The Biggest Things to Happen in Social Media This Year (and What It Means For 2017)
Another year has come and gone, and a whole lot of has happened in the social media world. They say that in order to plan for the future, you should look toward the past, so here is a recap of the biggest things to happen in social media in 2016.
Facebook Launched Several Groundbreaking Features
Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to small business marketing strategy. And 2016 was another year where Facebook truly showed off that power with brand-new features.
First, it changed the way we react to stories and posts on social media with Reactions. Long gone are the days when "Like" was your only option on Facebook. Now you can "Love" a post, express sadness, laugh and show anger.
Facebook also premiered its Marketplace, a place where users can buy and sell items to others in their community. The feature, which can be accessed on the Facebook mobile app, uses a user`s location to let them know what is for sale in their area. This feature has similarities to Craigslist, with better technology to back it up and integration into a social network that many users visit daily.
Possibly the biggest release for Facebook this year was Facebook Live, Facebook`s live video streaming feature. Like Marketplace, Facebook Live is a feature within the Facebook mobile app, though it is coming soon to desktop. Users can simply go to their Facebook Page as if they were going to write a text post, then choose the option to "Go Live." After writing a short description of the video, the stream begins. It streams on the page`s wall and other users can tune in. Streamers can see how many people are live with them and respond in real-time to any comments made. Once the stream has ended, Facebook saves the video on the page, so that anyone who wasn`t online for the live stream can still view. It.
Facebook Live has blown away competition like Meerkat and Periscope, proving to be a useful tool for small businesses who know that video is the future of marketing.
Pokemon Go Changed the Way We Look at Mobile
In July, Pokemon Go took the world by storm. The mobile app used location to layer a virtual world over a player`s real world and allowed a generation that formerly catch Pokemon using playing cards to catch them on their mobile phones.
On July 11th, it was estimated that Pokemon Go had 7.5 million downloads and $1.6 million in daily revenue, according to TechCrunch.
While the Pokemon Go frenzy has died out a bit, it`s certainly not the last that we`ll be seeing of the technology. Pokemon Go allowed people, some of the first time, to see what location-based technology can really do. I had retailers everywhere asking me how to become a Pokestop, an area where users could get resources to advance in the game. Because users needed to physically be in a location to enjoy its Pokestop benefits, many small businesses that were randomly chosen as Pokestops reaped the benefits for more traffic.
You may not want to "catch ‘em all," but this technology is sure to catch on in 2017.
Instagram Got Down to Business – And Challenged SnapChat
Business tools were coming sooner or later to Instagram, and we`re glad they came sooner! With 2016 came analytics, business profiles and more advertising opportunities within the Instagram platform. In February, the company also added the ability to manage multiple accounts without having to log out and back in. Now if only Instagram would release a good scheduling feature!
A more noticeable change in Instagram this year was the release of Instagram Stories, a collection of photos and videos that users can string together to share their day… which happens to be VERY similar to SnapChat Stories. Just like SnapChat Stories, Instagram Stories are only available for a limited amount of time before they disappear. With more and more social networks integrating more and more features to compete with one another, it will be interesting to see how they all overlap in 2017.
Twitter Changed its Focus
Twitter has fallen off the radar recently, so you may have missed the news: Twitter`s goal is no longer to be a top social network, but to be the top source for breaking news. It`s interesting that they have chosen not to compete with big hitters like Instagram and Facebook, but even more interesting will be where they do in 2017.
While we don`t know what the future will bring for the social media world, life is looking good for small businesses! Each year, more and more resources are released to help you stand out from the crowd and promote your individual brand. I can`t wait to see how you use these tools in 2017!
Crystal Vilkaitis is the Resident Social Media Expert with RDI Diamonds and owner of Crystal Media
http://heycrystalmedia.com; a company that teaches social media to independent retailers; helping them save time, gain confidence and increase local exposure, foot traffic and sales. To learn more about social media, and to gain access to social media training courses made just for retailers, visit http://socialedge.co. RDI Diamonds pays for 25% of your Social Edge subscription
. If you`re ready to join, just use the coupon code RDIDiamonds