One of the things that I love about the Internet is how fast-paced it all is. Social media in particular is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date on each of the available platforms in order to use them to your best advantage. Today I want to share my 2017 social media predictions for influencers and discuss the platforms that they can best leverage to their advantage.
Prediction #1: Instagram will become an ecommerce platform.
I have been saying this for the last 6 months, so when Instagram launched “Instashopping” for fashion brands, I was very excited. Right now they are testing this concept with a few specific brands, but I predict they will roll it out on a broad scale so that all brands and influencers can use the feature to monetize their content.
This presents a huge opportunity for influencers. Why? In 2016, mobile shopping revenue increased year-over-year. Shoppers want convenience, and Instashopping will provide a solution for this growing consumer need. Bye, bye RewardStyle and your complex shopping process on Instagram.
Prediction #2: Twitter is not dead and neither is Snapchat.
Everyone keeps saying that Twitter is on its way out, but I beg to differ!! Twitter is a hidden gem that, unlike other platforms, isn’t oversaturated with curated content; it’s a place to be real in an effortless way. Influencers can and should use Twitter to have real time conversations with followers or to share links for products that they love using.
Snapchat isn’t going anywhere either; it’s an awesome platform for showing real, raw, behind the scenes glimpses into your personal life (with some fun filters to boot). Building a personal connection with your readers is critical to building trust and brand loyalty. Influencers will benefit from this platform indirectly – there are a lot of eyes on Snapchat daily, especially Gen Z, and I boldly predict that Snapchat will eventually make their platform shoppable. I know that they are currently VERY against this, but I think they will evolve and move to fill this gap.
Prediction #3: Podcasting is the next big thing.
If you are looking to get even more personal with your audience, then podcasting is where it’s at. It’s a great medium for telling your story, sharing your perspective on certain topics, and connecting with others outside of social media and your blog. Podcasts are great for consumer convenience because anyone can listen in the car, at the gym, while cleaning the house, or walking the dog.
Prediction #4: Livestreaming will start to catch on.
Livestreaming can be scary or uncomfortable for influencers, and if it’s not for you, then don’t force it, but I do think that there’s potential for influencers for various reasons.
The goal of social media is to be social, authentic, and to connect with others virtually. Livestreaming is another avenue to do this in an unscripted, casual way. You can use Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Snap Spectacles to broadcast a Q&A with readers, show them seasonal trends, take them along to NYFW, share a life event right after it happens (like an engagement!), or create a weekly series like a podcast. Whatever you do, use it to create VALUE for your readers in your own unique way that is personal and authentic.
The best influencers will be able to leverage these social platforms to build personal brands that will take them to new heights in 2017. This can be done by leveraging Instashopping when it is released for generating incremental revenue, Twitter for authentic conversations, Snapchat for BTS silliness, podcasting for adding a new level of value to relationships with your readers, and livestreaming to share personal moments.
Influencers should find the platforms that work for them and use them to create an emotional connection with readers while providing maximum value, but keep these potential trends in mind for the future. If you’re not utilizing some of these platforms, maybe you should give them a try!
What did you think of these predictions? Do you agree? Disagree? Is there anything that I missed?