2017: Moving Beyond the Static

Describe 2016 in one word.

If you’re consulting the dictionary for a certain four-letter expletive, you’re probably not alone.

And who could blame you? Most of us will remember 2016 for its divisive politics and celebrity deaths. But it hasn’t all been bad.

2016 has brought with it key developments across the social media and tech world. It was the year that gave us driverless cars, Pokémon GO and a reason to live stream.

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So, with 2017 fast approaching, we thought it necessary to offer our predictions for the year ahead, along with a few New Year’s resolutions.

Facebook will dominate video, much like they have live streaming

Facebook has blown the competition out of the water with their live streaming offering. So, what next for Zuckerberg and co.?

Social Chain’s Head of Video, Jason Fisher, says: “2017 will be a defining year for video. 2016 saw several industry giants move their chess pieces to support content-based experiences.

Both Facebook and YouTube have invested heavily in support of Live and 360 video. However, as a platform built on audience interaction, Facebook seems to have the upper hand.

I believe we’ll see creators move more and more over to Facebook over the coming months. This will open up new opportunities for creators to take their audience interactions deeper than just engagement.”

But Twitter could make a comeback

Twitter’s failure to capitalise on live streaming has been their downfall.

But all that could be set to change in 2017 with the advent of ‘Go Live’, a new service that allows users to live stream direct on Twitter.

Social Chain’s Media Director, Hannah Anderson, has seen the rise of live streaming first hand.

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She believes Twitter may have finally hit the nail on the head with their latest development.

Hannah says: “Twitter is known for its live timeline. If anything happens in the world, it now breaks on Twitter first.

So it’s surprising they didn’t take advantage of live as much as they could have.

We’ve already seen great value in the power of live streaming and have utilised it to create several campaigns for our clients.

These activations have earned us record-breaking engagement, so Twitter will have to come with something special if they’re to rival Facebook’s offering.

If Twitter can follow in Facebook’s footsteps and give more options for live streaming, who knows what we might be able to come up with!”

Expect a whole new level of live animation

2016 saw many content creators delve deeper into the world of live animation.

We did a little experimentation of our own with our José Mourinho live roast for Sporf.

 

The project combined motion software with voice technology, says Motion Designer, Merle Driver.

“The need to be reactive and engaging leads to the development of groundbreaking software and technologies.

I believe we’re going to see a lot more live animation in 2017. The software and technology surrounding these techniques are developing quickly.

Both are already available to mainstream consumers.”

Instagram will replace the high street for millennials and Gen Z

We’ve covered the retail industry in some detail in our recent Black Friday white paper, The Black Sheep of Black Friday.

The report gave an analysis of several top fashion and travel brands who continue to fall short on social media, despite having huge followings.

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These brands, along with many others, will face a new set of challenges in 2017, with social media playing becoming even more ingrained in the consumer journey.

According to a study by The Intelligence Group (TIG), 72 percent of millennials research a potential purchase online before handing over their hard earned cash.

Capitalising on these new foundings, Instagram has proposed a shoppable tags feature that will allow brands to tag certain products.

Users will then be able to make purchases or research detailed product descriptions, without having to leave Instagram.

The photo-editing app is likely to play a vital role in the consumer journey, with audiences relying on social media to make purchase decisions.

With engagement now having a more measurable impact on sales, it’ll be interesting to see whether brands change their attitude toward social media.

The VR breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for

The Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift are just two VR headsets currently on the market, but these luxury gadgets have so far only appealed to the select few.

All that is set to change in 2017 when VR enters the mainstream’s wider conscience.

Both brands and creative agencies will want to jump on this trend as soon as possible.

How marketers will utilise this tool for engaging social content remains a mystery at this moment in time.

And as for those all-important New Year’s resolutions…

Our Business Development Manager, Beth Trundle, says take advantage of LinkedIn’s networking capabilities

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Beth’s advice would be to wise up to LinkedIn’s capabilities, be that for networking, posting thought-leadership pieces or hiring staff.

Beth says: “Keep an eye on where LinkedIn is going. It’s an engaged audience, that’s full of talent and influence, and as of yet it’s not being utilised to its full potential.”

Mike Blake-Crawford, Head of Social Media Management, says adopt a social first mentality

Social media is still a box ticking exercise for many brands and their marketing teams.

It’s one of the reasons uninspired posts and dull ads still appear newsfeeds and timelines, along with poorly thought out hashtags.

Mike says: It’s time for brands to start adopting a social first mentality. 2017 is set to be the year that time spent on the Internet surpasses time spent watching TV, not just for millennials and Gen Z but for all ages.”

Rob Sullivan, Data Analyst, urges brands to stand out from the crowd in 2017

Social media is all about doing things differently, but time and time again we see brands following the crowd.

Rob says: “Think of something inventive, and don’t just jump on the VR/AR hype train without understanding why it is in your content.”

Digital Entrepreneur of the Year

Merry Christmas one and all

And so concludes our final Scribe post of 2016. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the blog as we’ve enjoyed writing it.

We’ve covered a great deal of topics over the last few months, from Trump’s presidential success to the sad death of Vine.

And while 2016 has had its share of low points, let’s not forget all the exciting developments and innovations that continue to craft the future.

If you’ve yet to read our latest white paper on the Black Sheep of Black Friday, you can download a copy here to read at the table on Christmas day – just kidding. 

From all of us here at Social Chain, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ll see you in 2017!

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