Jason Keath is a social media expert, a keynote speaker, a writer and an entrepreneur, whose training sessions were attended by more than 150 of the Fortune 500. Jason is also CEO of Social Fresh Conference, the leading social media and digital marketing conference. We caught up with Jason on the major rising trends in social media.
What do you see as the biggest social media trends on the rise right now, that will develop even more in 2017?
I think the biggest trend of the year was definitely the live video, so I see video continuing to go mainstream with all businesses in 2017. Most of them will be testing live video by then, mainly because all of the major platforms are going to be pushing it: Instagram is launching live video, I think Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all combined will push businesses to use live videos, make it easier, giving tutorials, examples, making it a predominant part of their platforms. It will be interesting how consumers take that in and how they respond to that.
It is not always necessarily the easiest type of content to consume but I think it will be a larger tool set to emerge in 2017 around live video. It will be easier to schedule on every platform, to edit videos, and perhaps after finishing a video, it will be easier to advertise those posts too.
What other trends do you see growing at the moment?
I think we will probably see Facebook do something with augmented video in 2017. They’ve talked about it a lot, as we saw Pokemon Go launch this year.
I thought augmented video would launch with some type of goggle or a VR headset. The trend launched by Pokemon Go will probably be used somehow else on smartphones, and I think that would be an interesting opportunity for advertising. So you could pull up a Dunkin Donuts store to your view finder on Facebook and it will pop up a few suggestions like Starbucks or McDonalds. Just like the Pokemon Go experience, everything could be made easier for consumers to play around and experiment with, interact with businesses.
I think that’s something that we will probably see happen, and Facebook is likely to do it next year. I think video ads in general will get even more interesting. Twitter and Instagram will catch up with Facebook. There will be more full-screen advertisements, like Snapchat does, or at least more testing of that.
What do you think about the changing nature of social identity?
I think you take your social network with you sometimes now, whether you’re logged in to a new social network that connects to your phonebook or your Facebook/Twitter/Gmail account. You kind of sign up and connect with the people you know first on the platforms, so I think it mostly follows you around. Most of the new platforms that are launching are destined to be niche platforms, either focused on creating content, i.e. a live video platforms where you are creating video content, or chat communication apps, like a Whatsapp or Facebook messenger, which would not really take over a full social network stream.
It is pretty consistent every year, in terms of app competition. I believe one place where a new social network could potentially make an impact will be competing against Twitter. Twitter’s numbers are really lagging when it comes to new user growth, and even their engagement numbers are down. So it seems like there is an opportunity there for someone to come in and offer a similar service that could potentially pull away a lot of the media, entertainment and power user audience on Twitter.
What about the trend of unification of social media consumption?
I think there is a need for simplification for sure. Some users attach to one social network, using it as their main source. And they just touch base on other ones and even more so on mobile now, opening Twitter to check what they’ve missed, or Instagram. Even though Facebook is the main one they use and tap into a few times a day. One app that includes all of that – I will definitely have to wait and see.
How do you see social media influencers in 2017?
I think any content creator in 2017 should be experimenting with video as well as with new ways to create engaging videos, whether it is live video or different editing techniques. That type of visual of storytelling is going to be the main requested type of content for influencers of all types.
What do you think about the big players changing algorithms and the problems influencers face right now? Do you think it is possible that in 2017 YouTube will simplify monetization for creators for example?
Maybe a little bit. I think YouTube is typically more focused on the end user. I think anyone that’s creating content on YouTube and also trying to make money out of it is going to have to roll with the punches and try to improve what they are doing to adapt to whatever YouTube changes. It is the same for every business: Facebook makes changes every week. The algorithms focus on being user-first. So anybody doing business on the platform will just have to adapt and change their strategy.
Read more about Jason here, and make sure to comment below with your take on his vision of industry development in 2017!