2016 is pretty much done, and I figured before I got into the sappy and sentimental stuff, I'd get to business one last time for the year. Social media trends: sometimes they're expected. Sometimes they sneak up on us. And for some reason, I predict that 2017 is going to be full. of. surprises. But here's what I do know for now (besides the fact that the hustle will definitely not stop):
Live, Live, Live
Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live, and of course -- the OG, Periscope. If you haven't done a live video yet, you're behind -- so get to it. Seemingly overnight, these things have taken over the Interwebz, and I don't see them slowing down anytime soon. The biggest challenge here is unique; they're not particularly artsy and don't require a ton of expensive equipment.
What does take work is planning the content, choosing the platform, and engaging your viewers. Did you remember to tell them about your new product launch? Have you prepared a landing page with freebies? Are you asking them to connect with you on your other social sites? Live video is great, but if you want to really build a business with it, those blocks should be put in place at the outset.
Your Blog is Going to Die
Okay, that's dramatic. But many bloggers have been reporting slowdowns for the past few years, and the trend seems to be making its way right into the New Year. With so much multimedia content on the web and the public's attention span shorter than ever, traditional text posts just aren't attracting the attention they used to.
But don't you fear: if you're a brand or blogger who's built up a following, start thinking next steps right now. While your audience is still engaged, try out a few new forms of content -- maybe it's a quick fashion video, a test-run of a Podcast, or a Slideshare that might hold the makings of your first course. If nothing else, make sure to create a Mailchimp account and start asking your readers to opt-in. That way you'll have their email when you're really ready to take your business to the next level (see below...)
Products > Everything
Social media influencers are used to waiting for brands to pay us. We typically rely on things like one-time payments for product placements, affiliate sales, or banner/pre-roll ads. But in 2017, I think we'll start seeing more and more creators take things into their own hands. Custom merch, e-courses, coaching sessions, makeup seminars... The list goes on.
On that note, I'm not convinced that YouTube will totally go away in 2017, but I do think that its power is waning. And as I've mentioned before, regardless of if it stays or if it goes, creators need to have communication with their followers and revenue streams that exist off the platform. This is true for any other social media channel, and I'm excited to see so many creators taking their influence to more productive (and profitable) places.