OMD Word: What To Expect From Social Marketing In 2017

OMD Word: What To Expect From Social Marketing In 2017

Look, it’s predictions into social media marketing trends for 2017 by OMD staff. And B&T has it exclusively and just for you… 

Scratching your head as to what changes in social mean for your marketing in 2017? We’ve gone ahead and asked the experts, sharing a key insight from each member of the OMD Word team.

  1. No more ticking the box – Lisa Leicester, Social Manager, OMD

 Looking back, 2016 was a tipping point for most brands. While larger brands have been marketing on social for a while now, I’ve started to see smaller brands make more of a push into social. Social is no longer simply a box to tick off. Where before brands only saw social as an awareness driver, they’re now understanding how it can drive much more sophisticated results for their marketing campaigns.

We can optimise content towards sales, sign ups or driving people in-store. We can create storytelling content that will inspire and educate consumers. We can take the consumer on a journey, finding them across channels to create a 360-degree experience. We can even literally transport them to another time or world through virtual reality.

What makes this sophisticated though, is that brands don’t have to push these actions onto the consumer. The beauty of social is that we are meeting our consumer where they are already hanging out. We just have to make sure we’re interesting and adding value to their overall social experience.

  1. We’ll see great content (and lots of it) – Zoe Jenkins, Social Assistant Designer, OMD

Don’t get me wrong, 2016 was an incredible year for content. But next year, the competition to be seen will be tougher than ever. Companies now understand the benefits of having a strategy on social and are no doubt seeing all of their hard work finally pay off. This past year was an opportunity to test, learn and grow, but most importantly, to develop a solid understanding of exactly what audiences want to see, how they see it, and where they see it.

With organic reach pretty much a thing of the past and the environment more competitive than ever, content needs to be shareable, and for it to be shareable, it needs to be pretty damn great. I think 2017 will see brands producing stand-out content that is more entertaining, creative and useful than ever before. It will be crucial that brands truly understand their purpose on social and use this to tell richer brand stories with consistent narratives across many platforms and formats. If 2016 was the year to test, 2017 is the year to really impress.

  1. Community management will change its tone – Lauren Gibb, Social Assistant, OMD

In a landscape dominated by dogs doing strange things, PDA wall posts between couples and the latest Cheeto-encrusted food trends, there is a need for brands to stand out and cut through the clutter. Forming a deep connection between brand and audience is a difficult thing to master, but this sassy new approach, what I like to refer to as “Spicy com-meme-ity management”, is proving to be very effective in increasing engagement, brand sentiment and all-round great banter between brands and their audience.

Employed by the likes of Mountain Dew, Boost, Twisties and more, community managers are pushing the envelope when it comes to interacting with their audience. Whether inciting involvement in awkward tag-your-ex posts or whatever this is, pages with this style of community management have shown huge growth in both followers and engagement.

Will this become the standard in community management going into 2017? Will the meme’s run out? While this approach won’t work for every brand, it provides a key learning that bringing more personal and engaging one-to-one communication with your audience will result in a positive experience for all.

  1. Personalisation is key to success – Danielle Le Toullec, Senior Social Manager, OMD

The advertising landscape is becoming more and more cluttered every day. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you’re doing, you’re being marketed to. And the fact is that people are becoming immune to it. So, what’s the answer? It isn’t to market more, but to harness personalisation and tailor messages to the audience.

While people are consuming content at a faster rate than ever before, there is an enormous expectation that content is relevant to them. This will become even more of a focus in 2017 and beyond. Social media generates huge amounts of data points which enable brands to personalise interactions. And this isn’t about brands creepily using your name. In 2017, brands will increasingly be able to tell you things you may not have known, anticipating your needs and use information to shape content that is being created.

Combining this data with external buying behaviours, location, device, weather, financial data and more, is where it will get interesting. One thing is for sure, the future is personal.

  1. Snapchat will prove to be a channel that marketers simply cannot ignore –Thomas Hutley, Head of Social, OMD

Or Snap Inc. as the parent company has recently re-branded, now describing themselves as a ‘camera company’ and planning to roll out a suite of products.

One of these, ‘Spectacles’, launched in October 2016. These are connected sunglasses that record 10-second video snippets with a 115-degree lens. At just $129.00 (US) they will no doubt become the no.1 most wanted accessory for every millennial in 2017. The trick? Snap Inc. have a highly strategic approach to distribution, making only a limited number of Spectacles available and replicating the ephemeral nature of their platform, resulting in demand going through the roof.

Meanwhile, Snapchat continues to grow aggressively. Globally, they’re now at 150 million daily active users and in Australia they have 4 million daily active users (yes daily, not monthly), this is an increase of 35% in the last 6 months. On average, users are spending between 25-30 minutes on the platform and logging in 18 times per day. They’re also expanding their user demo with 1 out of every 2 new users 24+.

Snapchat’s positioning is about living (and capturing) your life in the moment. Any update to the platform is based on one thing; is it a better experience for the end user? They could have already made millions from Spectacles but unlike most businesses, that wasn’t their focus, which is refreshing in this competitive digital landscape.

Brands need to play where their customers are and I can’t see any reason why Snapchats growth won’t continue to accelerate in 2017, making it channel that has to be considered.

  1. Messenger Bots are going to change everything – Jasper Sadubin, Social Director, OMD

Messenger Bots are going to start playing a gigantic role for both people and marketers. While social media networks have come to occupy such a massive amount of our attention, there is a marked shift towards messenger platforms, where people can share and communicate in a more private and intimate manner. It makes sense for businesses to play here too, with Messenger Bots enabling personalised customer communication at scale.

According to Facebook, 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message with. Whether it’s buying a new pair of shoes, ordering up room service, or displaying nearby real estate listings, Messenger Bots provide a massive opportunity for marketers to offer true utility, while keeping the conversational and personal touch that’s often lost online.

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