130+ Experts Reveal Upcoming Social Media Trends of 2017

Social media marketing has certainly come a long way and across various platforms. Currently, it is one of the most discussed platforms for digital marketers everywhere. What has conspired to make this one of the giants in modern marketing etiquette?

The growth of social media marketing as an extremely viable avenue to increased popularity and reputation did not just happen because of one event. Rather, several elements combined over time to form this global marketing stage.

Internet and mobile penetration along with increased audience exposure are strong reasons for social media marketing to succeed. There are more than 3 billion people who log on daily to their favored social website. Marketing people have leveraged this massive amount of people on the platform to increase brand exposure, traffic and revenue for businesses.

We spoke to several experts about what would be the next significant milestone when it comes to social media marketing in 2017 and they have all important ideas that they want to share with us. This was the question posed to them –

What Would be Your Forecast for The Most Significant Social Media Marketing Trends in 2017?

The majority of the experts are leaning towards video as an ally for marketing. This means any form of video, and more specifically, live video streaming is creating a lot of buzz in the marketing niche.

Paid advertising comes a not so close second. On platforms like Facebook and Google, PPC is making a huge impact on sales numbers and revenue. Getting the movers and shakers in your niche to market your brand for you comes in next. Reaching out to people who are influencers in your niche can definitely help getting those numbers up.

Here’s what the experts have to say…

  • Live Streaming 68% 68%
  • Advertising and Pay To Play 30% 30%
  • Influencer Marketing 19% 19%
  • Artificial Intelligence 17% 17%
  • Customer Personalization 16% 16%
  • Content Marketing 16% 16%
  • Automation Tools 13% 13%
  • Promotion Policy 13% 13%
  • Virtual Reality 8% 8%
Mike Stelzner
Bio: Founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner

Algorithms, bots, and artificial intelligence will destroy the business models of people who produce content by disrupting the free flow of information. If you want your content seen, you’ll need to house it inside Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. They will incentivize content creators to not link to off-site content. These large businesses will become the equivalent of the 1990s America Online–a type of ‘Hotel California,’ where you can enter but never leave. Traffic to websites will decline and blogs will shut down. Gone will be the days of information flow and true information freedom. The future will only be more controlled, more filtered and less open. Are you ready for the change?

Gael Breton
Bio: Gael is the founder of Authority Hacker, the place to learn how to build highly profitable authority sites the ethical way.

In my opinion, the #1 thing that will change in social media in 2017 will be related to the effort networks will make to stop the spread of fake news. I expect a general effort probably led by Facebook to crowdsource user feedback and actually start reducing the visibility of articles flagged as dangerous by the user.

While this all seems like a good thing, it also means this opens the door to something SEO’s have know for a long time now : competitors negatively reporting your content to try and limit your reach. From there, it will be a constant tweaking battle between networks and malicious people to try and reduce the spread of fake / harmful content while not creating incentives to negatively report the competition.

This will seriously change the way organic reach works when it comes to social media.

Jeff Bullas
Bio: Jeff is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, marketer and keynote speaker and works with businesses to optimize their digital brand with emerging technologies, content, social media and digital marketing. His mission: “Inspire and educate people to win at business and life in a digital world”. He has spent most of his career involved with information technologies, telecommunications and the web.

The Terminator movie “Rise of the Machines” is science fiction, HAL in “Space Odyssey 2001 was futuristic and the Iron Man series is fantasy. Well…that is until technology starts making them a reality.
Arthur C. Clarke, the futurist and science fiction writer was famous for this line.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”
In marketing this is happening now. There is no escaping the fact that the rise of the smart marketing engines has now arrived. We are seeing the advance of the machines as they assist us in growing our business as extensions of our minds and amplification of our efforts.
Three trends that are tapping into this mechanized marketing at scale are:

  • Artificial intelligence: We are seeing this in a simple form with the rise of chatbots that learn as they work on websites and social networks.
  • Digital and social media marketing automation: This is going mainstream for businesses big and small (not just for the big enterprise)
  • Optimization of social media marketing tactics with applied big data: Expect the ability for every business to start tapping into this as the tools become more powerful, cheaper and easier to use.

The intersection of the art and science of marketing is now on the event horizon of 2017 ” – More reading: “The 10 Top Social Media Marketing Trends to Look Out For In 2017

Ryan Stewart
Bio: Owner of WEBRIS, a digital marketing agency specializing in content marketing and organic search.

This trend started long ago, but I see it pushing full force into 2017 – the importance of paid ads as a part of your social strategy. While “organic” social isn’t dead, it’s really hard to scale and generate revenue (without a huge following). I think in order to get the most out of social media in 2017, you’re going to have to make a monetary investment into advertising to get exposure.

Sam Hurley
Bio: #1 Ranked Digital Influencer. Entrepreneur. People Connector.

Virtual & Augmented Reality:
We all know about the success of Pokemon Go, which was a true milestone in the use of monetized AR. More brands will begin to adopt these technologies as part of their digital strategy in 2017.

Pay To Play:
As competition intensifies, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed. Social ads and owned influencer marketing will continue to be heavily invested in this year. Facebook will progressively dominate social ad budgets.

Closed Social:
Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat…the growth of these private social platforms is exponential and brands must adapt. Chat bots will also play a key role in engagement and customer service on these apps.

Olga Andrienko
Bio: Olga is the Head of Social Media at SEMrush. Olga specialises in conversion and relationship marketing and has built one of the strongest communities in the SEO industry using social media. Together with her team, she is localising the brand on major social platforms for more than 15 countries.

I am excited to see social platforms getting a new audience of people 50+ years old. Technology has made society younger and this is impacting the social media space. Businesses get new opportunities and more companies take social platforms seriously as their target audiences use it more and more.

Another trend I see is that no platform is offering their audiences for free. However, ads won’t ensure company’s success. Winning combination: engaging organic content that makes users stay more within the social platform + smart paid social strategy. If your social media team and PPC team are not working together, it’s high time for them to start.

Ron Sela
Bio: Ron Sela is a Digital Marketing Consultant who was recently named one of Top 100 Influencers in Social Media Marketing by Onalytica. His unique talent lies in helping businesses increase their bottom-line by creating innovative digital marketing experiences

2017 is off to a fast start in the world of social media marketing. The forecasted trends appear to be planting their seeds early. Being ahead of the curve is the best plan of action from this point forward. I believe each strategy is showing signs of evolving, and that’s something to keep our eyes on.

Brand ambassadors are here to stay, every year as brands launch and new faces appear in the public eye, there is a significant influx in ambassadors. There will always be a need for them, the only real shift we’ve seen in recent years is that this used to be exclusive to high-profile celebrities, however, brand ambassadors are now leaning more toward the lines of social media stars and more relatable individuals with significant followings.

Influencer marketing is right on trend in 2017, as it rightfully should be. The ideal win/win situation is more achievable through influencer marketing than ever before. Not only does everyone benefit, but the action steps from a marketing standpoint, couldn’t be more straightforward and efficient. In a social media driven market, it is very simple to contact an influential person, or several, with followers in your target market. It’s important to remember, followers know their influencers. Therefore, generic and scripted promotions of your service or product can sometimes backfire.

I see employee advocacy as the significant trend, it has been underutilized in the past, but I think we are all seeing the logic and simplicity in it now. It’s the equivalent of development from within, many individuals set a commitment to “personal development” as a resolution in the new year, which is great, and setting a goal to utilize employee advocacy is its business-building equivalent. Seeing the value in your employees will reflect back onto you. Simple gestures such as a work barbecue, or free gifts with the company logo, can create more unity and promote employee advocacy. Generally speaking, the average employee has five social media profiles online; this is only one way employees can assist in the building of your brand.

Dave Schneider
Bio: David Schneider is the cofounder of NinjaOutreach, an all-in-one blogger outreach software for marketers. He writes about business and entrepreneurship and enjoys travel.

Enterprises are realizing the power that social media influencers yield. As more people distrust paid ads and endorsements from celebrities, businesses are beginning to take influencer marketing on social media seriously. This will play an even bigger role this 2017, especially as more people move away from traditional media sources and gravitate towards social media for their source of information (news, reviews, etc). Live streaming features such as Facebook Live, where people can also comment and click on their reactions to the feed in real time, is also an important update. It can basically be used as a free, live social benchmarking tool and this, among other potential uses, is something that social media marketers should take advantage of.

Evan Carmichael
Bio: Evan Carmichael, Entrepreneurial Expert. Evan Carmichael #Believe in entrepreneurs. At 19, he built then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a VC helping raise $500k to $15mil. He now run EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs. He breathes and bleeds entrepreneurship. He’s obsessed. Aiming to help 1 billion entrepreneurs. Change the world. He has set 2 world records, uses a stand-up desk, rides a Vespa, raises funds for Kiva, wears 5-toe shoes and created Entrepreneur trading cards. He speaks globally but Toronto (#EntCity) is home. He loves being married, his son, salsa dancing, DJing, League of Legends, and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Small biz vs brands

  • Small businesses will continue to dominate at social while big brands mostly struggle
  • For small businesses it will increasingly become the #1 way they drive new business

Video dominates

  • Video will become increasingly important across all platforms
  • The ones who win will: stand for something, understand storytelling, be authentic, and take advantage of new technology like 360 and 4k/8k video
  • The ones who lose will be the ones who focus on promoting over providing value
  • Live video streaming will play an increasingly important role across all platforms

Mobile first

  • Marketing must focus on mobile first, desktop second as mobile use continues to grow
    Websites and campaigns must be designed with the mobile user as the priority audience
    Advertising costs will rise
  • For those spending on advertising, the cost to reach your audience will rise as more brands shift budgets to social
  • Facebook targeted ads is still the most cost effective way to reach a specific audience but the cost to reach them will rise in 2017

Influencer marketing will explode

  • Influencer marketing is still underpriced and a great way to connect with audiences
  • More brands will add influencer marketing to their strategy in 2017, driving up the cost of programs
  • Successful brands will have to navigate the willingness to give up creative control of content to allow the influencer campaigns to bring the best ROI

Content will grow

  • The amount of content, and quality content, from businesses will grow. Those who produce more will win.
  • Smart companies will show behind the scenes, become thought leaders, and feature their sawdust

Data nerds will reign

Larry Kim
Bio: Larry is the Founder of WordStream, Inc. a PPC software management company managing approximately 1 Billion dollars of advertising spend for over 10 thousand customers worldwide. The Boston-based company employs over 200 people.

Companies will use messaging + AI to connect with customers.

Louise Myers
Bio: Louise Myers is a graphic design expert whose designs have been featured by Disney, Macy’s, WalMart and more. Her straightforward writing style empowers small business owners to craft a social media strategy and make their own graphics for online marketing success.

There’s an undeniable explosion in the importance of visual content that stops viewers from scrolling on by. Though my forté is graphics, we also can’t ignore the rise of video, and especially live video. Facebook and Instagram are giving these priority in the newsfeed and notifications, giving an extra push of visibility to your content.

If your visual strategy involves reposting others’ content and using plain stock photos, it’s time to up your game. And if video works for your business, there’s no time like today to jump on board.

Ashley Faulkes
Bio: Ashley is an SEO and WordPress pro and the founder of Mad Lemmings. When not busy helping clients get to the top of Google, he can be found deep in the Swiss Alps doing dangerous sports.

For me, the trend this year is clear – focus on video, mostly live. It started with Facebook, and that will only expand. Now, other social media platforms are following in their own style with Instagram adding both stories and live video, and now Snapchat too. If you are not hot on the tail of video, maybe it is time to rethink your strategy for 2017!

Kathryn Aragon
Bio: Kathryn Aragon is a content strategist and consultant on mission to help you not only create better content but integrate it into your marketing for more traffic and sales.

Facebook Live is a game changer. We already knew videos are the rock stars of social media, but live video is certainly going to take over. It makes video accessible even to small and solopreneur businesses with small budgets.

Jacob Cass
Bio: Jacob Cass is a prolific graphic designer who runs the popular design blog, Just Creative, which doubles as his award-winning graphic design & branding firm. Jacob’s clients includes the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Disney, Nintendo, Powerade and he has even been declared the “top graphic designer in NYC” by The New York Post. He has a strong personal following of 76,000 Twitter followers and his websites have been viewed over 3.5 billion times.

Social shopping is going to be huge in 2017, with instant purchases going to be at the forefront of advertising. There’s also going to be more chat bots, more paid content and even more video! Get ready!

Rebekah Radice
Bio: Rebekah Radice is an award winning writer, Top 10 social media and small business influencer and CMO of Post Planner. As a recognized leader and International Keynote Speaker, Rebekah has been featured on NBC, CBS, and at the NATO International Summit.

Consumer behavior has shifted. Whether or not you capture attention and if you win the battle over dollars in 2017 will be dependent on how you make your audience feel.

Stop casting a wider net. Dig deep into the buyer’s journey. Create a personalized experience that meets your ideal customer every step of the way in the decision making process.

Matt Hopson
Bio: I am the lead paid search/ social media consultant here at Screaming Frog. I’ve been in the industry since 2008 working with a wide range of clients in pretty much every vertical.

2017 will see Facebook continue to grow in terms of users. There will be a shift here away from the more standard one dimensional sentiment-led posts to more immersive content using live video. The recent surge in VR could also make an appearance with brands trying to tempt users into experience-led content updates where they get a full 360 degree experience. (Watch out for Red Bull potentially trialling this first). Research from the team over at Pew has already shown that Instagram & Pinterest have moved further past Twitter in terms of users (http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/) and unless changes are made at Twitter I can see this usage gap increasing further. Snapchat is also going to continue to grow as older users start using the app as the audience starts to move away from its traditionally strong base of millennials.

Although large brands have had a small stake in their social media, 2017 will see the shift finally move from using social as an ‘also-ran’ to the primary communication channel for their digitally led campaigns. We’ve seen brands trial this a little in 2016 (Adidas & Man Utd. for example) however this will become a lot more mainstream in 2017 with major campaign launches starting on social before moving to the more traditional marketing channels.

With this shift in focus, the level of competition in terms of paid social advertising is only going to increase as advertisers look to leverage their brand advocates. Brands will want to get the most for their investment and use people’s own social bubbles to share their marketing messages for them. We’ll also start to see organizations really drilling down on the returns from each of the platforms and instead of splitting their focus on multiple profiles focus their attention solely on those that deliver the performance they need.

Finally, although people should have learnt by now I’m sure we’ll also see our fair share of mistakes and poorly timed/ themed campaigns. I’m also not taking any bets on Donald Trump entering into some sort of argument on Twitter with either another World Leader or Global brand.

Chris Gilchrist
Bio: Founder & MD of @hitreach. A UK web design/development & digital marketing agency.

Mobile forges the on-the-go consumerism, we keep our phone tethered to our sides, social media influences our daily decisions including our purchasing decisions. Social is the WOM of today, unless you monitor social and market on social appropriately you will be at a distinct disadvantage in 2017 and going forward.

Social influencers are growing on a daily basis, and not the 40+ somethings who started on TV and now have a large social following. Blogger, vloggers some have never heard of have millions of views, followers, regrammers etc. People become entrenched in the social web, immersing themselves daily in broadening circles influenced by their connections, every one of these new connections influences their social media behaviours, their likes, dislikes and purchases online, either directly or sublimely.

Paid social media advertising is on the increase, however many consumers are becoming more resentful of the intrusive behaviour of advertising and marketing in social channels. Consumers don’t want brands aggressively pushing their way into their social media feeds. The challenge for companies is to be mindful of existing and potential audiences and treat them with respect. Agile, fun, always classy and a little sassy, that’s the way to create engagement and that’s the key!

Things move on… It’s not just about Promoted Tweets, Sponsored Ads, Promoted Pins, Instagram Sponsored Ads, but the enormous evolution of Snapchat, now called ‘Snap’. Instagram have even introduced their own version of ‘Instagram Stories’ with very similar features to Snap allowing users to share unique content with their followers.

There will be more to come in 2017 with more technological advancements, more use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality – know your audience, know what they like and know how to talk to them.

Things to watch out for – more bots and a crackdown on “fake news”. Facebook has already announced its plan to tackle fake news on its site, but there is still a lot of progress to be made in 2017 by social media platforms to ensure fake news doesn’t continue to spread.

The ability to stream live videos and 360 degree live events is another hot trend, with Facebook, Instagram and YouTube already taking advantage of this. However, there is still a lot of potential to be reached as more businesses take to social media platforms to capitalize on live video to raise awareness of their brands.

Agnieszka Jaśkiewicz
Bio: Coffee to social media content converter at LiveChat.

I think the technology will let live streaming grow and have better quality in social channels. When it comes to my industry (B2B SaaS), there is still a lot of potential in communities (for example Slack, Quora, GrowthHackers).

Sean Si
Bio: Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker, an SEO company in the Philippines and Qeryz. A start-up, data analysis and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

As far as I can see, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter will lose more and more ground as people invest more and more time and data in their platform of choice. As of now, the winning platform for most countries is Facebook. Ads will still run pretty much the same as it is now. There will be significant increases in ads spend in social media at large this year. VR will generate a lot of interest as a smart integration between VR and social media platforms are tested. Social media will still be a go-to driver of brand awareness campaigns and top-of-funnel user acquisition.

Andrew Dennis
Bio: Andrew is a Content Marketing Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm in Boise, Idaho. He is an avid sports fan, although he’s not very good at picking teams since he’s a Sacramento Kings and Detroit Lions fan.

I think live streaming video will continue to grow in popularity at a tremendous rate in 2017 and smart marketers will find ways to leverage this platform for effective, personalized messaging. But regardless of platform brands need to build trust on social media by adding value rather than just trying to sell, and those that do will be able to build a real community and connect with their audiences in 2017 and beyond.

Chris Makara
Bio: Since 2003, Chris Makara has developed a broad digital marketing background with a focus on SEO, Social Media, and Analytics. He is the founder of Bulkly (https://bulk.ly), a social media automation tool for individuals and small businesses.

I think this year everyone is going to try to get a leg-up in the live stream game. Just about all the major social channels have some sort of live stream/video component.

And while Facebook certainly wasn’t the first to offer it, I think it’s going to be hard for the other social channels to make it long term based on the sheer amount of people who use Facebook compared to other channels. Even with a low adoption rate, the amount of people using it can easily pass up some of the other key players in a relatively short time. In fact, unlike most other platforms – Facebook is investing some heavy marketing dollars behind this feature as seen in recent TV commercials.

The key will really be what channels do the mega-influencers use as their “go-to” choice for streaming live content and how they use it to build their brand and ultimately market to their audience.

Mike Allton
Bio: Mike is a Content Marketing Practitioner, Blogger and Author in St. Louis, and the Chief Marketing Officer at SiteSell.

Throughout 2016 we saw more and more social networks fall victim to the dearth of choices users were presented. There were simply too many networks to choose from and devote time to, resulting in lost user base and revenue for unsustainable networks (e.g. Vine).

In 2017, as the playing field levels, we’ll see more and more features being applied to the existing networks which brings ubiquitous capability. Live video being the prime example.

By the end of 2017, every social network which wishes to continue being relevant to its users will have some form of video creation integrated – even LinkedIn.

Gavin Hammar
Bio: Gavin is the founder of the social media management platform, http://sendible.com, currently empowering over 20,000 businesses worldwide to be more productive on social media.

Even more video

Live video seems to be the buzzword across a lot of the largest social media platforms for 2017 and I think several of them will be heavily pushing this over the next 12 months. Instagram is now in direct competition for short clips with Snapchat through their Stories feature, Facebook Live has exploded, doubling the amount of videos posted in the last year. Video posts not only reach more people (135% more reach than image only posts) they are more engaging (live viewers watch for 3 times longer) and provide greater interaction (10 times the comments of recorded video), so expect this to continue to grow next year.

Virtual reality is going to erupt

From recent acquisitions and new feature releases, it is very clear that social media is gearing up to offer more virtual reality. Google recently acquired Eyefluence – a start-up focused on eye-tracking – a very important technology to future virtual reality headsets. Facebook 360 was introduced back in June, which enables users to create complete 360 degree photos and videos, allowing viewers to explore and discover new places and experiences from their device. Facebook are also releasing 360 for Facebook Live in the next couple of months – another step toward their virtual reality vision.

Following the huge success of Pokemon Go, I think we will see similar games emerging in 2017, but with more of a social spin. We will also see monetisation opportunities for companies to pay to place Pokemon (for example) in their stores to attract customers. So, local + social + gamification will be a big thing in 2017.

Machine learning

It is so important for brands to be visible on social media and offer the best levels of customer service and this is taking a whole new dimension with machine learning. Facebook recently introduced bots for Facebook Messenger, allowing companies to automate interactions with their customers.

Gini Dietrich
Bio: Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Artificial intelligence and how it might affect our roles in the next five to 10 years is my forecast for the most significant social media marketing trend this year.

We already have marketing automation—that works when done well—and chatbots, but those are just the tip of the iceberg.

If Watson can diagnose a rare form of cancer and self-driving cars will change the way we get around, think about what AI will do to/for communications.

It’s scary, sure, but the possibilities are also endless.

Right now, think about how your content curation can change for the better.

Think about how much easier it will be to update your website to customize for the visitors on site at an exact moment.

Think about a more-evolved customer experience.

It’s exciting!

Andy Crestodina


Andy Crestodina is a co-founder and the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, an award-winning 38-person web design company in Chicago.

Over the past 15 years, Andy has provided web strategy and advice to more than a thousand businesses. As a top-rated speaker at national conferences and as a writer for many of the biggest blogs, Andy has dedicated himself to teaching marketing.

In 2017, the gap will grow. Big players will grow faster as they get more sophisticated in their services and tools. Automation and optimization platforms will improve traffic and conversion rates, but only for the brands that have these tools and processes in place.

Tim Ash

Bio: Tim Ash is the author of two bestselling books on Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners, a strategic conversion rate optimization agency with offices in San Diego, and Tampa. He has developed deep expertise in user-centered design, neuromarketing, understanding online behavior, and split testing.

Over the past 20 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Sears, Google, Expedia, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, Autodesk, Yahoo! and many others have benefited from Tim’s deep understanding and innovative perspective.

Tim is a highly-regarded online marketing keynote speaker and presenter at industry conferences worldwide including DreamForce, Inbound, Internet Retailer, Affiliate Summit, Shop.org, PubCon, SMX, and countless others. He is the founder and chairperson of the international Conversion Conference event series and a frequent contributor to print and online publications. Tim has been mentioned by Forbes as a Top-10 Online Marketing Expert, and by Entrepreneur Magazine as an Online Marketing Influencer To Watch.

The increasing dominance of mobile as the first-touch screen, and the rapid increase of millennials as a market force creates a powerful convergence. Short form video – both live and recorded, will play a large role in effective social media strategies.

Brian Jackson
Bio: Director of Inbound Marketing at Kinsta. Obsessed with SEO, SaaS, webperf, WordPress, SMM & growth hacking. Also blogger at woorkup.

I think that 2017 will end up being the year of social media automation. This is both good and bad. There are so many social media platforms now that businesses will almost have to figure out ways to automate some of it just to keep up and break through, what I call “the noise”. I have had great success with re-posting evergreen content with tools like smarterqueue, buffer, and quuu. If you have great content, you should be re-sharing it multiple times so to get as many eyes on it as possible. There are definitely things that shouldn’t be automated, but some automation can definitely increase your productivity and workflow. The bad news is this also contributes more to “the noise.” So it will be interesting to see what social media is like 5 years from now.

Mike Kawla

Bio: Mike Kawula is the CEO Social Quant, a top ranked Twitter tool by HubSpot that helps you find the most relevant followers on Twitter that will interact with your business.

Michael is an entrepreneur whose last 3 businesses each hit 7 figures in under 3 years with his past being ranked the 144th fastest growing company by Inc. Magazine in 2012.

He’s an author, has been featured on CNN, interviewed by Anthony Robbins and featured in over 100 publications over the last few years. Michael has been an entrepreneur since 9/10/2001, has a strong passion for marketing, startups, his family and the Florida beaches.

The sizzle is in digital for entrepreneurs in 2017 and there is no doubt that social media marketing will continue to expand at a rapid pace. It has tons of potential for everyday business owners to attract new customers at a much lower price point than traditional advertising.

Live stream video marketing will continue to gain tons of attention with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others consistently innovating. Plenty of eyeballs will be glued to live streaming video in 2017.

I also believe chatbots/artificial intelligence will play a big role in automated marketing and customer support, and much of this will be via social media.

My caution to entrepreneurs who are looking to make 2017 the banner year for your business is make sure to measure metrics that matter.

It’s not about the number of followers you have on a particular platform, or how many people viewed your video, opened your email or whatever vanity metric you may be measuring.

Remember you are the captain of your ship. The metrics you need to measure to assure your business is around in 2018 and beyond, continue to be customer acquisition cost and customer retention cost.

Keep this in mind with all your marketing decisions in 2017 and you’ll have an amazing year!

Devesh Khanal
Bio: Devesh is a co-founder @growandconvert, a B2B content marketing company, and wordable.io, and small app to help people draft in Google Docs and import to WordPress in one click. He also is the founder of the CRO agency GrowthRock.co.

I think B2B companies will continue to see that vanity social media metrics like engagement don’t result in business value for B2B. If you’re an Instagram or YouTube Celebrity selling ads to a fitness audience for example, then sure, counting likes and views makes sense, because you get paid on likes and views. But if you’re selling large annual contracts of backend database software into the heads of IT, at some point you will start to serious question whether the number of retweets you get equates to useful leads for your sales team to close. The focus at that point will turn to more sustainable inbound channels like driving targeted traffic to your own domain via well researched articles aimed squarely at your target audience. We write about this extensively.

David Meerman Scott
Bio: Marketing & Sales Strategist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author of 10 books including The New Rules of Marketing & PR.

Rather than living in isolated in marketing, in 2017 content makes significant inroads to benefit the entire organization. At progressive organizations salespeople curate content customer support sends content to solve problems, and management uses content engagement metrics to manage the business

Steven Macdonald
Bio: Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer at SuperOffice.com and is based in Tallinn, Estonia

Video marketing will be the biggest trend in social media in 2017.

According to a recent study by Cisco, 80% of all content consumed online will be through video, and therefore the leading brands and social media influencers and experts will already be ahead of competition by shifting almost all of their social media content from written form to video.

At SuperOffice, we’ve shifted our social media strategy to share more “how to” related videos, product demos and tips and tricks, and since sharing our videos on social media, we’ve seen these videos grow from 0 to 145,00 video views!

Marcus Miller
Bio: Digital Marketing Strategist based in Birmingham, UK. Helping businesses and brands around understand the digital landscape and execute high ROI marketing campaigns across the search and social landscape.

As with 2016 a key trend in 2017 will be constant change and evolution. Social usage is still growing and success will need a keen eye on trends.

The following are what I see as key trends in Social for 2017.

Social Messaging – social messaging will be huge. The social messaging apps have more active users than the social networks. This proves not all interpersonal communications should be public à la Facebook status updates. People want their privacy back.

Fake news – Social networks (and search engines) will crack down on fake news. Google has and still is really struggling with fact checking and fake news and social networks will likely have the same problems.

Pay to Play – this is the big one for me and as with search businesses are going to have less results from organic social and will need to invest in paid promotion. Competition and costs will scale on the established platforms so users will look to new platforms for improved ROI.

John Rampton
Bio: I am a serial entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert, author, speaker, investor and advisor for other startups. I am Co-Founder and CEO of Due, an online invoicing and payments company that offers multiple solutions for freelancers and small business owners.

The most significant social media marketing trends in 2017 will be ephemeral video marketing like Snapchat and Instagram offer with briefly available videos that get people to act faster in case they miss something. Another social media marketing trend in 2017 will be enhanced personalization through the increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence like we have seen with chatbots and personalized content (paid and organic).

Mark Traphagen
Bio: Mark Traphagen is Senior Director of Brand Evangelism for Stone Temple Consulting, an award-winning 70+ person digital marketing agency serving Fortune 100 brands. Mark is a sought-after speaker at major conferences such as SMX, Pubon, and Mozcon, and writes regularly for numerous industry publications.

Live Video is the Pokémon Go of 2017…by which I mean it has a ton of early adoption and hype, but will eventually taper off as a marketing channel. I realize this bucks the conventional wisdom of many social media gurus, but I see live video as being way too effort-intensive with small measurable return for all but a niche of brands to continue to indulge in it.

Enterprise brands will have to mature in their social media focus, from a desperate scramble to get as many (and whatever) eyeballs and engagement they can, to providing more focused true value to their audiences, and that includes using social for fast customer service.

The brands that get the most of our social media in 2017 will be those that integrate social with their other marketing departments (content, PR, SEO, etc.), forcing them to play together nice to enhance each other’s efforts.

Eric Brantner
Bio: Eric Brantner is a serial blogger with several high-traffic, successful blogs in a variety of niches. You can find him at Scribblrs.com, CutCableToday.com, and on many other websites.

One of the things social media marketers need to focus on in 2017 is making sure they’re sharing quality, accurate content. A few months ago, Facebook announced it had updated its algorithm to punish misleading, clickbait-style headlines (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-04/facebook-tweaks-news-feed-algorithm-to-punish-click-bait-posts). The Buzzfeed-style headlines of ‘You’ll never believe what #7 is” and “She was shocked when she learned this one thing…” are now being buried by Facebook. And more recently, we’ve seen the major social media sites aggressively targeting “fake news” and penalizing content that’s deemed inaccurate or misleading. In other words, in 2017, you need to make sure the content you’re sharing is high quality and that you aren’t misleading your audience just for a click.

Sean Smith
Bio: Sean is the Co-founder of digital marketing agency, SimpleTiger (simpletiger.com) helping businesses rank higher in search engines, speak to their audience through creative content, and reach their audience through targeted PR.

My biggest thought towards Social Media Marketing trends in 2017 are that the niche networks that are hyper-focused on conversions in their own area will be king for direct response marketing – and all the traditional social media platforms will be primarily used as branding tools rather than any tangible results. What I mean by this is Twitter engagement (however much faith you put in that metric to begin with) is falling fast, and Facebook’s fake news scandals are really not helping people’s trust in what they read on these networks. Meanwhile auxiliary networks are taking off in their potential value – such as curated forums, targeted app networks, things of that nature.

An example would be Thumbtack – not a very “social network” but a network where plenty of business could be done in a highly converting and tangible way. Pinterest, bumble, things of that nature will continue to rise because they have a direct purpose and are top of mind when people have a direct need. Marketers need to adapt to do what they can to be in front of consumers on these platforms – and leave the other platforms primarily for branding or broad appeal with a lower focus on conversions.

Joe Williams
Bio: Joe Williams is a digital marketer for Zen Optimise.

I expect 2017 to be the year that artificial intelligence takes off and becomes mainstream in social media marketing. Customer service bots will become more common and more useful. Facebook and Instagram will piggyback on Snapchat’s facial filters which uses artificial intelligence.

Google’s RankBrain algorithm is another example of artificial intelligence (and their third most important ranking factor) and I feel 2017 could be the year Google surprises us all by re-teaming up with Twitter in a huge way.

I also expect 360° video content to be big through GoPro cameras on Twitter and Facebook. This in turn may provide a shift where video lives up to its promise, and consumers expect more of it from brands at the expense of blogging and other forms of written content.

Sue Dunlevie
Bio: Sue Dunlevie help bloggers make money with their blogs so they can work at home, be their own boss and spend more time doing what they love.

As we saw towards the end of 2016, I think 2017 will continue to utilize live video more and more, especially Facebook Live and Snap. I also think more and more marketers are moving toward focusing on one or two platforms, such as Pinterest, Facebook groups or Instagram, rather than trying to conquer it all.

Ted Rubin

Bio: Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Acting CMO of Brand Innovators, and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path. In March 2009 he started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR. Ted left his position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias on August 31, 2013. He remained a principal shareholder until the November 2016 acquisition by Inmar.

In the words of Collective Bias Co-Founder John Andrews… “Ted, you were the vision, heartbeat and soul of Collective Bias, thank you for building a great company. From innovations like cbSocially to the amazing relationships you built with the blogger community, clients and employees, you drove the epic growth. You will be missed!”

Many people in the social media world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, and number #2 on the Leadtail list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers.

Return on Relationship, ROR, #RonR, is the basis of his philosophy… It’s All About Relationships! His book, Return on Relationship was released January 2013. His new book, How To Look People in the Eye Digitally, was released January 2015. Connect with Ted at TedRubin.com or @TedRubin.

What I see being huge heading into 2017 is live streaming, and the ability to share all video, AND “all content,” in so many more ways, via more apps, with story-telling and engagement at the core. You need to try these platforms. You need to jump in. You need to see how you can tell stories, create narratives, build relationships, communicate with consumers, and create learning for your organization.

This is way more than just a another content fad, but rather it’s online video crossing a crucial threshold… You want to know really why I think it’s gonna be huge? Not because I’m using it or Millennials and GenZ are using it… it’s because it’s making video social. Because they’re not just streaming what’s happening live. They’re allowing you to engage with those streams… you are now able to be a part of the conversation. #RonR… #NoLetUp!

Rhea Drysdale
Bio: Rhea Drysdale is Chief Executive Officer of Outspoken Media, a digital marketing agency that grows, protects, and manages brands online. Rhea oversees the strategic vision and growth of the company, its clients, and team. As a small digital marketing agency, Outspoken Media services small, medium and Fortune 100 clients providing social media strategy, SEO consulting, reputation marketing, outreach, content strategy, and full content, creative, and social implementation services.

More creative integrations and features for digital stories on major social platforms and the ongoing rise of live video. With a wider adoption of home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, it’ll be interesting to see whether social apps find a way to integrate with these devices in a significant way. There will also be more brands finding creative ways to engage with their audience and influencers using custom social apps and communities.

Daniel Newman
Bio: CEO at Broadsuite,Inc

Social Media is no longer a silo, it is an integral part of the media mix. Into the future there will be virtually no digital activities that will not be measured. This is going to be the expectation of management, but it will also be a core piece of validation for social media and marketing leaders in the enterprise. What is published, will (and should) be measured.

Elise Williams
Bio: Elise Williams is an expert in not only monetizing traffic but also growing it by leaps and bounds. She’s a magnificent writer, has a head for numbers and lots of hidden talents. In her free time she loves playing tennis, reading non-fiction and singing.

Paid social media influencer usage will grow significantly in 2017. 2016 saw a good boost but we’ll see it accelerate. Social media influencers are realizing how much money they can make by promoting other sites and products to their communities. They will further monetize their followings but users will start to notice. Some social media influencers will cross the line and monetize too much and their following engagement will drop.

Tema Frank
Bio: Tema is the author of the bestselling book, PeopleShock: The Path To Profits When Customers Rule. She’s worked in digital marketing since putting up her first website in 1995. (Yep, there was a Web back then.) She also founded Web Mystery Shoppers, the world’s first company to do omnichannel customer service testing. She advises business leaders, speaks and teaches in the US, Canada, France and Mexico.

From the perspective from someone who works in the Customer Experience field, I believe the most significant social media marketing trend will be increased and improved use of social media for social customer care. Increasingly people turn to social media to get answers from companies quickly. Companies that aren’t paying attention or don’t respond well pay a heavy price in damage to their reputation.

David Leonhardt
Bio: David Leonhardt, President, The Happy Guy Marketing

I think in 2017, we’ll start to see more targeting. I think companies will think less in terms of “Let’s do FaceBook” or “Let’s do LinkedIn”, and more in terms of “Where can I find groups of Oklahoma folks hanging out?” or “Where can I find groups of budding actors hanging out.”

The big social media sites are vast places, and you can get lost in the noise. So many followers. So many comments. But who cares, if your niche is narrow?

My one caveat to this is that narrowcasting can leave a lot of value on the table. Although one’s prime targets are the most valuable, sometimes others who might never buy from you can be superb at spreading the word. And from an SEO perspective, it helps to reach more people. So, while not all followers are created equal, all (or almost all) are valuable.

Minuca Elena
Bio: Minuca is a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundups. Her posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers.

The biggest trend in 2017 is Facebook live. It’s so easy now for bloggers to connect with their readers. All you need is a smartphone, and all of your followers will be notified that you are transmitting live. Darren Rowse and Neil Patel do regular Q&A sessions through FB live.

If you want to build a strong brand and sell info products (eBooks, courses, training, etc. ), Facebook live and FB ads are the best tools you can use to reach your goals.

If you have an eCommerce site where you sell physical products, then your main focus should be Pinterest. Pinners are mostly women that have a buyer intent. They go on Pinterest to find clothes or home decor objects they later purchase. That’s why Pinterest is considered a search engine and not a social network.

Use group boards and promoted pins to grow a following fast and reach to a larger audience.

Fervil Von Tripoli
Bio: Fervil Von is a full-time SEO specialist and digital marketing strategist in Philippines with 6 years of mixed experience in internet marketing.

The cost of social media advert spending will continue to rise in the years to come. Businesses are now learning to understand the power of social media (paid or organic) to drive more sales and leads to their business.

This means more competition in the advertising space in top social media sites.

According to Hootsuite Social media advertising usage statistics (https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-advertising-stats/), the Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past 2 years—going from $16 billion U.S. in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. We’re seeing more online businesses who are investing in this marketing channel for their growth in the digital space.

John E Dunn
Bio: Former editor of several tech titles in PC, networking, Internet, startup and cybersecurity space. Worked at Techworld and Computerworld for many years.

It’s going to get a lot harder. The core of people who are suspicious of social media is growing and that is something organizations using it need to take note of. It is even possible it could turn quite negative, leaving marketers posting in a lonely echo chamber. Less could be about to become more but how much less?

Warren Whitlock
Bio: Top 10 social media power influencer, author of the first book about Twitter and “Profitable Social Media: Business Results Without Playing Games” Advisor, Consultant, Influence Architect, Board Member, Director of Startup Grind Las Vegas and friend.

The revolution is social media is more than a tool or platform. Companies are beginning to see that personal, authentic connections with key influencers and every prospect and customer will build a brand 8-10 times as fast as pushing a message. Mass media is still a big part of ad budgets but the trend towards read connection means that influencer will do more than be another conduit for pushing out ad messages. Real engagement in sponsored content will outperform past marketing.

Tom Demers
Bio: Tom Demers is the co-founder and managing partner of Measured SEM and Digital Examiner. His companies offer paid search management, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing services to businesses of varying sizes in various industries.

With more users and a growing content inventory I think search on SnapChat / Twitter / Instagram / etc. will become even more an even more important factor for social media marketers. I think making your content findable and relevant to specific social platforms will become a growing focus (just as it did on the web). Is your real-time content searchable on Twitter? Is your YouTube tutorial optimized? Are you using the right Instagram hashtags and serving the right content for your audience on that platform? The flip side of this is that I think companies will need to get better at choosing and focusing on the best platform for the specific kind of content they’re best at, so being smart and selective with where you distribute what kind of content (then becoming expert at distributing content for that platform) will be even more important (particularly for smaller businesses).

Erik Emanuelli
Bio: Problogger, freelance writer and social media marketer.

Influencer marketing will be huge in 2017.

I saw many companies looking for influencers in their industry and investing in social media marketing during 2016 and this trend will surely grow this year.

When you think about influencer marketing, you probably think about big celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers, but it’s not just that.

Brands are also looking for what are called micro influencers, or else, people who have been able to grow authority in their niche and who are authentically capable of creating a big level for engagement with their followers.

Eric Siu
Bio: Eric Siu is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. Single Grain has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as Salesforce and Intuit to help scale their revenues using a combination of SEO and advertising strategies. Eric also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere.

We are going to continue to see the rise of video. Video is taking over our newsfeed and with the push into live and semi-live video, it just makes sense because video is easier to consume.

David Krauter
Bio: David Krauter first a marketer first and a “techy SEO geek” second… he is the founder of Websites That Sell providing Website & SEO services with a focus on more traffic, leads, phone calls & sales – not just rankings…

Virtual experiences online. Social media has become very good at reporting real time events, making the experience online via video, 360 images etc not only nearly instant but very engaging.

As brands take advantage of this more and more and social platforms allow for more vicarious experiences through technology, the virtual online experience via social media will become huge in 2017 and beyond.

No longer will users merely read, like and share things about events, product launches or news… With the advancement of virtual reality technology and the integration of this technology into social media, users will be able to partake in activities and experiences as if they were there.

This will dramatically drive engagement and open new innovative opportunities for brands to engage with their target market.

John Paul Aguiar
Bio: John Paul Aguiar helps Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners how to use blogging, social media to help grow their blogs or business.

I believe there will be a big push for 2 main things in 2017, bigger and smarter use of social media influencer and LIVE video content.

1. I think one of the biggest things we will see in 2017 will be more use of social media influencers to help brands get their message, content and brand pushed further.

I think the only real difference in use will be, “Less is More”, working with a smaller group of quality influencers instead a large hit or miss list of influencers that I believe softens your results.

2. 2017 will be the year we all go LIVE. Live video will be used more and more. For me video doesn’t have to go viral to be helpful, I believe we will see more people using video more frequently, used in the same way you would a blog post, share information, be helpful, get watchers to take action.

Ana Hoffman
Bio: Ana never thought Internet marketing would be her career of choice, but when she got her head around SEO, she knew she had found her passion. That passion became the centerpiece of her popular blog, Traffic Generation Café. Ana is always ready to serve her readers and subscribers, with free traffic generation strategies, like SEO, social media, blogging and other internet marketing methods – like her latest passion for content repurposing.

Social Media 2017 will continue to focus on the new shiny things like AI and chatbots… but all the important things will remain in place (just like they should be) – a PERSONAL, personable interaction with the audience, prospects, customers. Efficiency doesn’t equal autopilot!

Don Purdum
Bio: Don Purdum is the founder and owner of UnveilTheWeb.com. He is a Digital Marketing Consultant and award winning blogger who helps businesses unleash the untapped potential of their digital marketing and discover how to make their brands irresistible.

Many of the trends that started in 2016 will build momentum and carry over in 2017. Things like live video streaming, user engagement trends, more pay-to-play for those who have low followers and engagement levels, etc.

What I believe will be most significant is the need to reach people where they are at instead of trying to force them to meet us as business owners where we are at.

While not necessarily new, this focus will intensify in 2017.

Relevant and unique content will need to be curated uniquely for social media channels. As a result, different platforms may require different content.

This will require us to focus on multichannel marketing requiring more effort to ensure engagement and interact with potential customers on the various platforms.

Another way of saying this is that the post and forget it forms of automation will be significantly minimized.

In 2017, active participation, conversation and engagement will be a priority over the post and forget it forms of social media over the past few years. Social media won’t just be an aggregator of content. It will be a growing community of people who connect together on platforms of their choice because they value the one another’s content, contributions and relationships that mutually benefit one another.

This will require a more diverse social media growth strategy than in previous years.

However, for those who engage, they will see growth opportunities, engagement and sales funnels fuller than in 2016.

Edyta Kowal
Bio: Content Manager & Editor at Prowly.com

1. Fighting fake news

Not only are we now literally bombarded with news (according to Yankelovich Consumer Research there are 5 thousand news stories per person every day), recently we more often fall victim to false information that exploits human gullibility. The recent cases associated with the American elections or the first appearance of the White House Press Secretary shortly after Donald Trump was sworn in as the president of the United States – show the scale of the problem we are facing. Meanwhile, it is online, and not the on the radio, TV or in the newspapers, that new generations (especially Millennials) look for information on which they will base their worldview. What’s more, they expect transparency.

The solution that Facebook recently presented is to use independent, non-Facebook institutions whose task will be to verify the content that is spread around social media. Facebook users can now report messages that they think are false and refer them for a detailed examination. If at least two organizations deem the information as false, it will be marked in a special way – on the bottom of the page, a “Disputed by 3rd Party Fact Checkers” message will appear. Additionally, when you attempt to share this material, you will be informed of the results of the verification and encouraged to reconsider sharing this false information. The question is whether this solution – which raised some objections and concerns of censorship, among others – will be enough. Germany apparently believes that not really, as they decided to take matters into their own hands and punish social media platforms with substantial fines if they don’t take false news off their sites. We can expect more such initiatives in the future, including PR institutions (take a look at PRSA statement) and media (CNN against Trump and his “alternative facts”)

2. Social messages – more features, greater reach

Applications such as Messenger have overshadowed regular social media for quite some time now – they are not only used to send text messages, GIFs, pictures or videos, but constitute entire ecosystems with their own developers and API.

Interestingly, 62 percent of Millennials are more loyal to brands that communicate with them through “over-the-top” (OTT) channels. It is estimated that in 2018 such applications will be used by more than 2 billion users. Users that now expect a more personal communication with the brand. Ads on social media, which send us directly to a chat are only the beginning.

3. Live video – your way to authenticity

How many people use YouTube nowadays? Over one billion. That’s almost one-third of all people on the Internet. What is more, online video now accounts for upwards of 50 percent of all mobile traffic. Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram (it just confirmed live-streaming coming to all users this week), and Facebook have already integrated some form of video content on their platforms, and that video feature emerged as the central medium for interaction. Brands don’t want to stay behind, and they have also added it to their online marketing strategy. For example, Demand Metric interviewed 398 marketing, sales, and business professionals which revealed that 69% had used video marketing and another 31% are planning to. What about live video streaming?

Is it working? Definitely. Snapchat already has over 10 billion daily views of its video content, and within five years, a user’s News Feed on Facebook might be entirely video too – at least a Facebook executive says so. Live video – it’s your way to share authentic content. I’m sure we will not stop here. We are not going to slow down either. We just love video content, especially Millennials. But there seems to be one major barrier to overcome – a lack of an effective strategy. Even the companies with successful video marketing programs today say that it was their most challenging obstacle to success when they were getting started ( Video Marketing Strategy Benchmarks for Success).

4. Paid content vs. Organic engagement

While more and more brands and freelancers may try paid content support (for $50 we can expect to reach 20 thousand users), quality content, and more importantly dynamic content, is still of value.

Probably some of you, despite all the research and statistics, still hold on to the simple and “clean” form with only one main photo without unnecessary “distractions” and “decorations.” The problem is that without visual or interactive elements your content may be stylish, but not engaging. And your audience really likes pictures, graphics, infographics, polls, surveys, quizzes, tests, gifs, video, etc. Did you know that, for example, in June 2016, Instagram had more than 500 million users ? That Facebook users watch over 8 billion videos a day , and Snapchat users watch more than 10 billion? And that YouTube attracts more 18+ viewers during prime-time than any cable television ?

We live in the era of digital marketing and so far – per Ascend 2 report – only almost one-third (31%) describe the success of their digital marketing as “best-in-class” compared to competitors, and 23% still consider their organizations’ efforts unsuccessful. Fortunately, 63% of respondents are aware of the importance of the website and its content for success. See In 2017, we are going to see more businesses flocking to Pinterest as everyone discovers the potential for link-building through the site. And if you are still wondering whether you should do it too, take a look at this data and change your mind.

Barry Feldman
Bio: Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative is a digital marketing consultant, creative director and copywriter. Barry is the author of The Road to Recognition and SEO Simplified for Short Attention Spans, and has recently published the free resource, Content Marketing Roadmap.

I believe this is the year far more brands discover the power of user generated content and social advocacy. Instead of brands simply promoting their content—and curating others’—they’ll aim to create fun programs that inspire their fans, customers and employees to join the party. User generated content not only makes the content mix more fun, it can go a long way toward increasing credibility and trust.

John Hall
Bio: John Hall is the CEO and co-founder of Influence & Co. Influence & Co. helps companies position key individuals as industry influencers and thought leaders. The company focuses on creating high-quality content, coming from its clients, that reaches their target audience online. His clients range from startups to fast-growing companies on the Inc. 500 to Fortune 500 companies.

We’re seeing a mass flood of content creation, and because of it, social media platforms are shifting towards becoming content publishing platforms. With this, comes some obvious pitfalls, such as the rise of fake news and content. Now that social media platforms are armed and ready to become publishing platforms, they’re going to have to also be prepared to weed out the content that could discredit their platforms, much like what various online publications practice.

Dennis Seymour
Bio: I am a marketer and above all else, an entrepreneur.

Short form video will get bigger as influencers switch to creating more stories and being more personal. As you already know, holding the attention of a user is going to get harder and harder so the main thing is how to catch and hold their attention and I think short term video will take the next step this year and solidify it’s place in the marketing world. It’s not just for fun snaps any more.

Brandon Hopkins
Bio: Brandon Hopkins is the founder of DiamondLinks.net, a full service SEO and reputation management company.

Social media in 2017 will continue to be dominated by the biggest brands in my opinion. Most large brands flock to social media as the number of followers, engagements and interactions are an easy metric to track. The problem is engagements rarely lead to leads in the funnel and as a result rarely lead to a positive ROI. Everything should be based on metrics that focus on end results, did we gain customers, make money or accomplish profitable goals? Numbers of followers have nothing to do with closing deals and making money.

Jon Tromans
Bio: Jon has been working within the world of digital marketing for the past 18 years helping companies of all sizes get on the web and create a presence that converts into sales and leads. The main focus of his work is Digital Marketing Training and over the years he’s trained many individuals, SME’s and global enterprises.

I think video is going to explode even more in 2017. Right now its just the big brands or millennial brands that are using video really well but this year I think video is going to go mainstream.

From a marketing point of view you can say much more in a 15 second video than a 500 word article and lets face it watching a video is MUCH easier than reading on mobile which is where most audiences are.

A lot of smaller companies still think video is really expensive and it is if you want highly polished TV style clips but I think what will work for the small business is a natural, phone-filmed clips that really shows off a product or service and tell a story. Think out of the box, be original and experiment with different video styles.

No matter what social network we look at, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn…. video is going to be HUGE in 2017.

Dom Wells
Bio: Dom Wells is the owner and founder of HumanProofDesigns.com – where he helps beginner affiliate marketers get started and become successful on their journey.

I think the most significant social media trend for 2017 will be the use of more video to convert leads. With the ability to stream video at faster rates and at a lower cost – it’s an easier way to convey the personality of your business across in a very short time frame. Adding video to places such as your shopping cart are also places of low hanging fruit – but of course, everything should be tested!

Ian Spencer
Bio: Ian owns and runs IS Digital Marketing, a Bristol based online marketing company offering SEO, PPC and full online marketing services to businesses in the South West.

I think 2017 will be the year that more and more businesses finally start using social media advertising as a serious part of their ongoing online marketing campaign.

The issue with paid social media advertising over the past few is how quickly the systems have emerged and changed, making trying to do a campaign yourself quite difficult if you do not understand 1) the various targeting methods available and 2) how to really track your results.

Businesses seem to be more switched on than ever now, understanding just how important conversion tracking is, understanding the need to really target their adverts and campaigns and I think they also understand the user journey more, and how important it is that your adverts on social media follow through to website and then through to landing a conversion.

II think education and trial and error have lead more and more people to finally see results and I think that this will continue into 2017 and hopefully things like Facebook paid advertising will allow UK advertisers the same options as other platforms have.

I also think paid advertising in things like SnapChat and Instagram is going to really seriously grow, as these relatively new yet effective forms of reach could be huge, especially as growth figures are seriously impressive in terms of a Y-o-Y numbers aspect.”

Chris Weaver
Bio: Chris has over a decade of digital marketing experience with a strong background in leadership and strategy. He oversees all digital marketing at MWI including Paid Search, Paid Social, Social Management, SEO and Content Marketing. Chris lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife and two dogs and outside of the office camping, kayaking, hiking or yelling at the TV during Seahawks games.

Advanced Attribution. Tie-ing in store, offline actions and purchases to online social ads. Marketers already spend a ton on social media advertising and that number will continue to grow. eMarketer forecasts that nearly one quarter of all digital advertising is spent on social networks in 2017, topping $19 Billion USD. And for that money to continue to grow, marketers will expect more in return. The process already began in 2016 with Facebook’s introduction of offline conversions. In 2017, we expect the reporting and functionality to improve and begin utilizing phone’s location services essentially tie-ing content viewed on Facebook directly to visiting storefronts. Creepy Big Brother is finally here, only 33 years later.

Nicholas Scalice
Bio: Nicholas is a growth marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy. He helps brands design, automate, and optimize their marketing funnels, in order to earn more traffic, leads, and sales.

I would say that the most significant social media marketing trend in the year ahead is the alignment of conversion goals with social media campaign goals. In previous years, many brands have been happy with just putting out a large volume of content via their social channels, but they didn’t always tie that content back to specific conversion-optimized landing pages, campaigns, and objectives. That’s starting to change in 2017. Brands large and small are realizing that it’s not enough to just get in front of your audience on social media channels. Rather, you need to get in front of the right audience, at the right time, with the right offer, that is presented in a way that compels them to take action! And you need to be able to track this activity all the way through your funnel.

Brian Massey
Bio: Brian Massey calls himself a Conversion Scientist™ and he has the lab coat to prove it. The company he founded in 2007, Conversion Sciences, was one of the first agencies focused exclusively on website optimization. Brian has learned what works on the web through thousands of website tests. He has seen it all. His rare combination of interests, experience and neuroses was developed over 20 years as a, computer programmer, corporate marketer and entrepreneur. Brian is the author of the Amazon Marketing best-seller Your Customer Creation Equation. Brian trains marketing teams at companies like IBM. He has spoken at UT Austin, Texas A&M and Baylor. He performs at conferences including Internet Retailer, Direct Marketing Association, Content Marketing Institute and InfusionCon. He created the highly regarded blog The Conversion Scientist blog, and has columns at online magazines ClickZ.com, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and the Content Marketing Institute.

Facebook will become the most effective ad testing tool on the market. You can’t beat the Facebook ad platform for its ability to target audiences with extreme precision. By setting up and targeting with Facebook custom audiences, you can determine what messages will work best for you elsewhere: search advertising, landing pages, email campaigns, display ads, etc. Some companies may find out that Facebook is where they should be advertising in the process.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Deirdre Breakenridge is an author, entrepreneur and CEO of Pure Performance Communications. A 25+ year veteran in PR and marketing, she is the author of five Prentice Hall and Financial Times Press books including her latest titles, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional,” “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” and “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences.” Breakenridge speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR, marketing, branding and social media. She is an adjunct professor at UMASS at Amherst, and an online instructor for Rutgers University. She is also a LinkedIn / Lynda.com video author with three PR courses published in 2015 and 2016.

Breakenridge hosts the podcast show, Women Worldwide and is a blogger at PR Expanded. She was named byTraackr as one of the top Social Media Engagers in 2014, awarded the Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ in 2015, and recognized on the Richtopia 250 Most Influential Women Leaders in the World List in 2016.

In 2017, keep your focus on transparency through social media. People are looking for human interaction. Similar to Reality TV, this is what consumers expect via social channels too. You have to give them a true glimpse of who you are and what you’re all about. Achieving transparency is most effective through live streaming video and one of the reasons why Facebook Live is so popular. Now, we’re seeing Instagram Live and Twitter Live too. Social media is the channel for real life interaction and transparency is what every brand needs to get attention from consumers who expect a real life to be on display.

Lindsay Kavanagh
Bio: Lindsay Kavanagh is an SEO Specialist with seoplus+. Lindsay has a passion for helping businesses large and small optimize their online presence, improve search rankings, grow organic traffic, and drive conversions.

Audio content will make a big splash in the social media marketing world. With the introduction to Audio as an option to Facebook Live in late 2016, we can expect this to rise in popularity in 2017 when it is made widely available to publishers and users.

Steve Wiideman
Bio: Steve Wiideman is a search marketing consultant specializing in franchise, multi-location and e-commerce search engine optimization and marketing strategy.

In 2017, social media marketing will likely continue to see convergence in industry best practices, leading edge relationship management tools and micro-influencer research tools.

Micro-moments will likely be better defined, segmented as measured similar to conversion funnels, and the web analyst will be charged with building attribution models that can be put under the microscope.

Paid and boosted content will definitely be on the rise and the consultants who can build strategies and offer simple performance management tools will be more sought after than ever. Though finding the good consultants within a community of self-proclaimed experts that have never been in trenches, will be like finding a diamond in the rough.

William Harris
Bio: William Harris is an ecommerce growth consultant and speaker. He also writes for Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Shopify Plus, and many other large publications.

I think this is the year of “movement”. A lot of people are citing video, but I think it goes further than that. I think video will grow at an accelerated rate, but I also think over “moving images” will grow along with it – like cinemagraphs and gifs. I think you’ll see them used more in social media, in blog posts, and even in paid ads.

Tor Refsland
Bio: Digital Marketing Strategist and Business Coach.

The most significant social media marketing trend will be focusing on creating real connections with your audience, and let it naturally evolve into genuine relationships.

Yeah, and the most important thing, you will do it because you REALLY want to help people.

Okay, now you might be thinking “Tor, that sounds good and all that. But does that really work when it comes to marketing.”

Good question!

Well, you can judge for yourself.

I used this tactic to make $18 000 in sales from social media in 2 days. And this approach resulted in me being able to 20x the revenue in my business last year through business coaching.

It´s like Zig Zigar said: “When you help enough people to get what they want, you will finally get what you want.”

Focus on sharing your knowledge without expecting anything in return, and you will be amazed by how the world will reciprocate.

John Lusher
Bio: I am a consultant, speaker, trainer and user of social media platforms for my consulting firm as well as for numerous clients. In addition to my own consulting firm, I also work closely with The Social Buzz Lab. We work with entrepreneurs, apparel brands, companies in healthcare as well as well as brick and mortar retail organizations. http://webuildbuzz.com

2017 will continue to see video and LIVE broadcasts dominate social media. With the popularity of Facebook and Instagram LIVE, brands can provide in the moment content while connecting with their audience in exciting ways. For brands that can offer value in these LIVE broadcasts, they will see increased customer and brand loyalty. The social channels may change but LIVE will continue to be the broadcast method of choice as we consume more and more content. Some feel this means traditional blogs and even traditional social channels may become unnecessary, but that remains to be seen. Brands that fail to embrace and utilize LIVE or video content will be left behind by their competition.

Ivana Taylor
Bio: Small Business Influencer

My most significant 2017 social media trend is profound honesty and authenticity. What I mean by that is that there is a unprecedented trend toward Cynicism and doubt of any marketing messages. The brands that communicate clearly about what’s offered, what isn’t offered and what the trade offs are regarding their offering will be the clear winners as they support their customers.

Mandy McEwen
Bio: My name is Mandy McEwen and I am Founder & CEO of Mod Girl Marketing, an inbound marketing consultancy. I am a digital marketing consultant, SEO specialist, and creator of the Modern CMO’s Handbook for Effective Inbound Marketing. I was recently listed by Search Engine Journal as a top 12 SEO expert to follow and my content has been mentioned on numerous blogs such as Huffington Post, Dun & Bradstreet, and Neil Patel.

2017 is the year of real-time content. Social media is evolving. What was previously an avenue to throw up a few text posts and share a few article is now becoming highly engaging and very video-driven. Not JUST videos, but live videos. Brands who have embraced this live craze by utilizing Facebook live, Snapchat, Periscope, Youtube, and other real-time channels, experienced amazing results. We are seeing big brands invest a lot of resources into developing a solid real-time video strategy.

So why live? It’s a fact, that brands who personally connect with their audience on a real level experience growth on multiple levels. We expect to see live video become even more popular in 2017 and becoming a ‘necessity’ in the coming years. The best marketers use real-time content to increase their mobile and social media email opt-ins to keep building their contact lists across channels.

David Cosgrove
Bio: David Cosgrove Los Angeles Web Design is a creative digital boutique that has been designing and building websites since 1993. David has worked with corporations, organizations and friends both local and international; from start-ups to Fortune 20 companies to Pulitzer Prize winning authors to Emmy Award winning Hollywood celebrities. Our digital marketing, digital strategy, demand generation, web design and web development services help you increase website traffic and drive business growth online.

Video, video, and video. Oh, and video. It’s the most engaging, easiest to consume content format and will only continue to increase in its significance and relevance in 2017.

Andrea Loubier
Bio: Andrea Loubier is the CEO of Mailbird – a brilliant email productivity client that is made special for people on Windows/PC. Andrea is an avid and persistent relationship builder, marketer and project manager. With experience in market research and content development for software, Andrea has been nominated as one of the leading female entrepreneurs of Asia. She’s been featured on BBC, Bloomberg, The Asian Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Lifehacker, The Huffington Post, Channel News Asia and more. Andrea is a true “third culture kid”, with a passion for starting businesses from the ground up while growing through experiences and travelling the world.

I know that video will continue to rise as the medium for marketing and connecting with potential customers. Even Wendy’s is doing it and are connecting with the next generation of people who will consume their products. Being more personal, real and showing the people behind businesses will be the core focus of video content in social media marketing. Remarketing will still prevail as the most profitable source and shareable content that your target consumers self-identify or strive for being a part of is what will get the conversions up.

Dennis Yu
Bio: Chief Technology Officer

Expect video production and editing services to blossom, as well as tools to analyze video effectiveness. Social is all about video + mobile + local, as we’ve had drummed into our heads. Yet businesses of all types, while they know this, are slow to produce the video for many reasons.

There are a number of tools by Adobe, Animoto, and even Facebook themselves, that allow small businesses to create their own videos right on their phones. But this will only partially satisfy the need for meaningful video that tells stories and is edited properly. Professional videographers are “too expensive”, while tools don’t provide much beyond canned templates.

I believe that 2017 is the rise of the digital marketing assistant that helps create videos, edit videos, boost videos, and be armed with driving sales for clients. These are college kids who would otherwise work fast food and retail jobs, deployed to meet the gap of the overburdened, technologically confused marketer.

I’ve been waiting for the “dam to break” among businesses large and small, who don’t have the budget to afford to hire an agency, integrate technology, or seize upon every new thing out there.

The logical result is that we have to train up and employ an army of specialists to serve their local communities and companies in their favorite interests. Then you have actual customers doing the marketing for firms– the ideal word-of-mouth scenario.

Except these customer are trained in digital marketing– the missing piece to make this happen.

Simon Penson
Bio: Simon Penson is the founder of Zazzle Media. He writes and speaks globally on content led digital marketing and invests in digital startups.

Video is front and centre of everything social at present and within that I would certainly include the Facebook and Instagram live opportunity. The changing nature of organic algorithms in the space makes it difficult to reach an audience however and I also see the biggest accounts getting bigger while everyone else struggles to keep up from a reach perspective. This will only serve to accelerate that trend, creating an environment made up of social giants and the ‘also rans’. The only option for the majority will be paid social amplification, which will grow revenues exponentially.

Tom Pick
Bio: Tom Pick is a digital marketing consultant who helps B2B technology and business services clients improve their online visibility, conversion, and business results.

First, continued growth in video/visual/mobile content. Marketers will be challenged to create content that is useful, informative, and compelling, yet in very compact formats like interactive graphics and short videos.

Second, a bifurcation of content as long-form articles and posts continue to do well in search and be consumed on desktops/laptops. Marketers will focus on repurposing longer form form content as visuals and video for mobile and social sharing.

Finally, increasing use of tools to monitor, manage, and measure results from social media. Marketers will look to automate as much effort as possible, from content creation and curation through metrics, with human efforts focused on strategy and engagement.

Tom Gorski
Bio: Successful entrepreneur, SaaS Growth Expert, and Inbound Marketing Consultant. Named one of top growth hackers by Medium.

Personalization will rule 2017.

People are tired of the amount of content which appears in social media, especially on their newsfeeds. What’s even more frustrating is that majority of the content which can be found in newsfeeds is irrelevant. Changes in algorithms of most popular social media suggests that personalization of content will be of utmost importance in years to come.

Being able to select the types of content you want to be presented is much needed – this trend is especially visible on Facebook. The changes may stir some controversy, like it was the case with US election, where one candidate was promoted more heavily than other.

Kulwant Nagi
Bio: Kulwant Nagi is a blogger, affiliate marketer, speaker and a world traveler. On his blog BloggingCage.com, you can read the tips to start a blog, get the traffic and how to monetize it in an effective way.

Social media has exploded in a big way in last one year. The biggest rule of business is – go where more eyeballs can see your presence. So building your authority and doing various recurring activities would be a big win to master the social media game in 2017.

Facebook Live, Twitter Live, and Instagram Live are the best way to tap more audience and make a mental connection with your followers. Share your case studies, do AMA sessions, announce live giveaways, and showing back the stage activities will be a big move to get more eyeballs.

2017 is all about social media. The more you make your presence the more business you are going to grab.

Dmitry Dragilev
Bio: Founder of PRThatConverts.com – coaching people to pitch journalists and get exposure on their own and JustReachOut.io used by 4K+ entrepreneurs.

Collecting emails from tweets and facebook shares instead of blogs. Asking people who view social shares to give you their email address.

Marcus Taylor
Bio: Marcus Taylor is the Founder of Venture Harbour, Leadformly & BrokerNotes.

I think we’ll start to see more businesses using Facebook Messenger (and building chatbots around it) to scale customer service through social platforms. I’m also excited to see where VR goes from a social marketing perspective – besides advertising, there’s a lot of scope for combining social media with live VR experiences through platforms like Google Expeditions.

Lilach Bullock
Bio: Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.

2017 is going to be a very interesting year, because so many markets, influencer marketing, content marketing, social media marketing etc. are all becoming saturated. This will probably mean that there will be a big change coming; and I think that that change will be a more integrated, more seamless customer experience on all the different channels he or she uses. We will also be seeing more people paying for ads in order to stand out – many markets are saturated, social networks are changing algorithms, so in order to reach a targeted audience, businesses will need to invest more in ads.

Adam Houlahan

Bio: Adam Houlahan is an International Keynote Speaker specialising in Social Media for business, and CEO of the highly successful boutique agency, Web Traffic That Works. He lives in Australia’s famous tourist destination the Gold Coast Queensland, and is considered to be one of Australia’s leading experts in harnessing the power of LinkedIn for business. Over 5,200 people globally have sought his skill and insights to leverage the power of LinkedIn for their businesses.

Adam is also a featured columnist for MOB Magazine, an Australian National Business publication. He consults on Social Media to private clients in Australia, New Zealand, North America, The Middle East and Singapore. His work as CEO and owner of 6 successful companies has given him the hands-on experience to understand business from the inside.

Live streaming takes over

  • Live streaming has been big news in social media advertising trends in 2016, and it will continue as such in 2017. Diverse businesses have embraced live streaming on social media to trigger audience attention and drive engagement to much deeper levels. Consumers benefit from an experience that is both immediate and more intimate than traditional social media posting.
  • Thanks to apps that convert a smartphone’s camera into a device for live streaming, broadcasting via Twitter is simple. Viewers can comment on the live stream in real time. Facebook has embraced live streaming via Facebook Live. Research into Facebook Live activity demonstrates that viewers spend three times as long watching videos when they are live as to when they’re not.
  • Facebook alone had one and a half billion users; live streaming is sure to gain traction in the coming year.

New discovery tools

  • Social media is becoming ever more a visual entity. As such, platforms are changing the way users search for content. For example, Facebook is working to streamline the process of finding specific videos. Their intention is to ultimately offer separate video channels for videos shared by pages you like, those shared by friends, saved videos, previously viewed videos, and videos currently trending on the platform.

LinkedIn global recruiting
LinkedIn will continue to be the leading professional social network and a prominent global recruiting platform, changing the way recruiters do their job, moving from traditional hiring methods to social media networking. It has little competition, and its innovative approach has humanized business executives like no other channel.

Based on expert surveys, what trends can we expect to see in recruitment via LinkedIn in 2017?

  • Hiring volume will increase
  • Acquisition of talent will be top priority
  • Top recruited roles will be in sales, operations and engineering
  • Hires will be predominantly via employee referrals, third-party websites and social professional networks
  • Leaders will as a priority invest in employer branding, new technology and better tools for sourcing talent

  • Candidate diversity will be valued
  • Interview tools will become more innovative

Johnathan Dane
Bio: Johnathan Dane is an international speaker and the founder of KlientBoost, a no-nonsense, creative, kick-ass PPC and landing page agency that hustles for results and ROI. If you think this article’s good, you should see what he’s writing on their PPC and CRO blog.

Since I live in the pay-per-click marketing world, I think more and more people are going to realize that the need to create full marketing funnels that live on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn.

Using different levels of call to actions and offers, marketers will see that the shotgun approach will work less and less for them. They need to include and exclude audiences as they take steps in your conversion funnel.

It’s your job to realize that one ad = one conversion will get harder and harder to accomplish.

Felix Tarcomnicu
Bio: Felix Tarcomnicu is the CEO & Co-Founder at Cross.Promo, a cross-promotion platform for SaaS and online businesses.

I think video content is going to take over all social media networks in 2017. Most companies still underestimate the value of creating videos, and they use social media simply to share their latest updates or links to their blogs. Videos get the user more engaged, and they have a big potential that’s still waiting to be exploited.

Rehan Fernando
Bio: Rehan Fernando is the CEO of EIGHT25MEDIA, a Silicon Valley-based web design and development company.

Typically, 98% of site visitors leave without converting. But, visitors who are served retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert, with the average person needing to see an ad/messaging 7 times before taking action such as purchasing a product. I believe retargeting on social media will be one of the biggest trends we see in 2017, with social media platforms proving to be ever more useful for the enterprise market.

Casey Meraz
Bio: Casey Meraz is the founder of Juris Digital a digital marketing company focused on helping attorneys get found online. He and his team specializes in Local SEO, Organic SEO, and Paid Search for attorneys.

In 2017 I think we’re going to see a big increase in influencer marketing. Having strong brad advocates that already have a following is already a very solid strategy but I expect to see more of this in 2017. As more people spend more time on their mobile devices they’re looking for validation through things like reviews and they really care what the people they follow care about.

Ian Brodie
Bio: Ian Brodie is a consultant, blogger and author of the best-selling book on email marketing, Email Persuasion.

For me the most interesting trend is that 2017 is the year that (Facebook) Messenger Bots go mainstream. We’ve already seen them used effectively by larger businesses, but the tools now available mean that pretty much every small or solo businesses will be able to have their own messenger bot either to answer questions, point to relevant content, or act like an email autoresponder on Facebook Messenger. Frankly, the biggest challenge smaller businesses face with social media marketing is the inordinate amount of time it can take and Messenger Bots will be a huge help.

Mark Podolsky
Bio: Mark J. Podolsky (AKA The Land Geek) is widely considered the Country’s most trusted and foremost authority on buying and selling raw, undeveloped land within the United States.

The most significant social media marketing trend in 2017 is to focus on value and not being on social media… I think everyone is distracted with tools and shallow work that isn’t really moving the needle in their business.. Provide value by using social media as a way to repurpose valuable content and then simply measure where you’re getting the best results and ignore all the other platforms and focus on the platform getting you 80% of your traffic.

Dan Scalco
Bio: Dan Scalco is the founder and Director of Marketing at Digitalux, a digital marketing company located in Hoboken, New Jersey. Throughout his career, he has helped hundreds of businesses save time, increase leads, and maximize sales.

One of the most significant social trends we’ll start seeing appear more in 2017 and more is live video. What started with apps like meerkat and periscope has evolved into Facebook live and live video on Twitter and Instagram. This vastly changes the landscape of content publication and the timing in which content gets into the hands of followers. I believe that sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will also begin to monetize these videos in a similar way that Snapchat has.

Brandon Seymour
Bio: Brandon is the founder and CEO of Beymour Consulting – a Florida-based digital marketing agency specializing in search, branding, and reputation management.

Post diversity is a huge factor, not only for the user experience, but for feed algorithms. Facebook recently announced that post diversity is now a ranking signal for their News Feed algorithm. By diversifying your posts you’re showing consumers that you’re not just an echo chamber, re-sharing and retweeting the same stuff that everyone else is talking about. If you post a lot of industry news, maybe try incorporating some quotes, images, or polls to change things up. Your followers will be more engaged, and it could help you boost your organic impressions, which can help grow your social following.

BJ Cook
Bio: CEO & Cofounder of Digital Operative, a full service digital agency specializing in ecommerce, paid media & consumer insights

Paid Social (ie/ Facebook) continues to surge as the organic reach of brands bottoms out with the algorithm updates to the Facebook feed. Only way to reach consumers is to pay these days.

Chatbots – these AI-powered little guys will be behind customer service for every brand’s Facebook page as they enable scaling, self-service for consumers reducing rep time and start offering commerce through smart product recommendations. Just look at platforms like Reply.ai and their cool Facebook integrations.

Events – these will become every moreso important as the data says Millenials feel more of a community connection when gathering with their tribe, people purchase more in live settings and live events are where memories are made – just look at Snapchat geofilters. Look for VR continue to be an investment in these Social + Experiential Marketing plays.

Murray Newlands
Bio: Murray Newlands is founder of sighted.com and online invoicing company.

Content marketing is great but people will have to focus on engaging stories to make their content standout and connect.

Jock Purtle
Bio: Jock is the CEO of Raincatcher. They help entrepreneurs buy and sell companies.

I think the most significant trend for 2017 in terms of social media marketing Instagram. I think Facebook is getting better at improving the advertising platform for Instagram ads and I think that consumer based businesses are going to get great ROI’s on their marketing spend there. Companies with image heavy businesses are going to benefit the most as Instagram is a visual medium. I’ve personally seem myself use the platform more as well as other businesses.

Allan Pollett
Bio: Since 1998, Allan has been working in the SEO and web marketing space. He has helped 1000s of businesses get top ranked on the search engines and is known as the SEO Guru.

Short answer: Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2017, the fate of Twitter and some other struggling social networks could pay a major role in social media marketing. For example there has been talk of Twitter being bought out by Google. Though Google seemed to pull out of making a bid in late of 2016, they still could change their minds. If this is the case, how would Google change Twitter to help it generate more revenue. It would be a major play because it would allow Google to try to go up against Facebook. Also, they could integrate Twitter’s updates into the Google search like they did several years ago when they had Google Instant. This would make Twitter more important for SEO. So 2017 could be a year of major upheaval in the social marketing space and the change would be the direct result of M&A activity.

Helvijs Smoteks
Bio: Helvijs does SEO and digital marketing.

Our forecast for 2017:

Phones will become the mainstream platform where to target the consumers.

Interactive and live content will experience the fastest growth and brands will use this type of content as a tool to build better relationships.

Video will take over social media marketing and will reach the peak.

WhatsApp will start offering ways for companies to advertise.

Instagram will keep polishing its business tool and become very attractive advertising platform.

Facebook will keep testing new advertising options as the ad revenue is starting to plateau.

& then there was Snap – Spectacles, Snapchat & more hardware. One Co. that’s still able to surprise – exciting times ahead.

Ben Matthews
Bio: Director at Montfort, a digital marketing agency for people who change the world for good

Continuing Growth of Pay-to-Play: Organic reach can vary wildly from one platform to another, so in 2017, it is going to continue to be important to invest in paid social media content. Especially when you’re already spending money to produce great content and slick visuals, your best content should be supported by a paid media budget to ensure it’s being leveraged on the correct platform and targeted to reach the right audience.

Lisa Sicard

Bio: Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media and Blogging What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others?

She has 20+ years’ experience in marketing/advertising with 5+ years’ experience blogging, social media and SEO.

I think social media will be more personal and targeted. I believe the social media networks will do this to provide better advertising platforms for their advertisers to target consumers more precisely. It will become a more Pay to Play scenario.

It will get harder for small businesses to use the social networks organically to grow their businesses and sales. They will have to get more creative on using them.

They will probably be some new platforms in the coming year that we have to hear about that will become popular.

The children in this generation will consider social media to be part of their everyday lives without giving it a second thought. It is part of their culture now.

Greg Rollet
Bio: Greg Rollett is an Emmy Award Winning Producer, Best-Selling Author, speaker and the founder of Ambitious.com. Greg helps his clients and students to become media personalities while helping them to use education as a way to drive leads, sales and goodwill. Learn more about Greg at ambitious.com.

In 2017 the focus is going to be on production. Just because everyone can turn on an iPhone, doesn’t mean they should be filming on an iPhone. With all the noise being made by content producers, the ones with the highest quality in terms of both content and direction will rise to the top and drown out all the other noise. This year don’t turn on the camera without a plan to stand out or you will fade out before you ever really get going.

Janice Wald

Bio: Wald has been included in over twenty expert interviews and interview panels including a panel of experts sharing their strategies for increasing Google+ traffic.

In addition, she has served as a coach for many satisfied bloggers and authors desiring to improve their website traffic.

A recipient of a Master’s Degree in Education, Wald uses her skills as a teacher to empower her readers to increase their online visibility.

When she is not writing, Wald can be found reading current trends in social media, attending blogging conferences and social media webinars, and teaching medieval history and yearbook design.

A happily married mother of three daughters and two dogs, Wald resides in Santa Clarita, California.

So many sites are allowing you to show now and have shopping carts. Certainly Pinterest is stand out among them. I predict Pinterest will continue to be at the forefront of the connection between social media and marketing with other sites trying to compete.

Janet E. Johnson

Bio: Janet E Johnson has over 14 years of experience with online marketing. She started her online career selling products on eBay in 1998. In her career, she has worked with both large brands and smaller businesses.

Janet is the creator of the online social media training course, Social Strategies 101 and has been featured on Social Media Today, CNN, Entrepreneur, Smartbrief, Inbound.org and NISM.

Live Video is a marketing trend that will only see growth in 2017. Brands will need to be creative on how to embrace live video. Whether it is Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, the list goes on. 2016 brought us many new options for live streaming and proved it is an important part of a marketing strategy. 2017 will continue that growth trend.

Venchito Tampon
Bio: Venchito Tampon is the CEO and Co-Founder of SharpRocket, best link building company in Asia that provides white hat link building services to international clients.

Trading attention and getting more engagements instead of just hooking customers with latest product or service offers is the key to win in social media this 2017.

Corinne Kerston
Bio: Caffeine addict, yoga lover, brand strategist. Corinne helps businesses and entrepreneurs see the world through the eyes of their target audience, and help them communicate their value and their message effectively. Her goal is to help others stand out among the crowd, and help them find their own best strategies for growth. Visit her website to get your FREE report: 14 killer ways to boost your visibility

Live video! In 2016 we saw live video, Facebook Live, Periscope, Zoom, etc. growing in use and I think it’s just going to get bigger. People want to get to know bloggers and businesses on a more personal level, and letting people see and hear you helps do that.

Lukasz Zelezny
Bio: Lukasz Zelezny is the head of organic acquisition at uSwitch.com, a UK based price comparison website with offices in London. Leading his team, he is responsible for the uSwitch.com brand’s organic visibility, conversion rate, traffic and engagement. Lukasz is a hands-on person, he spends lots of his time keeping up to date with the changes in the technology of online marketing. Lukasz started his career in 2005 and has since been responsible for the organic performance of a number of companies including HomeAway, Thomson Reuters, The Digital Property Group and Fleetway Travel. He is a graduate from the Silesian University of Technology with a BA in Marketing.

Let me go a bit different way. 2017 is not the year of Yet-⁠another-⁠meme-⁠fanpage to gain likes. People seem to be less engaged with cheesy memes and low-⁠quality baits. There will be visible decrease of nonsense Facebook pages which were using this tactic to gain visibility. Which overall is going to increase the quality of content appearing on Facebook. Similar rules apply to Twitter or Snapchat.

Jim Tobin
Bio: Founder of Ignite Social Media (2007) and Carusele Media (2015). Author of “Social Media is a Cocktail Party” (2008) and “Earn It. Don’t Buy It.” (2013).

Influencer marketing is going to split into two paths. On the one path, brands with big budgets are going to spend money on celebrities. On the other, scrappier brands are going to spend money on micro influencers who know how to create great content. The latter is going to win here. For years it’s been shown that celebrities reach doesn’t translate into influence and sales. But great content does drive sales. Celebrities will get headlines in AdWeek. Hard working influencer campaigns will make cash registers ring.

Brenda Stoltz

Bio: Brenda is the President of Ariad Partners, a marketing and sales acceleration firm specializing in helping small to mid-market companies leverage technology and create breakthrough growth strategies to increase leads and revenue. Brenda blogs about lead generation, sales, and marketing and sales automation at Forbes.com, AllBusiness.com, Business2Community.com and FoxBusiness.com. Connect with Brenda on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. You can also check out her blog at website at www.ariadpartners.com.

One of the most significant trends in social media for 2017 will be with video. In April of 2016, Facebook rolled out their video app, Live, to everyone. We are changing how we consume video – from TV ads to more bite size chunks of video. Social media platforms will continue to roll out new functionality around video and analytics. And we’ll see a growth in advertising with video. Visual mediums are powerful. Marketers have been using Instagram to tell stories and in 2017 there will be an explosion of growth in video as Marketers focus on storytelling through video.

Ruben Gamez
Bio: Founder of Bidsketch, the only way to create professional client proposals in minutes.

This year we’re going to see even more of a push towards paying to get reach on social platforms. We’ve already seen this happen, but it’s just the beginning.

I think the approach is going to lean more towards Facebook’s amplify content approach vs. native. Native will still be a thing but the more noticeable impact will be that getting reach on social (without paying) will be harder.

The marketers that can figure out how to combine organic and paid social will win in 2017.

Aaron Lee
Bio: Marketing at AskAaronLee.com & Shortofheight.com

The trend that took off in 2016 was live videos, but it was just touching the surface.

Live videos is a great way to raise awareness, and build a strong community that cares.

Platforms like Facebook and Instagram knows this, that’s why they continue to promote live videos through notifications and giving better algorithm to those that focuses on it.

Ben Brausen
Bio: Ben Brausen helps Fortune 500 companies and businesses of all sizes get the most from their marketing efforts. His blog shares actionable insights any marketer can apply for improved program performance and better their business. His cat, @TheCatTweeting, is pretty social media savvy too.

Visual and immersive content will continue to become the place we put our attention, as both creation and consumption grow. While consumption rises, attention spans will continue to be short, so make sure you grab your audience in those first moments.

Shiny Object Syndrome will continue to capture our attention, as we look to jump on every new offering. Sadly, this means we don’t learn how to use these new networks or features to their fullest before the next new thing comes along and we turn our attention. Those that take the time to stick with and learn these new networks/features will see the greatest success.

Harris Schachter
Bio: Harris Schachter is SEO & Content Marketing Manager at a Fortune 200 and owner of OptimizePrime, LLC, a Richmond Internet Marketing Company.

I think the most significant social media trend in 2017 is the emergence of some type of regulation of messaging. This might come in the form of government regulation or simply from the social network themselves. What is happening is that advertisers are becoming more and more extreme in order to earn clicks and visibility, we saw this in late 2016 with the emergence of fake sensationalized news stories. This, needless to say, has many negative consequences as social media (Facebook) is now the primary source of information for millions of people. Misinformation is not a benefit to society, nor is it a benefit to the platforms themselves if people become insensitive to anything they see on social. What will happen is essentially what happened to display advertising – banner blindness resulting in decreased or negligible effectiveness. If social media advertisers continue to push sensationalized and fake news stories for the sake of clicks, it will eventually be self-defeating.

Chantal Bechervaise
Bio: HR | Leadership | Employee Engagement | Workplace | Biz | Social Media Marketing | @HootSuite Ambassador N. America | Techie | Technology | from Ottawa, Canada

Visual content (i.e. videos, videos and more videos plus live streaming, as well photos and infographics) will still continue to be significant in 2017 and will dominate other types of social posts.

Joe Balestrino
Bio: Joe has been helping business grow through digital marketing Since 2004. Visit his site and checkout his latest blog posts on marketing.

The growth of e-commerce sales on social media. As social media integrates more with social Millennials will prefer this to traditional e-commerce shopping. It’s time to integrated social media shopping into your marketing strategy.

Louie Luc
Bio: Louie is a full-time online marketer with almost 20 years of experience. He begun launching and monetizing websites even before Google existed. You can follow and learn Louie’s online business strategies on his Buzz Nitrous blog.

I believe that the most significant social media marketing trends in 2017 is definitely going to be video. Video marketing is growing very quickly and will take over any other form of content marketing in no time. Video retains consumers’ attention better and is more efficient in terms of conversion. Marketers will also focus the biggest part of their strategies on video. There will be more video content, more video shares and more video ads in 2017 than ever before.

Susan Payton
Bio: Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a content marketing firm based in San Diego. She’s written several business books, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and Tweak Your Biz.

Livestreaming. As brands figure out how to leverage it, it’s going to grow.

Matt Wolfe

Bio: Matt Wolfe started getting serious about his online business in 2007 when he built several niche blogs that quickly gained popularity and started earning him a good living. When people started chasing him up to ask how he was growing these blogs so quickly, Matt created his first online education product, The WordPress Classroom and wrote his first book, WordPress Revealed.

The WordPress Classroom later changed its name to LearnToBlog.com and, through a combination of aggressive Facebook advertising and live and automated webinars, quickly grew to a business that generated just shy of six-figures per month in revenue.

In 2015, Matt sold his stake in LearnToBlog.com to focus full-time on some of the side projects that he’d been working on, including a content marketing agency, his popular podcast, and his monthly print newsletter, The Evergreen Profits Letter.

First off, I think we’ll see Facebook groups continue to grow as marketing channels. People can easily create groups and share their ideas, thoughts, blog posts, and products with that group. It’s a great way to build and quantify a “tribe.” Having a community where everyone interacts with each other, but that you are in control of and can moderate that discussion, will play out to be a bigger and bigger marketing strategy for businesses.

We also see a lot of companies, like Facebook, pushing for people to do more live video. However, I don’t believe live video is going to play out for a lot of businesses. Most people can’t be bothered to sit around and watch live videos and most people just aren’t entertaining enough to hold attention.

I believe people are interested in short, pre-recorded, clips. Things like Snapchat and Instagram stories are quick, can be skipped, and allow people to present their best stuff. These platforms are where social media marketers should gravitate.

Brittany Bearden

Bio: Brittany Walters-Bearden is a co-founder of At Large PR. She specializes in personal branding PR for entrepreneurs and non-fiction authors. Walters-Bearden is also a contributor to ‘Entrepreneur’.

Some of the services offered by At Large PR include: traditional public relations, personal branding, newswire releases, SEO, ghostwriting, copywriting, and editing.

In 2017, we are going to see more businesses flocking to Pinterest as everyone discovers the potential for link-building through the site. It is about a lot more than crafts and captivating images, and we’re going to start seeing more businesses adding Pinterest to their social media strategies in the year ahead.

Greg Nunan
Bio: Greg Nunan is a website investor, founder of Winning Edge Digital and blogger at New-Startups.com, a blog for the latest startup news and opinion.

It’s tough to narrow likely trends down to a few, however it’s safe to assume each of the three trends below will continue to evolve in 2017:

Don’t tell me, show me! – It’s no longer enough for brands to tell their story… Users want to experience it and the rise of live streaming will allow brands the ability to demonstrate their unique customer experience like never before.

Live streaming video will get even bigger – Meerkat helped pave the way during 2015, Twitter acquired Periscope to get in on the action and then Facebook Live arrived shortly after and has taken live streaming to the home of social media – Facebook (and it’s many billion users). Live streaming is here to stay.

More advertising options for brands – With pressure to turn user bases into revenue, social media platforms will continue to provide new and innovative ways for brands to engage with users. More advertising options, along with competition for ad revenue, is good news for brands.

Andrew James
Bio: Andrew James: entrepreneur, digital marketer, wine enthusiast, hustler (in a good way) & the guy behind BrandBuilders.io – a website that helps aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their online business.

An Ad Renaissance Will Occur.

Organic visibility has been declining for a while now, as platforms try catering to individual users over companies and organizations. But the secondary benefit for social platforms is that it forces more companies to dabble in paid advertising. Increased competition and pressure to become (or remain) profitable have also forced social platforms to come up with more ingenious and creative advertising options for businesses. The combination of these factors may lead to a new resurgence in social media advertising in 2017.

Dorien Morin-van Dam
Bio: Dorien Morin-van Dam is owner and social media consultant at More In Media, located in sunny Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; born in the Netherlands, she wears her orange glasses with pride to represent her countries’ colors. She consults with local (B2B) small businesses. She is also a well-known local social media freelancer. As video marketing continues to grow, she’s had great success with her video coaching program, ‘starring’ her very own clients! Dorien is mom to 4 kids, 3 dogs and runs marathons for fun. A new vegan, she bakes often and cooks a mean lentil loaf!

I see 2017 as the year where livestreaming becomes mainstream for the biggest brands. I do believe some marketers, and small businesses, might take a bit longer to get behind this trend, as they might not have the resources for a comprehensive marketing plan that includes livestreaming. They however, will do more video marketing in 2017 than ever before, using many different social media platforms to share their videos!

I also see virtual reality taking a giant step forward in 2017. Many new apps have already been developed and VR is being used in many different industries already – why not in social media marketing? My forecast show larger brands finding new uses for VR in their interactive marketing campaigns at airports, malls, events, schools and other public places.

Anurag Mehra
Bio: Anurag Mehra is a Social Media Marketing Expert & Digital Marketing Enthusiast who believes that learning never stops in this ever evolving domain. His Social Media Marketing Roundup series was featured in “The 10 Best Social Media Roundup Blogs of 2016” by Agora Pulse.

I suppose the most important social media marketing trend in 2017 would be “Video Content”. People are loving videos and it has a lot of potential right now. It could be a recorded video uploaded on YouTube/Facebook or a Facebook Live video or even an Instagram story. But it will get a really good attention this year.

Suzie Blaszkiewicz
Bio: Suzie is a writer and researcher at GetApp, a Gartner company, writing about the social side of business software. Her specialities including CRM, content marketing, and of course, social media. Suzie is also project manager for Category Leaders, GetApp’s independent ranking of the top 25 cloud-based business apps on the market.

Video is the obvious choice for social media marketing trends in 2017, as more time and money have been pumped into what’s been proclaimed the “next big thing” for the past two years. Beyond that, however, I think that we’re going to be looking even more granularly at metrics other than shares, views, and likes. As analytics functions become more robust and inclusive of larger amounts of data, analyzing a social media marketing campaign’s success by its financial ROI will become a much larger consideration. On an individual level, customer experience will play a role for companies when deciding which social media platform best attracts its target audience. For those not already using employee advocacy programs, starting one will help leverage networks on these target platforms for more brand exposure.

Adel de Meyer

Adel de Meyer is a New Media Specialist, Brand Ambassador, Tech Enthusiast, Trainer and Mentor. She is listed as a Top Digital blog and Top 20 Social Media coach.

Adel worked with many different brands incl Hootsuite, Pitney Bowes and Huawei and she regularly writes articles on analytics, influencer marketing, technology and social media solutions. Adel works with global SMB Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Personal Brands by using Social Media and Technology to captivate their audiences.

Out with the tweets, in with the streams!?’ Live-streaming, 360 photos, real-time updates, it will all be about the experience users get from your updates. I believe that businesses that take the time to think outside the box will be the ones that find ways to cut through the noise. Ad blockers are becoming more and more popular so rethink your ad budget and invest in content that people want to consume. Think of incorporating Instagram stories, weekly Facebook live-streams or a good YouTube channel instead.

Tim Hughes
Bio: Tim has been described as a “pioneer and innovator” for Social Selling. His book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” got onto the Amazon bestseller lists while on pre-order. He is the co-founder of Digital Leadership Associates, which is a company that helps businesses drive revenue and competitive advantage from the use of Social Media.

The most significant trend to impact Marketing in 2017 will be artificial intelligence (AI). As an Amazon Echo user, I no longer need to go to my local supermarket or purchase grocery items from the internet, I just ask Alexia for them.

For Amazon this is a stroke of genius to completely side swipe current retailers. While this may will shake up retail and the B2C markets, it must get B2B marketers thinking about AI uses for disruption?

Krystian Szastok
Bio: Krystian Szastok is a freelance SEO consultant, he also runs a white label SEO agency. He has been working in digital for over 8 years and has spoken at leading digital marketing conferences.

Ultra personal targeting. Companies are now customising content and delivery and are getting hyper-targeted by using custom audiences, cookies and market segmenting. We will be receiving content that’s more and more custom to us and in new ad formats like the Facebook Canvas, which provide a full immersive experience. Paid social will definitely gain in popularity and spend in 2017, while reaching people organically will be harder and harder.

Iñigo Etxebeste
Bio: Iñigo Etxebeste is a tech entrepreneur and digital marketer. He is currently the director at Gloc Media, a London-based SEO consulting digital agency he founded.

YouTube and video contents in general, as well as Pinterest will be the most significant trends in the social, buzz and viral marketing fields in 2017.

Andy Kinsey
Bio: SEO Consultant & Founder of SEO Andy

30 to 60 Business Blogging by Video will become Huge

Leslie McDermid
Bio: Leslie McDermid is the owner of The Social Launch, a social media company based in Sudbury, Canada. She helps businesses improve their online presence with social media management, training and workshops. She also hosts a podcast ‘The Social Launch’ where she gives quick tips about social media and improving your presence online.

I think for 2017 we are going to see the same trends as 2016, but in a more thought-out and interesting way. Video and live video was huge for 2016 and this year I think a lot of people will start more intentional, organized and regular ‘shows’ with a bit more production involved. Tools like Periscope Producer, OBS and Wirecast will become the ‘norm’. Using Facebook and Instagram Live. Incorporating your personality and story using platforms like Instagram stories is going to really take off too.

Chris Kubbernus
Bio: Kubby is a Canadian-born entrepreneur/marketer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is the CEO and Founder of Kubb&Co. a digital agency focused on the convergence of social media, marketing and technology. He has been featured in many publications including Business Insider, The Guardian, Entrepreneur and The Huffington Post. He is a renowned speaker on digital media, marketing and entrepreneurship. In 2016, he was named the #1 business guru on Snapchat by Forbes and was named #15 in the Top 50 marketers to follow on Snapchat by Mashable.

Live video was a growing trend in 2016 and will continue to grow even bigger in 2017. I see brands jumping into much more video in general. Instagram will be considered extremely important and we will see brands doing big things there. People are having a hard time keeping up with every social network so you will see people concentrating on two or three places. The battle for relevance will continue as brands produce more content aimed at getting into the zeitgeist of the day.

Neil Sheth
Bio: Founder of Only Way Online, Neil helps businesses get more traffic and sales online by using SEO, Content and Email Marketing. His strategies focus on brand building activities which help to develop a complete online presence and a brand. Neil also provides online marketing coaching and training entrepreneurs and smaller businesses at https://yourbrandfound.com/.

Visual is your stand out content formats in social media.

If we look at growing platforms currently, they are Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest. All where the visuals are the most important thing.

But it’s not good enough using the same old stock images. Instead, you need to think like a brand where consistency and memorability is important. That doesn’t just mean having an amazing image or video. It includes your font style, design, post timing and the messaging.

Casandra Campbell
Bio: KCasandra Campbell is a professional blogger and growth expert. She helps businesses leverage digital marketing to increase profits and grow their busin

I think we’re going to see a lot of movement with artificial intelligence. Bots are already being used regularly on channels like Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter, but as they continue to improve they will start to play a bigger role on other social channels as well. When customer service and other more utilitarian parts of social media are being handled by AI, it will free up more time for social media marketers to focus on creative campaigns and higher quality native content.

Peter Nilsson
Bio: Peter Nilsson, a WordPress guy and founder of WP Daily Themes and WP Newsify. He has been working with WordPress and contributing writer for a lot of WordPress blogs since 2008.

Social Media is incredibly fast-growing, diverse and changeable landscape with established platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn competing with new innovative platforms. It takes a lot of rethinking even for established social media platforms in order to both retain current audience and attract new users.

Last year we saw live streaming videos and feeds, especially Facebook Live rise and increased in popularity. When platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope, to name a couple of the larger players also joined the live streaming business, I am convinced that this will be one of the most influential social media marketing trends for 2017.

Arman Assadi
Bio: Arman Assadi helps people create self-directed lives as solopreneurs. Major media like Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Fox Business have featured him, while his work at ArmanAssadi.com is the #1 resource in the world for solopreneurs. Arman is also one of the top branding and funnel strategy consultants in the digital business space. He has worked with companies like Whitepages, Hello Bar, Qualaroo, and CloudApp; and celebrity entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and New York Times bestselling authors like Jason Silva, Neil Patel, Timothy Sykes, Lewis Howes, Gerard Adams, Jeff Walker, and more.

2017 will be the year “solopreneurship” and influencer marketing explodes. (See here for more on this: http://www.armanassadi.com/solopreneur-trend). There will be a massive shift toward video content, and we’ll be seeing many new faces in the influencer arena, with people using their expertise and craft to cultivate an audience. The key to stand out will be: playing the long game, an investment in high quality video production, and creating authentic relationships with your audience.

Bio: I am the CEO at Growth Hackers. We help startups and SMBs grow by implementing growth hacking and inbound marketing strategies. I have always loved traveling, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. I lived in 7 countries and helped companies from 50+ countries grow.

In 2017, I see 3 main changes in social media marketing.

First, I am convinced live videos will be a big hit. All the big actors are investing a lot in video platforms (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat…); so, there is no doubt that videos content will be a big trend in social media marketing.

Second, I think AI and especially Chatbots will take over the conversation and customer service controls. The chatbots will be more and more sophisticated, they will learn through machine-learning in order to adapt to customers. Customer experience is key and I see chatbots becoming a great help for companies to improve their customer experience.

Third, I see the beginning of Virtual Reality in social media marketing. I don’t think this will be the huge hit that everyone is expecting. VR will start in social media marketing in 2017 and will probably really take-off in 2018.

Jenny Frances
Bio: Jenny Frances is the CEO and Founder of Social Bees Media, a digital marketing agency delivering high impact social media marketing and digital marketing solutions for businesses large or small. We can support you through every aspect of online marketing for your business.

Looking back at 2016, I am sure that 2017 will be very eventful for social media marketers. Here are my top predictions and trends that businesses should keep an eye on in 2017:

Live Video & Video content to take a key position in marketing strategies

Live video literally blew everyone away in 2016, and it doesn’t look like it will be slowing down any time soon. As of today, almost all major social networks offer live video and people are loving it.

All social networks are constantly working on ways to push live video and video posts on people’s Newsfeeds, and they also work on expanding the opportunities for advertisers. Many brands found ways to incorporate video in their social media strategy and this is the one trend that for sure we will see growing more and more in 2017.

Snapchat to continue setting the trends

With over 300 million monthly active users this young network is setting the trend in the industry. Snapchat is the social network that knows their users and gives them exactly what they need and dream of. In 2017 Snapchat is expected to make its network more business-friendly and open advertising opportunities for smaller businesses as well. This is the network that every marketer should keep an eye on in 2017.

Facebook organic reach to continue to drop, while Facebook ads will start getting pricey

Organic reach on Facebook has been dropping year on year, and it looks like it will continue. To compensate for the drop in organic reach, tons of marketer invest more and more in paid reach. The more marketers invest in Facebook ads, the more organic reach will keep dropping.

And since competition between Facebook advertisers is growing, at one point very soon we will start seeing an increase in the cost per results and conversion rates. In 2017, marketers should take into consideration these particular trends and adapt their budgets accordingly to the goals they want to achieve.

Instagram to offer more opportunities for advertisers in 2017

Instagram underwent some big changes in their NewsFeed algorithm in 2016. Now that organic reach on Instagram has dropped, brands are going to have to put their hands in their pockets and pay for more advertising. And if brands will be willing to spend more on Instagram advertising, then for sure Instagram will come up with more advertising opportunities for marketers in 2017!

Katyan Roach
Bio: I’m a Social Media Strategist, Speaker & Coach and I love talking to businesses about how they can use Social Media to maximize their profits!

Video and live streaming will of course continue to expand and grow. It’s already begun to change the way we consume news and current affairs as we currently see many reputable news outlets picking their top news stories from “what’s trending” online and video, is a huge part of that. Businesses can also use video to quickly humanize their brand, the effect of which is crucial in building customer relationships, which will eventually lead to increased profitability.

Improved Customer targeting.

I believe that in 2017, we’ll see a lot more emphasis placed on finding better ways to target the people we serve online. A number of new tools are springing up that give us greater insight into what people are doing online. Who they are, where they’re located, what they are interested in and what they searching for. This will be an online marketers dream!