Social media has become a common and accepted part of brands’ marketing plans, often commanding large shares of budgets. For some companies, they’re the only form of marketing.

These media touch almost every part of our private and professional lives. You post photos on Facebook, update work histories on LinkedIn and on and on. Brands go there to interact with loyal customers and try to acquire new ones.

Each year brings new ways to connect with people online, and 2017 has been no different. Here’s a look at some top social media trends expected to continue growing this year.

First, look at this graphic:

Ad revenue share

It’s mind-blowing to think that Facebook Messenger commands nearly 70 percent of social media ad dollars with more than 1 billion daily active users. Few places on the internet have the reach, and more important, the data on users to target ads. So, where Facebook goes, you can imagine that others quickly follow.

MOBILE

To take advantage of everything Facebook offers, first think mobile, which grew 82 percent year-over-year to account for nearly 80 percent of its total ad revenue. That’s shocking because a few years ago, Facebook was desktop-only.

When you want people to engage, use the mobile tools at your disposal. Do you want them to download your app? Text a link to a friend? Consider what your audience can do on mobile that it can’t on desktop. Optimize for that.

VIDEO

We can’t stress often enough the importance of having a video plan in your social media strategy. Every year, the video battleground becomes more fierce, and if you wait too long to enter, you’ll be competing with a lot of noise on the internet. Thirteen months ago, a Facebook executive said Facebook will likely be entirely video by 2021. If you don’t have videos online, you’re forgoing customer engagement opportunities and potentially a lot of money.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) LENSES

In April, Snapchat introduced a dramatic game-change with what it called “World Lenses.” This offers a way to add augmented reality elements or distort a face or voice in a funny way. Here’s what it looks like:

“World Lenses.”

As simple as this seems, AI Lenses has become a huge hit among millennials, and anything popular among this generation is certain to be adopted by Facebook. Lenses are now on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram, and you can bet that everyone else will add them soon.

Although folks predict many trends on social media this year, that’s just what they are — predictions. Don’t assume that these are magic bullets that will deliver you a million followers by 2018.

Instead, think about how these trends can fit your overall strategy on social media and connect with your audience in memorable ways.

For more information on 2017 trends, read this, this and this to see what you could incorporate in your marketing plans.

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