Social media is one of the biggest channels available to marketers these days, whether they represent a large company or a grassroots startup. However, marketers hoping to use social media for effective brand development need to keep a close eye on the platforms they use. This is because technology is changing the way social media works on a near-constant basis. If you aren’t staying abreast of new trends as they emerge, you’re falling behind the competition—it’s that simple. With that in mind, here are a number of social customer service trends marketers can expect to see in 2017.
You might find them annoying, but make no mistake—chatbots are here to stay. The good news is that they’re only going to get smarter and more helpful, thanks to tech companies who are pushing the envelope with regards to AI and customer service. If your company doesn’t already use chatbots as a part of your marketing strategy, you’ll want to hop on the bandwagon now—before it’s too late.
2. Greater reliance on analytics
When marketers realized they could use big data to drive up conversion rates, they opened the floodgates for companies who provide advanced analytics to ecommerce businesses. Analytics have long been used to identify potential weaknesses in competitors, but when used in conjunction with social media they become an incredibly effective way to improve target marketing. Simply put, collecting data from your customers allows you to reach out to them in ways much more likely to drive them into your purchasing funnel. 36% of companies already use social media analytics for purposes beyond competitor analysis, and the number is increasing steadily.
3. Video interactions
Facebook spent most of 2016 working incredibly hard to provide better support for its video technology and make it more accessible. You can bet that marketers are going to jump on that opportunity in the year to come. In fact, most marketers seem interested in adding Facebook video to their content creation strategies, if they can find the time and resources to do it. Facebook has been doing everything they can to make this kind of marketing easier, too. They’ve even purchased companies like Masquerade, which allows users to send video selfie animations with customized appearances to connections in various social networks. Imagine reaching out to a customer that way!
4. Business tools on other apps
Facebook isn’t the only player on the social media field anymore. While it’s certainly one of the most lucrative, there are other important avenues for marketers to explore. Instagram is currently chomping at the bit, and many people are speculating that it will work business tools into its features this year as an alternative to features like Facebook’s marketplace. If this occurs, Instagram could become a viable platform for completing transactions with customers as well as influencing them, beyond the shopping tags that already exist for some retailers.
These are just a few of the trends to look out for on social media this year. Remember to keep your eyes open and spend serious time on the platforms you’re using, so that you can clock any new changes firsthand. Our research can help to orient you, but there’s no teacher like experience. Stay alert, and you may be the first to make these changes create success for your business.
What trends do you forsee for social customer service? Share your thoughts in the comments below.