth­er.) Spe­cial pre­sen­ta­tions by Jay Baer on how social media is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case cus­tomer ser­vice, Jeff Less­er on how Twit­ter is using their chan­nel for sup­port, and oth­er speak­ers and pan­els show­cased the pow­er of social in cus­tomer ser­vice. And this year, that track will be big­ger and bet­ter.

Just as com­pa­nies can no longer dis­count the pow­er of social media (and I can’t believe that some of them still don’t get it), they also can no longer dis­count the pow­er of bring­ing their cus­tomer sup­port to the tra­di­tion­al chan­nels that have pri­mar­i­ly been known for social com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Shep Hyken is a cus­tomer ser­vice and expe­ri­ence expert, an award-win­ning keynote speak­er, and a New York Times best­selling busi­ness author (@hyken).

#7: Twitter’s Acquisition by Media Outlet Possible

As Twit­ter blos­soms more ful­ly into a media resource, the like­li­hood that it will be pur­chased by a media out­let in 2017 increas­es. In addi­tion, I believe live video via Twit­ter Live will also play an inte­gral role in the company’s future.

For now, mar­keters should remem­ber that Twit­ter is still a pri­ma­ry traf­fic source for blog con­tent and con­tin­ue to share their con­tent there.

Kim Garst, co-founder and CEO of Boom!, is a best­selling author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authen­tic and Pros­per in Social Media.

#8: Snapchat’s Significance Wanes

I’ve always had Snapchat hang­ing out on the back burn­er; peo­ple talk about it and kids raved about it years ago. More recent­ly, mar­keters start­ed to rave about it and I thought to myself, “Is Snapchat some­thing I should pay more atten­tion to?” I’ve decid­ed the answer is no.

Snapchat does have a cool vibe to it and was arguably the first plat­form that allowed you to con­nect inti­mate­ly with your audi­ence in a unique, short, and fun way via actu­al audio and video sto­ry bits. While the plat­form pro­vides a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty for those will­ing to get to know it and for those who already have a huge fol­low­ing there, it hasn’t evolved fast enough.

Insta­gram has evolved with Insta­gram Sto­ries. Insta­gram saw what Snapchat cre­at­ed, mim­ic­ked it, and made the user expe­ri­ence 10 times eas­i­er.

My advice to busi­ness­es look­ing for a plat­form to help them con­nect inti­mate­ly with their audi­ence is to stick with Insta­gram. In a cou­ple of years, I don’t think mar­keters will be talk­ing about Snapchat any­more.

Kate Erick­son is a cre­ator, engager, and imple­menter at Entre­pre­neu­rOn­Fire, a pod­cast that inter­views today’s most inspir­ing and suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neurs.

#9: Twitter Marketers Shift Focus From Driving Traffic to Creating Connections

The recent changes Twit­ter has made, includ­ing the addi­tion of an algo­rithm, mean that Twit­ter is the social net­work mar­keters most need to change their approach to.

It’s time to go back to the days when Twit­ter wasn’t just auto­mat­ed noise. Twit­ter can still be used to dri­ve traf­fic but is becom­ing even more effec­tive as a con­nec­tion tool.

To adjust, mar­keters will need to tweet less but with more qual­i­ty, with the goal of tweet­ing to con­nect with oth­ers and cre­ate inter­ac­tion.

Erik Fish­er is a pod­cast­er and man­ag­er of the Social Media Exam­in­er social team.

#10: Live Streaming on LinkedIn Improves Targeted Selling

In 2017, if LinkedIn enables live-stream­ing video, it will become a game-chang­er for B2B mar­keters. Com­pa­nies will be able to tar­get spe­cif­ic audi­ences with live con­tent focused on spe­cif­ic busi­ness needs, broad­cast­ing to a ver­i­fied lead your sales team can fol­low up with.

As long as the con­tent is inter­est­ing and engag­ing, your audi­ence will tune in and help build a com­mu­ni­ty for your brand. But to be suc­cess­ful, mar­keters must rethink their con­tent strat­e­gy.

For exam­ple, evolve the tra­di­tion­al webi­nar. Instead of Pow­er­Points, use live video to demo your prod­uct. Cre­ate a week­ly live video show. Find an employ­ee to inter­view cus­tomers and tell the sto­ry of how your brand helps peo­ple.

Above all, be in the moment, be real, and be authen­tic.

Ursu­la Ring­ham is direc­tor, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing at SAP, where she dri­ves the live video and social media strat­e­gy for small- and mid­size enter­prise.

#11: Twitter Becomes a Content Destination

My pre­dic­tion for Twit­ter in 2017 is that we’ll see the rebound of this fan­tas­tic plat­form from 2016, which was filled with spec­u­la­tion. Fuel­ing that growth will be the con­tin­ued rise in con­tent con­sump­tion direct­ly with­in the Twit­ter plat­form, a focus on improv­ing the Twit­ter feed algo­rithm, and mar­keters win­ning with qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty.

We’ve already seen some of this come to life when Twit­ter reached a live stream­ing deal for 10 games with the NFL. Twit­ter also made a great move to allow peo­ple and brands to go live direct­ly with­in the app, with­out hav­ing to down­load Periscope sep­a­rate­ly.

All of this leads up to Twit­ter becom­ing a con­tent des­ti­na­tion, rather than a means to an end.

Mar­keters can adapt by first under­stand­ing that Twit­ter is no longer a plat­form used sole­ly for dri­ving traf­fic to an exter­nal blog or web­site. We’ve seen brands and com­pa­nies expe­ri­ence a steady decline in organ­ic traf­fic from Twit­ter over the last sev­er­al months, leav­ing many won­der­ing if they should con­tin­ue to use the plat­form. Or they con­tin­ue to imple­ment the same Twit­ter mar­ket­ing strate­gies that worked 2 or 3 years ago.

Mar­keters who apply a mul­ti-pronged approach, treat­ing Twit­ter as a con­tent des­ti­na­tion, will keep their audi­ence com­ing back for more.

This approach includes upload­ing native video con­tent, live stream­ing, shar­ing images, pho­tos, info­graph­ics, charts, data, GIFs, and text-only tweets in addi­tion to tweets with links to your web­site. In oth­er words, a focus on qual­i­ty and increas­ing your organ­ic reach, not sim­ply the quan­ti­ty of tweets sent, is a great way for mar­keters to adapt to this new age of Twit­ter mar­ket­ing.

Bri­an Peters is the social media man­ag­er at Buffer and a host of The Sci­ence of Social Media pod­cast.

#12: LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat Focus on Live Video Across the Board

In 2017, I look for LinkedIn to become more Face­book-like, mov­ing away from its pro­fes­sion­al look. The plat­form will make it eas­i­er to cre­ate con­tent for the peo­ple you are con­nect­ed with, and will look at inte­grat­ing some form of live stream abil­i­ty

Twit­ter will also invest fur­ther into live video. They’ll pour more mon­ey into Periscope by adding VR and 360 to the live stream app. I think a pur­chase of Twit­ter is then like­ly.

Along the same lines, Snapchat will either pur­chase or build a live stream arm into its plat­form, and will pos­si­bly buy GoPro or the Hype app. As more small brick and mor­tar busi­ness­es see they can use Snapchat to get more foot traf­fic into their store, they’ll start using it more.

John Kapos is cre­ator at and own­er of Per­fec­tion Choco­lates in Aus­tralia. Known online as Choco­late John­ny, he’s very active on Periscope, Face­book, Insta­gram, Snapchat, and Twit­ter.

What do you think? Which of these pre­dic­tions is most inter­est­ing to you? How will you change your mar­ket­ing plans to adjust for these changes when and if they arrive? Please share your thoughts in the com­ments below.

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