Katie Bouloubassis

We developed our own list of major social media trends we think are really going to take off this year. Since some of the items on our list were relatively mainstream last year, we’ll explain each tool and give our insight on how you and/or your business can utilize these this year, either on your social media accounts or website.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the emergence of social media. Since its humble and somewhat intangible beginnings, social media has become the way to engage audiences in a discussion surrounding campaigns and increasing brand awareness for businesses and products. Consumers also seek reviews from family and friends about products and services through social media before making decisions to buy. The content users post on their social media channels evolves as quickly as the tools used to capture the content.

At A. Bright Idea, we continuously research the latest applications, tools and techniques. Here are the top four social media trends we’re excited about and look forward to implementing this year:
Boomerang: One of the hottest features we’ve seen in the past six months is Boomerang. This Instagram-exclusive feature loops a series of photographs together to create movement, making them visually similar to a GIF. Users can film Boomerangs within the Instagram app, adding it to their “story” or through the stand-alone Boomerang app. As video continues to rise in popularity throughout social media, Boomerang adds another level of engagement, furthering the wide use of video features to every day users. If you’re on Instagram, you should try Boomerang. We recommend using it once per story and very infrequently in your actual Instagram feed. Boomerangs are compatible on Facebook and Twitter, as well as Instagram.

When you win new business!

Live Video: Live video serves a purpose for broadcasting information or entertainment. It gives audiences a direct connection with the broadcaster in real-time for a true-to-life experience. Facebook, Instagram and Periscope are the most popular applications offering this service. Live video thrives due to its unedited, unrehearsed and in-the-moment content. The uses of live video are many and worth a try. If you’re looking to boost engagement on Facebook, we recommend using Facebook Live to get a nice bump in engagement. Facebook algorithms play favorites with their in-app tools, allowing your live video content to reach more people than a normal photo or video. We recently wrote a blog to serve as the beginners guide to using Periscope for live video. You can use the tips in that article for any live video application.

360 Video and Photographs:
Panoramic video and photographs give a 360-degree view from where the user stands. Images and video captured leaves a lasting impression from the stunning views or perspectives of the photographer. For social media, posting 360 images provides the audience with an interesting perspective. The post becomes more engaging, enticing audiences to interact with the photo to see the entire image. Currently, Facebook allows users to post their panoramic or 360 photographs directly to their account. YouTube supports 360 video. We anticipate an uptick in 360 video use with event centers and venues trying to showcase their amazing spaces to potential audiences. 360 video improves leaps and bounds on the Y2K era “virtual tour” with the use of Virtual Reality viewing devices and interactive features within the video.

Click the photo to enter the full interactive experience on Facebook (view on your phone for the best results)

Drones: Another popular piece of technology that we think is going to make waves on social media is drones. Drones are radio-controlled aircrafts used in many practical functions. The aircrafts vary in size, shape, type and capability. First introduced in military surveillance applications, todays off-the-shelf drones are primarily used by professional and novice photographers and hobbyists alike. In order to operate a drone, you must first register the craft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Guidelines for flight are listed on their website under “Fly for Fun.” Drones squeezed their way into the mainstream in 2016, mostly on YouTube but now Target and Best Buy sell drones so we’re anticipating seeing more wondrous drone video and photography on Facebook and Instagram this year.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s our drone “Buzz”.

As with everything in life, “everything in moderation.” The same is true for social media. The trends above balance accounts and create diversity of posts while adding personality and fun to a feed. However, you can have too much of a good thing. Use the trending social media services sparingly. A feed of nothing but Boomerangs and drone shots might get engagement in the beginning but will become unexciting to audiences over time.

Let us know the top social media trends you engage with on a daily basis by commenting below.

Shawn Nesaw

At A. Bright Idea, social media trends, statistics, best practices and innovative ideas are part of our daily operations, and staying on top of these industry changes prove crucial for our clients’ impact across multiple social media platforms. Social media serves as a free networking and outreach tool to build awareness and rapport with an audience. Businesses can build interest in their brands by posting relevant industry articles, news, events, photos, products and more – but how do you stay relevant and compete in this growing competitive environment? Social media offers the ability for businesses to segment and specifically target audiences with offers or messaging based on user profiles. If used strategically, social media provides the opportunity to elevate awareness, generate and sustain loyalty and reach new audiences.
Here are some quick, recent facts about social media:

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  • 89% of 18-29 year olds use social media
  • On average, Americans spend 16 minutes per hour on social media
  • 71% of users access social media from a mobile device
  • One million websites are accessed using the “Login with Facebook”
  • 23% of Facebook users login at least 5 times per day
  • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases

With not only more social media platforms than ever, each social media outlet is changing every day, from the way you can advertise, to the layout of your brand’s page, to the best tips for engaging your audience. Keeping your social media active and fresh requires your due diligence, so here are some tips to engage your audience across many social platforms:

  • Photos, photos, photos.
    • Studies show posts get 85% higher engagement on Facebook and 35% more retweets.
  • Utilize Facebook advertising, but target your audience, even just a little goes a long way
  • Engage with other profiles and users, comment/reply to posts
  • Ask questions, offer facts/tips and utilize contests or giveaways
  • Repurpose content across platforms and website
  • Show a brand personality
  • Utilize your analytics data to capture audiences, posting times and more

A. Bright Idea’s expertise in social media continues to engage audiences for our clients, either through social media strategies implemented by our clients, or allowing A. Bright Idea to implement a strategy for you.
Email info@abrightideaonline.com or call 410-836-7180 | 707-935-1377 for questions.

Shawn Nesaw

1. Custom Design Approach
Always our passion, we predict an increase in custom illustration and photography when it comes to graphic design. Like we’ve said for years, stock imagery can be used by all and doesn’t evoke the same attention or connection that a hand drawn look can bring. See if you can spot the added touches and effects of illustration and photography through advertising and marketing collateral this year.
2. Growth in Half Off Deals
Don’t count Groupon, Living Social or Restaurant Deals out just yet. Some reports say the fad may be dying down but we can see these consumer favorites keeping up with their historic growth through 2012. The consistent growth in popularity should be recognized as a mentality of the audience. People do love a good deal!
3. Targeted advertising
You think you connect with ads now but just wait for this year’s interactive advertising, complete with features including 3D interaction, audience response and demographic-specific advertising everywhere you look, including your Google mail, web browser, cell phone and more. Watch what you search because a simple vacation browse will leave you open to tourism and travel agent advertising overload!
4. Bing at #2
Coming up quickly, we see Bing making it to the number two spot this year, just behind Google as a top search engine. Bing’s quick and reliable search makes it easy for users to navigate the web and their marketing strategy far surpasses competitors who use to hold strong to the top positions.
5. New web development
With new technology in web programming and coding, we predict you’ll have the opportunity for more interactive online in the coming year. We’re envisioning 3D websites, more video and photos that viewers can personally interact with, not to mention live video chatting.
6. More banks adding mobile
As the need for convenience continues to consume us, we predict a rise in mobile banking applications in 2012 but not just from your national banks, but community and local banks as well. In fact, mobile banking demonstrated 10% market penetration within the past two years.
7. Multi-level Design
The separation between print and interactive continues to grow thin and in 2012 we see more cross-platform compatibility moving in to play. In the realm of graphic design, it’s not just about designing for print anymore; you need to consider web, television and even mobile. Making a design fit multiple platforms this year will help it to expand across more mediums, reaching more of the target audience.
8. Make it green
The eco-movement grows more and more with each year but in 2012 we predict a trend in people moving past just recycling in the office and think more outside of the box when it comes to keeping out planet green. If you’re looking to put another foot on the eco-movement and helping this trend succeed, consider printing on recycled paper or switching from water bottles to a water cooler in 2012.
9. New social media
Yes, it’s possible. There is a social media world outside of Facebook and Twitter and we see it having more of an impact as 2012 continues. Pinterest stands as a great example of a social media platform already gaining an impressive audience and buzz among social media users. The trend this year will definitely be the quick to learn and quick to use social media. Pinterest is a winner because it takes literally no effort on the users part yet your still interacting with a social network; you simply look at photos for inspiration and ideas on any and all subjects imaginable. If you want, you can like, repin or add posts, otherwise you can just browse at leisure!
10. Subtle colors
Each year unveils a popular color palette. For example, according to designpink.com, 2011’s color of the year was honeysuckle – uplifting and optimistic. For 2012, we envision the trend to fall with a more subtle color palette, maybe with a brown or slate hue as the color of the year. After all, this would go right along with the number eight trend – Make it green – by promoting earth tones.