SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2017

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Building Off 2016: In 2016, trends like live streaming, “buy” buttons, and content personalization dominated the social media world, pushing platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram up in popularity alongside leading sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. While these will all be relevant in the new year, more updated trends have sprung up as a result. Staying ahead of the curve will take time and should be approached purposefully. So how do you go about reinventing your social media for 2017?

Mobile… or Bust: In 2017, having a fully responsive website is no longer an option…it’s a necessity. If your site is not optimized to shift seamlessly between mobile devices, you will lose prospective patients. Create a responsive website to boost your ranking on a Google search and increase your chances of reaching your target audience. Even something as simple as a “thumb-optimized” call-to-action (CTA) button will make a world of difference to the user.

Social Customer Service: The last few years have seen an increase in customer interaction on social media, with low response rates. When looking to your engagement in 2017, focus on creating an environment of great customer service across all your social channels. Effectively communicating by answering questions and resolving issues with patients is the first step to keeping your followers around.

Push for Personalization: Though ads are becoming the norm on social media, users still like to see real, organic content that has been tailored to fit their preferences. Because algorithms directly influence who will-or won’t!-see your posts or updates, it is especially important to provide content that is informative and interesting. Focus on cross-promoting your content to fit with the vibe of each platform and encourage involvement with contests, quizzes and calls to action.

Quality Before Quantity: Not only do you need content that speaks to the user, but you should begin focusing on keeping social media accounts to a select few, too-especially the ones that are most practical in light of your business and prospective audience. If you’re an optometrist, for example, there isn’t much of a push for you to be on Snapchat when compared with the promotional and educational updates you could be bringing to Facebook.

Plan to Pay
Unfortunately, experts have 2017 pegged to be the year paid advertising begins to one-up the organic reach. When done correctly, this “outbound” approach to advertising can benefit your business. Specialized and targeted paid ads can be tailored to reach the exact prospects for whom you’re looking. Keep advertising short and sweet, with a creative twist to attract users.

Looking Ahead
Tackling all the 2017 trends yourself can seem like a daunting task. Begin small and first take on the projects that are the easiest to implement. As you get comfortable with one platform, branch out to another and grow from there! The most important thing to keep in mind is that your followers matter. Keeping great customer service a priority will boost your credibility and naturally turn likes into comments, shares, and eventual new patients!

Samantha Toth is the resident marketing rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.

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